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Former Ohio Senator George V. Voinovich (left) and OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis (center) announce the establishment of an endowed scholarship honoring Voinovich School Founding Dean and Professor Mark L. Weinberg (right.)
Photographer: Ohio University/Rob Hardin

Founding Dean, alumni honored at OHIO State Government Alumni Luncheon

By Kelee Riesbeck
May 13, 2015

From Ohio University's Compass

More than 130 Ohio University alumni in public service for Ohio gathered at the Athletic Club in Columbus to honor two OHIO alumni for their outstanding service to the state at the 32nd Annual State Government Alumni Luncheon May 5. The event was hosted by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis on behalf of OHIO’s George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The Ohio University Annual State Government Alumni Luncheon recognizes acts of community and public service by alumni that lead to the betterment of the state of Ohio.

Highlighting the event was the announcement of the establishment of an endowed scholarship honoring Voinovich School Founding Dean and Professor Mark L. Weinberg.  The Mark L. Weinberg Leadership Scholarship supports students enrolled at OHIO in the Voinovich School who show exemplary academic merit or leadership experience. The scholarship was funded by Weinberg’s long list of friends, students and colleagues.

Event highlights

In his opening remarks, President Roderick J. McDavis welcomed alumni and expressed his gratitude and pride for the public service OHIO alumni provide to the state, region and to the world. He shared several points of OHIO pride with attendees one of them The OHIO Guarantee, the University’s innovative tuition and fee guarantee program, which will be implement next fall.

“Wins like these are possible thanks to a firm commitment to higher education by the state of Ohio, under the direction of Ohio Governor John Kasich,” President McDavis said. “Through his support and the contributions of our alumni and friends, Ohio University is contributing to a new direction for higher education in the great state of Ohio!”

Keynote speaker and Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberg (House District 91) shared his love of history and the importance Ohio University has in Ohio’s history.

“I love how OHIO is part of our state’s history,” Rosenberg said. “Today Ohio University’s innovative spirit still leads the state, creating, for example, programs like the OHIO Guarantee.”

Former Ohio governor and the school’s namesake George V. Voinovich announced the news of The Mark L. Weinberg Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes Weinberg’s career in higher education and impact on public service.

Weinberg is a professor of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University and specializes in the areas of organizational strategy and public sector value creation. In 2002, he was named the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Whisman Scholar and served in that capacity for three years.  He currently is a member of the Ohio Innovation Funding Commission. As founding dean, Weinberg also provides strategic oversight of economic development at the Voinovich School, including service to a range of business technical assistance programs and equity funding for high-growth businesses in the Appalachian Region of Ohio.

Voinovich praised Weinberg for his service and for the people he has touched throughout his career.

“Who knows the measure of impact you’ve had on state government or on southeast Ohio?” he asked. “I do know that if you eliminated the existence of the Voinovich School, the region and the state would be a very different place.” Voinovich also recognized Weinberg’s wife, Wanda Weinberg, and their three sons for the sacrifices they’ve made over the years, “so Mark could do his job,” he said.

After the event, Weinberg expressed his gratitude toward those who helped establish the scholarship.  

“It was wonderful to be recognized at the luncheon by Senator Voinovich, President McDavis and the alumni and friends of Ohio University with a leadership scholarship in my name at the University’s Voinovich School,” Weinberg said via email. “Their gesture to accompany this with last July’s appointment as founding dean is a great honor for me at this University, a place that means so much to me.”

Alumni recognized for service to OHIO

Two OHIO alumni received the State Government Alumni Award at the luncheon.

The first, Kenneth N. Wilson, earned a master’s degree in Public Administration at OHIO in 1993. Wilson has spent his career working in county government. He has served in Franklin County’s Office of Management and Budget, in the county’s resource management department and currently is County Administrator for Franklin County, the highest unelected post in county government. He also has served as the Director of Policy for the Ohio Senate Minority Caucus and on numerous committees and boards. Kenneth resides in Grove City, Ohio, with his wife DeShawna.

Wilson thanked the University for the award and spoke about how welcoming OHIO alumni have been to him through the years.

“One thing about Ohio University is that there is a sense of membership,” he said. “When you arrive in Columbus as a graduate, the alumni embrace you. And Mark Weinberg is an amazing bridge between students and alumni in the public sector. I want to provide this kind of mentorship to the next generation of leaders.”

Outstanding State Government Alumni Award recipient John Born is a 1985 graduate of the Scripps College of Communication’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and received his master’s degree in social sciences with a focus on deviant behavior in 1993. Born’s career has focused on law enforcement and safety management. Prior to his current position as director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, he served as colonel and superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, capping a 26-year-long law enforcement career. He has served as chair of an international law enforcement officer safety effort and on other related committees and boards. He currently serves as co-chair of Ohio’s Task Force on Community and Police Relations. He and his wife Kathy have two grown children.

Born praised current students and alumni for their service to Ohio.

“It’s an honor to stand in front of you today because I’m really standing in front of Ohio University,” Born said. “Last night, I was reading the most recent issue of Ohio Today (OHIO’s alumni magazine). I’m amazed at what alumni and students are doing today in Ohio for public service. So I want to congratulate all of you for your public service to Ohio.”

John Carey, Chancellor of the University System of Ohio Board of Regents, a 1981 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, previous award winner of the State Government Award and long-time State Government Alumni Luncheon attendee, congratulated the honorees and their contributions to the state.

“This is a hallmark event I’m always pleased to attend,” Carey said. “It’s a bipartisan group: we are all OHIO grads here for the good of OHIO and the state.”