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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 17, 2017 1:00 am

Avilla man gets service award

Given Big Brothers Big Sisters honor

Journal Gazette

An Avilla business executive is the recipient of a national award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the local affiliate of the mentoring organization announced Sunday.

Rod Schoon, president of Ashley Industrial Molding, received the 2017 Clifford P. Norman Service Award, at a national conference last month in San Diego.

The award honors a local board leader who exemplifies the qualities of commitment and generosity that were characteristic of Cliff Norman's life, according to a news release. Norman was a member of both Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for more than 25 years, and known for his goodwill in local and national efforts.

Schoon was selected for the award from among thousands of nominations from across the U.S.  His passion for the mission has led to “an exponential growth in funding, resources for volunteers and program expansions,” the release said.

“Since 2009, Rod has shared his talents as a business leader, strategist, relationship builder and mentor. He has been a true confidant, cheerleader and challenger” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana.

A local board member since 2012, Schoon's leadership was an integral part of the agency's move into a new, state-of-the-art facility, growth in matches from 1,800 to more than 2,000, and growth in the operating budget from $1.5 million to $2.5 million, all while decreasing expenses.

Schoon also introduced the agency to the Christian Coalition Organization and has played a major role in the program partnership, development, design and implementation. The partnership provided a platform for BBBS to have a presence on university campuses.

“I was greatly humbled because I have met several people across the nation who do incredible work for this wonderful organization,” Schoon said in a statement. “I have been involved with BBBS increasingly for about 10 years. It meets my spiritual, social and political needs ... I would encourage everyone to prayerfully consider donating time, talent and/or treasure to an organization like this who is having impact on our youth and society.”