2024 OASBO Foundation Award Winners


Outstanding School Business Officials of the Year

School business officials in Ohio are responsible for managing billions of public dollars each year. The Outstanding School Business Officials of the Year recognizes OASBO members for the successful management of public funds, personal accomplishments, and selfless service to school communities.

Treasurer of the Year

Maria Rellinger
Apollo Career Center 

"Maria Rellinger is an exceptional individual who combines intelligence, dedication, and a passion for her profession and the causes she believes in. Her dynamic and vibrant personality, coupled with her tireless work, sets her apart as a valuable asset to her field and community. Her engagement with state legislators, including testifying at the state house, underline her deep commitment to the well-being and advancement of students and the education system."
- Jennifer Sudhoff, Treasurer/CFO, Benjamin Logan Local Schools

Food Service Director of the Year

Winnie Brewer
Food Service Director
New Leaf Organization/Buckeye Community Schools 

“Winnie is a class act food service director and person! She is always willing to go the extra mile for the students in the districts she has served to make sure they are fed nutritious and delicious meals. I admire Winnie for who she is and what she does and has done for students, but I also appreciate what she does for others to help them in their food service careers.  She has made a difference in food and nutrition throughout the state of Ohio due to her involvement and leadership in OASBO. She is a true example of a servant leader!”
- Tammi Cowell, Treasurer/CFO, Tri-Rivers Career Center

Business Operations Director of the Year

Tom Dreiling
Assistant Superintendent
Independence Local Schools

“Tom continues to find ways to innovate and collaborate with his fellow Business Managers. He is a passionate, dedicated individual to the Business Manager profession and it’s an honor to nominate him for this award.”
- Chad Welker, Director of Business Services, Ohio Schools Council

Transportation Director of the Year

Giles Brown, III
Transportation Director
Clearview Local Schools

"Giles is one of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure of knowing. He has always demonstrated his willingness to take on any task within his department with a positive outlook. His staff admire him and would go the extra mile for him because of his ability to put his people first along with his respect for them. I am personally honored to work with him as a valued member of our administrative team.”
- Mary Ann Nowak, Treasurer/CFO, Clearview Local Schools


Rich Unger Pinnacle Award

Rich Unger served as executive director of OASBO from 1990 to 1997. Each year, OASBO presents an award in his name to recognize professionalism and innovative school business practices, with an emphasis on practices that can be shared or replicated.

Deb Meyer
Fiscal Officer
Western Ohio Computer Organization

“Deb is always willing to mentor new treasurers and has contributed to the growth of all treasurers by being involved in leadership roles with the West Central Ohio Association of Business Officials local Chapter. Her impact, dedication, and professionalism are constant in all that she does and with everyone she engages.”
 - Michael Watkins, CFO/Treasurer, Sidney City Schools


Chuck Gossett Advocacy Award

The Chuck Gossett Advocacy Award recognizes an OASBO member for professionalism in legislative affairs and advocacy. Chuck was OASBO’s president in 2004-2005, and passed away before he could complete his term. He worked closely with legislators across Ohio, and his vision for OASBO was to be a strong legislative presence, with members actively participating in advocacy efforts on behalf of public schools.

Erik Roush

Executive Director
Financial Affairs
Columbus City Schools

"Erik’s leadership, experience, and knowledge of the legislative process is immeasurable. His involvement on the Legislative Committee has enhanced OASBO’s effort to broaden the amount and quality of members involved in legislative outreach.  We have seen significant increases in this area of advocacy over the past several years while Erik has been in a leadership position with the Legislative Committee. His ability to provide the rules and understanding of the process in an easily digestible manner has allowed the growing number of youngers SBOs to feel comfortable reaching out to the legislative body."
- Jared Bunting, Treasurer/CFO, Jackson City Schools

Regional Distinguished Service Awards

The Regional Distinguished Service Awards Program recognizes a member from each of the five OASBO regions who has made a significant contribution to their profession, their schools, and their community.

One regional award winner is also selected to receive the Virginia Ramsey Service Award*.  Virginia dedicated many hours to improving OASBO’s Annual Conference & Expo every year.  As a result, in 2004, the OASBO Board of Directors created the Virginia Ramsey Service Award to recognize contributions to the OASBO Annual Conference & Expo.

Northwest region

Andrea Snyder
Allen East Local Schools

“Andrea is a pillar in her community, county, and region for the work she does for public schools. She is a constant in that District who will always fight for what is right, manage money efficiently and effectively, and support those who serve the students. When asked for help, Andrea is the first to volunteer to host the meeting, contribute to the conversation, and share best practices to better all school districts.”
- Maria Rellinger, Treasurer/CFO, Apollo Career Center

Southwest region

David Stevens
Tipp City Exempted Village Schools

"David is the heart of the Tipp City Schools community. He is transparent and has a strong moral compass when it comes to doing what is best for students. He is well-Informed of the law and can make sure that knowledge is used for student academic improvement and financial appropriateness. David's spirit of teamwork with myself as the HR Director and his finance office staff is enjoyable for all who work collaboratively with him.”
- Lisa Tuttle-Huff, Director of Human Resources, Tipp City Exempted Village Schools

Central region

Ryan Cook
Tiffin City Schools

“Ryan exemplifies the qualities sought after in nominees for this award. He is a true example of a school business leader who serves the students of his district as well as being mindful of his constituents and their needs.”
- Tammi Cowell, Treasurer/CFO, Tri-Rivers Career Center

