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William J. Ginter is H. Peter Burg Award recipient


William (Bill) Ginter is one of those people who understands the importance of giving back.

“When you drive past the Red Cross headquarters building at 501 W. Market Street, you see an example of Bill’s leadership. When you see the Canal Park area, there’s another example,” said Mark Auburn, a member of the American Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina counties board of directors. “He’s been instrumental in a number of ways to help guarantee the quality of life in the Akron area. He’s one of those folks who likes to pay it forward.”

Ginter’s leadership in the community, compassion for people and devotion to humanitarian mission has garnered him the 2015 H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award.

He will be honored March 5, during the 19th Annual Acts of Courage dinner at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Upon his retirement in 1999 as chief operating officer and executive vice president of Advanced Elastomer Systems, Ginter shifted his focus to making positive contributions to the community. His reputation as a visionary leader was among the principal reasons he was selected by a committee of past Burg Award recipients.

“Bill is a brilliant example of the role that business leadership can play to our greater community,” said Rachel D’Attoma, interim chapter executive director for the Red Cross of Summit, Portage and Medina counties. “He exemplifies the spirit of the H. Peter Burg award by bringing the breadth of his knowledge and enthusiasm to so many organizations throughout Summit County with great effect.”

Ginter is credited with turning around the United Way of Summit County when it was experiencing a drop in fundraising during the 1990s as interim president and subsequently as a board member and chair. He is past executive director of the Summit County Workforce Policy Board and his 13 years on the County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board included many as board president.

While at AES, he headed the committee that recommended moving the company’s world headquarters to the former dilapidated B.F. Goodrich factory building at Main and Cedar Streets in downtown Akron. The renovation of the building motivated the city to move forward with Canal Park.

Ginter’s work with the local Red Cross chapter as a board member and vice chair includes leading the capital campaign for the construction of the organization’s new chapter building in 2002.

His other community and civic roles include board chairman of the All-American Soap Box Derby. He also serves as a board member of the Bluecoats and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Akron Bar Association Grievance Committee. He is a past member of the Torchbearers advisory board and the Summa Health Systems board.

Ginter credits the examples of the late Burg, with whom he served on the Red Cross board and two past Burg Award recipients — Roger Read and Duane Isham — with motivating him to become involved in the community.

“I was struck and impressed by their involvement and their passion for making Akron a better place to live,” Ginter said. “The Akron community is extraordinary in leadership that is committed to work that impacts thousands of people and makes the community a better place. The way I see it is if you have an opportunity to help, why wouldn’t you?”

The award is named for the late H. Peter Burg, former CEO of FirstEnergy and chairman of the local Red Cross board of directors. It is given to a community member who exemplifies Burg’s selfless service to the community and honors his legacy of dedication to community service.

Tickets to the dinner are $100.

For reservations, call 330-535-6131 or follow event information on social media with the hashtag, #RedCrossActs.

Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or [email protected] She can be followed at www.twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.

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