In October, he received the state’s highest level of recognition for that role.
Ron received the Dr. Charles Peckham Sr. Award from Resident Activity Personnel in Ohio, the association for residential activities professionals in senior living communities.
Ron, who was elected to serve as RAP Ohio’s 2018 president after 12 years on the board, thought he was being punished when he was told not to take pictures during the ceremony.
“I’m listening to the description of who got the award this year. Finally, they said, ‘There’s nothing else to say except there are no words to describe this person. The winner is…’ and they named me.
I sat there for probably 10, 15 seconds before I realized I had won. I turned as red as scarlet. I’m not a guy who doesn’t have something to say about anything and everything. But I was just totally speechless. Then, the water starting flowing,” Ron said.
Named after Dr. Charles Peckham, the award memorializes the man credited with starting activities programs in Ohio. Prior to his passing in March 2013, Dr. Peckham served as a mentor to Ron.
“He wrote the textbooks for training people to be qualified activities professionals,” Ron said. “To win the award with his name on it means to me that I’ve lived up to Dr. Peckham’s expectations.
“The whole thing was just a dream come true because I had been there to train the people in front of me to be great activities directors and evidently, they saw it in my training that I was living up to what I was teaching them.”
Ron moved to the Dayton area just before the blizzard of 1978. At the time, he worked with the Boy Scouts of America. He has been a UCH staff member for more than 21 years. He also is an ordained pastor with a degree in psychology.
“I used to have a church, but people will say, ‘Why don’t you get a church and get behind the pulpit?’ I feel this is where I need to be,” Ron said. “I see it as a ministry and I love the residents. We have a great time together.”