Larry Busdeker

Willard and Freida Busdeker welcomed their first child, son Larry, in 1948, bringing him home to the family farm near Pemberville, Ohio. He would be joined by sister Debbie two years later. Willard worked hard, both as a farmer, raising grain crops, and working full-time in a local factory. Freida, made the choice to be a “stay-at-home” mom, focusing on raising her children, managing a marvelous garden, and in Larry’s words, being “an incredible cook”.Larry graduated from Eastwood High School in 1966. Thanks to the mentoring Larry received from great teachers, such as Mr. Zimmerman in Social Studies and Miss Rolfes, who taught mathematics, he was determined to attend college, become an educator, and spend his life helping young people.Larry attended Bowling Green State University, graduating in four years with a degree in American Studies, with an emphasis on History and writing. 1970 was a memorable year, in addition to graduating, he married his sweetheart Janelle and set up home in Findlay. Larry, now “Mr. Busdeker” began his career in education that same year at Central Junior High, teaching 8th grade American History, along with 9th grade Civics, (American Government).Larry had always envisioned becoming a principal, where he could help a larger number students than just those in his classroom. The next five years were busy as he taught during the day, driving to BGSU in the evenings, to earn his Master’s degree in Education Administration. Shortly after completing his Masters, the vice principal at Central took leave, and Larry was asked to fill in for the remaining half of the school year.This experience opened opportunities the following year, as both the Findlay School District and Liberty Benton High School sought to hire Larry as a principal. At the young age of 28, Larry accepted the Liberty Benton offer becoming “Principal Busdeker” over grades 7-12 in 1976. In 1979, Larry was asked to return to his high school alma mater, Eastwood High, as principal over grades 9-12, renewing his relationship with four of his previous teachers, including Miss Rolfes! This was a very trying time for Larry, Janelle, (an English/Speech-Debate teacher at Findlay High School), and their two young children, Lindsey and Lance! Besides fulfilling his daily principal obligations, Larry enrolled at the University of Toledo to complete a “Specialist” degree in Administration. This meant leaving Eastwood at 4:30 p.m., commuting to UT for classes from 5:45-7:00, then racing back to Eastwood to oversee evening sporting events. Larry credits Janelle with being the force that kept things together for their family during those two years. A Specialist degree prepared and qualified Larry to assume the responsibilities of a school district superintendent. His first stent overseeing a district began in 1982 with the Arcadia School District. “I was responsible overseeing and managing all school personnel, the school levy, business issues, food services, all building systems and working closely with the school board.”Larry chose to expand his administrative experiences when in 1986 he accepted the superintendent position with the Otsego School District. He moved from a one building district to one with three elementary, one middle-school and a high school building. The number of students he was now responsible for increased from 600 to almost 1800. This would be home for Superintendent Busdeker for the next decade.In 1996 Larry made the final change in his superintendent career, when he accepted the position of Superintendent of the Hancock County Educational Service Center. The Service Center works with eight rural county school districts providing professional development courses for teachers, assisting in creating school curriculums, recognizing, and enhancing commonalities between districts and providing staff to do school districts assessments. In Superintendent Busdeker’s opinion, the key service the Center provides, with support from the Ohio Department of Education, is support and resources for the “special needs” students and their educators countywide. The center provides training for teachers and parents, assessment/testing for students in grades preschool through high school and creating IEP (Individual Education Plans) personalized for each student’s needs.This is Larry’s 25th year as County Superintendent with four years left on his current contract. Listening to Larry’s stories and watching his face light up, these past 25 years serving the teachers and students of Hancock County have been a dream come true.In November Larry and Janelle will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary! Although Covid has greatly reduced the size of the event, they will be surrounded by their two wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren. His advice to couples is to be “tolerant of each other’s differences, be flexible, but most of all, always be respectful and loving to your companion.”Janelle retired after 30 years in the classroom and the couple love to travel, having been to 49 states so far. Their favorite escape, for the past 40 plus years, is to Emerald Island in North Carolina. To show his deep love for and appreciation to Janelle for all her years of love and support to him, Larry was able to find an exact duplicate of the car Janelle drove in high school, a beautifully restored 1966 Ford Mustang, black with a white ragtop. It was an early birthday present. Larry acknowledges he has been blessed to have such a great family and to have spent his entire career doing what he loves, serving and helping children.

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Rick McGinnis

Rick McGinnis, a Human dedicated to saving exploited Children!!!

