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Judge Nicholas Iarocci.

We’re preparing for our 2022 Annual Meeting and excited to recognize this year’s recipient of the Marta K. Stone Excellence in Leadership Award Judge Nicholas Iarocci.

"Nick (as he prefers to be called) has been a leader in the community for as long as I can remember. He gives hundreds of hours every year to causes that he cares about and serves his community with integrity, dedication, and zeal." - Judge Michelle Fisher

For the last 18 years, any participant of the Signature Program has had the pleasure of meeting Judge Nicholas Iarocci during their Public Safety and Justice Day, where he served as one of the day chairs. In addition to his longtime service to Leadership following his participation in the program in 2002, he has made a long-lasting impact in Ashtabula County.

A Conneaut native, Nick, went to Miami University for his B.S. in Accountancy and continued to The University of Toledo, where he received his Juris Doctorate. He returned to Ashtabula, where he has made a significant impact on all those he has worked alongside, served, and met throughout the years, and is currently the Judge for Conneaut Municipal Court.

LEADERship Ashtabula County is excited to recognize Nicholas A. Iarocci as the recipient of the 2022 Marta K. Stone Excellence in Leadership Award. This award is granted to an individual or individuals that have shown leadership in the community throughout their career/or in their time serving, and are an advocate for Leadership Ashtabula County (need not be a program graduate). Knowing Nick and seeing his list of accomplishments and service, he exemplifies what it means to be a true leader in Ashtabula.

"Good leaders must first become good servants."

- Robert K. Greenleaf

Marta Stone, the award's namesake and founding LEADERship Ashtabula County's Executive Director, shares:

"There is no doubt that Nick is an excellent leader! What makes him stand out to me is that he has the gift of being an extraordinary Servant Leader. One that focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.

Servant Leaders place the interests and needs of their followers ahead of their own self-interests and needs.

Nick's life work has been just that, serving clients, the community, his family, and the church."

Dedicated to the citizens of Ashtabula and a man of deep faith, Nick shows true selflessness in his service to others. His work and volunteerism are varied. He is an ordained permanent Deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown assigned to Corpus Christi Parish (Conneaut), St. Andrew Bobola Parish (Sheffield), Our Lady of Peace Parish (Ashtabula), and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (Geneva). He is a member, Lector, and Eucharistic Minister at Corpus Christi Parish and a past member of St. Mary/St. Frances Cabrini Parish Finance Council.

Nick has also made education a priority, elected to the Conneaut Area City Schools Board of Education from 2003 – 2011 (both as Past President and Past Vice President) and a member of the Saint John School Board of Directors. From his work in social services (Past President and Past Member of the Catholic Charities of Ashtabula County Board of Directors; Past Member of the Conneaut Human Resources Center Board of Directors (12 ½ years); Past Member of the United Way of Ashtabula County Board of Directors; Past Member of the Conneaut Community Center Board of Directors; Past Member of the Community Counseling Center Board of Directors) to his dedication to the community (Member of the Conneaut Lions Club (Past President 2 years), Conneaut Moose Club, and Conneaut Elks Club. Nick shows how important service is to our area.

He has served on the Conneaut Foundation Board of Trustees, LEADERship Ashtabula County Board of Directors, the Ashtabula County Port Authority Board of Directors, and is a member and Past President of the Board of Trustees of the Ashtabula County Bar Association.

He also is dedicated to youth sports and development, serving as a Conneaut Local Youth Organization Baseball and Softball Coach; 20-year Volunteer Sports Broadcaster for WWOW Radio and the Conneaut Telephone Company CableSuite 541 covering Conneaut High School sports, and Co-Founder and Co-Trustee of the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation, Inc. The list is endless and shows the dedication Nick has toward the growth and development of Ashtabula County.

He resides in Conneaut with his wife Lisa, and his father to two daughters, Mari (Will) Ballas and Laina Iarocci, and grandfather to Nico Ballas.

For LEADERship Ashtabula County, summer is a time of year for preparation. We’ve completed the past program year and are getting everything ready for the next year. This includes everything from preparing letters to our incoming Youth Leadership classes (expect them in the mail this week!), finalizing our Signature Program Class (make sure to send in your application), and getting ready to end our “summer break” with our annual meeting being held on August 2nd.

With our upcoming annual meeting, I had the pleasure of calling our 2022 award recipients. It really was the highlight of my week. I am honored to work with the recipients, and they are inspiring on so many levels.

Our 2022 Marta K. Stone Excellence in Leadership recipient is Judge Nicholas Iarocci. As part of his nomination read: “Nick (as he prefers to be called) has been a leader in the community for as long as I can remember. He gives hundreds of hours every year to causes that he cares about and serves his community with integrity, dedication, and zeal.” He exemplifies what it means to be a leader in our community and I know I look to him for guidance.

The recipient for Leadership’s 2022 Laura E. Jones Community Partner Award is Ashtabula County Community Action Agency. In speaking with Executive Director Judith Barris, it was shared just how well the organization adapts to meet the needs of Ashtabula County and how far-reaching its services are. I personally was in awe during a poverty simulation we hosted back in 2018 and saw the many departments that are hosted within - from the weatherization services to HeadStart and more!

We’ll be sharing their stories in the coming weeks leading up to our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, August 2nd at 7:45AM - 9:15AM. If you’re able to attend, please RSVP today.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

- Albert Einstein

What’s your stance on clutter? Are you a minimalist or an avid collector? I like to think I fall somewhere in between. If you come to visit our office in Jefferson, depending on the time of year, you’ll see either everything in its home, or stacks of things in preparation for a program day. My home is kind of the same - and I’m using the quieter time of summer to clear out some items, and had to move my bookshelf in our hallway. As I was going through books to see what to keep or donate, I noticed that I tend to keep books that I like to reference. I have books on leadership, communicating, time management, inspirational, and quite a few on organizing (which my husband might joke hasn’t stuck with me at home!). It got me thinking about the importance of reading and learning.

I was in a meeting yesterday, and we were talking about trends in social media. The person in the meeting said “I’m willing to learn about it.” I absolutely loved that! It would be so easy, and I know I’m guilty of it in the past, to say “I don’t know, that’s out of my realm” but this person jumped in wholeheartedly by saying they’re not familiar with it, but they were looking forward to learning more about it to help better their organization

How do you put that attitude into your lives? What’s something you’ve recently learned about or something you’re reading? Right now, my current books are “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which I’m extremely late to the game on, and “Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You.”

We’re always looking for ways to improve as leaders, and that comes from knowledge. Share your current reads with me! I’d love to know what I should add to both my personal and professional reading list.

And if you’re looking for some books for yourselves or to share, stop at the State Road location for Ashtabula County Community Action Agency this Friday for their book shopping event.

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