Honorees are listed in alphabetical order by last name
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Olivia Biggs, 32, of Granville, public information officer for Licking County Health Department and Licking County Emergency Management Agency, and public health emergency preparedness coordinator for Licking County.
Biggs is responsible for all of the health department’s outreach activities and media relations, a critical part of the emergency response team and assists other county agencies with their efforts. She was named the 2017 Young Professional of the Year by the Licking County Chamber of Commerce.
Her volunteer activities include Licking County Prevention Partnership, Licking County River Round Up, Welsh Hills School, United Way, Young Leaders of Licking County, Licking Memorial Hospital and Central Ohio Public Information Network. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Ohio State University.
Michelle Newman Brady, 39, of Granville, principal, founder and owner of MNB Marketing, a marketing consulting business in Granville, fitness instructor and trainer at VO2 Fitness, Newark, and wellness coach/fitness instructor at Denison University.
Brady is co-owner and partner in Granville’s creative coop co-working space, where she operates MNB Marketing, which provides marketing help for small business. In 2015, she joined the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, managing the organization’s social media and marketing communications efforts. She previously served as program coordinator for a de novo bi-national leadership development center based in U.S. and South Africa.
Her volunteer activities include Young Leaders of Licking County, executive committee of Licking County Local Food Council, Big Sur International Marathon in Monterrey, California, in April, and Chattanooga, Tennessee Iron Man Triathlon, in 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M University and master’s in liberal studies from Duke University.
Ryan Bubb, 39, of Newark, asset manager at AKD Construction, owner of Newark-Heath Power Washing, and Newark city councilman.
Bubb has been asset manager for nationwide retail construction company AKD Construction for 15 years. He is serving a third term as councilman-at large, and been active on most of council’s working committees.
His volunteer activities include board member of Licking County Courthouse Lighting Inc., board member for the Fairway Estates Homeowners Association, former member of Newark Area Jaycees, former board member and host parent for the Licking County Settlers. The 1996 Newark High School graduate attended Central Ohio Technical College.
Taylor Downes, 33, of Granville, senior vice president of EVO Design company, and volunteer, leading the decorating team at The Works, Newark.
Downes opened a second office of Connecticut industrial design firm EVO Design in downtown Newark. She hired four employees and increased sales, earning the top sales award for 2016-2017.
Her volunteer activities include Licking County Humane Society board member, Young Women in Leadership planning team, NEWork Space planning team, volunteer at Hats Off and Hot Havana Nights at The Works, member of Young Leaders of Licking County. The Granville High School alum went on to graduate from Columbus College of Art and Design, where she is an alumni mentor.
Shannon Edwards, 34, of Newark, chief deputy clerk for Licking County Probate Court.
Edwards supervises a staff of six performing intake/filing of all cases presented to Licking County Probate Court. She works with attorneys, community partners, and the public, prepares files for court hearings, assists Juvenile-Probate Court Judge Robert Hoover and trains deputy clerks. She and her staff are responsible for managing and processing about 450 estates, 150 trusts, 600 guardianships, 90 adoptions, and 1,000 marriage licenses each year.
Her volunteer activities include Apostolic Church, Newark, youth boosters, fundraising, Sunday school, Salvation Army soup kitchen, making cupcakes for friends, family and various functions. The 2001 Newark High School graduate participated in the COTC Tech Prep Program, and Ohio Judicial College continuing education programs.
Kat Fields, 33, of Newark, principal at Heath High School.
Fields is in her second year as principal of Heath High School. She is credited with providing significant professional development to her staff and contributing to an increase in student achievement. She provides instructional expertise to the leadership team at Heath City Schools. She received the Coughlin Automotive You Made a Difference Award in 2015.
She is an accomplished teacher of English Language Arts and College and Career Readiness and served at both Heath City Schools and KIPP Journey Academy in Columbus. She served on the Heath Community Arts Council board. She graduated from Noblesville (Indiana) High School in 2003 and Wittenberg University in 2007.
James Golden III, 39, of Heath, founder/owner/CEO of Pavement Management Group, in Heath, founder/owner/CEO of JG3 Consulting, in Heath, and principal of CPWG Engineering in Tampa, Florida.
Golden is an entrepreneur who owns two local businesses. PMG focuses on providing townships, cities, counties and states across the nation data on pavement management solutions to get the most out of their roads using ArchGIS and Google Earth. JG3 Consulting, a cloud services/IT firm, specializes in helping small businesses and individuals become successful.
He was recently elected to the board of directors at the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, and is a liaison to the Licking County Business Community Advisory Council. The Lakewood High School graduate earned an associate degree in applied science from COTC and a bachelor’s from the University of Phoenix.
Erin Grigsby, 36, of Newark, director of finance and compliance for the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority.
