Join Us For Upcoming Mixers

Join the Press Club of Toledo for the first of several planned mixers on Thursday, May 12.

Come mix and mingle with the Press Club at The Alleyway, 28 N. Erie St. from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Press Club mixer events are a great opportunity to mingle with media, public relations and marketing professionals and learn more about what the Press Club does for the community.

Additional mixers are planned for 2022. Mark your calendar now to join us Thursday, Aug. 4 from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. for a public event at Toledo Spirits, 1301 N. Summit St., and Thursday, Nov. 10 from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. for a members only event at Tolhouse, 1447 N. Summit St.

Press Club Inducts Candice Harrison President

Candice Harrison was inducted as the first Black president of the Press Club of Toledo at the board’s February meeting.

Harrison, who has served as external communications manager for Toledo Public Schools since 2017, recently announced she will soon begin a new career journey as corporate director of diversity, equity and inclusion with SSOE Group.

Harrison also is the owner of Synergy Engagement, a strategic communications, public relations, and engagement firm, and is a communication instructor at The University of Toledo. A communications leader in the Toledo community, Harrison has previously led communication efforts at the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Zoo and The University of Toledo Medical Center.

In addition to the Press Club of Toledo Board of Directors, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Rotary Club of Toledo and the Arts Commission. She is also a member of the Toledo chapter of Links, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the Toledo chapter of Jack and Jill of America, where she serves as vice president.

Read more about Harrison in The Blade’s Press Club of Toledo gets a new president, while a new jazz club makes its mark by Barbara Hendel.

Candice Harrison

2021 Touchstone Awards are in the Books!

The 2021 Touchstone Awards were held virtually on October 21. More than 80 people attended to celebrate the best in community service and local journalism. We thank Dr. Nicole Kraft for a thought-provoking keynote address! You can watch a quick summary of the event or enjoy the entire event! Congratulations to all the winners!

Touchstone Winners

Touchstone Contributor Award
Meg Ressner & Richard Hylant

Touchstone Lifetime Award
The Lavalley Family

Touchstone Lifetime Award
Billie Johnson

Golden Touchstone Award
Rhonda Sewell

Golden Touchstone Award
Fletcher Word

Norm Cartwright Award
Ron Royhab

Print Daily – Hard News
Sarah Elms, Brooks Sutherland and Danielle Gamble, The Blade

Print Daily – Feature
Mary Bilyeu, The Blade

Photojournalism – Videography
JD Pooley

Photojournalism – Print
Jeremy Wadsworth, The Blade

Television – Hard News

Television – Feature
Eric Oblander, BCAN

Radio – Show/Series
Deepa Bhujbal

Kaitlin Durbin and Phillip Kaplan, The Blade

Social Media
BCAN Pulse

Student – Television
Spring 2021 UT:10 Crew, The University of Toledo

Student – Print
Riley Runnells, Ohio University

Scholarship Winners
Caleb Gill, The University of Toledo
Ryan Dick, Bowling Green State University

Touchstone Awards: The LaValley Foundation

The LaValley Foundation is a private charitable foundation established in 1993 by Richard G. LaValley and his wife Mary Ann LaValley. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has provided scholarships and made donations, mainly focusing on education and catholic interests throughout our community inspired by Richard and Mary Ann’s faith-based life and legacy.

Since their passing, their seven children have continued their mission within the LaValley Foundation. The Foundation generously continues to help many community organizations, schools, and faith-based interests, financially and through their volunteer time and leadership.

Richard G. and Mary Ann LaValley

Touchstone Awards: Meg Ressner and Richard Hylant

Due to public health recommendations related to indoor events, we have decided to move the Touchstone awards to a virtual format. They will be held on October 21, at 7 pm, and will be free for members and non-members alike. RSVP to for login instructions

We are happy to announce that Meg Ressner and Richard Hylant are being honored with Touchstone Contributor Awards for their work bringing the Solheim Cup to Toledo.

Meg Ressner and Richard Hylant

Meg Ressner

Meg Ressner specializes in leading initiatives that optimize organizational performance.  From Human Resources, Sales, Customer Service, to Supply Chain Operations, she has a proven track record helping both for-profit and nonprofit organizations achieve and exceed their objectives.

