Sixty Chamber of Commerce members rose to their feet to honor Ed Kline with a standing ovation as he accepted the 2017 Nathan Tucker Award last Tuesday.
Mount Gilead Mayor Mike Porter said Kline “embodies the spirit of the award,” which is given to a citizen who has worked toward the betterment of the Mount Gilead community. Kline has volunteered both his time and talents to organizations, committees and many projects.
Kline was born and raised in the village and graduated from Mount Gilead High School in 1976. He received his Associates Degree in Business from Marion Technical College and took additional coursework in Business and Finance at Ashland University.
He has been a member and officer in many organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, the Public Library Board, Hospice Board and Democratic Central Committee.
Kline served as a Mount Gilead Council Member 20 years. Most recently he coordinated the donation of the former First Knox National Bank building in Mount Gilead to the Morrow County Historical Society. This enabled the Historical Society to turn the building into a museum and it is now enriching the education of both children and adults about Morrow County History.
Co-workers at the bank shared, “To many people, Ed is First Knox National Bank.” They said he has listened and helped many people. He is genuine and caring. One elderly customer used to have him help count the money in his safe deposit box. He wanted and trusted only Ed.
His professional contacts and expertise through his banking career have assisted the village with many projects. One example is the purchase of property for the present Mount Gilead Library.
One friend said, “He sees the good in people and is accepting of who they are, not just what they represent in terms of social status. That is one of Ed’s strongest characteristics as a person and friend. Ed is a man of character. That alone makes me happy to call him a lifelong friend.”
Porter said, “Ed has a deep concern for those with special needs.”
He served on the board of Morrow Independent Living Services Inc. The MILI non-profit Board provides affordable housing and supported living services for the developmentally disabled citizens of Morrow County. He was also a board member for three years for Flying Horse Farms, the local camp for children with serious illnesses.
Kline thanked the Chamber and those who had recommended him for the honor. He added that he really believed in the purpose of all those committees and boards he had served, but he didn’t do it for the recognition.
He thanked his daughter, Erin, for her understanding when he was absent from some of her activities to attend meetings.