First sworn in as Mayor in 1987, Don Plusquellic’s career in public service now spans five decades. And his dedication and work for his community have brought Akron greater opportunity and prepared it well for the future.
The Mayor’s most important mission, along with improving education, has been securing and fortifying Akron’s economic future. Still in its early stages, the Biomedical Corridor holds a key to the city’s economic future. For the economy and jobs of the future, Mayor Plusquellic is attracting health-related companies to Akron by using more than 1,200 acres of private and publicly owned land that is also home to Children's Hospital, Akron General Medical Center, Summa's Akron City Hospital, the University of Akron, the University Park Alliance neighborhood and most of downtown.
Citing Akron as one of the most successful cities between the eastern seaboard and Chicago, The Brookings Institution calls Akron an economic-recovery model for other cities to follow.
As much as Akron’s economic future depends upon jobs, it also depends upon education and learning programs that will match employees with employers. Mayor Plusquellic continues Akron’s long-range educational improvement program buoyed by the rebuilding of all of its public school buildings in an $800 million investment project spearheaded by the Mayor.
Countless awards and honors have been bestowed upon Mayor Plusquellic in his career. During the past year, he received the 2009 Urban Hero Award from the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. At the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Association of Public Land Grant Universities, Mayor Plusquellic was recognized for his "longstanding commitment to the City of Akron and innovative leadership in advancing model alliances between the City, the University of Akron and other key organizations to revitalize Akron."
Also in ’09, the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts presented Plusquellic with its annual Mayer Global Citizenship Award. The honor recognizes those who have dedicated themselves to solving the most pressing problems facing the world.
Last August, Don Plusquellic participated in the Annual Peace Memorial Day Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan on behalf of all mayors in the United States. Plusquellic is not only past president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, but serves as vice president for the Mayor for Peace, an international organization representing 2,870 cities in 134 countries.
As a testament to his leadership, the Mayor received---in 2009---the City Livability Award. The annual honor from the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes community leadership. The National Civic League has also named Akron an All America City.
And in acknowledging the Mayor for his outstanding dedication to economic development in the public sector, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented its Annual Leadership Award for Public Service to Mayor Plusquellic in 2008.
Akron has a mayor who has worked at the invitation of President Barack Obama to assist in crafting an economic stimulus plan to aid the ailing national economy. The Mayor has also worked with the Obama Transition Team and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to aid in the effort toward getting much-needed monies to American cities.
Previously, Mayor Plusquellic had been called upon for national service by President George W. Bush and then-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge as a member of a national task force following the attack on September 11, 2001. He was credited with helping create the funding mechanism now used to ensure appropriate monies are allocated to communities.
Mayor Plusquellic has two children and six grandchildren.