Meg is a recognized change leader with experience in organizational re-design, strategic planning, succession planning, complex project implementations and process re-engineering … all centered around the integration of people, process and technology.

Meg formerly held the position of vice president, Human Resources Enterprise Organizations at Owens Corning. She was a member of the Global HR Executive Team, reporting to the Senior Vice President of Human Resources.  Prior to that, Meg served as vice president of HR for the Composites business, a 1 billion dollar division of Owens Corning. 

Meg earned her undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Rhode Island in 1981.  

Meg and her husband Dick met in Chicago and relocated with Owens Corning to Toledo in 1989.  They fell hard for Toledo, in part because they knew they could have a real impact here.  Together they support youth initiatives such as the Growing Futures Together project and the Western Golf Association Evans Scholar’s Foundation for young golf caddies.  Making a difference in the community is important to Meg.  She previously served on the Owens Corning Foundation, the Board of David’s House Compassion, the Arts Commission Board and as Chair of the Women’s Initiative of the United Way.  Through December 2020, she served as President of the ProMedica Metro Foundation Board and as Chair of Avenues for Autism.  She remains active in the autism community as an advocate and participant in the Autism Provider Network of Northwest Ohio and served as the Volunteer Co-Chair for the 2021 Solheim Cup.

Richard Hylant

As President of Sales and Innovation, Richard oversees the recruitment and development of new and existing client executives in partnership with each of Hylant’s offices. In addition, he supports strategic sales, the PE/MA team and Hylant Global Captive Solutions. Hylant joined a group of privately-owned peer brokers in a technology fund called Broker-Tech Ventures, and he is working with the Hylant IT team in support.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Hylant Board of Directors, & principal owner, Richard also works with the core team and office heads to assess potential acquisitions, industry focused teams; and targeted individuals to build out sales & support services for all Hylant offices.

Prior to current duties, Richard was a client executive for several years, sales manager and President of Hylant –Toledo. He has also had oversight of IT, marketing, carrier contracts and relationships, Hylant Administrative Services, Chicago and several other operations within Hylant.

Richard has served on several community boards and has led multiple fund-raising campaigns. He was an Ohio Cancer Research honoree (2007), a United Way board member and 2009 campaign chair, a Toledo Club board chair (2009), a March of Dimes campaign chair (2021), & a Marathon Classic board chair (2013 & 2014). In addition, he served as the Chamber of Commerce Board Chair (2015 & 2016), was a 10-year trustee for the Ohio Nature Conservancy, past trustee for ProMedica Health System, & ConnecToledo. Richard is currently a MetroParks Toledo Foundation board vice-chair and a Governor DeWine appointee representing Ohio for the Great Lakes Protection Fund & Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

He chaired Inverness Club’s successful bid for the 2021 Solheim Cup, the LPGA’s largest event, on behalf of the community and is currently co-chair of the event which is expected to draw over 150,00 local and international spectators.

Richard was a six-year board member for the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, the industry’s largest trade organization, and was active in Washington, D.C. on several issues affecting customers and brokers. He also served on many insurance company advisory boards.

Touchstone Award: Fletcher Word

The 2021 Touchstone Awards are coming up on October 21. We’ll reveal the winners of our journalism awards that night, but we are happy to begin announcing the community winners now.

We are pleased to announce that we are honoring Fletcher Word with the Golden Touchstone for lifetime service to journalism and communications.

Due to public health recommendations related to indoor events, we have decided to move the Touchstone awards to a virtual format. They will be held on October 21, at 7 pm, and will be free for members and non-members alike. RSVP to for login instructions

Fletcher Word

Fletcher Word is the owner and publisher of The Sojourner’s Truth, a weekly newspaper that serves the northwest Ohio area and brings its readers information about the local, state and national African-American community.

The Truth has been publishing in Toledo for 20 years and has expanded its readership during that time to over 70,000.

In 2008 the newspaper opened The Truth Art Gallery in its offices in the downtown area. The 2,000 square-foot gallery features the works of local and African artists.

The father of two, Fletcher Word has been a resident of Ohio for more than 35 years.

Fletcher Word is a native of New York City and was reared in the Washington, D.C. area. He attended Harvard College graduating with a degree in government.

He currently serves on the boards of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union and the Center of Hope Family Services.

In addition to his duties with The Truth, Word is also a frequent contributor on local television shows as a political analyst.