Stephens to be honored with Heart of Our Community Award

PARKERSBURG – A former president of Ohio Valley University and the current president of one of the largest independent foundations in West Virginia has been named as the 2013 recipient of the Edwin L.D. Dils Heart of Our Community Award by the YMCA of Parkersburg.

Award recipient Robert Stephens Jr. is a native of Vienna and a graduate of Ohio Valley College where he served for 29 years in various administrative positions and was named the college’s sixth president in 1998.

Since 2006, he has been the president of the Bernard McDonough Foundation Inc. He will be honored at the annual award dinner at 6 p.m. June 6 at the Parkersburg Country Club.

Stephens will be the third recipient of the award named for the late community leader Edwin L.D. Dils. The Heart of Our Community Award recognizes exemplary community service, which benefits everyone in the area.

The dinner raises money for the Parkersburg YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.

The money raised is used in programs at the YMCA, including the summer day camp, swim team, after-school programs, full-day child care or memberships for children who cannot afford them.

These scholarships have helped pay for more than 600 YMCA memberships for area children and allowed 500 children to be enrolled in child care programs. The scholarships are determined on an individual basis depending on the need of an individual and the programs that can best serve them, officials said.

Stephens has served as chairman of the board of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, two terms as president of the Community Service Council of Greater Parkersburg, two terms on the executive board of the Mid-Ohio Valley Red Cross, treasurer of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, academic vice chairman of the executive committee of West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities, a consultant evaluator, reader and reviewer for the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission, the Governor’s Task Force on Teacher Education, the board of the Appalachian College Association and on many other boards and associations.

He also serves as a senior leadership coach for the Ethos Leadership Group headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Stephens is a member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority, the Economic Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley, the Downtown Task Force for the City of Parkersburg, the board of directors of the Downtown Rotary Club of Parkersburg and the Salvation Army.

Stephens and his wife, Ridglae, are active members in the Grand Central Church of Christ and they have two children, Brian Stephens and Kim Stephens Engle, three grandsons and one granddaughter.

Tickets for the June 6 dinner can be purchased by calling the Parkersburg YMCA at 304-485-5585.