Jim is presently the Director of the Cantonese Center for Urban & Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University. His career has been a combination of public and private service focusing on managing growth and development with an eye on the environment. The Cantonese Center is dedicated to helping communities and decision makers manage urban and environmental issues through partnerships in education and research. From 1995 to 1999, Jim served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs overseeing implementation of growth management laws, as well as disaster relief. In this most recent role Jim coordinated relief efforts during major hurricanes. From 1987 to 1995, Jim served as the Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy urban and natural places through wise management of growth and change. Jim received his BA in History and Political Science from Denison University. Jim completed his master’s work at George Washington University and in 1974, his Juris Doctor at the National Law Center. Jim was awarded a Bronze Star for his service to our country in Vietnam.
It would seem that Melissa has been active in the theater and the arts all her life. During her high school years at Chagrin her burgeoning talent was recognized and rewarded by a scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan where she studied drama and graduated with honors in 1973. She attended Southern Methodist University and then transferred to New York University where she graduated with a BFA in 1978. Melissa has played featured roles on television’s Law and Order, and Guiding Light, and recently played Dr. Cambrini in the film Love in 3. She has performed in numerous award-winning New York and regional productions. In the past year, Melissa has appeared in stage productions of William Inge’s Picnic, Herb Gardner’s I’m Not a Rappaport, and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. In New York City Melissa is a member of the Playwright’s Gallery Acting Company, and is a regular performer in the cult-hit show, Cause Celeb. She most recently has written and performed a one-woman show entitled Baby Love that has received excellent reviews. In service to her community Melissa has performed extensively with Performance Plus and Plays for Living, two New York based organizations that present socially relevant dramas to schools, hospitals, and businesses. Topics of these dramas have included: domestic violence, sexual harassment, and diversity in the workplace. Melissa is married to actor Richard Council and they live in New York City and Vermont with their son Will.
Allison’s career in journalism started as co-editor of the 1969 Zenith and has taken her around the country and brought her many accolades. She graduated with honors with a degree in journalism from Iowa State University in 1973. She has served as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor and freelance writer. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, LA Times, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire and Saveur, among other publications. Her work at the San Jose (CA) Mercury resulted in a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She co-authored with her twin sister Peggy “Food Finds: America’s Best Local Foods and the People Who Make Them.” This led to interviews on the Larry King Show, CNN, The Today Show, etc. The book was sold seven years ago to the Food Network resulting in the TV show that currently airs. In 1996 she was awarded an endowed chair at Iowa State University, and in 2002, was given an unprecedented second endowed chair. Allison was the speechwriter and aide for the Governor and Lt. Governor of Iowa, before moving to California in 2000. Last year, she joined the Communications Department of the University of Southern California as the senior writer/editor, and was named USC’s Faculty/Staff Mentor of the Year. She joins her sister Peggy in the CFAA Achievement Hall of Fame. Allison and her husband Scott Kirkpatrick have been married for 33 years. They have two children, Miles, a college graduate and golf professional and Nora, who majored in acting at UCLA. They have always had many cats and dogs, but are currently down to one ungrateful cat, Checkers, who rules the house. Allison’s interests include: architecture with an emphasis on vintage commercial buildings, old neon and diner signs, as well as quilts and textiles.
Dick Bodwell is the recipient of the first Chagrin Falls Alumni Association Community Service Award. Dick graduated in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Pudge Fischer ’56. They have been married 48 years. After entering the insurance business and living in Chicago, Detroit, Albuquerque and Houston, Dick and Pudge decided that they would like to raise their family in Chagrin Falls. Together they have three children: Brad *78, Beth ’81 and Greg’83. Since their return in 1970, Dick has given his time to many groups in the Chagrin Valley including: working with youth as a coach and umpire through the Chagrin Athletic Association, serving our schools and athletic programs as a Board member of the Chagrin Falls Booster Club and member of the CFHS Advisory Committee, service to his church as a Sunday School Teacher, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry at the Geauga County Jail, and as a councilperson, Village Council President, and then Mayor. For the last two years he has been the Parade Marshall of the annual Memorial Day Service that takes place at Evergreen Cemetery. Dick’s service to the community has been recognized in the past as he has been the recipient of the Kemper’s President’s Club Cup in 1979, John Alden’s Top Hat Award in 1990, and the Chagrin Valley Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Dick also enjoys playing golf. He and Pudge spend their free time traveling, collecting antiques and spending time with their five grandchildren-all boys!