(Dave note: The news has been busy lately, (and finally), highlighting the efforts of Law Enforcement/US Marshall’s/Prosecutors/Child Advocates who are combining their resources to rescue missing and exploited children locally and throughout the United States. The number of children that vanish and go missing each year is staggering, estimated to be between 500-800,000! The children who are found, rescued and brought home annually is in the mere hundreds. Those fortunate enough to be recovered are usually found to have been targeted and trafficked as sexual “property”. The average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old, 75% female, 25 % male. Those children that don’t get forced into prostitution are used to create horrific child pornography, which just in the United States is a multi-billion-dollar industry! (The state of Ohio ranks sixth this year in the number of missing children and cases of child trafficking!)

I would like to share with you the Humans of Findlay story of Rick McGinnis, a native Ohioan who served as an Ada police officer, an Undercover Investigator with the Cuyahoga Prosecutors Office’s “Child Exploitation Division/Cold Case Homicide Unit/Human Trafficking Unit, and as a sworn U.S. Marshal. He worked on taskforces with the FBI, Secret Service and US Marshall’s before retiring here in Findlay. Since his retirement in 2014 Rick has channeled his years of investigating experience into the private sector opening Chagrin Solutions, LLC, providing Investigation and security services. Even though he is retired, Rick is often called upon to assist in ongoing children exploitation cases.

Rick was born in Hardin County, graduating as Kenton high school Wildcat in 1977. He entered the workforce immediately, but his goal was always to become a member of the law enforcement world. In 1991 Rick graduated from the Sheriff’s Academy in Bellefontaine and joined the Logan County Sheriff’s Office as an auxiliary Deputy. He served full-time first with the Kenton Police Department. After a year he was hired full-time by the Ada police department. Assigned as a street officer, Rick responded to all the typical police calls; domestic issues, auto accidents, drug and alcohol issues etc. One evening Rick was watching “Dateline” as they presented an in-depth report on Child Exploitation. The graphic details drew Rick into wanting to know more and how he could become involved in fighting this epidemic and bringing the children back home.

He voluntarily went through an intensive training process on how to communicate as a 12-14-year old girl to the predators surfing both websites/chatrooms popular to young people looking for victims to deceive. (There is also what is known as the “dark web” where disgusting videos of children are shared for a price.) These perpetrators are skilled at chatting, identifying and luring lonely or vulnerable young people. Eventually they attempt to convince the children to participate in sexting, doing pornographic phone chats and finally arranging for the victim to meet with them for sex. The perpetrators almost always claim to be 14-18-year old males themselves while online.Rick had no idea the depravity of these online predators, until he started “chatting” with them, in the role of a young teenage girl.

Rick had been working at this for several years, often working 50-60 hours a week (half on the road and half on the computer, occasionally even on his own time at the police department, when one conversation with a perp hit his soul so hard he made a commitment to fight them full-time. In this conversation he was portraying himself as a 12-year-old girl, when after several conversations the perp shared a “graphic sexual video” with this “12 year old girl” “I had no idea of what 12 year old kids were being subjected to by these monsters.” The depravity of this event made Rick kick the computer, walk out to his patrol car and drive for hours. When the night was over Rick knew he wanted to pursue these monsters full-time.In a very short period of time Rick reached out to the Cuyahoga City Prosecutors Office in Cleveland, well-known for its dedicated team fighting Child Exploitation. After 15.5 years with the ADA police department Rick was hired to join the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s office as an Investigator. The team included members of the US Marshall’s office, the FBI, the DOJ, and state and local law enforcement officials.

The team’s intense focus was seeking out the perps and con-men on the web, setting up “stings” where the perps believe they are meeting young females to have sex, and to track the web to find those producing and sharing child pornography on regular and “dark web” sites.For the next seven years Rick and the rest of the team immersed themselves into the darkness to help rescue the exploited children and arrest the perps. In 2014, after nearly 25 years of dedicating his time and efforts to this cause, Rick retired. His expertise, polished over the past decades, still makes him valuable as a consultant to state and national law enforcement groups. “The perps have gotten very skilled at how to approach and talk to kids in chat rooms, hiding their locations and it takes so much effort to track them down.” Rick admits he bears “scars from all he has seen and experienced over the years dealing with the graphic abuse of children.” (Dave note: There are no words to explain how those fighting this epidemic suffer themselves, as they are subjected to having to view all levels of child/teen/ adult abusive pornography as they pursue the predators. The eyes and soul are not meant to see such horrific scenes. God Bless them and help them find peace as well.)

Rick enjoys running his private investigative firm, Chagrin Solutions. The workload varies every day. On any given day his team is serving subpoenas, doing surveillance for insurance companies investigating fraud, or providing security for executives and events. Rick is supported in the office by his two “right -hand” women, Office Manager and head of business development Kali Price (L) along with assistant Denice Reed (R).

