This month we are spotlighting one of our Board Members, Ron Stollar. Ron is retiring at the end of the year from his position as the Superintendent of the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center.
Ron is a strong advocate for vulnerable youth in Medina County. He has worked to increase programming at the Juvenile Detention Center bringing in arts organizations and community groups to provide services for students. He brings a keen awareness of the complex factors, including abuse and neglect, that contribute to youth involvement in the justice system. He shared a story with our staff about a youth who had ridden their bike more than 10 miles to visit the Juvenile Detention Center more than a year after their release because they felt the staff there were the only people who truly cared about them.
Over the years, he has supported The Children’s Center in many ways and we can always count on him to support our staff, services, and events. We are fortunate to have him on our board and we are grateful for his dedication and commitment to children and families in Medina County.
We asked Ron to share a little more about himself so that we could all get to know him a little better.
Roles and Responsibilities
How did you learn about The Children’s Center of Medina County? Why did you decide to join the Board of Directors?
Serving in public safety in our county for the past 36 years, I was aware of when The Children’s Center was established. I wanted to be a part of The Children’s Center because I strongly believe in their mission. They do extremely difficult but noble work.
What is your current role on the board? What do you do in that role?
I currently serve as the Vice President of the Board. I assist our President with some of her duties, facilitate board meetings when she is absent (rare), and help represent The Center with various community events and functions. I also serve on the Fundraising Committee for our annual Art With A Heart fundraiser.
What are you most proud of in your work with The Children’s Center?
Our Detention Center’s art partnership with them. For the past several years some of our kids have created art and donated their pieces to The Children’s Center’s annual art event. It is refreshing and inspiring to see our kids want to help other kids who have been abused.
Personal Insights and Reflections
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Several years ago a good friend of mine was asked to describe me in one sentence. She said, “Ron is a defender of the weak and the defenseless.” I had never quite thought of myself in that way, but her words meant a lot to me. I hope I have lived up to that, especially having spent 18 years with the Medina Police Department and 18 years at our county’s Juvenile Detention Center.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A police officer, and I was blessed to be one for many years.
What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
Depending on the kind of day I had, either reading while listening to music, or (weather permitting) going for a long walk/hike or motorcycle ride.
What season is your favorite?
Summer – the hotter and more humid, the better! (And summer is always a good precursor for six-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh STEELERS football!)
Community Engagement and Support
What does the community need to know about The Children’s Center?
Our community should know that our Center is so good at what they do, that not only does local law enforcement use their services but federal law enforcement agencies do as well. When the feds are coming to Medina for help, you know there is something special going on here that they are unable to get elsewhere, i.e., the quality of work being done and high level of professionalism.