Bob Kreps and Jim Starks, Fairview Park's 2015 Citizens of the Year

Jim Starks and Bob Kreps, Fairview Park’s 2015 Citizens of the Year

From the Fairview Park Community Council:

“For the first time in 27 years the Fairview Park Community Council has selected co-winners of its Citizen of the Year award. Their names were synonymous with the “Gemini Project”. On the 10th anniversary of the successful campaign we are honored to recognize Bob Kreps and Jim Starks as Fairview Park’s Citizens of the Year for 2015.

“You may have seen them around the community. Possibly on the sidelines of a softball or soccer field or helping with the PTA After-Prom. Maybe you’ve seen Jim delivering mulch for the Soccer Association or helping with Super Saturday. Perhaps you have sat in on one of Bob’s many discussions at the Senior Center. Bob has been a member of the school district’s FACT committee. Jim has served as Treasurer for the high school soccer boosters. You may have seen Bob’s name as a sponsor for various Recreation Department teams or for many other Fairview Park community organizations. Jim has recently been coaching travel baseball. Bob was a Deacon at Messiah Lutheran Church and a member of their Social Ministry Board, and currently chairs the Pierstorf Memorial Fund. Bob volunteers his legal expertise in many ways, for many years as a member of Ohio State Bar Association’s Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility committee, as an Arbitrator with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Arbitration Commission and with the Adult Guardianship Services Program representing needy wards. Despite all of the above activities, these gentlemen have really remained in the shadows.

“Well, that all changed with the inception of the Gemini Project. Bob and Jim became the public faces of the project. With dozens of volunteers, along with the newly minted strategic partnership between Mayor Patton’s administration and the Fairview Park City Schools, these gentlemen led our city through what is arguably the most significant chapter in recent history.

“Bob is married to Ann and they have lived in Fairview Park since 1978. They’ve had five children. Drew lives in Fairview Park with his wife Sonja and their 2 children. He is a banker and she is a teacher. Corinne is a nurse in Lakewood and also lives in Fairview. Christa is married to Matt Sweeney, she is a preschool teacher and he is an artist, and they live in Cleveland. Courtney is director managing homes for people with special needs. She lives in Lakewood. Bob’s son Robert, Jr. is married to Tyko and they, along with their son, live in St. Pete Beach, FL. Bob has been an attorney in private practice right here in Fairview Park for 38 years.

“Jim and his wife Marcy met at Miami University, have been married for almost 25 years and are 20 year residents of Fairview Park. They have three boys. Patrick is a senior philosophy major at Wooster; Kyle, a sophomore, is majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse; and Ryan is an 8th grader at Mayer Middle School. Jim is a Deputy Chief Probation Officer with the Cuyahoga County Adult Probation Department, where he has been employed for 26 years.

“Here we have two more Citizen of the Year honorees who, generally speaking, prefer to remain behind the scenes. But when the need was presented to them, they stepped forward and led their fellow citizens to the ballot box. The result of which was the $50 million twin projects that gave us the new Gemini Center recreation complex, improvements at Morton Park, the new Gilles-Sweet School, the upgraded Fairview High School athletic facilities and building improvements at the high school, Mayer Middle School and Parkview buildings. Indirectly the project has also resulted in the new O’Neill Healthcare campus and soon a new residential development on the old Coffinberry school property.

“Please join us in congratulating Bob Kreps and Jim Starks at this year’s Citizens of the Year dinner and recognition on Wednesday, May 6th at the Fairview Park Senior Center. The reception starts at 6:30 pm and dinner is served at 7:00 pm. Following the dinner there will be a recognition ceremony and awards presented in honor of Bob’s and Jim’s selection. We will once again be collecting non-perishable food items to donate to the Fairview Park Hunger Center. Cost of the dinner is $25.00 and is catered by Novotny Catering. Tickets are available starting April 16th at City Hall, the Senior Center or by calling Roberta Sunkle at 440-333-9339 or Tom Davis at 440-333-8721. Tickets are available on a first come basis and seating is limited. Ticket deadline is May 4th.”

Fairview Park Community Council is an organization consisting of over 20 community clubs and organizations whose mission is to provide a forum to network, increase visibility, generate awareness of their efforts and presence in the community, and share ideas, information and announcements on a quarterly basis.