DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENTS

Jay Nash

Jay Nash

Honored in

2022

Jay Nash is being honored as a Distinguished Alumnus due to his outstanding humanitarian work in Africa, where he has spent decades helping thousands of children regain mobility through the use of orthopedic equipment and rehabilitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, enabling them to live more dignified and normal lives.

Brandon T. Snider

Brandon T. Snider

Honored in

2022

Brandon T. Snider is being recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as a writer, publishing over one hundred books, and as a television writer and performer. As a Mariemont student, Brandon loved theater and after graduation, attended Coastal Carolina University, graduating with a fine arts degree in theater. Brandon writes books for young readers including the award-winning Dark Knight Manual, Rube Goldberg and his Amazing Machines and upcoming semi-autobiographical Cootie Kid series. Additionally, he's written books featuring Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and Black Panther, plus pop culture icons such as Justice League, Star Wars, and The Muppets.

Dave Arnold

Dave Arnold

Honored in

2021

Dave Arnold is a Founding Partner of Adventures on the Gorge. His love of West Virginia and its beautiful rivers motivate him to make the best possible choices for West Virginia. Dave has been an integral part in building tourism in West Virginia. He served on the West Virginia Tourism Commission for more than twenty years, through six governors, and was Chair under Governor Wise. He is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank’s roundtable for WV and additionally chaired the WV Hospitality and Tourism Association for 12 years. He serves on the WV Economic Development Authority, part of which successfully attracted the Boy Scouts Summit Bechtel Reserve High Adventure Base, National Scout Camp Training Center.

Doug Proctor

Doug Proctor

Honored in

2021

Doug began canoeing in 1964 through the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Terrace Park. He canoed in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1966, he joined Morgan’s Canoe Trails for a two-week Daniel Boone canoe trip in Kentucky and he became an Eagle Scout in 1969. These activities, along with family camping trips helped set the direction for his career in the outdoors.

Jeff Proctor

Jeff Proctor

Honored in

2021

Jeff Proctor is a founding director of Class VI River Runners, Inc in Lansing, West Virginia. In Jeff’s earlier role, he oversaw digital marketing, reservation system and software and IT duties. Post merger, Jeff continued to serve on the Management team as the COO, which oversaw a $10 million expansion, including 100 cabins, three restaurants, pool, TreeTops Canopy Tour and an assortment of adventure activities. Jeff managed the reservation staff, resort management, maintenance and grounds, food service and most expansion capital projects. He continued to assist staff who book vacation packages including meals, lodging and activities, the day-to-day operations and the quality and maintenance of the 240 acre campus.

James Carter

James Carter

Honored in

2019

James Carter (Jim), Class of 1961, is being honored for his unparalleled dedication and accomplishments to improve the lives of thousands of children and families at Child Focus, Inc. He holds a Masters in Special Education from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in Theology from Cincinnati Bible Seminary. Jim recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of Child Focus, a position he has held since 1979. During his tenure, the organization grew from helping fewer than 300 children to positively impacting 15,000 children, families and adults by offering early learning, mental health, school, foster care and a wide variety of community services. Jim’s commitment to helping children and families extends beyond Child Focus, as well. He worked internationally in 2015, collaborating with schools in Ryazan, Russia regarding Bullying Intervention Programs, and provided like services in Ireland. Jim also worked extensively with survivors of disasters such as the Buffalo Creek Dam, Beverly Hills Supper Club, and New Richmond flood.

Donald Shackelford

Donald Shackelford

Honored in

2019

Donald Shackelford (Don) is recognized for his outstanding leadership in the business and philanthropic arenas in Central Ohio. He is a graduate of Denison University and Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. Don then went on to serve as a Captain in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of State Savings Bank for twenty-five years and, following its acquisition by Fifth Third Bank, he went on to become Chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp, Central Ohio. In addition to his success as a leader at Fifth Third, it is difficult to match his contributions to the Central Ohio business and non-profit communities, given the tremendous variety of organizations that Don has impacted and led, including Worthington Foods, Abercrombie and Fitch, Limited Brands, Progressive, Ohio State University and United Way.

