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Marathon Ashland Petroleum President Addresses Graduates During Spring Commencement Ceremony
Challenging graduates to set personal goals, Gary R. Heminger, President of Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, addressed the Owens Community College graduating class as the College held its 38th annual Spring Commencement on Thursday, May 13.
Serving as the keynote speaker, Heminger shared with the 633 Owens graduates - including 96 from the Findlay-area Campus - and the more than 5,000 family, friends and relatives in attendance about the importance of continuing to dream. Then, turning those dreams or visions into reality through hard work.
"What I urge today's graduates is that you too, commit to a set of goals, a personal statement of vision and values, and let today's commencement exercises be a start of this personal commitment," Heminger said during his commencement address.
"Owens Community College is extremely honored to have Mr. Heminger take time out of his schedule to celebrate the academic achievements of our graduates," said Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement. "Mr. Heminger is an accomplished leader, both within the national business community and in higher education. His insightful message served as an inspiration to the College's graduating class as they become tomorrow's educators, scientists, health care professionals, technologists, musicians, skilled laborers and business leaders."
Based in Findlay, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP) ranks as the sixth-largest petroleum refiner in the United States and is a consistent leader in the downstream industry within several performance measures, including refinery yields, operating efficiencies and adjusted operating-income per barrel of crude oil throughput. A highly efficient, cost-effective and competitive company, MAP commands approximately $8 billion in assets.
Heminger's 29 years with Marathon includes experience in a variety of groups and functions. In addition to five years in various financial and administrative roles, he spent three years in London, England, as audit supervisor of the Brae Project. He worked eight years with Emro Marketing in several marketing and commercial roles and was named Vice President of the subsidiary's Western Division in 1991. From 1995 to 1996 Heminger served as President of Marathon Pipe Line Company; he assumed the position of Manager for Business Development & Joint Interest of Marathon Oil Company in November 1996.
He was named Vice President of Business Development for Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP) upon its formation on January 1, 1998 and was named Senior Vice President of Business Development, one year later. In January 2001, Heminger was named Executive Vice President of Supply, Transportation and Marketing. He assumed his current responsibilities as MAP President on September 1, 2001.
A graduate of the Wharton Executive Management Program, Heminger is chairman of the American Petroleum Institute (API) Downstream Committee and chairman of the Board of Trustees for Tiffin University. In addition, he is a board member of Fifth Third Bank of Northwestern Ohio.
A native of Tiffin, Ohio, Heminger earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Tiffin University in 1976 while already employed by Marathon Oil Company in Findlay. He earned an MBA from the University of Dayton in 1982. He and his wife, Jane, reside in Findlay and have two children.
Tammi Zachrich, a diagnostic medical sonography major, was selected as the Owens Community College class representative and addressed the graduates during the Spring Commencement ceremony.
A High Honors student at Owens, Zachrich describes herself as an energetic and outgoing individual who is deeply devoted to her family and friends. Zachrich's favorite hobbies are spending time with her children and husband, and cheering on the Ayersville High School Pilots.
Active in the community, the 1990 Ayersville High School graduate has volunteered her time as a Junior Achievement mentor with first grade students at Ayersville Elementary and is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Defiance. Her involvement also includes previously serving as an American Cancer Society volunteer. In addition, she is a member of the Owens Tomorrow's Imagers and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, as well as the National Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography organization.
An advocate for promoting higher education and the health care field, Zachrich has served as a speaker for the College's "Care Fair for Health" event and recently presented a case study on Pheochromocytomas at the Toledo Ultrasound Symposium.
Zachrich credits her educational success to her supportive family and friends, as well as the College's faculty and staff. "Owens Community College has made a difference in my life, for myself, my husband, and for my children," she said. "My educational experience has given me a chance to grow and mature and is the real reason I am standing in front of this graduating class as the commencement speaker."
The focus of her commencement speech addressed how a college education provides each graduate with experience and knowledge, opening new doors and serving as a stepping-stone to becoming future teachers, doctors, lawyers and many other occupations.
"Each member of the Owens Community College graduating class has their own dream," Zachrich stated in her speech. "The path in which we travel to achieve our dream isn't always perfect, and on many occasions we face stumbling blocks. But it is our dream. And what each of us makes of our dream is what matters."
Zachrich concluded her address by urging today's graduates "to challenge yourselves and remember that there is life out there, and it is what we, as future leaders, make of it."
The daughter of George and Jean Jorkos, she will soon begin work as a sonographer at the Defiance Regional Medical Center in Defiance. She resides in Defiance with her husband, Monti, and their three children, Preston, Kayla and Austin.
Of the 633 graduates, 176 graduated with honors and 20 of those have earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay- area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, 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.