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Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Award

Each year, since 1981, United Way of Hancock County has presented the "Distinguished Volunteer Award" to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and willingness to serve the community through their overall involvement with United Way as a volunteer and leader, as well as with other organizations in the nonprofit sector.

In 2012, the award was renamed the "Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award" in her memory. She died in November of 2011. She was the current United Way board chair when she passed away. Jeri served a successful 30-year career in banking, including First Federal, Huntington Bank, Sky Bank (formerly the Ohio Bank), Bank One (formerly Diamond Savings and Loan). More recently, Jeri worked as a sales manager for Rowmark (Clear Path).

While career-focused, Jeri spent her entire life giving back to the community, civic and charity involvement and served on a variety of boards of directors and trustees. Many of the organizations she impacted include The United Way, Children's Mentoring Connection, Handbags that Help, Hope House, American Business Women's Association, and Hancock Reads. Jeri was also a former deacon for the First Presbyterian Church in Findlay. Jeri touched many lives through multiple organizations, and it gave her the greatest joy. One of her favorite civic events was Camp Fire USA's Incredible Kid Day, and she was the driving force behind their "On Behalf of Youth" Award.

Jeri was the first woman member of the Findlay Kiwanis Club, and a graduate of Hancock Leadership, 1989. Jeri was the first winner of the Athena Award, given by the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance in 2000, for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Karen Jones and William Doyle Selected as the 2017 Recipients of the Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award

United Way of Hancock County has selected Karen Jones and William Doyle as the 2017 recipients of the Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award. Each year, since 1981, United Way of Hancock County has presented the award to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and willingness to serve the community through their overall involvement with United Way as a volunteer and leader, as well as with other organizations in the nonprofit sector. In 2012, the award was renamed the "Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award" in her memory. This is the first time the organization has selected two recipients.

“Collective impact is a proven, more effective framework for solving complex social issues. Karen and Bill have worked diligently on our transformation to collective impact. They have been instrumental in guiding us toward a process that allows us to get to the root causes of the critical issues in our county. Our journey has benefited greatly from their leadership, project management skills and insight. We would not be where we are today in the collective impact process without their leadership,” said John Urbanski, president and chief executive officer of United Way.

Jones has been a registered nurse for 52 years in the Findlay community. The majority of her career has been at the Blanchard Valley Health System with a focus on emergency services. After 25 years as a certified emergency staff nurse, she served as the director of emergency services from 1990-2006.  With the completion of the new hospital pavilion in 2007, Jones advanced to the position of vice president of patient care services/chief nursing executive until her retirement in January 2011.

She has actively volunteered in the community for many years serving as a board member for United Way of Hancock County, Century Health, Hancock County Health Board, and the newly formed Hancock Public Health Board. At United Way, she has been a long-time member and co-chair of the community solutions committee. She recently joined the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation Board and serves as the grants committee chair for that board.

Other volunteer activities include Cub Scout den leader, solicitor for the American Cancer Society, co-chairman for a local St. Jude’s Bike-A-Thon, and a Hancock County 4-H Health Bowl Coach for a team that went to state competition two years in a row.  As a parent volunteer at Liberty-Benton School, she assisted in the learning disabilities reading classes, taught sex education classes for 4th and 5th grade, implemented a fluoride health protection program, and was a parent coordinator for Project Happy (youth anti-drug program), liaison chairman for AFS (foreign exchange student program), and a Parent/Teacher Organization officer.

She has actively been involved in her church, currently serving in the capacity of volunteer parish nurse, choir member, Connections Team member, and nursery aide.  Past volunteer church activities were Celebrate Recovery facilitator, administrative board member, pastor/parish chair, trustee chair, and orchestra member.

Other community and professional volunteer service include: participating in the Hope House Homeless Shelter strategic planning team, reorganization committee for a combined health district, Blanchard Valley Health System auxiliary volunteer, Ohio Northern University nursing education advisory committee, community bio-terrorism and domestic violence, and child abuse/neglect task forces, community critical stress debriefing team, University of Findlay physician assistant program task force, injury surveillance committee, and chair of the United Way health division campaign.

The awards and honors received by Jones include a nomination for the community business women’s Athena award, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honorary Society, Blanchard Valley Hospital (BVH) Associate of the Month, and BVH Nurse of Excellence Award.

Doyle is an assistant professor of environmental safety and health management at the University of Findlay. Courses he teaches include project management, business continuity, organizational theory and behavior, public policy and communication and more. Prior to his teaching career, he was employed at Marathon Petroleum Corporation since 1981. He was also previously employed with the United States Army Corps of Engineers where he received the Bronze Star medal for meritorious service in Vietnam and an Army Commendation medal for his role in disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Agnes in the Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia areas.

His past United Way volunteer experience includes collective impact strategic planning committee, collective impact ad hoc committee, community solutions committee, Halt Hunger Initiative advisory board, health impact team chair, health impact team assistant chair, and health impact team member. He has extensive volunteer service with the City of Findlay including being: a member of the Storm Water Advisory Committee, representative to the operating committee of the Northwest Ohio Flood Mitigation, LLC, Findlay brownfields advisory committee member, Findlay visioning committee member, Board of Zoning Appeals member and a member of the Hancock Regional Planning Commission. He has also served as a board member for the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, a board member for Habitat for Humanity and United Way health panel liaison for Cancer Patient Services.

Doyle has his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in civil engineering from the University of Alabama, a Master of Science (M.S.) in civil engineering from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland.

Jones and Doyle were honored at the United Way of Hancock County annual meeting held on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Past Recipients
  • Michael "Chick" Padula, 2016
  • Dave Whikehart, 2015
  • Doug Hiegel, 2014
  • Jeanne Rustic, 2013
  • David Cassidy, 2012
  • Jeri Bjorling, 2011
  • Harold "Puck" Rowe, 2010
  • Larry Busdeker, 2009
  • Randy Lohoff, 2008
  • Dick Schaefer, 2007
  • Beth Heck, 2006
  • Tom Donnell, 2005
  • Duane Jebbett, 2004
  • Deb Arce, 2003
  • Don & Karen Manley, 2002
  • Robert Howard, 2001
  • Sandy Kozlevcar, 2000
  • Peg Logsdon, 1999
  • Don Badertscher, 1998
  • William Recker, 1997
  • G. Norman Nicholson, 1996
  • Barbara Deerhake,1995
  • Ivan Gorr, 1994
  • Joe & Claire Davis, 1993
  • John Arnold, 1992
  • Marjory Kennedy, 1991
  • William Sackman, 1990
  • Charles Hymes, 1989
  • Robert Feller, 1988
  • G. Fred Graf, 1987
  • James Brucklacher, 1986
  • Grant Young, 1985
  • William Ruse, 1984
  • Jack Harrington, 1983
  • Edwin Heminger, 1982