From The Marion Star – March 2, 2016
By Andrew Carter
MARION – Pamela J. Stone offered an emotional farewell as she presided over her final annual meeting as executive director of the United Way of Marion and Wyandot Counties.
Stone, who has served in the post for seventeen years, will be succeeded by Amber Wertman. Stone was honored along with numerous United Way volunteers during a luncheon Wednesday at META Solutions in Marion.
Organizers for the 2015 annual campaign reported it is at 78.3 percent of its goal, with hopes of reaching 80 percent. The goal was set at $1 million.
“First of all, I want to thank you who are donors to United Way, both individuals and companies,” Stone told the audience. “You had enough faith in us to invest in us financially. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. I also want to thank the agency boards and staff who hung in there with me when we transformed from a regular old United Way to a community impact United Way — and they’re still speaking to me.
“I want to say thank you to our volunteer campaign workers,” she said. “I want to thank the volunteers that have worked on community impact with us. I have to say thank you to the volunteer board members who pushed and supported me throughout our transformation to community impact. I want to thank our partners. Because we have partners, we can do more as a whole than we can do individually. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are.”
Stone also thanked former staff members and her family and close friends for their support throughout her career.
Wertman begins her tenure as executive director Thursday. Stone noted that while she is retiring, she will still work with United Way in various capacities.
“Amber has been a delight,” Stone said. “I don’t think this would be as easy for me if it were someone other than Amber. I think you will find her to be a delightful and competent replacement for me. I won’t have to do the hard stuff anymore. She’ll be doing the hard stuff, and I’ll be doing the fun stuff, which is kind of cool, actually.”
In what came as a complete surprise to Stone, board of trustees member Steve Washburn announced the establishment of the Pamela Stone United Way Impact Fund.
“Pam Stone is truly a meaningful life here in Marion and the legacy she leaves with us is that what we do truly does matter,” Washburn said. “So how do you honor someone who leaves such a legacy? By continuing to support the needs she has worked so hard to improve.”
According to a proclamation from the board of trustees, the fund was established by the United Way board to honor Stone for her service to the organization. Money donated to the fund will benefit the United Way.
“Because Pam has been such a valuable part of the community, the board of trustees and staff wanted to do something to show their appreciation,” Washburn read from the proclamation. “In honor of Pam’s retirement, her love for United Way and her long career supporting education, income and health initiatives, this fund has been established in her name. The fund is intended to provide resources for programs that focus on education, income and health, which United Way believes are the building blocks for a successful life.”
The fund is managed by the Marion Community Foundation. Donations can be made by visiting www.marioncommunityfoundation.org.
Diane Glassmeyer, who serves on the United Way board of trustees, was honored as the Volunteer of the Year.
Outstanding Company Awards for 2015 were presented to General Mills, Silverline-Andersen Windows and Doors, and Marion Public Health. Whirlpool was presented with the Spirit Award.
Campaign Division Awards were presented to the following individuals: Tom Quade, vice chairman; Troy Ruehrmund, industry; Neeta Shuff, finance; Charlie Long, retail/small business; Becky Worley, public service; Del Duffy, professional; Kurt Moore, education; Diane Watson, Marion County; Diane Glassmeyer, Marion residential; and Ken Stiverson, Pillars-Leadership Giving.
Glassmeyer earned first place in the division awards and was presented the Marion Star Award. Ruehrmund was second place in the division awards.
There were three recipients of the Thanks-A-Million Award in 2015. Buffalo Wild Wings of Marion, Clear Channel Communications and Lauren Schifer were each recognized for their work on behalf of United Way.
Service awards were presented to Gary Iams, who served as the 2015 campaign chairman, and Nicole Workman, 2015 board chairwoman.
For information about the United Way of Marion and Wyandot Counties, visit www.unitedwaymarion.org. The organization maintains a Facebook page, United Way of Marion County Ohio, Inc.