LIMA —Allen Lima Leadership members, alumni and friends gathered to welcome the 25th inducted class of the leadership organization and showcase the work of what the 24th class has planned over the past year at the Civic Center on Wednesday night.
“It’s a great event where these two classes converge,” said Randee L. Henson, vice chair for ALL.
The event acts a social celebration between old and new members, mingling amongst one another and exchanging ideas for community improvement plans.
The 23 members of the 2012 class presented their three- to five-year project plan to help spruce up the aesthetics of downtown Lima, which includes placing mile markers on the walking and biking trail, filling vacant storefronts with displays that represent the community, growing fresh flowers and shrubbery and repurposing other vacant spaces for things such as parks and events.
Members of the 2012 class represent a variety of local organizations, including Husky Lima Refinery, Rhodes State College, the United Way of Greater Lima and both local hospitals, St. Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System.
“If you can imagine our storefronts downtown, the empty storefronts, all filled with all the things this community does. Things we manufacture. The things we have to be proud of to tell the stories of the assets this community has. It can be a destination for people to come to see what this community is all about,” said Phil Hayne, president of the United Way of Greater Lima and a member of the 2012 ALL class.
“We will also have a kiosk that can tell the history of Lima and Allen County. So again, people can understand the context of all the wonderful things going on in this community. Can you imagine at Christmastime, all the trees are lit, so that families and children come down to admire and enjoy the Christmas spirit. That’s what we imagine. But it’s more than imagine for us, we will do it,” Hayne said.
The Class of 2013 has 32 members, and for the first time, welcomed a member representing Ohio Northern University. Also, Jerry Lewis, owner and operator of 17 McDonald's franchises in northwestern Ohio was presented with the Distinguished Community Service Award, and ALL alumnus Terry Webb, a chiropractor with Allen County Health Partners who has also worked in Lima Mayor David Berger’s office, was presented with the ALL Alumni of the Year award during the banquet.
Micki Vollmer, who has been executive director of Allen Lima Leadership for 17 years, will be retiring when the Leadership Class of 2013 wraps up.
“The future of Lima is in our hands, right in this room,” she said. “You have to have a vision. You have to have a purpose. You have to have a reason to get up each morning… so that’s what we plan on doing. We need to take time to dream. Plan, seek opportunities and set goals.”
All Class of 2013 induction