Northeast region

Mike Rock
Warrensville Heights City Schools

“Mike is a stalwart when it comes to Northeast Ohio Treasurers. Dr. Rock is a standout among his peers, he's always available to lend his expertise to newer treasurers. He is a member of the First Ring Treasurers Group and is co-author of the Ohio School Finance Blue Book, which is a must-have reference guide for every treasurer in the state of Ohio.”
- Rob Showalter, Treasurer/CFO, Fairview Park City Schools

Southeast region

Melcie Wells*
Warren local Schools


“Melcie should be recognized for all she has accomplished and for all the good that she has done at the National, State and Local level. Melcie was once a State Auditor and brought a wealth of knowledge to Warren Local with her when she began her SBO career; she has continued to learn and move the district forward. Her Board President and colleagues cannot speak more highly of Melcie and the job she has done to improve the district.”
- Jared Bunting, Treasurer/CFO, Jackson City Schools

Londa Schwierking Treasurer Support Staff Award

The Londa Schwierking Award recognizes support staff from each of OASBO’s 5 regions who serve in roles that are vital to the success of the finance office. Recipients are recognized for their attention to detail, effective communication, diligence in accounting, and maintaining documents for financial reports. Throughout her career, Londa was passionate about providing professional development to finance office support staff to help them grow, and to inspire and prepare them for success as school business officials.

Northeast  region

Michelle Jaworski
Fiscal Coordinator
Garfield Heights City Schools

"Whether it is long days, tough conversations, fixing mistakes, or attending supportive district events, Missy is the quintessential example of an employee that we are lucky to have in our office even once in a career.”
- Philip Oko, Treasurer/CFO, Garfield Heights CSD

Northwest  region

Kristina Fries
Assistant Treasurer
Parkway Local Schools

“Kristina’s contributions to Parkway Local Schools have been invaluable. Her reliability, excellent communication skills, and meticulous fiscal management have greatly improved the operations of the Treasurer’s office. Her professionalism and dedication exemplify her commitment to our district.”
- Debra Pierce, Treasurer/CFO, Parkway Local Schools

Southwest region

Nita Slaven
Assistant Treasurer
Warren County Career Center

“During her 23 years as Assistant Treasurer at the Warren County Career Center she has superbly supported three Treasurers…with Nita it's more than just the quantitative work she performs that qualifies her to receive this award. It's the quality of her character too. She quietly does thoughtful things for other people here at work.”
- Cathy McMonigle, Treasurer/CFO, Warren County Career Center

Central region

Betty Arey
Payroll Administrator
Columbus City Schools

“Betty is an accomplished professional whose expertise is sought after by not only staff within the Treasurer’s Office, but also by staff throughout the district. She has mentored numerous colleagues. She oversees and manages payroll for the largest district in the state, ensuring timely and accurate pay for over 10,000 employees!”
- Jennifer Vanover, Interim Treasurer, Columbus City Schools

Southeast Region

Dawn Taylor
Accounts Payable
Jackson City Schools

“Dawn has an immeasurable amount of institutional knowledge in the district that helped me tremendously as I transitioned to Jackson City Schools in 2022. She continues to want to learn more and is excited for change. She is not afraid to ask questions or look for ways that can improve a process or procedure. These are truly characteristics of any staff member that make them incredibly important to any district.”
- Jared Bunting, Treasurer/CFO, Jackson City Schools

School Facility Support Staff Award

The School Facility Support Staff Award recognizes staff who provide a safe, clean, welcoming space for staff and students to learn and grow. Collectively they are responsible for cleaning and maintaining thousands of school buildings throughout Ohio. Staff such as facility, maintenance and custodial supervisors as well as head custodians are vital to successful school district operations.

Northeast region

Melvin Martin
Head Custodian
Berea City Schools

“Melvin always goes above and beyond what is asked of him and is an unbelievable example of what a custodian should be. He is always looking to serve the larger mission of our school district, providing a world class experience for our students and he understands that a clean, safe environment that we can be proud of are a very important aspect of this mission. He is such a good person, who has devoted his life to ensuring our kids and community can be proud of their buildings and will be safe when they are there. He makes BMHS and BCSD better every day he is there!!!”
- Michael Draves, Assistant Superintendent, Berea City Schools

Central region

Nickolas Caruso III
Head Custodian
Worthington City Schools

“Nick creates and maintains a positive, safe, and healthy environment for student learning and instruction. He leads by example and is a positive influence for both students and staff. His positive leadership is recognized! We are fortunate to have a leader who takes ownership of the many large events that are hosted in the building. We frequently hear how the 35-year-old building does not show its age which is credit to Nick and his team.”
- Tim Gehring, Director of Facilities Management, Worthington City Schools

Southwest region

Todd Johnson
Operations Supervisor
Springboro Community City Schools

“Mr. Johnson is well respected among all district staff and within the community for his willingness to always be of assistance, his knowledge, his flexibility, and his focus on getting whatever needs to be done correctly the first time.”
- Scott Gilbert, Chief Operations Officer, Springboro Community City Schools

Southeast region

Marvin Lawrence
Director of Building and Grounds
Athens City Schools

"As an employee for Athens City Schools since 1982 he has shown the value of hard work and creating pride in a school community. Despite his career success, Marvin’s greatest accomplishments are at home where he has been married to his lovely wife Lavonda Lawrence for 41 years, raising a daughter and spoiling three grandsons. In both work and home Marvin continues to build into the next generation.”
- Matt Bunting, Treasurer/CFO, Athens City Schools

Northwest region

Denise Zielske
Child Nutrition Director
Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools

“Denise has taken the district's food service department to the next level with her enthusiasm, passion, and love for feeding the students. She leads by example and works in the kitchen and serving lines along with her staff demonstrating and modeling expected behaviors. Her enthusiasm and passion are contagious through her staff and beyond to district administrators.”
- James Mapus, Executive Director of Operations, Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools


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