Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation Announces 2024 Nursing Scholarships

Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation Announces 2024 Nursing Scholarships

Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation Celebrates Nursing Students

(July 10, 2024, Barberton, Ohio) — Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation (TPHWF) awarded $35,000 to 7 nursing students on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Members of the Foundation’s board of governors and donors joined the students and their families for a celebratory scholarship luncheon at LaLa’s in the Lakes. Guest speaker, Karen Fitzgerald, a professor in the University of Akron School of Nursing, spoke to the group. Fitzgerald encouraged the students to focus their efforts on the whole person, emphasizing connection, empathy, and dignity as worthy values in the nursing field.

Board member Mary Jo Goss thanked everyone for attending and shared her best wishes for the students on behalf of the Foundation. “I am sure you will all go far,” she said. “It is reassuring to see all of your enthusiasm, compassion, and dedication to nursing. I wish you well in your journeys, and hope you stay in touch with all of us.”

 Each of these students is pursuing a Registered Nursing degree.

Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation is proud introduce the 2024 scholarship recipients:

  • Molly Cunningham, a senior attending Kent State University at Stark and BHS graduate, received a Kovalchin Memorial Scholarship and a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Julia Davenport, a junior attending The University of Akron Wayne Campus, received a Kovalchin Memorial Scholarship and a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Hayden Graffice, a senior attending the University of Mount Union; received a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Mary Beth Kiss, a senior attending the University of Akron, received a Scholarship in Memory of Emma Rist, RN, and a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Mary Krege, a BHS graduate attending Malone University, received a Carol A. Storad Nursing Excellence Scholarship and a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Christina Maldonado, a senior attending Kent State University and BHS graduate, received a Kovalchin Memorial Scholarship, the Christine Elaine Weigand RN Memorial Scholarship, and a Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Nursing Scholarship.
  • Saedie Suboticki, attending The University of Akron Wayne Campus and BHS graduate, received a Kovalchin Memorial Scholarship.

About the scholarships:

The Bernadine H. Kovalchin, R.N. Scholarship honors Kovalchin, who was an RN at Barberton Citizens Hospital with 13 years’ service, leaving in 1971 as Assistant Coordinator of Nursing Education. She was a longtime local high school instructor of Vocational Medical Careers Training and worked as a school nurse.

The committee annually recognizes another commendable nurse through the scholarship in honor of Emma Rist, R.N., who was a catalyst for the creation of a Coronary Care Unit and then head nurse of the CCU at Barberton Citizens Hospital. Rist was very dedicated to the nursing profession and a visionary for advancements in nursing.

The Carol A. Storad Nursing Excellence Award recognizes an exemplary woman who began as a staff nurse and retired as Chief Nursing Officer at Barberton Citizens Hospital, serving for 43-years total. After retiring she taught high school students interested in pursuing a nursing career as part of a four-city compact program and was affiliated with The University of Akron.

The Christine Elaine Weigand RN Memorial Scholarship is meant to help future nurses overcome obstacles and to achieve their dreams. She was an extraordinary clinician who spent 30 years as an RN, working as a charge nurse, as a preceptor for new RN employees, and as a care manager on the 5100 unit and in the emergency room at Akron General Medical Center (now Cleveland Clinic Akron General). She was active in National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON) and was honored with an Excellence in Nursing award during Nurses Week in 2002.

About TPHWF

Founded in 1997, the Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation is proud to invest in the education of future nurses and in projects that promote health and wellness in our community. 

Mission statement: the Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation promotes wellness and helps extend health care, medical and educational services and opportunities to the residents of Summit County and contiguous counties.

Gil Gonzales Joins Barberton Community Foundation

Gil Gonzales Joins Barberton Community Foundation

Gil Gonzales Joins Barberton Community Foundation as New Director of Economic Development

Gonzales brings national and local expertise and resources to Barberton

May 28, 2024

Gil Gonzales - photo from the chest up in a gray suit jacket with the lake in the background.

