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Community Alliance Announces Recipient of 2021 Mike Whitmore Memorial Award

BACK [Left to Right] ~ Christin Brandon(Planner III), Rob Duncan (Director of Community Development), Reese Dunton(Economic Development Specialist), Josh Bender, (Economic Development Specialist) FRONT [Left to Right] ~ Donald Romancak (Stormwater District and Community Development Coordinator), Virginia Haynes ( LCCA Administrative Coordinator & Economic Development Specialist), Nathahsa Cresap ( Economic Development Specialist)

The Lorain County Community Alliance (LCCA) announced that Donald Romancak, Stormwater and Community Development Coordinator for Lorain County is the 2021 recipient of the Mike Whitmore Award for Outstanding Public Service at their Annual Governmental Roundtable on Friday, December 3, 2021 at the Lorain County Community College Spitzer Center in Elyria.

The Mike Whitmore Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service is designed to afford contemporaries in Lorain County public service an opportunity to honor one of their own for achievement, contribution, vision and leadership. Many people have worked for the betterment of Lorain County and its citizens. Mike Whitmore was one of them. Although not elected to a political office, he believed Lorain County could benefit from its communities and agencies working together.

Chair of the LCCA and Mayor of North Ridgeville, Kevin Corcoran, presented Romancak with the 15th Annual Mike Whitmore Memorial Award. Corcoran noted that Don has been at the forefront of the Lorain County Storm Water Management District since its inception and has been instrumental in various TIF and JED districts through his role as Economic Development Coordinator. Under Romancak’s leadership, Lorain County has been the recipient of four large Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants worth approximately 3.5 million dollars over the past nine years. These grants have assisted over 170 people in securing part-time employment over the past eight years.

Over 50 people attended the event or participated by ZOOM and the focus of the Roundtable being year end governmental updates from federal, state and local levels. The event started with State Senator, Nathan Manning, District 13 reporting on his District as well as State Representative Gayle Manning’s District 55. Representative Gayle Manning sent her regrets for not being able to attend the event due to illness.

Reports were also given by State Representative Joe Miller, District 56; State Representative Dick Stein District 57. A representative from the office of U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur District 9 presented via ZOOM and a representative spoke on behalf of U.S. Senator Rob Portman. Kent Scarrett, Executive Director of the Ohio Municipal League and Marissa Meyers, Director of Governmental Affairs from the Ohio Township Association described issues that are affecting municipalities and townships throughout the state.

Reporting on the County level included Lorain County Commissioner Matt Lundy and Amy Richards, President of the Lorain County Township Association.


The meeting began with networking and a continental breakfast sponsored by Lorain County Engineer Ken Carney. The LCCA 2022 slate of Executive Committee members was approved and consists of Chair, Dick Heidecker, Columbia Township Trustee; Vice Chair, Mayor of North Ridgeville Kevin Corcoran; Secretary, Mayor David Divencenzo Village of Grafton; Treasurer, Lorain County Commissioner, Matt Lundy and Administrative Coordinator, Virginia Haynes.

The next Alliance meeting is tentatively scheduled for Transportation Day, Friday, April 1, 2022.  Transportation Day gives Agencies the opportunity to update Lorain County entities on impending Transportation Projects and gives attendees the forum in which to get their questions answered.

The Lorain County Community Alliance is a council of Governments, formed under the Ohio Revised Code and made up of political jurisdictions and organizations working together for the benefit of the citizens of Lorain County and the entire region. The Alliance seeks to explore more effective levels of public service, develop mechanisms to save money for the communities involved and benefit the member communities and the region in ways that could not be achieved separately.

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