Ohio Association of Community College’s Excellence Awards Announced

​​June 29, 2015 — Newark, OH — The Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) presented their Excellence Awards on June 12, 2015, during a luncheon at their annual conference held at Cuyahoga Community College.

The Park National Bank was announced as the recipient of the OACC's 2015 Outstanding Business Partnership Award. For nearly 50 years the bank and its employees have advanced the mission of Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) through their involvement, leadership, advocacy and financial support.

Park National Bank President and CEO John W. Alford was one of the earliest advocates for the creation of a two-year technical education institution that would share the same campus with The Ohio State University's Newark branch. His belief in the importance of philanthropy and community involvement set the stage for a partnership that has spanned nearly half a century.

Starting with the 1966 Founders Hall fundraising campaign, Park National Bank has been a leader in every capital campaign and scholarship drive throughout the history of the Newark campus and COTC, culminating with the bank's $1 million commitment to "The Next Generation Challenge Scholarship Campaign" in 2011.

Park National Bank presidents, executives and directors also have a long history of leadership with COTC and its supporting organization, the Newark Campus Development Fund. They have helped advance the college's mission and strive towards their vision of being recognized as Ohio's premier technical college focused on student success and excellence in workforce development and technical education. Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., COTC president stated, "their partnership has been truly outstanding, and without their generosity and support, COTC would not be what it is today."

Mark Ramser was also announced as the recipient of the OACC's 2015 Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement. This award is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a trustee. The award recognizes extraordinary leadership and outstanding contributions to a trustee's college or to community colleges as a whole.

Ramser, president of Ohio Cumberland Gas Company, was nominated to receive this award for his continued dedication to community colleges, as well as for his efforts to build a positive reputation for COTC throughout the region and around the state.

"Mr. Ramser has been a true advocate for COTC, higher education and his beloved Knox County community for many years," said Coe. "In fact, he has been instrumental in bringing Knox County's three higher education institutions to downtown Mount Vernon," she continued.

Through his actions and his history of philanthropy, Ramser has demonstrated his belief in the importance of making quality higher education accessible to the members of one's own community. His extraordinary leadership and contributions have advance the mission and shaped the future of COTC, most especially in his hometown of Mount Vernon, Ohio. He has shown an unwavering commitment to COTC during his nine years on the college's Board of Trustees, always leading by example and encouraging others to follow.

Ramser and his wife, Denise have three children and reside in Knox County.

The OACC Excellence Awards serve as a wonderful opportunity to recognize and honor the tremendous support the Association and member colleges receive from their trustees, alumni and dedicated advocates.  Much of what Ohio's community colleges have been able to accomplish over the years would not have been possible without the continued efforts of those individuals honored annually through the Excellence Awards Program.

The OACC exists to advocate for Ohio's community colleges, as well as serve as a resource for its member institutions. The OACC provides leadership to develop and execute strategic direction for Ohio's community and technical colleges, represents its member colleges at the state and national level, promotes the benefit of community colleges to the residents of Ohio, provides opportunities for trustee development, and facilitates the exchange of ideas and information.

Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited two-year college dedicated to providing high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty, and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC operates four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.