Gil Gonzales serves as the Foundation’s new Director of Economic Development

Barberton Community Foundation is pleased to announce Gil Gonzales has joined the Foundation as its new Director of Economic Development. Gonzales brings a strong background in economic development and a deep commitment to supporting small businesses to his role, where he will lead and support initiatives to grow Barberton’s economic base and strengthen the community by leveraging the Foundation’s resources.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gil Gonzales to our team,” said Josh Gordon, Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation. “His extensive background in economic development, combined with his passion for small business support, make him an exceptional fit for this role. We are confident that Gil’s broad experience, leadership, and tenacity will bring growth and opportunity to Barberton, enhancing our momentum.”

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Gonzales’ upbringing shaped his community-focused worldview. Raised by his grandparents, whose work ethic and community mindset made a lasting impact, Gonzales learned the importance of putting people first and striving to leave the world a better place. These values have driven his commitment to supporting and uplifting communities throughout his career.

After earning his degree in Political Studies and Media Studies from Pitzer College, Gonzales secured a fellowship with then-freshman Senator Bob Dutton, which connected him to his career in economic development as the Senior Director for the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He gained valuable insights into how government supports business, helping to secure federal and state funding, and saw the role government can play in unlocking funds and opportunity for working people. 

From there, he served as the Vice President of Economic Development for the Arizona Commerce Authority, and then joined the then Governor office in California as an appointee in the Office of Economic and Business Development. In this role, he conducted large-scale negotiations for businesses, directed small business incentive assistance packages, and initiated a rural business outreach program. His work significantly contributed to economic growth and the support of small businesses across the state. Gonzales’ experience also includes building out the California Manufacturing Network and creating statewide programs for small manufacturers.

Most recently, Gonzales explored entrepreneurship, successfully securing $3 million venture capital backing and co-founding Subcity in 2021, a software platform that helps small manufacturing businesses access government tax credits, grants, and financing. Subcity helped companies obtain tens of millions in tax credits.

Gonzales moved to Ohio in 2022, following a job opportunity for his son’s mother, Kendra, as the head track and field coach for the University of Akron.

Regarding his new role, Gonzales said he sought the opportunity to work in Barberton because of the potential for growth and possibility he sees within the community.

“I always knew I wanted to get back into community service and economic development, with a focus on small business support, which is where my passion and heart is,” Gonzales said. “As a long-time economic developer, I am fortunate to be working in Barberton. This city is rich in American history, and full of hard-working people who love their hometown. We have the potential to show the rest of the nation what one small community can do together through collaboration, rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work ahead.”  

In addition to managing the Newell Industrial site, Gonzales will take the lead on the Foundation’s upcoming economic development programs, including the Economic Development Assistance Program (EDAP) and the Downtown Rehabilitation Program (DRP). Applications for these programs can be completed by businesses and building owners beginning June 1- June 30. Gonzales will oversee the programs, and coordinate with the Foundation’s program partner, Barberton Community Development Corporation.

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About Barberton Community Foundation

Established in 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million since its inception. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. The Foundation strengthens the community for current and future generations by proactively directing its grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook.

 

Barberton Community Foundation Receives Clean Audit, Opens Game Changer Nominations and Economic Development Funding at May Board Meeting

Barberton Community Foundation Receives Clean Audit, Opens Game Changer Nominations and Economic Development Funding at May Board Meeting

Barberton Community Foundation Receives Clean Audit, Opens Game Changer Nominations and Economic Development Funding at May Board Meeting

(May 20, 2024 Barberton, Ohio) –Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met for their regular meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

The meeting opened with a “mission moment” from Barberton City Schools teacher Heather Miller and AMHA representative Valerie Bechtel. Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Bechtel shared how successful a tutoring program at Van Buren Homes has become. This program is a partnership between BCSD and AMHA to provide tutoring to students at the Van Buren Homes community center. Barberton Community Foundation has funded this program as a matching grant partner with the schools for the past two years. Mrs. Miller shared that since the program’s beginnings, it has expanded from 1 to 5 teachers on site, increased to 4 days a week, and teachers see an average of 25 kids from all different grades. The students are putting in the work, too. Mrs. Miller shared that one student was able to increase her math test scores by 20 percentage points since the start of the school year.

