Meet Darrell Lee – Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2022

| October 14, 2021

Darrell Lee grew up in the suburbs of Columbus in Whitehall. A graduate of Whitehall-Yearling High School, he ran cross country and track as well as played soccer and basketball.

Lee continued his education at Mount Vernon Nazarene University where he played soccer and majored in sports medicine/sports management earning a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in finance. His goal was to open a fitness center for “all people.” He interned at Kenyon College in sports medicine, which as a paid position was uncommon. Of this experience, Lee said it was a “great experience outside MVNU… it was an interesting year” where he “experienced a lot.”

One of his memorable experiences was meeting people from other countries who traveled to Kenyon for summer camps. He would pick them up at the airport and had the opportunity to talk during trips to and from the college.

After his internship, Lee worked for the YMCA of Mount Vernon and the YMCA of Central Ohio as program director. During this time, he facilitated the opening of four new YMCA’s in two years. As program/fitness director, he was responsible for ordering equipment and setting the budget – which led him to discover he “enjoyed finance.” He also discovered that “it was hard to be program director and have a family.”

His career in banking with Park National Bank came after working for a finance company. He has been with Park for 13 years, starting in “everything – opening accounts and loans.” As mortgage lender, Lee is in a more specialized role with the bank, assisting clients to achieve their goal of homeownership. While there is no “banking degree” much of the learning is from on the job training, as well as classes through the Ohio Bankers League.

Lee moved his family to Coshocton “because of the people.” His children are involved with sports, and JO Volleyball at Kids America. Last December he purchased land and their home was built in March 2021, with the family moving in July 2021. Lee stresses that he “chose Coshocton.” Stating his “wife can work anywhere (she works from home); I (he) can work at any branch. We moved because of the people.”

Lee is a member of Coshocton Rotary; serves on the Board of the College Hills Retirement Community in Wayne County; is an American Heart Association CPR/First Aid/Health Care Provider Instructor and is a member of the Coshocton Board of Realtors.

After participating in both Leadership Holmes County and Leadership Wooster, Lee saw the benefits of getting to know an area in a short amount of time. He decided to participate in Leadership Coshocton to get a good, all-around view and understanding of the county. He also recognizes it as a networking opportunity, as he still is in contact with people he met in Leadership Holmes.

Lee sees the community in an “upswing,” an example he cites is Genesis investing in the community. People here are “hardworking; honest and genuinely care about others, not just ‘what’s in it for me,’ but willing to step up and fulfill a need. The people, he says, are “very welcoming.”

To make the county stronger, Lee would like more opportunities for jobs in varying fields. Industry is big in the county but has many job openings. The question to ask is “What will bring people back here?” He sees a need to “make this a destination to come back and raise a family; create an atmosphere of growth.” He points out there is “great value in having people born and raised here come back; they have the same mindset. There is lots of value to knowing the county’s history as it is an important part of the foundation.”

Lee would recommend Leadership Coshocton for others stating, “The opportunities for networking and getting to know the county are priceless. There is nothing else you could do in nine months to get that experience on your own. You wouldn’t have that opportunity or access to business and local leaders. The vast backgrounds and age ranges in class are a plus,” and he “looks forward to dialogue on differing viewpoints and learning ‘why.’”

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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