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Enrichment Centers name new director

Cary Ashby • Jan 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Norwalk resident Steve Beal will start Jan. 16 as the new executive director of the Enrichment Centers for Huron County.

Beal, who will make about $65,000 each year, has been a Norwalk resident since 1986. He is a Lexington High School graduate who studied social science at Hiram College.

He was the food service director at Beulah Beach, a year-round camp and retreat center in Vermilion, for nearly five years. Beal said that experience will be valuable because the Enrichment Centers oversees the Meals on Wheels program and serves lunch daily.

Beal was the vice president/district sales manager at Industrial Savings and Loan, which was named Home Savings and Loan starting in 2000. 

“He was with Home Savings from 1985 through 2014,” said Ben Kenny, a board of trustees member for the Enrichment Centers. 

At Home Savings, Beal oversaw about 85 employees and was in charge of operations, facilities, staffing and budgets.

“A lot of what I did there I will do at the center,” Beal said.

Beal recently has been certified in 5 Voices, an enhancing communication system, which helps teams evaluate, perform and collaborate better. 

“I’ve always enjoyed leading teams. I make it fun,” said Beal, who has overseen team-building activities and will be certified soon in 100X Leadership through the same company as 5 Voices.

Given his background, he said he thinks overseeing the Enrichment Centers will be a good fit.

“It’s within a mile of our house. I love living here. I thought it would be a great way to serve the citizens of Huron County,” Beal added.

For about the last seven months, the two interim co-directors have been accountant Kaye Spoerr and Sarah Nichelson, who oversees human resources. Kenny said the two women worked their current positions while also serving as interim co-directors and shared leadership abilities until a new executive director could be hired. He added the trustees had a goal of announcing and hiring that person by the end of the year, so the personnel committee was right on schedule.

“It always takes time to do the (due) diligence,” said Kenny, who was impressed with what Beal said in his interview.

Spoerr and Nichelson took over for Roxanne (Sandles) Neel, who was dismissed as the agency director after a vote by the board in July. Trustees have said she didn’t meet the undisclosed “expectations of the board” and reportedly failed to show the proper leadership. Sandles-Neel was the executive director since September 2016.

Regarding Beal, Kenny said the new executive director looks forward to working in the same town where he lives and “influencing the county.” The main branch of the Enrichment Centers is in Norwalk and there also is a facility in Willard. Kenny also said he was impressed with Beal’s management and leadership skills.

“It sounds like a good fit,” he added. 

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