On June 30, 2016, Lorain County will see the retirement of an award winning local leader whose work has a had positive effect for Lorain County Community College, Lorain County, Northeast Ohio and me personally.
I first met Dr. Roy Church, President of LCCC, shortly after starting my first professional job at the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce. I had recently completed my Master’s thesis on the economic development benefits of higher education. Dr. Church graciously listened as I went on and on about my conclusions. Of course, shortly thereafter, I realized what I was theorizing on paper, he was implementing in the real world.
A few years later, when my brother and I were putting our plans together to start Emerge, Dr. Church took the time to meet with me privately in his office and discuss building a business in Lorain County. I have always been grateful for this gesture, knowing how busy his schedule is and how large his responsibilities.
In our first year of business, Dr. Church connected us with the Northeast Ohio Workforce Initiative and the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education. These early projects were invaluable to our getting started (and to early cash flow!)
Like many people in Lorain County, I have sat on a few boards, committees and strategy sessions with Dr. Church. I have always been amazed at his ability to elicit good input from a diverse group of people, build consensus and then synthesize this into action plans.
About a year ago, I was talking to Dr. Church about some of our latest work and he says, “You guys are always innovating!” I could not have been prouder, receiving this compliment from the most innovative leader I have ever known.
Dr. Church's leadership will be missed, but the outcomes of his leadership will persist long after his retirement.
Thank you, Dr. Church, for what you have done for me, our company, county and region. Enjoy your well-earned retirement.
Ed Skimin is President and Co-founder of Emerge.