The Leadership Akron Alumni Association has named Betsy Hartschuh this year’s recipient of its Distinguished Leader Award. The award recognizes a graduate(s) of Leadership Akron who has contributed to a specific issue or cause in the community in an extraordinary and significant way. The award honors Hartschuh’s vision and efforts to bring the first children’s museum to the Akron area. The Akron Children’s Museum has attracted over 80,000 people to Lock 3 and downtown Akron, addressing an unfulfilled need for families, that ultimately resulted in a positive economic impact for the community.
Hartschuh is a graduate and president of Leadership Akron Signature Class 26, an attorney at Witschey Witschey & Firestine Co, LPA, and the Co-Founder of the Akron’s Children’s Museum. Over the past five years, Betsy, and her husband Ryan Hartschuh have worked tirelessly to bring her vision of the Akron Children's Museum to reality. Through the support of civic and governmental leaders along with corporate sponsorships, the Akron Children's Museum has a permanent location at Lock 3 in the heart of downtown Akron. Recently, the museum hired its first Executive Director, Traci Buckner, former GAR Foundation program officer and educational leader at Akron Public Schools. “Betsy's heart has always been for the children of Akron,” Buckner said. “For generations to come families across Akron, Northeast Ohio and beyond, will benefit from her visionary leadership. Because of this vision, the Akron Children’s Museum is now a place where children learn, play, and discover, and our community partners are part of the fun.”
Since the museum officially opened its doors in November 2016, over 80,000 people from 57 counties and 44 states have visited, and over 2,000 families have purchased memberships. Hartschuh has worked collaboratively with Lock 3 to develop family-friendly events that encourage families to visit downtown Akron. The visitors attracted by the Akron Children’s Museum often frequent other business establishments in the downtown area, resulting in a positive economic impact for the community.
In addition to the Distinguished Leader Award, Hartschuh has been honored for her tremendous community efforts with the ATHENA Young Professional Award in 2012, the Greater Akron Chamber “30 for the Future" Award in 2009, the Torchbearers Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, and the Ohio State Bar Foundation Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under, District 11.Hartschuh will be honored with the Distinguished Leader Award at the regional conference of the Association of Leadership Programs in Buffalo, NY in June 2018. She will also be recognized at the Leadership Akron Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting in August.