Rick enjoys the quiet of the home he shares with Rhonda, his dear wife of 25 plus years, and their two fur children. The couple have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. Rhonda and Rick call themselves “home-bodies” enjoying time together at home. They also like to spend time fishing, “hanging out” in Chagrin Falls where they once resided and visiting the NE Ohio wine making region.

Parting thoughts from Rick, “Parents! It is OKAY to restrict your children’s access to websites, chat rooms. They may be angry now, but the danger you are protecting them from will be realized by them later. It is OKAY to monitor and check the phones and computers while your child is online! Please, they need you to do this!”

Thank you, Rick, for working tirelessly all these years, along with other great individuals, to save our children….Dave

Sean Swisher

Sean Swisher, the FHS Tennis coach, recieved the largest nomination we have received so far, as the entire team nominated him! He has been with the program for seven years and the head coach for four years.

He is a graduate of FHS and the University of Cincinnati earning a Bachelors degree in Finance and Management. Sean went on to earn his Master’s degree from the U of F. He played high school tennis and competes in competitive tennis in the USTA at the 4.5 level.

Sean has a passion for the kids on and off the court. He has 24 girls on his teams ranging from freshman to seniors. He believes they will be very competitive this year, since all his starters returned.

Here is how his players describe him: “He helps us with tennis, with growing as a person, and any other problems we might have. He is a great listener. He helps in any way he can. ”

Sean is married and has three children. He loves sports, tennis and family time watching movies. His role model is his family and Roger McGabb who instilled the “no quit”, hard work ethic in him. His motto is to “Fight to the end and never say die.”

Flick Triplets

These three young ladies are the youngest Findlayites we have featured. Kami, Keeley and Kiley are identical triplets born just five months ago. Kiley and Keeley weighed just over two pounds and spent two months at UT Children’s hospital. Kami was the smallest and weighed a mere 1.1 pounds and stayed 106 days at the hospital. All three are home and thriving while on special diets and heart monitors. The triplets join older sibling, two year old Kenley.

Their parents, Haley Hassan and David Flick, have been together for seven years and welcome the additions with open arms though surprised as they were not on fertility medications. They met while working at Lowe’s Distribution center. The financial burden had been daunting as Hailey was both laid up for much of her maternity and now is as expected is a full time stay at home mom to her little brood. The family is greatly supported by family who give time and energy to support them. They are working for a way to get a van to travel as a family but cost of diapers and special formula has depleted their funds so they have just enough for the basics.

It is obvious they love their little girls as dad and mom were both brooding over the babies and sharing arms and laps for the girls. 🙂 Haley’s sister Chelsie has been the greatest support.

Matt Feczer

Matt Feczer, and his son Christian, are both native Findlayites. He graduated from FHS and has returned to to the school to coach their JV soccer team. He is a U of F graduate with a degree in English. Matt also played soccer for the University.

Matt works at Cooper tire in Transition Data Analysis. He is married to Ashley and besides their young son they have a very cool looking Bengal cat named Loki.

In his free time he likes to write novella and screen plays, watch Shark week and sports on TV, most importantly enjoying family time. Matt’s mantra is “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” His role model is “Weird Al” Yankovic because of his work, morals and being an upstanding Hollywood figure. His son Christian has his own little story because he was born three months early, weighing just two pounds! He lived for a while at UT Children’s hospital. Christian is now three and a bundle of energy!

John Calvelage

When John Calvelage first envisioned a gathering place without barriers, and with music he couldn’t have foreseen the success of Coffee Amici. Known as one of the “heartbeats” of Findlay, it is the meeting place for everyone from students and professionals to housewives looking for a good latte or smoothie. It is a safe place to visit, chat, and of course listen to great live music. It has come a long way since the thirty dollar expresso machine they started with. John is quick to give credit for it’s success to his partners and to their five great employees.

John was an account analyst at Marathon for 25 years. He graduated from THE Ohio State University with dual degrees in Accounting and Computer Science. He became a CPA in 1983. Married to Lynne with three children, John and his wife are expecting their first granddaughter in October. When he is not working with his partners at Coffee Amici, John volunteers for United Way and the Red Cross. He supports his wife who works with Red Cross and NAMI.

John and Lynne like to travel and visit Florida twice a year. His mantra is “Giving is what makes you what you are.” His mom, dad and aunt Ev were all role models for enduring and persevering through hardship and instilling a sense of community. 

Sarah Foltz

Meet Sarah Foltz, the Events Director for the Arts Partnership here in Findlay. Their goal is to educate, enrich and entertain the community with events such as “Boogie on Main”, the Rib-off and the Performing Arts series. She enjoys bringing new events to the community.

