Sometimes, the best of what happens around us in Northeast Ohio boils down to aspects of our lives that we come to appreciate as essential components in our lives. Often those “essentials” come about because of the efforts and dedication of people about whom we don’t know a lot. We may know their names, but we may not recognize their faces or understand the whys and wherefores of what they do. Such may be the case with my two guests on NewsNite this week.
They are Dan Rice and Chris Burnham.
Dan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. Chris is the President of the Development Finance Authority of Summit County … formerly known as the Summit County Port Authority.
They have both played instrumental roles in a variety of quality of life projects that have immeasurably enhanced our communities. Think the towpath trail and the protection of the landscapes and the heritage of the 110 miles along the former Ohio & Erie Canal, not to mention the recreational and economic development projects that have been part of that preservation, in Dan’s case. Or how about the kind of construction projects for which Chris’ organization has played a role … from the Austen BioInnovation Institute, the world headquarters of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. or the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center to the renovation and preservation of the Akron Civic Theater or the jewel in downtown Akron that Canal Park has become.
Both of these key and unpretentious leaders (and good friends of each other, by the way) have the vision, commitment and dedication it takes to make our world a better place in which to live, work and play. Both join me for a most interesting NewsNite. We learn more about them, their respective organizations, the ways they have worked together in the past, and what lies ahead – for them and for us because of them – in the years to come.