Susan Davis-Ali

Susan Davis-Ali

Honored in

2018

Susan Davis-Ali, PhD (Susan Davis) graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1982. After an undergraduate career at Miami University, Susan furthered her education by obtaining a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan. She moved to Minnesota with her husband in 1992, and for over a decade was a successful business executive in test development. In 2006, Susan followed her passion and started her own e-platform leadership development and coaching company called Leadhership1 (the "her" is for the company's focus on women's leadership). Susan also serves as the Chief Social Science Advisor to the Anita Borg Institute. She published a book called "How to Become Successful Without Becoming a Man" and was a weekly career advice columnist for USA Today. In her "spare" time, Susan volunteers for non-profits that serve the homeless.

Jim Verdin

Jim Verdin

Honored in

2018

James R. Verdin (Jim) grew up in Mariemont and graduated with the Class of 1955. He was President and CEO of The Verdin Company, a 175 year old family business located in Cincinnati. Verdin manufactures and sells bronze bells, tower and street clocks, electronic carillons and organs. Nationwide, Verdin is involved in projects honoring veterans and first responders with custom bells and bell towers. Jim was also a founder of three Pendleton Art Centers. He has been honored many times for his involvement in the arts, preservation, business and community. Most recently, Jim and The Verdin Company were honored by the State of Ohio for their work in honoring and hiring veterans. Jim passed away in September 2017.

Gayle Gleckler

Gayle Gleckler

Honored in

2017

Gayle Gleckler graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1960. She was active as class Vice-President, editor of the Warpath, a member of the Pep Club, and in the visual arts. She attended the University of Florida where she received her Bachelor of Design degree. Gayle went to New York and quickly made her mark in the advertising world. She co-wrote "Lord of the Flatbush," a film starring Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler and has written and illustrated several books. Her paintings are shown in galleries in New York City and along the East Coast. In her "free" time, Gayle volunteers for Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and AdVets for WarVets Foundation.

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Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Honored in

2017

Christopher Martin was a member of the class of 1974. He attended Oberlin College where he graduated with Honors in Physics and was Phi Beta Kappa. Chris received a PhD in Physics from the University of California Berkeley before teaching Physics at Columbia University for 6 years. In 1993, he became Professor of Physics at the California University of Technology (Caltech), where he has taught ever since. Christopher's research includes his role as Principal Investigator for GALEX, a NASA Small Explorer mission. Christopher has received numerous awards for his work, including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal.

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Maritza Stapanian

Maritza Stapanian

Honored in

2017

Maritza (Crabtree) Stapanian graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1967. Upon graduation, Maritza studied at the Space Physics Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she graduated with Honors. She subsequently was admitted to the Planetary Science Program at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she earned a PhD. After earning her PhD, Maritza enlisted in the US Air Force where she had a distinguished career with assignments in programs highly critical to national security. She received numerous Air Force honors including the Commendation Medal (twice) and the Meritorious Service Medal (three times). Maritza's diagnosis of ovarian cancer led her to actively support scientific research of the disease. She died in Cincinnati in October 2001.

Ted Beattie

Ted Beattie

Honored in

2016

Ted A. Beattie graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1963. He attended the Ohio State University, receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's in public relations. From 1978 to the present Ted has held numerous leadership roles at zoos and aquariums across the country, including the Cincinnati Zoo, Brookfield Zoo (Chicago), Knoxville Zoological Gardens, and Forth Worth Zoo. The Shedd Aquarium hired Ted as its President and CEO in 1994, a role that he held for more than two decades until his retirement earlier this year. Ted is also the recipient of numerous honors and accolades. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Ted to serve on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. And in 2005, he received the R. Marlin Perkins Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for extraordinary service.

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Marie Huenefeld

Marie Huenefeld

Honored in

2016

Marie (Caroselli) Huenefeld was an active member of the class of 1959, participating in athletics, the arts, and journalism. She attended Ohio University and graduated with a degree in journalism. Marie is a lifelong volunteer. Numerous volunteering experiences after college led her to become a trustee of the Association of Volunteers of the Convalescent Hospital for Children. She is also a member of the Convalescent Hospital Board of Trustees, Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship, and the Cincinnati Horticultural Society. In 1987, voters elected Marie to the Mariemont City School District Board of Education, where she served as president four times. She retired from the school board in 2015 and was honored with the inaugural Marie Huenefeld Friend of Mariemont Schools Award. She was a Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the year in 1999. Along with her volunteer activities, Marie has played an active role in the family business, Dee Sign Co.