Following his graduation from Purdue in 1980, with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Richard took a job with Phillips 66 Company in Pasadena, Texas. His 26-year career with Phillips, now ConocoPhillips has taken him around the world and placed him in charge of several billion-dollar projects. As a vice president he is currently heading the future capital projects program in Australia and the Timor. The venture centers on liquefied natural gas, which is an alternative to using gas pipelines and has been a new focus for the energy giant ConocoPhillips. From 1999-2004 he was the project and construction manager for a $1.3 billion dollar contract executed in Venezuela that employed a labor workforce of over 7000 people. While in Venezuela, he served as president of the school board at an international school in Puerto La Cruz. Despite his travels, Richard has remained active, including holding the positions of deacon at his church and president of his community association in Houston. While in Chagrin, he lettered in cross-country and track, and was awarded the Bausch & Lomb Science Award. Richard fondly remembers Skip Riegel his scoutmaster and former Sands Elementary principal. Under Mr. Riegel’s leadership he went on to earn his Eagle Scout rank and then work as a scout camp counselor for five summers in high school and college. Richard also enjoyed the time he spent in four years of high school musicals working under Harold Loesch and Molly Macknin. He credits the Chagrin Falls School System and Purdue University for providing him with a solid educational foundation. Richard relies upon his faith to persevere through the difficult times. He is grateful to his wife Paula of 23 years and their three great kids; Ben, Sarah and Jordan for their support. In his free time Richard enjoys golf, although not a golfer, travel, hunting, fishing and reading.
Dr. Wu is the Director of Refractive Surgery at the New England Eye Center and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. Dr. Wu completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Michigan and her medical degree at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine. Her ophthalmology residency was performed at the Kellogg Eye Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Helen completed her dual fellowship training in ocular immunology and uveitis and in cornea refractive surgery, both at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. She plays a leadership role in major worldwide ophthalmology organizations, including important committee memberships in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Helen has published numerous scientific papers related to refractive surgery and edited the textbook Refractive Surgery. Dr. Wu has served as a key investigator in numerous FDA clinical trials where new LASIK technologies are developed and perfected. Dr. Wu was named among the Best Doctors in America: February 2006 “Top Doctor” issue of Boston Magazine. She is married to Dr. Jussi Saukkonen, a pulmonologist. They have two children; Julia, age 9, and Daniel, age 6. Helen and her husband enjoy ballroom dancing, traveling, skiing, hiking, swimming and skating.
Judge Fuhry is an accomplished attorney who has combined his law practice with a long history of service to the community. Dave graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kent State University in 1974 and the Ohio State University College of Law, Juris Doctorate in 1977. For 18 years he taught business law courses for KSU. In 1985 he was elected a Parkman Township Trustee and appointed Magistrate of the Chardon Municipal Court-à position he held for 20 years. He has served as President and Treasurer of the Geauga County Bar Association, as well as numerous other community organizations. He initiated the Geauga County Settlement Day in 1988 aimed at resolving legal disputes by mediation prior to protracted litigation. The program continues to this day with the cooperation of the County’s judges. He presently is serving a 6-year term as Judge of the Geauga County Common Pleas Court. David has been married to Mary Lou since 1980. Their four children: Louise Ann, David, Stephen and Martin range in age from 17 – 24. Dave enjoys bicycling, local and American history, raising fancy poultry, hunting and fishing.