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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Announces Members of the Akron Bicentennial Commission


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Stephanie Marsh
Published: 06-21-2022

Akron, Ohio, June 21, 2022 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced the 24 members who have generously agreed to join the Akron Bicentennial Commission. The Commission will oversee the planning and programming surrounding Akron’s 200th birthday celebration. They represent all 10 wards of the City and bring perspectives from a variety of different backgrounds.

On December 6, 1825 General Simon Perkins filed the plat of Akron at the courthouse in Ravenna.  Akron’s 200th year begins December 6, 2024, and in line with prior commemorations of city anniversaries (1925, 1975, 2000), the Akron Bicentennial Celebration is scheduled to take place in July, 2025. Special events would also mark Dec. 6, 2025, Akron's actual 200th anniversary.

Four long-time Akron residents, all distinguished members of the community, had been previously appointed by Mayor Horrigan to be Honorary Chairs of the Akron Bicentennial Commission. They are:

  • Marco Sommerville, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Hon. Elinore Stormer, Judge of the Probate Court of Summit County
  • Dr. Cynthia Capers, Emeritus Dean and Professor of the University of Akron, College of Nursing
  • Ernest Pouttu, President and CEO, Harwick Standard Distribution

The 24 newly appointed members of the commission are:

  • Margo Sommerville -  President of Akron City Council
  • Suzie Graham - CEO Downtown Akron Partnership
  • Gregg Mervis – CEO Akron/Summit Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
  • Leianne Neff Heppner - CEO Summit County Historical Society
  • Pam Hickson Stevenson – Executive Director Akron-Summit County Public Library
  • Megan Mannion – Learning Specialist Akron Public Schools
  • Dr. Paul Levy – Vice President and Chief of Staff University of Akron
  • Phil Montgomery – Director, Department of Finance and Budget County of Summit
  • Mac Love - Co-Founder & Chief Catalyst Art x Love
  • Katie Beck – Co-Artistic Director of Gum-Dip Theatre
  • Dr. Naresh Subba - Dept. of Physics, Kent State University, representing Bhutanese community
  • Curtis Minter Jr. – Director of Operations The Well Community Development Corporation
  • James Weyrick - Ellet neighborhood historian and volunteer
  • Joseph Tucker – Executive Director South Street Mission
  • Hon. Deborah Cook - Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Rev. Mark Ward – Senior Pastor Zion Temple Baptist Church
  • Tina Boyes – Executive Director Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance
  • Sharon Connor – Akron City Council Ward 10 Council Representative
  • Bronlynn Thurman – Program Officer GAR Foundation
  • Mark Greer - Small Business Program Manager & Great Streets Administrator City of Akron
  • Andre Thornton – CEO ASW Global
  • Andy January – Director and owner January Paints
  • Demetrius Lambert-Falconer - Chief of Community Engagement for Summit Metro Parks
  • Dr. Harvey Sterns - Professor Emeritus University of Akron and Co-Chair Age Friendly Akron

Civic activist and former Deputy Mayor of Akron, Dave Lieberth serves as the volunteer Executive Secretary of the Bicentennial Commission.

The Commission will plan a series of events that speak to Akron’s history, civic pride, and record of innovation. They will establish a process to request applications from community organizations (schools, churches, neighborhood groups, associations) to create programming that will be open and accessible to the public and to ensure that the year-long commemoration is inclusive and reflective of Akron. Workgroups will be established that will create opportunities for hundreds of citizens to participate in Bicentennial activities.

“I want to thank the members of the commission for accepting this position to help plan the celebration of Akron's 200th anniversary," said Mayor Horrigan. "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to commemorate 200 years of progress and achievements. We want all of our residents to feel a sense of pride in Akron's rich history."

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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