Edgewood to induct four to Hall of Fame
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — The Edgewood Alumni Association will induct four Edgewood High School graduates into the 13th annual Hall of Fame ceremony Sept. 7.
This year’s inductees are: Wes Lowzinski, class of 1970; Joni Kabana, class of 1975; William B. Dunne, class of 1977; Martha Mullins Gillespie, class of 1977.
A social hour will begin at 6 p.m., with a catered dinner following at 6:30 p.m. at Edgewood High School. The induction ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Edgewood Alumni Association President Art Buser presiding as master of ceremonies.
Reservations for the event will be accepted through today, by calling Karen Coutts at, (440) 998-2282, or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $20 per person.
There will also be a pre-game event to introduce the inductees at the football game Sept. 8 at Gerald Corlew Stadium, Braden Middle School.
Joni Kabana and her family moved to the Buckeye Local SchoolDistrict when she was in thefifth grade.
She graduated from Edgewood Senior High in 1975.
Her highschool activities included:National HonorSociety, chorus, All School Production, One-Act Play, One-Act Play Director, snack shack worker, National Thespians, National Thespians vice-president, year book staff, student council, science club treasurer, piano accompanist, Spanish club, school dance committee,Teen Model Board,Gamma Omega Psi, AADA representative, American Field Service, variety show and Who’s Who among American High School Students.
Kabana earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Psychology in 1979 from Ohio University.She also received certifi cations in Web Development from University of Oregon and Computer Programming from Columbus Para Professional Institute.
Kabana married Marty Opsahl and they had three children: Benjamin, Aaron and Brynn. From 1982 to 1996, she was employed by Nationwide Insurance Company in Columbus, as applications manager, project manager and senior programmer.
Since 1996, Kabana has lived in Portland, Ore. She worked for US Bancorp as a senior project manager; for Waggener Edstrom where she managed all facets of website and intranet production for Microsoft’s leading pub-lications firm; and for
Nationwide Direct Insurance as informationtechnology director(with a staff of 32).
From 2000 to 2005, as a member of the executiveteam with StandardInsurance Company, she had full responsibility for a team of more than 200 employees, as well as 21 outside vendors, for a company transformation project.
Kabana also worked as a professional coach, taught at-risk youth andwas a drug and alcohol counselor.
Although she was suc-cessful in the field of
information technology, her love of photography was strong. She decided to take the leap to a career in photography and leave the safety of the status quo.
In addition to charity involvement, she develops magazine covers, book covers and advertisement campaigns, such as those for the Portland Ballet. She does senior portraits, food, fashion, and medical photography.
Kabana conducts workshops, lectures on the power of imagery with charities, and has taught journalists in Argentina and Ethiopia. She also teaches workshops in Africa and Europe.
Charities/non-profits Kabana is involved with include: Children’s Cancer Association, Photolucida, Mercy Corps, Maternity Africa, Hamlin Fistula Hospital, EthiopiAid, Oregon Health and Science University, Dignity Period, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Nike Foundation Girl Hub, Desta for Africa and Peace Corps.
In 2013, Kabana founded Prints for Prints, a volunteer organization that sends photographers and equipment to areas of the world so remote that the people living there have no photos of their children, their elders or themselves.
The goal of Prints for Prints is to create a physical keepsake that preserves a moment in time to be shared, remembered and passed to future generations.
Martha Mullins Gillespie
Martha (Mullins) Gillespie is a class of 1977 graduate. Her activities included band, library aide, school productions,future teachers, dance committee, cafeteria worker, of-fice worker,
softball, student council, American Field Service, G.A.A, senior dinner, teacher’s aide, art club and baseball statistician.
In 1978, she married her husband, Jerry Gillespie, and they will celebrate 39 years Sept. 29. They have two sons, Daniel and Lee, as well as two granddaughters, Addison and Eliana.
Gillespie received her associate degree in applied science in human services from Lakeland Community College, her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Services Administration from Cleveland State University and her master’s in public administration from Kent State University.
She retired from Ashtabula County Department of Job and Family Services Sept. 1, 2015, after 30 years. She started in 1985 typing Food Stamp Cards. In 1987, Gillespie advanced to a income maintenance worker where she determined eligibility for Medicaid, food assistance and emergency assistance.
By 2000, she had advanced to social program specialist. In this position she wrote, monitored and evaluated contracts with other organizations in the community to provide services to the residents of Ashtabula County.
In 2002, Gillespie became the community medicaid supervisor with a staff of 10 individuals responsible for determining eligibility for Medicaid and foodassistance.
From 2006 to retirement, she was the social services program administrator. As such, she was the administrator for Title XX, the Ashtabula County Senior Services Levy, community Medicaid, food assistance, the Ohio Medicaid Waiver Program, Adult Protective Services, Non-emergency Transport (NET), child care, Healthcheck Program, and Pregnancy Related Services Program.
She organized the Ashtabula County Senior Citizens Conference annually, and was involved with the Summit on Aging, the Kent State University Human Services Advisory Board, Family and Children First Council, United Way Board Member and ACDJFS Booster Club.
When co-workers were unable to work because of cancer, they were facing loss of medical coverage. Gillespie organized a fundraiser to pay the medical premiums.
She led the campaignto get the traffic light
installed at the intersection of Route 20 and the Donahoe Complex.
She was a Cub Scouts leader for seven years, and attended 4-H meetings for six years because there was a need for an adult helper. For seven years, she and Athena, her Labrador Retriever, visited Ashtabula County Nursing Home and the Ashtabula County Medical Center as part of the Therapy Dogs International program.
Gillespie created the Centennial History Book when North Kingsville was planning a centennial celebration.
She also organized fundraising for the AnimalProtective League,
staffing the shelter's
booth at community events and recruiting others to sponsor dogs in the annual Boo Wow Walk.