Grigsby is the chief financial officer for the fourth-largest port authority in Ohio and the largest self-sustaining port authority in the state. During her tenure, she has tackled such varied tasks as rewriting the Port Authority’s financial policy in response to state law changes and updating the emergency action plan for the Port Authority’s base campus in Heath. She oversees drafting and implementing the Port Authority’s lease agreements and contracts.
She is active with her church and supporting downtown Newark initiatives. She is a graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is enrolled in the paralegal studies program at Liberty University School of Law, and expects to earn a paralegal certificate this year.
Brian Haught, 37, of Newark, marketing director for The Midland Theatre, and manages the Downtown Newark Association web site.
Haught has marketed and advertised every show at The Midland Theatre with his unique designs for seven years. He buys and schedules all media for The Midland Theatre, handling all online efforts, and material ranging from small brochures to digital billboards. He can be seen cleaning up at Midland shows and walking elderly volunteers to their cars. In 2013, he received the Diamond Award for Printed Collateral Campaign Impact Award from the Licking County Visitors and Convention Bureau.
His volunteer activities include United Way of Licking County’s Outreach Committee, Young Leaders of Licking County and Granville Area Chamber of Commerce. He received an associate degree in digital communication and media/multimedia from COTC.
Jason Hall, 39, of Pataskala, director of operations at TrueCore Federal Credit Union.
Hall leads all branch offices and call center for TrueCore, the largest credit union in Licking County with more than with 16,000 members locally and nationally. He and his team are responsible for members’ loan and deposit needs. He is a founding member and chairman of TrueCore Foundation, a non-profit organization striving to fulfill unmet needs in the community.
He is a member of the Newark Rotary Club, a board member of American Red Cross of Licking County, serves in the Community Impact Division of the United Way, is a Licking County Chamber leadership graduate and spent several years mentoring a student from Newark City Schools through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The Sheridan High School graduate received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and masters’ from Franklin University.
Tom Lee, 37, of Pataskala, captain with Mifflin Township Fire Department, Gahanna, works on his family farm, L&R Farms, Pataskala, co-owner of Depot Street Coffeehouse, Pataskala, and Pataskala city councilman.
Lee, a lifelong Pataskala resident, joined with his wife, Jen, and sister, Erin, to open the Depot Street Coffeehouse in historic downtown Pataskala, and it became a meeting place and catalyst for a city needing young entrepreneurs to invest in the community. He is considered a tireless advocate for the community, helping to recruit companies to the area.
He was chairman of the Watkins Memorial Turf Committee, helping raise $612,000 to install turf at Warrior Stadium in 2012-2013, a coach and board member for Southwest Licking Youth Football since 2010, Stand Up-Citizens of SWL Kids and Community committee member in 2012, Watkins Memorial Drug Free Task Force member since 2016, and Pataskala United Methodist Church Renovation Committee in 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2013 from Ohio Dominican, and a Columbus State associate degree in fire/EMS in 2005.
Todd Londot, 34, of Granville, owner/president of Crispin Iron and Metal Recycling Center, in Newark, co-owner/sales and marketing director for The Equipment Guys, in Newark, and assistant football coach at Denison University.
Crispin Iron and Metal purchases junk cars and scrap metal, and sells used auto parts. The Equipment Guys is the exclusive manufacturer of Stray Dog Strength equipment, a brand of exercise equipment geared to the sports performance market. Londot is in his fifth season coaching at Denison.
Londot hosts the Londot Christmas Celebration for foster children at The House of New Hope, in St. Louisville, co-hosts the Londot Football Camp, a free football camp for the children in Licking County, and is co-chairman of the Wildwood Park Rebuild Committee.
The 2005 graduate of Miami University was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference offensive lineman, playing center and snapping the ball to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He spent three seasons on the New York Giants roster, before an injury ended his football career in 2008. He was inducted into the Utica High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
Lauren Massie, 37, of New Albany, director of adult education at Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County, Newark.
Massie oversees 15 adult workforce development programs and leads more than 150 staff, working closely with Licking County leaders and community members to be a responsive training resource to local business and industry partners. She previously worked in leadership positions at Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Higher Education.
She is a member of Young Leaders of Licking County, Licking County Chamber of Commerce, New Albany Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Career-Technical Administrators PACE. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Cindy Neely, 38, of Newark, vice president, retail branch administration, Park National Bank, and branch manager at PNB main office, downtown Newark.
Neely is a regional manager overseeing numerous other PNB branch locations. She began her PNB career in 2001 as a bank teller, when she was accepted into the management associate program at PNB. She takes time to help develop other associates at the bank.
Her volunteer activities include secretary of Hillview Elementary Parent Teacher Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Lunch Buddy Program, mentoring a female middle school student, The Works “Hat’s Off Event” fundraising committee for 2018. She also chooses two children annually from the Salvation Army to buy Christmas gifts. The 1997 Newark Catholic High School graduate received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Otterbein University.
