Tony Valentino & Ken Myles
The Citizens of the Year award was presented by Dr. Keith Kelly, Superintendent of Mayfield City Schools at the Sept. 27th Alumni Hall of Fame / VIP Celebration.
Part of what makes the Mayfield Schools so successful is the involvement, commitment and volunteer effort by many of our district residents.
CITIZENS OF THE YEAR 2012: Ken Myles & Anthony Valentino
When we decided who would be the most deserving of the 2012 Citizen of the Year award, we needed to look no further than our own backyard.
Literally. We looked at Wildcat Park.
To see the before and after images of the athletic and community complex at Mayfield High School is like looking at the worn out past and then to a bright and strong present and future.
This opportunity was made possible by the Wildcat Park Committee & Mayfield Schools, but most notably by two leaders -- our 2012 Citizens of the Year Ken Myles and Anthony Valentino. (pause)
Here’s what one administrator said when he learned of who had been selected for the Citizens of the Year honor.
“I cannot think of two more deserving individuals to receive this distinguished honor having observed firsthand their dedication, commitment, and relentless pursuit of the Wildcat Park Project. Although neither of them has children currently in the Mayfield Schools, one has to wonder why they would subject themselves to such an ambitious & tireless project. I can only surmise that it’s their passion for our Mayfield kids, love of our communities, and pride in our Mayfield Schools.”
Let’s begin with Anthony Valentino.
Tony stepped forward as the Assistant project leader and fundraising coordinator for Wildcat Park. Through his leadership, the Wildcat Park Committee quickly raised $600,000 and continues to raise funds for the complex.
He’ll be the first to tell you that bricks are being sold for $250 for the walkway just outside of the Wildcat Park gates. There’s a plug for you, Tony.
Tony Valentino’s contribution, however, reaches much farther than Wildcat Park. He has served for 12 years as a member and now the Chairman of the Highland Heights Park & Recreation Commission. He’s the coordinator of the St. Pascal Football program for the last 5 years. He has coached youth football and baseball and has volunteered with the Boys Hope/Girls Hope youth organization in Cleveland. He has done all of this “giving back to the community” while being the Dad of Anthony and Ricky, both Mayfield grads and husband of 27 years to our own Denise Valentino, the assistant to the Athletic Director who also, I might add is a Mayfield grad. Tony Valentino is also a highly successful businessman. He has 30 years experience in the HVAC industry, including serving as the past president and owner of W.F. Hann & Sons and now as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Webb Supply company. So, Okay, he didn’t graduate from Mayfield, in fact he graduated from Brush High School, but with all that he has accomplished for Mayfield he is a Wildcat at heart.
And now, Ken Myles. What to say about Ken Myles?
He is tireless. He is focused. He has always had the end in sight.
In 2009 Ken Myles decided Mayfield athletes, band, alumni and community deserved better than the existing worn out fields behind the high school. So one night an idea became a plan, a plan became the Wildcat Park Project and Wildcat Community Foundation and Wildcat Park became a reality on Sept. 8, 2012 … all because of one guy with an idea and a ton of motivation.
That guy is Ken Myles.
Ken Myles is the project leader behind the Wildcat Park Project and Foundation. He’s the one who volunteered countless hours in meetings with architects, designers, directors, administrators, and committee members to conceptualize the idea of Wildcat Park. Three years later Mayfield City Schools has the completed Wildcat Park with plazas, walkways, green space, recreation areas, improved athletic fields and parking.
As on district leader said, “Wildcat Park is a resource not just for today’s students, athletes, alumni and community, but an asset for Mayfield’s future generations.”
One guy. One idea. But for the 1978 Mayfield grad and Mayfield Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee giving back is just a way of living.
Ken is the co-founder and past chairman of Hope International Adoption and Humanitarian Aid Agency. He created and led the first ever Lake County YMCA Dream house project. He served as the past president of the Painesville Rotary Club and developed the President’s Club 10 year strategic plan for Rotary International.
Professionally, he is the current senior Vice President of eWise Systems, an international payments company and the co-founder of MarKen and Associates, an information and management consulting and software development firm.
He is a Mayfield Alum through and through. Did I mention the man who made Wildcat Park a reality and who continually gives back to his Mayfield Alma mater doesn’t even live in Mayfield? He lives with his wife of 26 years, Mary in Bratenahl. To dedicate himself to Wildcat Park because he is a Mayfield alum is the definition of Mayfield Pride.
Ken and Tony, simply put: As Mike Barnes, Athletic Director said, “Without their efforts, skill and determination, we would not have the success of Wildcat Park.”
Ken Myles and Tony Valentino on behalf of Mayfield City Schools we name you our 2012 Citizens of the Year. We are grateful for you - grateful for your dedication to education, your Mayfield community and our Mayfield Wildcats.
Congratulations Ken & Tony and thank you for all you have given to the “Mayfield Family.”