I like being a leader through change
Ron and Kathleen Paydo have a plaque in their house that reads, “Welcome to our happy, crazy, fun, loud, home.” They have raised four biological children, so you could assume this plaque probably rings true. But they have also taken in close to ninety foster children over the years. Feel free to assume that they have cornered the market on happy, crazy, loud, and fun.
But they have also cornered the market on community involvement. Ron was the recipient of this year’s Excellence in Medina County Leadership, awarded by Leadership Medina County. He is currently the President for Huntington Bank in Medina County and serves on the boards of five local nonprofits. With all this local excitement in his life, it seemed implausible, almost ridiculous, that United Way of Medina County would ask for even a sliver of his time. But, we did. This year, Ron agreed to take on the role of Campaign Chair.
Representing United Way is not an unfamiliar role to Ron. He has not only previously served as Campaign Chair, but also as board member and President.
“United Way was the first nonprofit that I ever got involved with,” he admitted.
When he started at the Bank in 1987, he was asked to be a Loaned Executive for United Way.
Not familiar with this title? Back in the day, a charitable enterprise, like United Way, would ask a company to “loan” them someone who would take their causes back to the company and do general fund raising.
Things have changed quite a bit since then. United Way now uses the Community Impact Strategy that backs specific programs targeting specific needs in the community. It’s a model that works, and Ron agrees.
“One of the first things I heard was that 1 in 3 Medina County residents would need United Way services in the next year,” Ron commented.
With programs promoting early education and youth engagement, health services and income stability, United Way programs are 100% tuned in to the needs of the community. How do we do that? Committee members and board members analyze presentations and proposals that potential grant recipients send in. Using objective data from several local groups, they look at where the donated dollars they are entrusted with will go the farthest. And it doesn’t stop there. They also review outcome data reports required by programs that receive funds. People like Ron, who have first hand knowledge of Medina County issues, communicate with our board members and the United Way staff and then help open doors by making connections.
“I like being a leader through change,” Ron stated. “United Way is near and dear to my heart and I believe it supports the community as a whole.”