Another key outcome is that, while the program began as an outreach initiative to AMHA families, it has become successful enough that parents from around the city are taking their kids to Van Buren Homes for tutoring. Miller said they abide by five core tenants for the program. “We provide a safe space to work, a quiet space to work,” Miller said. “We provide help. We are a continuation of their school day, and we promote a culture of learning and inclusiveness.”

The Foundation’s grant approval in February secures funding for this program through the 2024-2025 school year.

Finance

Tiffany Peters, Director of Finance reported the Foundation has received a clean audit with an unmodified opinion for the 2023 fiscal year. The board unanimously approved the Foundation’s 2023 Audited Financial Statements. Josh Gordon, Executive Director, said,

Governance

The board approved a motion to bring Brad Angeloff onto the board, pending Barberton City Council approval. Angeloff is a lifelong Barberton resident and has a strong financial background, especially in banking and economic development projects, a key focus for the Foundation. “We think he’ll make a great addition to the board,” said Gordon. “We look forward to being in a position to add his talent and expertise to our board.”

Economic Development

The Board continues to focus on initiatives benefiting downtown and economic development in Barberton. Along with Main Street Barberton funding, Newell Street Industrial Park, and Program Related Investments, the Foundation funds two programs aimed at business and building owners. The Economic Development Assistance Program (EDAP) and Downtown Rehabilitation Program (DRP) applications are open June 1-30.

Game Changers

The Board’s Development Committee is seeking nominations for the 2024 Game Changer Award. This award recognizes an individual and an organization or business that has made a positive impact on the community. Details and nominations are open now until June 10. Game Changers are recognized at the Foundation’s Annual Dinner Celebration on November 7. Make your nomination today!

Other Business

Peters announced the launch of GOfund, a new portal where donors and fund representatives can log in to an account and see fund activity, donation history, investment returns, and spendable amounts of the fund. “Adding GOfund to accommodate our donors is a significant advancement for the Foundation and our focus on technology that provides transparency and clarity for donors and fund representatives,” Gordon said.

The Health and Wellness grant cycle applications are due Monday, June 3. Grant partners should submit an LOI and complete an application in the GOapply portal. Contact Barberton Community Foundation at 330-745-5995 with questions.

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About Barberton Community Foundation

Established in 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million since its inception. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. The Foundation strengthens the community for current and future generations by proactively directing its grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/barbertoncommunityfoundation.

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Barberton Community Foundation Receives Clean Audit, Opens Game Changer Nominations and Economic Development Funding at May Board Meeting

Community Found – How Executive Director Josh Gordon found his sense of Community in Barberton.

Community Found

New Leadership at Barberton Community Foundation

By Josh Gordon, Executive Director

 

A close up photo of Josh Gordon in a gray suit.

Josh Gordon, Executive Director

It is an honor to write my first article as the new Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation.  

For those of you who I have not yet connected with, let me share with you why I love being in Barberton.  

Born in Columbus, Ohio, I moved 13 times before finally moving to my adopted hometown, Barberton. I grew up as a “corporate gypsy,” traveling from community to community while my father was in pursuit of the next rung on the corporate ladder. I lived in communities outside Columbus, Chicago, Atlanta, Chicago (again), Charlotte, and more.  

I’m actually thankful for having moved so much now that I’m an adult. But my gratitude mindset would not be possible without having discovered how incredible  Barberton is over 20 years ago. 

Here’s why. 

Growing up, I didn’t know what a “community” was. I was moving every 1-3 years from the time I was born! I never felt the benefit of having a long-time group of friends, or living in the same neighborhood, or even having teachers who all knew me and my family. I never understood what a gift that is!  

Thanks to living in Barberton, and the amazing people in this community, I now have the perspective to appreciate how lucky I am to be in the Magic City.

Who are some of those amazing people?  

I could give a long list – but I’ll start with my neighbors. 

The neighbors on my left built a pool a few years ago and are kind enough to invite my family – including all 4 of my kids – over to swim whenever we want. How nice is that?  