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Jay Monroe III

Jay Monroe III

Honored in

2016

James (Jay) Monroe III is a graduate of the class of 1973 and attended college at Tulane University. Jay exemplifies the spirit of the American entrepreneur. In 1984 he and his wife used $40,000 to start Thermo Companies, a business selling electricity to utility companies. After building four power plants, Thermos began investing in natural gas exploration projects. Jay and his partners operated these businesses for 20 years and used the profits to build sizable companies in commercial and resort real estate, financial services and aircraft leasing, industrial distribution and telecommunications. Currently, Jay's largest telecommunications business interest is in the satellite industry, where Thermo holds a majority interest in Globalstar. Globalstar is a publicly traded provider of satellite phones and communications infrastructure to the 3 billion people in world without cellular or landline access. Jay is currently Globalstar's Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

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Donn Davis

Donn Davis

Honored in

2015

Donn M. Davis graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1981 where he was Senior Class President. He graduated from Miami University with a BS in in finance and then earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Donn started his career as an attorney at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, specializing in media and technology transactions. At 29 years old, he became the youngest team attorney in Major League Baseball negotiating player contracts for the Chicago Cubs. From 1992 to 1998, he served in senior roles at Tribune Company, where he was President of Tribune Ventures. From 1998 to 2003, Donn was a senior executive at America Online, including President of the AOL Interactive Properties Group. He then became CEO of Exclusive Resorts, building it into one of the first successful "sharing economy" companies. In 2005 Donn co-founded venture capital firm Revolution LLC with Steve Case and serves as its Managing Partner.

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Mike Fordyce

Mike Fordyce

Honored in

2015

Michael L. Fordyce is a graduate from the class of 1969. Mr. Fordyce was a standout athlete at Mariemont High School, where he earned 10 varsity letters and held records in cross country and track. He attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating cum laude with a degree in business. Mike advanced in his professional career, becoming the chief administrative officer for the Catholic Health Initiatives, a national healthcare system of 72 hospitals and 42 long-term care facilities where he served for 21 years. In 2008, Mike became the President and CEO of Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, the position he holds today. Craig Hospital specializes in neurological rehabilitation and research and has been ranked the #1 rehabilitation hospital in the United States for the past three years (and top 10 for 25 years). Mr. Fordyce's philanthropic pursuits include a deep commitment to various health care industry initiatives and the establishment of the Steve McKee-Mike Fordyce Scholarship for Mariemont High School seniors.

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Mark Lippert

Mark Lippert

Honored in

2015

Mark W. Lippert is a member of the Mariemont High School class of 1991. Mr. Lippert graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with both a B.A in Political Science and an M.A. in International Policy Studies. From 1999 through 2005, he served as an advisor and a professional staff member for several Senate committees, advising Senators Patrick Leahy, Tom Daschle and others. Mark followed as the foreign policy advisor for then-Senator Obama, working on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Lippert has served as Deputy Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff for the National Security Council, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. In September 2014, he was confirmed as the United States Ambassador to South Korea. His military service includes active duty deployments as an intelligence officer with the United States Navy to Iraq and Afghanistan with Seal Team One, and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, respectively.

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Jeffrey Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson

Honored in

2014

Jeffrey R. Anderson graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1965. He attended the University of Virginia as a scholar athlete. Following a brief career in the National Football League with the Washington Redskins, Jeff returned home to serve in the Ohio National Guard and begin his career in the real estate industry. Jeff started Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate in the mid-1980s and has built its reputation as an award-winning retail developer. Mr. Anderson and his wife Darlene are also committed philanthropists, giving significant time and resources to the local community, the real estate industry and the global community.

Pamela Coburn

Pamela Coburn

Honored in

2014

Pamela J. Coburn is a graduate from the class of 1970. Ms. Coburn studied voice at Depauw University, Eastman School of Music and Juilliard School in New York. Early in her career she won the ARD Competition in Munich, Germany and the Metropolitan Opera National Competition in the U.S. Ms. Coburn went on to spend more than 20 years singing in the finest opera houses around the world and recording with the most important conductors in opera. Ms. Coburn teaches voice at Depauw University, holding the position of Distinguished Professor of Voice.