Names in the News: Mary Dunbar
Cleveland Heights Councilwoman is participating in the Cleveland Marathon Sunday.
Name and Occupation: Mary Dunbar, Member, Cleveland Heights City Council
How long have you lived in Cleveland Heights? Since 1970.
What do you like most about this community? The many, wonderful, interesting and caring people, and the many architecturally interesting and lovely homes. (Can I have two "mosts"?)
What community and civic organizations are you currently involved in? I am a member of many community organizations, but the one that I invest a lot of time in is the Heights Bicycle Coalition. I am president of the bike coalition, but we have an excellent, active group working to make bicycling even more popular and appealing than it already is in the Heights. We have a lot of bicyclists here already, and more and more are getting on their bikes for trips around town. We're encouraging that. I just love our bicyclists. They are friendly, healthy, active — an enjoyable group of people.
What drew you to run for council and what do you find most interesting about the work you do? I want to contribute to our community by serving on city council, and I believe that I have an unusual skill set that can help our community. I really like learning in depth about this place and how it operates. Citizens should know and appreciate that they have many excellent city employees working for them. We have our challenges, and there's always room from improvement, but we should all be proud of the dedication and good work so many city employees do for our community.
What personal and professional accomplishments are you most proud of? During my business career, I felt that I reached the pinnacle of my profession when I was elected chairman of the board of the National Investor Relations Institute in 2005. My personal life is delightful, thanks to my husband, children and their families, my siblings and their families, and our dear friends. If I manage to finish the 2012 Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, May 20, in Boston-Marathon-qualifying time, I will be very proud of that.
What person—professionally or personally—do you most admire? I actually admire a lot of people in Cleveland Heights who decide they are going to do something to make this a better place, and then get on with it. People like Sue Wolpert for planting trees around town, or Alice Stratton for starting an after-school bicycle club at Fairfax School, or Ian Hoffman for working to get more bike racks in Coventry Village — I could go on and on.
What are key ways other people can make a difference locally? Pick something you want to work on or accomplish. Choose carefully, and beware of what you wish for. Start small, and know that it will inevitably take longer than you expect to accomplish what you want. I personally get a lot of satisfaction out of accomplishing things and seeing ripple effects.