2021 Lenawee Leadership Award Recipient – Ben Negron
Ben Negron was selected to receive the 2021 Lenawee Leadership Award. Ben is a lifelong resident of Adrian and active in many areas of advocacy throughout Lenawee County. Ben’s work in the community since 2004 has been an extension of the work his parents have been doing, helping others through their church ministry since 1978. As the founder and former executive director of HOLA, Hispanics Of Lenawee Alliance, Ben guided the mission of the organization that positively impacted many lives and organizations in Adrian. Ben is on his second tour as Store Director of the Adrian Meijer where he sits on the Corporate TMRG Mosaic Diversity and Inclusion Group. He is an authorized instructor with the Google organization teaching the Applied Digital Skills curriculum at Lansing Community College. Ben serves on the board of directors at Siena Heights University in Adrian, the Lenawee Community Foundation in Tecumseh, and is an active member of the City of Adrian Ethics Board of Commissioners.
The Lenawee Leadership Award, presented by the Lenawee Community Foundation, honors individuals or couples, who exemplify the underlying principle that the future of our county will be determined by the quality of its leadership.
The award was formerly known as the Maple Leaf Award and presented by the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). Because the award no longer fit the core business of the LEDC, the Lenawee Community Foundation agreed to accept responsibility for the award. Former recipients of the Maple Leaf Award, established in 1953, continue to be recognized as recipients of the new award.
The prestigious award was renamed The Lenawee Leadership Award to acknowledge the county-wide focus, and encompass all aspects of the quality of life in Lenawee. The award is a perfect fit with the Lenawee Community Foundation, its philanthropic leadership, and its mission to enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Lenawee in the areas of civic projects, culture, health, education, and social services.
“We are honored to be given the opportunity through The Lenawee Leadership Award to recognize outstanding community leaders, and the impact they have on our community and its future,” stated Dave Hickman, Chairman of the Lenawee Community Foundation Board of Directors.
The focus of the award on the future mirrors the Foundation purpose, as the only local nonprofit to focus primarily on the future of the community. The Foundation is similar to a community savings account, permanently investing gifts and utilizing the earnings to make grants that benefit our community.
Recipients of The Lenawee Leadership Award (Formerly the Maple Leaf Award)
2021 Ben Negron, Meijer
2020 Cindi & Gary Gray, Gray Institute
2019 Scott Hill, Kreighoff-Lenawee Company
2018 Mark & Mary Murray, Adrian Armory Events Center
2017 Emory & Kris Schmidt, Brazeway LLC/Community Volunteer
2013 Joseph Williams, United Bank & Trust
2012 Gary and Janet McDowell, Former Mayor City of Adrian / Lenawee Intermediate School District
2010 Art & Mary Weeber, Hathaway House, and Main Street Stable & Tavern
2009 Barb Mitzel, Consumers Energy
2008 Claude J. Rowley, Rowley Inc
2007 Michael J. Wade, Gleaner Life Insurance Society
2006 Clyde “Ted” Durst, Attorney
2005 John Wanke, United Bank & Trust
2004 Tom Thiery, Adrian Public Schools
2003 Allan F. Brittain, Bank of Lenawee
2002 Bruce & Sue Goldsen, Jackson Radio Works
2001 Pat Farver, Blissfield Manufacturing, Inc.
2000 Julie Koehn, Lenawee Broadcasting-WLEN
1999 Ron Reeves, Venchurs Packaging Company
1998 Larry Francoeur, Citizens Gas Fuel Company
1997 Herb & Connie Farver, Blissfield Manufacturing, Inc.
1996 Gary Clift, Clift Pontiac-Nissan-GMC Truck
1995 David Maxwell, Brazeway, Inc.
1994 Frank & Shirley Dick, Gleaner Life Insurance Society
1993 George Sommers, Adrian College
1992 Stephen Hickman, Brazeway, Inc.
1991 Merlyn Downing, United Bank & Trust
1990 Richard Germond, Lenawee County Sheriff
1989 Ed Engle, Rima Manufacturing
1988 Harold Easton, Mayor of Tecumseh
1987 Doug Kapnick, Kapnick Insurance
1986 Grace Kaledo, Croswell Opera House
1982 Kenneth Herrick, Tecumseh Products
1981 Adrian Chevrolet-Tecumseh Fisher Body
1980 Orville & Ruth Merillat, Merillat Industries
1979 David S. Hickman, Brazeway, Inc.
1978 Harold Baily, 1st Federal Savings & Loan Association
1977 Norman A. Haft, Mayor of Adrian
1976 Arthur L. Clift, Adrian Glass Company
1975 Edward P. Fisher, Bank of Lenawee
1974 Jack L. Germond, Commercial Savings Bank
1973 Rex B. Martin, Circuit Court Judge
1972 Walter F. Bohn, Former Mayor of Adrian
1971 Eugene F. Olsen, Bank of Lenawee
1970 Russell B. McAfee, Commercial Savings Bank
1969 Dr. & Mrs. Bernard Patmos
1968 Allan Graybiel, 1st Federal Savings & Loan Association
1967 James E. Gerity, Jr., Gerity Broadcasting Company
1966 Howard D. White, Revco
1965 Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan
1964 Stauffer Chemical Company
1963 American Chain & Cable
1962 Emma L. Bixby Hospital
1961 Siena Heights College
1960 Irwin L. Fry, General Telephone Company
1959 Adrian College
1958 Ray W. Herrick, Tecumseh Products
1957 Charles E. Hickman, Brazeway, Inc.
1956 B.F. Beach, Michigan Producers Dairy
1955 Stuart Perry, Adrian Daily Telegram
1954 A.J. Hirons, Bohn Aluminum & Brass Company
1953 Maurice Stubnitz, Stubnitz-Green Spring Corporation
For more information, contact Cynthia Heady.