Wilshire Receives Clarion Area Chamber ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award

IMG_1918-223x300CLARION, Pa. (EYT)Ron Wilshire, of Clarion, received a Lifetime Achievement award during Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry’s annual meeting and awards dinner held on Saturday, March 12.

(Photo by Allison Wilshire)

This award was presented to Ron for his exceptional leadership and endeavors that have improved the quality of life for Clarion area citizens.

Ron told exploreJeffersonpa.com, “I felt very lucky to win the award and to be included with the others who have also won the award in the past. I thank my family and those that I have worked with over the years. I also feel a little young to win a lifetime achievement award and hope to accomplish a little more.”

Born in 1948, Ron is the oldest of six children. He attended the Immaculate Conception School during his elementary and junior high years and graduated in 1966 from Clarion Area High School.

At the age of 12, Ron became a paper boy, delivering The Derrick six days a week. He continued this job until his high school graduation in 1966. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He spent much of his tour of duty in a remote outpost in Thailand until his discharge in 1969.

Upon his return to Clarion, Ron enrolled at Clarion State College majoring in business. As a college student, Ron participated in extra-curricular activities. He was active with veterans’ activities; he served as a member of the Student Senate; and he was a DJ for the campus radio station. Additionally, he created the comic strip “Ratman,” which became a regular feature for the college’s newspaper, the Clarion Call.

In 1972, Ron graduated with a BS degree in business, then he enrolled in the Masters of Communication program and received a MS degree in 1975.

In 1975, Ron married Stephanie Morgan. They lived in Clarion while he worked for the Clarion News as a reporter, a sports editor, and a cartoonist for the editorial page.

In 1976, Ron became the editor of the Leader-Vindicator and moved to New Bethlehem.

In 1978, he was hired by Clarion State College to advance the public relations function within the college. He furnished news stories and announcements to the local media and acted as the sports information director, covering all sports stories and developing the alumni relations operations and bulletin.

During his tenure as the assistant Vice-President for University Relations, Ron…

    • developed the public relations function within the university to a professional level and built an effective and efficient department. He acted as an adviser to the president and spokesperson for the university.
    • advanced initiatives to foster solid working relationships and beneficial communications between the university and the community.
    • was responsible for the installation of the first mass emergency response and notification system throughout the university which provided instantaneous vital information via email. This system also worked as an electronic bulletin board, providing daily information throughout the university. The emergency response system within the university also operated in conjunction with community planning in terms of such national issues as pandemics and school/workplace violence.

Ron served on the Clarion Borough Council for 23 years, with 14 of those years acting as president. Ron oversaw the first major renovation of the municipal pool, multiple downtown improvements, development of Weaver Park, and the sale of the Clarion Area Authority to Pennsylvania American Water. Ron also served as president of the United Way Board and the Clarion Rotary Club. In addition, he was the vice-president of the Jefferson-Clarion Community Action Board and currently remains on the board.

After 32 years at Clarion University, Ron retired in 2010. He joined the Clarion YMCA board and has served as president during the major fundraising campaign for a new YMCA facility.

Ron continues his interest and service to the community by being a member of the board of directors for Clarview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Country Springs Personal Care Home. He also serves as president of the Clarion Vocational Services board and is a member of the Clarion University/Community Alcohol Task Force. He is also a lifelong member of Immaculate Conception Church where he is a lector.

Ron is currently enjoying his retirement by hosting a weekly radio show, Clarion Connections on WWCH.

Currently, Ron is a community reporter for exploreJeffersonpa.com and the Leader-Vindicator. Ron enjoys interviewing Clarion County individuals and reporting their human interest stories.

Ron and Stephanie have four children: Hilarie, a music teacher in London, England; Adam, a licensed therapist in Martinsburg, Pa.; Allison a data analyst for Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and John, a music teacher in Las Vegas, Ca. Ron and Stephanie have two grandchildren, Abigail and Caleb who reside in London.

Ron says that his children are his greatest pride.

(Clarion Area Chamber of Business & Industry contributed to this story.)

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