Celina, OHIO (11-24-22) — Mike Overman, former Superintendent of Mercer DD, received the Albert Heckler Award from the Mercer County Board of Developmental Disabilities on Thursday evening during the annual Mercer DD Appreciation Banquet.
The annual award recognizes individuals who provide exemplary services to people with disabilities in Mercer County. Although Overman was the former superintendent, he received the award for his service to the people with disabilities following retirement.
Mercer DD Superintendent, Shawn Thieman, while presenting Overman
“Many of us wouldn’t be in this room tonight, without you, Mike. You had a lot to do with building the system, but you are not receiving this award because you were the superintendent for years – you are getting this award because of everything you did off the clock,” Thieman applauded.
Overman did countless things as a volunteer to help people with disabilities – even going as far as helping take care of an individual with a disability when his parents were in a pinch. Overman organized and chaperoned trips to baseball games, coached Special Olympics teams, drove bus and served on several boards.
Ruth Kremer and Diane Menchhoffer, also members of the prestige Albert Heckler Award Club, presented virtually on the achievements of Overman. Kremer and Menchhoffer both had a child with disabilities and exhibited Overman’s accomplishments, first-handedly.
“Mike made everything we accomplished, possible. He is an advocate for all kids with disabilities,” she continued.
Overman is a volunteer at his church – an usher, communion assistant and leads the Stephen Ministries. He serves on the Family Care Options Board, where he was vital in helping to start Family Care Options. Overman is also on the board for the ARC of Mercer County. Overman also spent many years after retirement working at GBS Recycling.
Overman, on receiving the award-
“This is a tremendous honor – I thought I was done with all of this stuff. . “We are here to serve people with disabilities and their families – you can’t do one without the other. While I sure really appreciate this, I more appreciate what you all [staff] do on daily basis.”
Kremer said –
“Mike was so easy to talk with – open and welcoming. Mike has the heart for our kids – he sees the value in our kids. Truly, without Mike, our lives would be so much harder. Mike, you go above and beyond in everything you do, we are so proud of to say how excited we are that you are this year’s Albert Heckler recipient,” she continued.
Awards were also given to staff members with milestone years of services. One particularly large milestone included 40 years of service to Mercer DD. The recipient of the 40 years of service award went to Chris Schulte, Developmental Specialist.
Thieman remarked on Schulte’s tenure –
“Forty years is an incredible milestone. This is a record for Mercer DD, and quite frankly, I’m not sure if it will ever be hit again.”
Overman came the closest to Schulte’s tenure, retiring at 39 years of service to Mercer DD.
Other award recipients for years of service included: Laura Yoder, Speech-Language Pathologist, 5 years; Kathy Coon, Community Administrative Assistant, 10 years; Claire Loughridge, IT Specialist, 15 years; Greg Rutledge, ARC Coordinator/Community Integration Specialist, 20 years; and Kelli Thomas, Service & Support Administrator, 20 years.
Mercer DD serves approximately 500 eligible children and adults in Mercer County through a wide range of programming, supports and services. For additional information, visit http://www.mercerdd.org and follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MercerCountyBDD.