Sarah is “Oiler Strong”, having graduated in May from the University of Findlay with a degree in Public Relations. She did her sophomore internship at the U of F bringing events to the campus and fell in love with it. She was able to come directly to the Arts Partnership after graduation. She is very excited about the Marathon Arts building expansion at the old Central Middle school site.

Sarah is a musician having played the trumpet with her family of musicians. She loves photography especially taking pictures from different views and perspectives. You can see some of her work at 216 S Main, part of the store front project. In her free time she loves concerts of all genres but leans a little to rock because of her musician dad.

She likes road trips, attending festivals and has studied in London and Paris. Her role model is her grandfather who played the jazz clarinet and was the “musician” of the family. He encouraged the family to play together and always supported her in her academic, music and arts adventures.

Kimberly Nicole

When Kimberly Nicole is not studying Chemical Engineering at Purdue where she is a senior, she is usually found at Linda’s Dance Studio teaching young girls ballet. She has been dancing here since she was four years old and is skilled at ballet, tap, jazz and gymnastics which she also dabbles in at Purdue. She just had her 17th recital this year. She loves teaching ballet, pointe and gymnastics to her young students.

She has loved science since she was in 7th grade at St Michaels. She went to an all girls summer camp and fell in love with science. She looks forward to graduating and is interning currently with ABS here in Findlay.

In her free time she loves creating choreography, reading fiction, listening to music and hanging out with Strudel, her Burmese Mountain dog. She has one younger brother.

Her creed is, “Why walk when you can dance!” She teaches her student, “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Her parents and Linda have been her role models, always encouraging her, supporting since she was a little girl.

(Kimberly is pictured with two of her students, (l) Emma Bower, who is 13 and has been dancing for six years, and (r)Sophie Wohl who has danced for two years and is 14.)

Christine Casteel

When our washer decided to quit doing it’s job we called an appliance repair company and waited for the burly repairman to come and fix it. We were mildly surprised when Christine Casteel answered our repair call. She was nice, petite, neatly groomed and she was a girl! Turns out she knows her stuff.

Very businesslike, Christine went right to work, disassembled our washer, found the problem and was on her way. She was quick, professional and very polite. I am always looking for role models for my daughters and granddaughters in the man’s world we live in and Christine definitely breaks the mold.

She graduated from Findlay High School and went to work in a factory. After that she was hired at WC Woods where she worked in their service department and doing line repairs throughout the assembly process for eight years. When Whirlpool absorbed the company, Christine attended Owens taking mechanical classes. Four and a half years ago she applied at Mr. Appliance and was hired. After working with her trainer and learning OJT they turned her loose. She has excelled and this past year in San Antonio this national company named her the Service Professional of the Year!

Christine enjoys her job, meeting new people and facing new challenges every day. She likes being a role model for other women in a traditionally man’s field. She loves to read and ride bikes in her spare time. She has two children, a son 20, and a daughter fifteen years old. She has a dog named Ginger.

Christine’s mantra in life is, “try to see all sides of things and don’t dwell on the past.” Her role models are her older brothers Steve and Jerry who have always been there to help. She says “it is a very good feeling find your niche in life.”

Dave Sharrer

After 41 years Dave Sharrer is hanging up his apron and leaving behind the legacy we know as Dietsch’s Ice Cream. He will be the last of the original crew to work with the three brothers who ran the number 2 ice cream store in the country. Dave is a life long resident of Findlay having graduating in 1971 from Findlay High School.

Dave started out mowing lawns and shoveling snow to earn money. When he turned sixteen he was told to get a real job. Dave was very proud when he interviewed and was hired in 1974 at the starting wage of one dollar per hour at the ice cream store. He worked with them all through high school. Dave left Dietsch’s to manage LK restaurants for three years. When the brothers opened the second Dietsch’s location, Dave was hired to manage that location.

He is fondly known as “Muskie” as all the workers at Dietsch’s had nicknames. Things have stayed mainly the same over the years, Quality homemade candy and ice cream along with a dedication to customer satisfaction have kept the store busy. Dave loves his employees and teaches them a work ethic that they can take anywhere in life and be successful. Dave says a “loyal cliental is their greatest asset.” He is currently dishing ice cream for grandchildren of children he served when he first started.

Dave has been married to Lala for 42 years. They met at Dietsch’s. They have a daughter and two sons. They also have a dog named Max. He plans to travel the country with his wife after he retires.

His lifelong creed has been, “The customer is the most important person in the store.” His role models were the Dietsch brothers, Bud, Johnny and Snitz. You will be missed Dave.