Local BBBS board member given national award

Rod Schoon

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Big Brothers Big Sisters Northeast Indiana Board Member Rod Schoon was given a national award at the organization’s most recent conference.

Schoon, president of Ashley Industrial Molding, has served the local group since 2009 as a volunteer and advocate. He has been a BBBSNEI board member since 2012 and been instrumental in implementing business strategies and techniques at the local level to increase funding, resources for volunteers, and program expansions.

School was given the Clifford P. Norman Award which is given each year to a local board member for outstanding dedication to mission. BBBSNEI said in a statement Schoon, an Avilla resident, was given the award last month in San Diego. The award is named after Cliff Norman, a board member with BBBS in Detroit and BBBS of American for 25 years.

“Since 2009, Rod has shared his talents as a business leader, strategist, relationship builder and mentor,” said Josette RIder, CEO of BBBSNEI. “He has been a true confidant, cheerleader and challenger for BBBSNEI. Without Rod, we would not be where we are today: an agency operating as the size of a large market within a mid-market, exceeding expectations, developing innovative programming, and creating sustainability. It’s an honor to have someone of his caliber serve our Agency with such a dedication and passion for the mission of serving children.”

BBBSNEI said Schoon’s leadership made it possible for the local group to move into its new facility and expand its operating budget from $1.5 million to $2.5 million.

“I was greatly humbled because I have met several people across the nation who do incredible work for this wonderful organization,” Schoon said in a statement. “I have been involved with BBBS increasingly for about 10 years. It meets my spiritual, social and political needs. Spiritually although not advertised as a Christian organization, easily 80% of the Bigs are people of faith. Socially and politically, it is the best organization I have found that breaks generational dependence on the government and others. I have not seen any organizations have substantial impact on dependent adults. However, young people, when you expose them to a world outside their present small circle of influence often blossom. These Bigs to their Littles – help them to have a dream, encourage, and help them see the path to realizing their dream. It is a one to one relationship and yields incredible results. I would encourage everyone to prayerfully consider donating time, talent and/or treasure to an organization like this who is having impact on our youth and society.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is a nonprofit organization that serves children in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties in Indiana and Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph counties in Michigan. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one to one relationships with measureable impact. To learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at www.BBBSNEI.org.