Michael O’Brien, 32, of Westerville, chief financial officer at First Federal Savings, in Newark.
O’Brien started at First Federal in 2012, serving as assistant controller and controller, before becoming CFO in 2015. He assists in completing the quarterly report, performs monthly rate risk analysis, monitors cash and investment positions, negotiates contracts with vendors and assists independent auditors and examines in their review.
He spearheaded the park district’s levy effort in the spring, and served as treasurer for the Newark City Schools levy campaign. He is a board member of Community Computer Alliance, which recycles electronic goods and provides job training to individuals working with disabilities. He is a board member of the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Dayton.
Erin Prescott, 34, of New Albany, director of Development at Dawes Arboretum.
Prescott joined the Dawes Arboretum staff in 2012 as its first-ever director of development. She oversees fundraising and marketing activities. Under her leadership, arboretum membership reached an all-time high of more than 1,600. She helped the arboretum transform from a private foundation to public charity, helping provide additional funding streams.
She previously worked for The Nature Conservancy and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, helping raise more than $5 million dollars for environmental nonprofit organizations.
She was an appointed member of the City of Columbus Mayor’s Green Team advisory committee from 2010-2017. She is an active member of the Newark Rotary Club, Licking County Chamber of Commerce Young Leaders of Licking County and Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Ohio State University.
Justin Ross, 32, and Mindy Ross, 32, of Pataskala, pastors, Impact City Church, Pataskala.
Justin and Mindy Ross launched an independent, non-denominational church called Impact City in 2014. They began with 16 friends and family, and quickly became known for outreach events. They partnered with the Lions Club to bring fireworks back to Pataskala, and partnered with the city for Cookout With a Cop, the annual street fair, and the Lighted Christmas Parade. The church has grown to more than 400 members.
In 2016, Justin started a monthly prayer meeting of area ministers, who continue to meet and discuss ways to help the city. The couple were named “Behind the Scenes Citizens of the Year” and received the Distinguished Service Award from Pataskala Lions Club in 2016.
In college, Justin was a three-year captain of the Otterbein University football team and president of his fraternity. He graduated cum laude from Otterbein in 2007. Mindy earned an associate degree in nursing from Ohio University in 2007, and authored her first book, Finding Strength, this year.
Jeff Rothweiler, 36, of Newark, executive director and fiscal officer at Pataskala Public Library.
Rothweiler left his first accounting job at Wilson Shannon and Snow in 2006 to join the library, where he was named executive director in 2011, at age 28. He manages funds, promotes quality operations and community efforts, and supports the library staff.
He became a member of the Rotary Club of Pataskala in 2011, and served as president in 2015-2016. He contributed to Rotary community service projects, including the Pataskala Street Fair Parade and Flags Over Pataskala, and raising funds for international causes such as building waterworks systems in third world countries to bring clean water to communities.
He is a member of the Blessed Sacrament Church finance committee and coaches his daughter’s softball team and his son’s soccer teams. He earned his master’s degree from Kent State University in 2013 and bachelor’s from Ohio State University in 2003, after graduating from Newark High School in 1999.
Dr. Jonah Staten, 39, of Granville, dentist at Old School Dental.
Staten left teaching to pursue his doctorate degree in dentistry at Ohio State University, where he built the largest patient base of any student in the history of the dental school. Several of those patients followed him into private practice. He purchased the original old school house in Etna, built in 1877, and prepares to open Old School Dental this fall.
He volunteers his time at The Look Up Center in the free dental clinic in Newark, as well as teaching oral hygiene instruction at St Francis de Sales Elementary School, Granville Elementary and St. Edward Preschool. He also goes to local nursing homes to adjust dentures for residents.
The Watkins Memorial High School graduate was a fifth grade teacher at Pataskala Elementary for seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Maryville College, a master’s and doctorate from Ohio State University. In dental school, he volunteered countless hours at free dental clinics, earning him the Community Service Award.
Justina Wade, 37, of Newark, coordinator of Suicide Prevention/Self Advocacy Program of Mental Health America of Licking County, and chairwoman of the Licking County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Wade presents evidence-based program Signs Of Suicide to middle school and high school students in Licking County, and oversees depression screenings in some area high schools. She provides suicide prevention training for agencies, businesses and organizations throughout the community.
Wade works in area high schools teaching developmentally disabled students how to speak up for themselves and understand their rights and responsibilities. She facilitates the weekly Depression and Bipolar Support Group and the monthly Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group, both offered at no charge.
She helped bring the Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide team here in 2016, and volunteers on the National Suicide Hot Line. The member of Young Leaders of Licking County recently completed her bachelor’s degree in social work and pursues a master’s degree in social work from Liberty University.
Found in The Newark Advocate 10/23/2017