LakewoodAlive is honoring eight community members for their civic pride and volunteerism. Bryan Evans is the 2021 Founders Award recipient and fellow community leaders Tim Dewald, Kelly Florian, Brent Pease & Geoff Mathias (Sauced Taproom & Kitchen), Brittany O’Connor, and Jen & Laird Wynn as award honorees. They will be recognized during “Loving Lakewood: Life’s A Beach,” taking place virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 27. Each will be honored as part of the evening’s festivities in recognition of their service to LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood community.
Tickets are on sale now at LakewoodAlive.org/LovingLakewood. Guests are invited to dig up their sunglasses and don their favorite beachwear as they engage in a sunny celebration of the community, connectivity and perseverance that has built Lakewood into a vibrant community.
The Founders Award, recognizing one honoree annually, celebrates individuals who exemplify the vision of LakewoodAlive’s founding members through making exceptional contributions to efforts to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. Community Leader Award recipients represent LakewoodAlive’s most dedicated volunteers, partners and donors who have supported the organization in numerous ways that embody LakewoodAlive’s spirit and its many programs.
The Founders Award
Bryan Evans – Founders Award
Evans began volunteering with LakewoodAlive’s Design Committee, where he donated countless hours to create a master plan for Kauffman Park. In 2014, Evans joined the Board of Directors where he served two three-year terms. He chaired the board’s Marketing Committee of which he remains a member. Evans, a senior project manager at Vocon, has also recruited several volunteers and eventual board members.
Community Leader Award Honorees:
Tim Dewald – Community Leader Award
Dewald, a senior account executive at Dix & Eaton, began volunteering with LakewoodAlive in 2018 as a Marketing Committee member and hit the ground running. With a background in digital media, he volunteered to document the work of LakewoodAlive and its volunteers. Dewald developed event videos that eventually led to a brand anthem video that premiered at the 2019 “Loving Lakewood: There’s No Place Like Home 15 Year Celebration.” That same year, he joined the Board of Directors and now chairs the Marketing Committee.
Kelly Florian – Community Leader Award
Florian has been a longtime volunteer with LakewoodAlive’s annual fundraising event, “Loving Lakewood” Florian, director of educational services for Great Lakes Theater, helps with all aspects of the event’s planning and often adds the special, finishing touches to the evening’s festivities.
Brent Pease and Geoff Mathias, Sauced Taproom & Kitchen – Community Leader Award
Since Sauced Taproom & Kitchen opened more than two years ago at 14701 Detroit Ave., co-owners Brent Pease and Geoff Mathias have donated time, ideas and food. “Brent, Geoff and their team have been such a welcome addition to the Lakewood community and we are thankful for their belief in us and our mission,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive executive director.
Brittany O’Connor – Community Leader Award
Brittany O’Connor, a senior public affairs market manager with Citizens Bank, joined the LakewoodAlive board in 2014 after volunteering and connecting the organization with then Charter One Bank. She became involved in several committees including Development, Housing and Loving Lakewood. O’Connor was elected vice president of the LakewoodAlive board in 2016 and became board president in 2018. She helped oversee the successful completion and implementation of a strategic plan along with the growth of many mission-focused programs while volunteering a tremendous amount of time.
Jen and Laird Wynn – Community Leader Award
Longtime supporters of LakewoodAlive, Jen and Laird Wynn are valued donors. Owners of Cleveland Property Management, Jen and Laird have raised their family in Lakewood and have been friends of the organization for more than a decade. Cleveland Property Management has served as title sponsor of Loving Lakewood each year since 2017 and has supported other events in the past including Summer Meltdown. The Wynns are most passionate about LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program and its efforts to ensure all residents are living in healthy and safe housing.
“We are grateful to this year’s Loving Lakewood award recipients,” Andrews said. “Their contributions, not only to LakewoodAlive but the entire community, exemplify the best in each of us and symbolize the power and passion of the people who call Lakewood home.”