Lenawee Leadership Award


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.


Please download our form, complete and return it to nominate someone in 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.