My two neighbors across the street are also awesome. One is the teacher who has taught English language arts to two of my four kids (so far). Her husband is super smart, kind, and really good at disc golf. My other neighbor is a helpful man with a wonderful family… I often joke that he is “the man of the house” at my house because he can fix anything. He also teaches me a lot without even knowing it, like how to be a great neighbor by shoveling someone else’s driveway when they get busy with life. How kind and caring are these folks?  

On the other side is a family who has a daughter the same age as my youngest and they play together when it’s warm. Her parents are so kind when my daughter hangs out with them, giving her snacks. Why? Because they are loving people!  

During COVID, we talked a lot, (at a distance, of course!) as our lives weren’t as busy . Somehow keeping our distance in the world at that time managed to make us all closer as neighbors.  

I know if I ever need help or support, these folks would rally around me and my family.  

Plus, my in-laws live three blocks away. My family of six has eaten more of their food than is fair. But they welcome it. 

My best friends live six blocks away. Their backyard is our family’s oasis in the summer. Our kids are growing up together and are close friends, too.  

With all of my moves, I never once experienced the type of kindness and caring and connection that Barberton just “does” naturally.  

And all I had to do to “earn” everyone’s kindness and friendship was simply to live in Barberton!  

Here we root for each other. And we shrug off the doubters who make fun of our community,because we know how special it is. If only those doubters had the humility to come experience how great Barberton is.  

Again, I’ve moved 13 times. I’ve experienced a lot of communities and neighbors. The Barberton experiences I describe here are NOT common in the world. These neighbors, these friends, this magic – is rare. My experiences have taught me that Barberton is the exception, not the rule, as a community.  

In history class, my kids learned the “Magic City” got its name from its tremendous economic growth in the early 20th Century.  

But I know the real truth behind our nickname. The “Magic” in our city is the people and how much they care for and look out for one another.

How fortunate are we to be here?  

Barberton has another amazing gift – a Foundation that received an original gift of $86 million in 1996.  

In my new role as Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation, I get to work with others to take care of this gift and grow it to make sure it is providing as many opportunities as possible for our residents. Those opportunities come in the form of supporting nonprofits that serve our community, our School District, our City government, and our business community.  

Our team and board will continue to work hard to create the most positive impact for the most people here. 

I have been described as someone who has “a lot of energy” and passion for Barberton. Why? Because I know how special it is. My job now is to work hard to help make it a place where everyone feels lucky enough to live, learn, work, play, visit, and experience the Magic City.  

And I will need your help.  

To start – I’d like to connect! I have heard people have questions about the Foundation, and I’m happy to answer them all. I’d love to meet you at our upcoming Meet and Greet event on March 8 from 4-6pm at Kave.  

If you ask a question I don’t yet have the answer to, I’ll find the answer and follow up with you. That’s what we do for each other here in Barberton!  

I look forward to meeting you, serving you, and building Barberton together!  

In community, 

Josh Gordon

 

Meet & Greet

Like what you read about Josh? The Foundation is hosting a Meet & Greet with Josh Gordon on Friday, March 8 from 4-6pm at Kave Coffee Bar. Join us!

Barberton Community Foundation Receives Clean Audit, Opens Game Changer Nominations and Economic Development Funding at May Board Meeting

Welcome from the Director

Welcome From the Director

 

A close up photo of Josh Gordon in a gray suit.

Josh Gordon, Executive Director

I write this having recently completed my first week serving as the Foundation’s Executive Director. This position comes with many responsibilities – and opportunities. Rather than listing them all for you, I’d like to publicly extend the commitment I’ve already made to our Board of Directors.

To the city, school district, nonprofit community of Barberton, fund holders, donors, grant partners, business community, and residents of Barberton: my door is open to you!

My experiences in business, government, and nonprofit leadership have taught me that trust is earned through transparency and a sincere willingness to listen and learn. I have always believed in being persistently curious and asking questions (without a fear of looking silly)! I encourage everyone to share their curiosities with me.

