The Rich Bebee Leadership Award for 2019 has been bestowed upon two former distinguished Ohio University Chillicothe students, Cynthia (Lieurance) Henderson and Stephen A. Neal. The two will be formally recognized during the Graduate Recognition ceremony on May 3rd.
The award recognizes former Chillicothe campus students who exemplify service to the university, philanthropic support, recognition in their professional field and service to the community. The award is named in honor of Richard Bebee, who was Dean of the Chillicothe Campus from 2001 to 2010. Past winners include Martha Gerber Rittinger in 2012, Ken Breidenbaugh in 2013, Julie Lyddon Gourley in 2014, Stephen Gary in 2015, James Caldwell in 2016, Diane Diekroger and Jack Everson in 2017, and James Butt and Sue Wyskiver Yount in 2018.
Cynthia Henderson earned her Bachelor of Science in Education, cum laude from Ohio University in 1977. She has also worked on courses towards a Master’s degree in Public Relations/Administration. Henderson began her professional career as a teacher at Huntington Elementary in Ross County and taught for seven years. As many individuals, Henderson had a career change and has been a pharmacy franchise owner for the past twenty plus years.
Henderson’s community service involvement has been extensive. She has been president of the Board for Family Healthcare, 1990-96. She served on Chillicothe Council as an at-large member and was finance chair for 10 years. Her community service not only involved government and business interest, but her volunteerism embraced the United Way and the Ohio Bicentennial Commission.
Stephen A. Neal was selected as the Outstanding Student in the College of Business while earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Ohio University in 1977. His educational background provided the foundation for his work in retail sales and management for eight years, Chief Deputy Ross County Auditor for two years, and Ross County Auditor for 27 years. He is the longest serving county auditor in Ross County history. For the past six years, Neal has served as a Ross County Commissioner. He was involved in the Planning Committee and served as the financial officer for the construction of the OHIO Chillicothe Early Childhood Center.
Neal has been very active in the community. He served in various capacities for the Ross County United Way, including past president. He currently serves as treasurer for the Good Samaritan Network of Ross County and is also past president and treasurer and currently serves as a Board Member of the Ross County Community Improvement Corporation. Neal is also a member of the board of directors for the Ross County Community Action Commission, the National Church Residences Bristol Village Board, the Chillicothe Downtown Development Commission, and the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio. As valedictorian of the Bishop Flaget High School class of 1972, he was honored in 2016 with the Bishop Flaget Distinguished Alumni Award.