In retirement, Gillespie serves on the United Way Board of Directors where last year she was president. She also volunteers with the Class of 1977 to arrange events and keep in contact with otherclassmates.
Wesley Lowzinski graduated from Edgewood High School in 1970. He, his three brothers and parents lived several miles from other children his age. Lowzinski worked various jobs in high school, including at his father’s business in Conneaut, which made opportunities for extracurricular activities rare.
He was involved with FTA, AFS, All School Production, Variety Show and stage crew.
His first year of
college started at Kent State University Ashtabula campus where he was on the basketball team and at mid-season became a starting player.
Lowzinski then transferred to The University of Akron. He served asa residence hall advisor for two years, and became chairman of freshman orientation. He graduated in 1975 receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Management.
In his senior year of college, Lowzinski went to work for the now defunct M. O’Neil Company from 1975 through 1979. He was then recruited by H. C. Prange Company in Green Bay for two years, after which he joined Circuit City.
During his 20 years with Circuit City, the company grew from 25 to 600 locations. When Lowzinski left for a position with Home Depot, he was a Senior Buyer with responsibility for the $750 million Home and Portable Audio category.
While at Home Depot for the next two years, he was Global Product Merchant responsible for a $1.4 billion category delivering the highest margin performance for the company.
In 2003, Lowzinski was recruited by Radio Shack for the position of vice president of merchandising and within eight months was promoted to senior vice president.
During his tenure, he expanded his exposure to global purchasing with many trips to Asia.
He led teams responsible for purchasing of all categories, as well as the e-commerce group and the global sourcing teams Lowzinski was involved in developing plans to increase salesand profits, as well
as reducing inventory levels.
From 2008 to 2012, he was with Floor and Decor in Smyrna, Georgia, as the senior vice president of merchandising.
There he focused on direct sourcing, modi-fied advertising strategy eliminating inefficientmediums, and developing customer awareness and loyalty in all markets.
Since 2012, Lowzinski has been executive vice president of NeXovation, Inc. One group, called NEXTvention, is described as a “Global call to action for inventors and innovators: giving inexperienced and under-resourced inventors or innovators a way to bring their vision to life.”
He and his wife, Patricia, met in college and have been married for 40 years. They have a daughter and two sons as well as six grandchildren.
Lowzinski coached baseball and softball for 12 years and rec basketball for four years, at times running betweenfields to coach all three
He said two of his greatest thrills were coaching his son’s baseball team to the State of Virginia championship and watching his daughter play softball for the Virginia TechHokies.
Lowzinski participated in the University of Akron Executive- for-a-Day program.
He has been a church lector, served on the Board of Directors for a 200 unit apartment complex, continued consulting in the retail industry and is a not-for-profit photographer
providing photographic support for various groups in Georgia.
He said he plansto obtain a Certified
Financial Planning degree after retirement so
he can assist financially
challenged youth and adults. He and his wife live in Marietta, Georgia.
William B. Dunne
William B. Dunne graduated from Edgewood High School in 1977. His activities included chorus, school productions, National Thespians, Latin club, National Honor Society, wrestling,class vice president, ski club, science club, track, ensembles, student council, American Field Service, variety show, solo ensemble, Red Cross and Who’s Who among American High School Students. He won a writing competition hosted by Molded Fiber Glass.
Dunne earned his BSBA in Accounting with a minor in marketing from Ohio Northern University in 1981. There he learned diving from Dr. Jay Rhino, made the varsity swim team and lettered. He also sang in the ONU Choir and earned his private pilot license.
During the summers while in college, he worked at Kister Construction, the state of Ohio, and Dunne Plastics Company.
He worked one taxseason for a CPA firm
in Boulder, Colo., where he learned that he preferred a different type of employment.
Around 1982, Apple and IBM computers were being introduced and, after teaching himself how to operate both types of computers, Dunne returned to Ashtabula and started Advanced Learning Systems, offering classes in basic programming, word processing, spreadsheets and robotics.
Dunne’s father asked him to help with the accounting functions of Dunne Plastics, where his role expanded until he was full time with the company. As the company grew, so did Dunne’s role in the company.
The company was sold in 1993 and renamed Meese Orbitron Dunne. He was the general manager of MOD Ashtabula until 2014.
Bill is married to Becky (Corlew) Dunne,and they have a daughter, Brittany. They are dog lovers and have rescued black lab, Maggy.
As a Presbyterian, Dunne has served in many leadership roles including the Regional Outreach Committee. Under Dunne’s direction, some of the committee’s funds were used to increase accessibility for the handicapped by providing access ramps and motorized chairs.
“The other main push, was a program with local prisons to give prisoners hope and hopefully reconnect with God,” Dunne said.
Dunne was president of the board for the Ashtabula CountyDistrict Library for five
of the 10 years he was a member of the board. During his tenure, Dunne led the passage of a levy and subsequent building of a new library in Geneva.
He is past president of the Buckeye Local School Board serving as a member from 199699.
Dunne has been a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout most of his life. As an adult, he has had many involvements including district chairman as well as vice president of program and council commissioner. He received the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest award a volunteer can receive in a Council.
When elected, he was the youngest member to ever head the Order of the Arrow.
He has been awarded a Vigil Award as well as a District Award of Merit.
Dunne said that one of his greatest achievements was taking thefirst coed crew of boys
and girls to Philmont in New Mexico where the crew hiked more than 100 miles in eight days.
He is still involved with Scouts, having volunteered at camp this summer.
Dunne’s wife was in charge of the Trading Post last summer and with the help of his management skills, the Trading Post was able to increase sales seven times that of four years ago.
For the past couple of years, Dunne has been teaching at Ashtabula Area City School District and helping to rebuild their online learning program, LakesideOnline.