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Departing Port Authority Board chairman honored

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MEDINA — For 15 years, including 14 as board chairman, Ron Paydo has served on the Medina County Port Authority Board.

He was honored Wednesday for his years of service with the Medina County Port Authority. On his last day with the organization, he was given a proclamation from Medina County Commissioners Bill Hutson and Adam Friedrick, and plaques from the Port Authority Board and the Medina County Fiber Network.

Paydo, 53, of Wadsworth, said he enjoyed his time on the Port Authority, which drives economic growth by offering creative funding and partnership opportunities to businesses expanding in Medina County.

Medina County Commissioner Bill Hutson said he’s worked with Paydo on different boards for almost 20 years.

“One thing about Ron, he always does what is best for your organization,” he said. “He works relentlessly for all the organizations he participates in.

“I’m amazed at how much he does for the organizations, the community and the bank. Somehow, he manages to get everything done. His leadership is very much appreciated.”

Paydo, who is community president for Huntington National Bank, is one of the founding members of the Port Authority.

He said one of his biggest accomplishments was helping to get the Medina County Fiber Network off the ground in 2012.

“It was a ton of work,” Fiber CEO David Corrado said.

Corrado said he’s dedicated a section of the fiber network to Paydo and has called it the Ron Paydo Technology Corridor. It stretches from the administration building to the Medina County Courthouse along North Broadway Street in Medina.

The fiber network provides businesses and institutions with broadband services for local, regional and global connectivity. There is 151 miles of fiber covering Medina County.

Port Authority Chairman Russell E. Schabel said Jim Gerspacher is known as the grandfather of the fiber network.

“But you are its father,” he said. “(You’ve) worked hours and hours on the fiber loop.”

Paydo said he’s excited by the progress of the fiber network.

“We continue to add customers every month,” he said. “The network is well-built.”

He said it added Westfield Insurance, Sandridge Foods, Automation Tool & Die, Philpott Solutions Group and the city of Medina in the recent past.

“There is trust and confidence in our network,” Paydo said. “The network is owned by the county.”

He said the network will soon be turning a profit, especially with it starting to look at residential service.

“We are in the infancy of working with a few carriers that might have an interest in bringing their residential services to Medina County,” Corrado said. “So we really don’t have a time frame at this point.”

Paydo’s work on the Port Authority was lauded, as well.

“You always reacted quickly to issues and items that came up,” Schabel said. “You were well-grounded in your reaction to everything. You were a calming effect. We would not be where we are today without your leadership.”

Commissioners have received two applications from people who live or work in the city of Wadsworth to replace Paydo. The Port Authority’s Bethany Dentler said she hopes the volunteer appointment will be made either later this month or in early January.

It wasn’t just Paydo’s final Port Authority meeting. Friedrick, whose term as county commissioner ends Dec. 31, made his last appearance.

“In our darkest days (of the fiber network), Adam always had our backs,” Paydo said. “He was the voice of reason with the commissioners. He was willing to take a stand. I’m not sure everyone in that position would have done that.

“They would have caved to the pressures of the other commissioners or from the cities and the townships.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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