President & CEO, Stark Community Foundation
Ask Mark Samolczyk to define himself, and he will tell you he is a team player, collaborator, socially and fiscally conservative, thoughtful and community-minded. Ask him to define himself at home, and the answer is much shorter. “A private person.”
Ask him why he thinks he is influential, and he will tell you “Knowledge, respect, empathy, compassion, determination, humility and integrity.”
That is what he brings to the table in his role at the foundation.
“I care deeply about our community and its residents. I provide what any leader should provide: vision, direction, mentorship,” Samolczyk said. “It is all aimed at helping the organization achieve its mission, which is to connect people and the charitable cases which are important to them. By achieving our mission, we ultimately continue to strengthen Stark County, providing an improved quality of life for the residents of our community. At the core of what we do is the belief that collectively we create a greater impact than individually.”
Does he consider himself influential?
Only through his position. Samolczyk said that in his role at the foundation, he provides a broad-based knowledge of community needs that promotes thoughtful dialogue on longterm solutions to those needs.
“I worked 30 years in various management positions at the Timken Co.,” he said, noting he did not consider himself to be influential then, at least not communitywide. He retired in 2009 as senior vice president of corporate planning and development.
However, he said, the leader of the Stark Community Foundation is “an influential voice for the needs of the community. That voice comes from more than 50 years of foundation experience, learning and understanding the needs of the community. Inherent in the position also is a tremendous responsibility of leading a team of professionals and volunteers that act as stewards of our donors’ charitable contributions. It is also the best job in the county!”