I am interested in learning what you’re curious about when it comes to the Foundation. What have you heard about us but would like to verify? What are you curious about, but never asked? What is your question about how the Foundation works? Ask away! Please email me at jgordon@barbertoncf.org. Or, if you see me around town at a Magics’ Basketball games, Kave getting a cup of coffee, leaving a movie at Lake 8, getting a bite to eat at Remarkable Diner – or anywhere – stop and say hi and tell me what you’d like to know. If I don’t have an answer on the spot, I’ll get one and follow up with you.

Something I learned about the Foundation in my first week as Executive Director is that I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many people who care deeply about building our community. The kindness and warmth of the team, the Board, the Friends of the Foundation group, officials from the City and school district, have all made me feel welcome and supported.

Their kindness is appreciated, as we have a lot of important work to do together.

This year will continue our focus in economic development, building on the work that has begun in that area. The Foundation has many projects either actively underway or under consideration right now.

We also have work to do in how we share what we do with the community. I believe that the more everyone understands about how the Foundation gets money, how we grow the money we have, and how we give it away to charitable organizations and important projects, the more impact our resources will have.

We are all about impact here at BCF. The question we ask ourselves is: What can we do to have the most positive impact for the most people in Barberton?

Whether you have questions or ideas, I’d love to hear them.

 

Sincerely,

Josh Gordon

Executive Director 

 

Barberton Community Foundation Selects Josh Gordon as Next Leader

Barberton Community Foundation Selects Josh Gordon as Next Leader

Barberton Community Foundation Selects Josh Gordon as Next Leader

Gordon Begins Executive Director Position in mid-January, Focus on Building Community-Wide Understanding of Ways Foundation can be Impactful.

December 6, 2023

Josh Gordon - a close up photo of Josh in a gray suit.

Josh Gordon starts as Barberton Community Foundation’s Executive Director on January 16, 2024.

Barberton Community Foundation is today announcing the selection of Josh Gordon as its next Executive Director.

Gordon is a long-time Barberton resident, husband and father of four kids who are all enrolled in the Barberton City School District.

He has also been an enthusiastic community volunteer and advocate, serving in various capacities with Barberton Community Foundation over the past decade including as a donor, board member, Educational Excellence committee chair, Vice Chair and Chair of the Board, and as a Friend of the Foundation. He has also worked on a variety of projects with the City of Barberton and the Barberton City School District to promote the community.

Gordon has over two decades of professional experience, beginning with radio, TV, and award-winning print journalism before entering the world of marketing communications. Gordon held various leadership positions in business, including leading marketing at an Akron-based software company and later as the global leader of marketing communications for ZimmerBiomet Surgical, a $600M+ division of global medical device company ZimmerBiomet.

Most recently he served as President at Full Spectrum Marketing, a full-service marketing communications firm in downtown Akron owned by Dix 1898. In his time with the firm it has grown over 9,200%, helped pass school levies in Barberton and other communities, in addition to serving the global business community with clients like Timken, Arctic Cat, as well as local and regional businesses.

“Josh is an experienced leader with an exceptional communications background and a true passion for Barberton,” said Jason Slater, Chair of the Board of Directors of Barberton Community Foundation. “I look forward to welcoming him to the Foundation in this new capacity.”

Gordon also serves as the chair of the Promotions Committee for Main Street Barberton and is a board member at Red Oak Behavioral Health, an organization that provides school-based mental and behavioral health services for K-12 students throughout Northeast Ohio.

“I am delighted to serve as the next Executive Director of this amazing institution,” Gordon said. “Though I have spent time involved with the organization in various capacities in the past, I am excited to work with our outstanding board and team to understand how to deepen our positive impact.

 

“I have a lot to learn, and like learning by asking questions. The first question I’ll ask is – if something is good for Barberton, what is the best way for the Foundation to be a partner?

 

“I really want to help everyone understand how the Foundation works. The more clear our role in the community is, the better partner we can be in everyone’s shared goal of building upon the positive momentum that is happening in the Magic City!”

Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors will welcome Josh Gordon as Executive Director at its annual meeting on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

 

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About Barberton Community Foundation

Established in 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million since its inception. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. The Foundation strengthens the community for current and future generations by proactively directing its grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook.