William C. Shivers describes his job at Huntington Bank as “chief inspiration officer.”

“I want to inspire our team to reach new levels,” said Shivers, whose official title is president of Huntington’s Canton-Mahoning Valley Region.

Shivers, who joined Huntington in 2007, said he finds ideas to motivate his team of seven employees from the area business leaders he helps to serve.

“We see a tremendous amount of successful businesses,” he said. “I always want to find out what their magic elixir is, what drives them and what sets them apart.”

He’s found that most successful business leaders have built a nurturing culture, have established a commitment to their employees and will take the extra time to elevate a customer’s experience.

“I’m big on trying to learn more every day and trying to inspire our team to get to new levels and to exceed any expectations that our customers may have,” he said. “We want (customers) to go, ‘Wow, you guys get it, you are doing the right thing.’ ”

Shivers also tries to lead his team by example, drawing upon the values he learned from his mother and father, who raised him and his 10 siblings with modest means in Salem.

“The message my mother and father told all of us was to show up at work and work hard and things will work out,” said Shivers, who worked as the vice president of operations for Quaker Manufacturing Corp. before returning to the banking industry. “You might not be the smartest person all the time, that’s when you have to make it up with hard work and extra effort.”

Shivers’ work ethic and drive to help others improve extends beyond his downtown Canton and Mahoning Valley offices.

The Damascus resident serves on multiple nonprofit boards throughout the region. Among them: the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mahoning County’s Better Business Bureau, St. Ann’s Church parish council, United Way of Greater Stark County, Stark Development Board, Community Building Partnerships of Stark County and the comprehensive planning steering committee for the City of Canton.

“I truly believe that people in Stark County really care, and I think that’s making a difference,” he said. “I think we have challenges just like everybody else, but I think our future looks bright.”


Most unique or unusual product:
Alliance-based Morgan Engineering’s overhead and ladle cranes.

Favorite local restaurant:
Gervasi Vineyard. “The ambiance, the food, the wine, the service–spectacular. Ted and Scott Swaldo, and the team, have created something special.”

Favorite place to shop:
Local fundraising auctions. “I’ve been known to ‘hover’ over silent auction items to ensure I am the winning bidder! Sure, I’ve received a few dirty looks from equally interested bidders. My sprees typically benefit my wife and daughters, as there is always a good selection of jewelry. Although, I have bid on some nice tools to add to my workbench! I love the fact that the bidding proceeds are put to use for local nonprofit organizations.”

Favorite place to take your kids/grandkids:
“Heggy’s for a chocolate-covered marshmallow.”

Favorite lunch spot:
Bender’s Tavern. “History, charm, terrific food and service. Locally owned and operated. And, of course, the sundaes with house-made chocolate and peanut butter sauce!”

Favorite local spot to grab a drink:
“Taggart’s for a milkshake (or) Gervasi Vineyard for a glass of wine.”

Favorite entertainment spot/workout spot:
The golf course. “This community is fortunate to be the home to top-rated golf courses, Brookside, Glenmoor, Alliance Country Club, etc. The course is a great form of relaxation and a wonderful way to get to know my friends, colleagues and community leaders and business partners.”

Favorite event:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. “It puts a spotlight on this wonderful community for the world to see.” Another favorite is local fundraisers in support of the community’s nonprofit organizations.

Favorite place to see live music:
“Concert for Legends in conjunction with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival at Tom Benson Stadium.”

Most admired CEO or business owner:
“We are blessed with so many amazing leaders in this community—many of which are entrepreneurs and have built their business from the ground up!”

Among those Shiver admires:
Rick McQueen of the Akron Canton Airport; the Belden Family of Belden Brick; Mike Conny of MAC Trailer; Mark Fedor of Morgan Engineering; Pat Culpepper of Progressive Foam; Steve Gregory of Gregory Industries; Mark and Matt Sterling of Beaver Excavating; Gerard Mastroianni of Alliance Ventures; Ted Swaldo of Gervasi Vineyard; and Larry Parsons of Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway; as well as the presidents of area universities including Richard Jusseaume of Walsh University; Richard Merman of University of Mount Union; Denise Seachrist of Kent State University at Stark; Para Jones of Stark State College; and David King of Malone University.