Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Business and civic leader Stephen Gary named Rich Bebee Leadership Award recipient


Former Ohio University-Chillicothe student Stephen Gary, whose has a distinguished career in business and community service, has been named the recipient of the Rich Bebee Leadership Award.  He will be recognized during OU-C’s Recognition of Graduation ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on May 1 in the Shoemaker Center.

The award recognizes former OU-C students who exemplify service to the university, philanthropic support, recognition in their professional field and service to the community. The award is named in honor of Richard Bebee, who served as dean of the Chillicothe Campus from 2001 to 2010.

Past winners include Jim Lungo in 2010, Beverly J. Gray in 2011, Martha Gerber Rittinger in 2012, Ken Breidenbaugh in 2013 and Julia Lyddon Gourley in 2014.

Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Ohio University in 1973. He attended the Chillicothe Campus for three years before completing his studies on the university’s Athens campus.

Gary joined the Savings Bank in Circleville, Ohio in 1979 and retired in 2014 as the longest-tenured CEO in the bank’s history of more than 100 years. He is currently serving as the president of Savings Bank Corporation.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Gary has been very involved in his community. His civic involvement includes: past member of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio; director of the Circleville Pickaway Corporation Board; director/secretary of the Pickaway Progress Partnership; member of the Circleville Sunrise Rotary; member of the Brown Chapel Church; treasurer of the Ross County Pomona Grange; member of the Clarksburg Grange; two-term member of the Ohio Banking Commission; president of the Circleville-Pickaway Chamber of Commerce; member of the Ohio 4-H Foundation; member of the State 4-H Advisory Board; and member of the Deerfield Township Zoning Board.

Gary received the 1997 Sam Walton Business Leader Award and the Rotary Foundation Presidential Citation Award.  He also was awarded the Pickaway County Friend of 4-H Award and the Paul Harris Award (Rotary).  In 2010 Gary was the recipient of the Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year Award

Further, Gary has encouraged local youth to attend the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus and has financially supported OU-C and the College of Business at Ohio University.

“Stephen Gary has lived a life of impact, and his business accomplishments and civic involvement have made a difference in the lives of countless individuals in this region,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “In many ways, his career exemplifies the Chillicothe Campus’ mission of encouraging students to use the insights and skills they develop during their college careers to make a difference as alumni in serving this region.”

Gary has previously been named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Chillicothe Campus.

The 2015 class of OU-C Distinguished Alumni includes four individuals who will be recognized during the May 1 ceremony. Their portraits will be displayed with past recipients in the Bennett Hall hallway. The 2015 distinguished alumni include:

Robert Beverly earned a bachelor’s degree in general business from Ohio University in 1991 and his master’s degree from Antioch University’s McGregor School of Business.  He is manager of human resources at American Centrifuge Plant of the Centrus Energy Corporation.  In this role, he oversees all aspects, oversight and assessment of human resources support for Centrus operations in Piketon, Ohio, as well as for Centrus employees in Paducah, Ky.  Previously, he served as human resources manager for the United States Enrichment Corporation.  Before joining USEC in 2008, he worked 28 years in the paper industry as a senior HR manager.  He serves on both the regional and Pike County Workforce Investment boards, which are responsible for promoting job creation and skill development in southern Ohio.  He represents Centrus Energy Corporation as a member of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce. Also, Beverly has been an adjunct instructor at Ohio University-Chillicothe, a motivational speaker in Leadership Development for the campus and has served as a facilitator for the Junior Achievement program.

Thomas P. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in business degree in 1974 and Masters of Business degree in 1981, both from Ohio University.  He began his career in accounting at the Mead Paper Company.  Later he worked at Ohio University-Chillicothe as coordinator of Business Management Technology as well as a highly-regarded faculty member.  He was instrumental in starting the campus’ Business Management Technology program.  Brown was on the board of United Way and the board of directors of the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Chillicothe Education Association.  The YMCA’s youth soccer program (traveling teams) was started by Brown. He also served as president of American Quality and Productivity Institute of Southern Ohio.  In 1996 he received the Colloquium of Teaching Award. Brown especially enjoyed working with his many students at OU-C.  He died in August 2014. 

James Butt earned his associate degree in applied business from Ohio University in 1990, taking his coursework on the Chillicothe Campus.  During the 70’s and 80’s, he worked for and with his father at Mechanical Construction Corporation.  From 1988 to 2000 he was a co-owner at Chillicothe Mechanical Corporation.  Butt started B&B Roofing, Inc. in 1982 and is still president.  He has been past president of Home Builders Association and was a Home Builders Association board member for 10 years.  Butt has been active in community service and served as past president of the YMCA as well as a board member for 12 years.  He was on the Board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters for six years.  He worked with St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Mary’s Church offering tangible assistance to those in need.  Butt was involved as an instructor for Junior Achievement of Ross County.  He was a founding board member of Adena Mansion & Gardens, and was president of Suicide Prevention Coalition for five years and board member for 10 years.  In 1987, he was named Outstanding Weekend College Student at OU-C.  Butt received the Leadership Award of Ross County YMCA in 2002. He has served Ohio University-Chillicothe by financially supporting the basketball team, and he has worked with the campus’  study committee. In 2014 he spoke at the Vigil for Suicide Awareness.

Emily Schmidt earned an associate degree in business management from Ohio University in 1998, taking her coursework on the Chillicothe Campus.   Since graduation, she has dedicated her professional and personal pursuits to making an impact in the Ross County community.  Schmidt is an administrative assistant to the Ross County Sheriff and formerly worked with the Ross Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce.  Schmidt is heavily involved in community outreach as a liaison between the sheriff’s office and the public.  Beyond her profession, Schmidt is active in the community through her involvement in the local Jaycees, Rotary, Majestic Theater Board and Chillicothe Social Society.  Further, she has volunteered time for the Chillicothe Campus, appearing in a recent “Alumni Spotlight” ad to support community relations as well as student-recruitment efforts.  Also she has taken time to meet with and mentor current OU-C students seeking career advice.

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