Dr. Mark A. Ballard – excellence in leadership Award

CEO, WNZN Power 89.1 FM Radio; Lorain City Schools Board of Education

Born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Dr. Mark A. Ballard is the quiet force behind many of the social services and initiatives that ensure Lorain County is a great place to live, learn and work. His time and voice have contributed to the development of policy, programming and support benefiting public schools, law enforcement, faith-based organizations, healthcare, environment, politics and perhaps most significantly, our children and families. Some of his many affiliations include:

  • CEO, WNZN Power 89.1 FM Radio
  • Member and Past President, Lorain City Schools Board of Education
  • Chaplain, Lorain Police Department
  • Executive Board, Northeast Ohio Boys and Girls Club
  • Trustee, Greater Victory Ministries
  • Member, Mercy Health Diversity and Inclusion Board
  • Member, City of Lorain Sewer Water Advisory Board
  • Executive Committee, Lorain County Democratic Party
  • Founder, 100 Men of Lorain County
  • Founder, PACE Foundation
  • President, Lorain County Association of Black School Educators

While the projects he leads are wide ranging, the common thread of his work is rooted in servant leadership, and his Christian faith. For example, when the economy took a downturn in the early 2000’s, Mark founded the PACE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) which focuses on Youth Development, Job Training and Workforce Development, and Economic Development Projects. When gang violence disrupted our communities in the early 2010’s, he founded 100 Men of Lorain County, connecting male mentors with at-risk juveniles to develop their respect for family, spirituality, justice, and integrity.

Significantly, Mark served as President of the Lorain City Schools Board of Education during their fight to remove the district from Academic Distress as a result of House Bill 70 which had been locally perceived as the biggest long-term threat to the Lorain community. Mark made sure the City of Lorain and the struggles of underserved populations were front-and-center both locally and down in Columbus. Working with local legislators, community leaders, media partners, educators, and families, those efforts led to Lorain being the only district of three under state oversight to be released by Governor Mike DeWine earlier this year.

For all his professional and political accomplishments, Mark will humbly describe himself as “just a kid from Lorain” and a “family man.” He and his wife Sandra have life-long ties to the City of Lorain, and both graduated from Lorain High School in 1986. They have two children, Mark Anthony, and Moriah Alyssa, who graduated from Lorain High in 2012 and 2015, respectively.