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Owens Community College has named Diana H. Talmage and H. Richard Rowe to

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Diana H. Talmage
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H. Richard Rowe

serve as the chair and vice chair for the college’s board of trustees.

Talmage and Rowe were elected to their positions by their fellow colleagues during the recent Owens Board of Trustees meeting and will serve one-year terms.

Rowe, an Eastwood High School graduate, serves as a financial advisor and a general partner with Edward Jones Investments in Findlay. He attended Bowling Green State University and holds a Series 7 securities license as well as a life and health insurance license.

The Findlay resident was initially appointed to the college’s board in March 2004. Rowe’s professional and community involvement includes the Kiwanis Club of Findlay and the United Way of Hancock County and he once served as a city councilman for 10 years in Findlay. In addition, Rowe serves as chair of the board’s finance committee.

Rowe says he first got involved with Owens through community involvement with the Findlay campus, including his service with civic organizations. When he came onto the Owens board, he had been on city council for six years, and says he takes his service to the college seriously.

“Well, I think it’s important for people to go on to further their education to get a decent job. It’s not new. It’s been going on for several years,” Rowe said.

“A lot of my involvement, especially with a lot of the businesses in the Findlay and Hancock County area, is I’m kind of in tune as to what skill sets businesses are looking for in people and I’m more of a liaison. I have to balance the interest of the taxpayers, the community, the employees of the school, and the businesses as to what they are looking for to help them grow their businesses and develop jobs.

“It’s a big circle, really, to try to keep everything flowing,” Rowe continued. “You know, every year in our community we have 400 to 500 kids graduate from high school, and if we take it county-wide it’s almost 2,000 people.

“Well, it doesn’t matter where you are at, you better be creating jobs and be creating skill sets so businesses will have those type of jobs. Otherwise, you have a bunch of people graduating and nowhere to go.”

As a trustee, Rowe began focus groups to allow public input.

“One thing I’ve started at the Findlay campus, because I’ve lived here, is a monthly lunch with a trustee,” Rowe said. “So I go into the student lunch room area and the school posts, ‘Hey, Rich Rowe, trustee, is going to be here and so if anybody has any issues or questions or things they want to talk about, pop by.’

“I just did the first one two weeks ago and had faculty stop by, had students, had administrators, and I think it was a real good thing,” Rowe continued.

“I’m going to be on the ground and I want to know what’s happening. And there are things that the board should not be involved in, or can’t get involved in, but there are lot of things that, you know, we can help make the environment better for students and better for employees. If that’s the outcome of that type of thing, then great, that’s what the goal is.”

Rowe, who grew up in Webster Township between Pemberville and Bowling Green, went to high school with present-day Sixth District State Representative Randy Gardner. Rowe said that had nothing to do with his running for elected office in Findlay, but the two do stay in touch.

After serving on city council in Findlay, Rowe says he has not ruled out someday possibly running for office again, including state office.

“I have people on a kind of regular basis ask me to think about doing that,” Rowe said. “My kids aren’t even out of high school yet, so I’ve been kind of ‘well, maybe someday.’ But that’s something for the future.”

The college’s board is comprised of nine community leaders from Lucas, Wood, Hancock, and Sandusky counties who are appointed by the governor of Ohio for six-year terms.

In addition to Talmage and Rowe, Owens Board of Trustees members include John G. Ault of Perrysburg, David Habegger of Oregon, Allan J. Libbe of Perrysburg, Dr. Ronald A. McMaster of Perrysburg, R. J. Molter of Woodville, John C. Moore of Holland and William E. Takacs of Toledo.

Rowe said he just recently has gotten to know Habegger, who is a Clay High School guidance counselor and former coach there.

“I didn’t know him at all and Dave and I come from different backgrounds,” Rowe said. “But I really appreciate his view on things. He’s a good asset to the board.”

The new chair, Talmage, was initially appointed to the board in November 2002. She is a retired educator and former school board member, has held several leadership positions at the K-12 and higher education levels. Her professional and community involvement includes membership with the American Red Cross, the Flower Hospital Foundation, TARTA and the Lucas County Children Services.

An Ottawa Hills resident, Talmage received her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s degree in education from The Ohio State University. Additionally, Talmage serves as a board member and holds the position of secretary on the Owens Community College Foundation.

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