Challenging graduates to set their sights high and take risks, Thomas A. Dattilo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cooper Tire and Rubber Company, addressed the Owens Community College graduating class as the College held its 36th annual Spring Commencement Thursday, May 16 in the Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus, Oregon Road.Serving as the keynote speaker, Dattilo shared with the 562 Owens graduates including 91 from the Findlay Campus and the more than 4,000 family, friends and relatives in attendance, the importance of an education and how it helped him create his own definition of success.
"I really appreciate my education," Dattilo said during his commencement address. "My education allowed me to have experiences that I could learn from and provided a base upon which I could build in order to realize my goals.
"Success will come in embracing your opportunities, taking some risks, working hard at whatever endeavor you choose and making a difference," he said.
Headquartered in Findlay, Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. is one of the world's largest companies earning the distinction of a Fortune 500 company and was recently ranked #244 by Barron's magazine listing the 500 best performing companies.
"We're extremely proud of our Owens Community College graduates and are thrilled to provide them with such a dynamic and insightful speaker on this memorable day," said Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement. "Mr. Dattilo's speech presented our graduates with a unique opportunity to gain insight on success from the head of a Fortune 500 company."
Dattilo has been Chairman, President and CEO for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. since April 2000. Prior to that, he served as Cooper's President and Chief Operating Officer.
Founded in 1914, the Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. has a long-standing tradition as a leader in the specialization of manufacturing and marketing automotive parts. Products for Cooper Tire include automotive, motorcycle and truck tires, inner tubes, tread rubber and equipment. Cooper Standard Automotive is an original equipment supplier of sealing, trim, NVH control systems and fluid handling systems for the automotive industry in North America, Europe, Australia and South America. The company has more than 20,000 employees and 52 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries.
A native of Akron, Dattilo currently resides in Perrysburg. He earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and law degree from the University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Dattilo serves on the board of directors of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, board of trustees of Manufacturer's Alliance and board of directors of the Harris Corporation.
Jennifer Stamm, a Landscape and Turfgrass Management Major from Maumee, was selected to represent the Spring 2002 class and also spoke during the ceremony.
Stamm, who transferred to Owens from Eastern Michigan University, is a Student Representative on the College's Committee for Student Activities and a Student Representative for the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Associations Student Scholarship and Activities Committee. She is currently employed at Glass City Landscape and has four years experience in the Green Industry.
The daughter of David and Joanne Stamm, she describes herself as energetic and often the one that is constantly smiling. She states that she will volunteer for whatever she can get involved with and loves nature, hiking, softball and cheering for the Cleveland Indians.
Stamm credits her success to the Owens faculty and staff and personal attention she received while attending the College. "I truly found my nitch at Owens Community College," she said.
The focus of her commencement speech addressed the symbolism of nature and how it correlates with life after graduation. According to Stamm, just as new growth occurs in nature, so also do today's Owens Community College graduates "as we explore new careers, accept challenging positions in an established technology or move onto another college or university growing from the new experience and offering the new knowledge gained from our parents, friends and the College's faculty."
There were 173 students who graduated with honors, as well as 16 graduates earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Also, there were 84 graduates in the Arts and Sciences division, which offers the first two years of a bachelor's degree.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay campuses, Owens serves more than 36,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and the lowest tuition in Northwest Ohio. Owens Community College offers over 100 career-oriented programs and majors in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.
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