Drawing on his talents as an architect, Craig Stough has built a reputation as a leader in public service.
Mr. Stough, a Sylvania resident who is active in a variety of community activities, has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Public Service Award from the Ohio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He received the award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in his community through public service, during the recent AIA Ohio convention in Youngstown.
In nominating Mr. Stough for the award, AIA Toledo President Paul Sullivan stated that "Craig has been as example of consummate leadership and the highest character that could ever be expected from a citizen."
AIA Toledo is the local affiliate chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a national organization dedicated to the standards, ethics, and development of architecture as a profession.
Mr. Stough, Sylvania's mayor since 1996, said that he encouraged his peers to participate in their communities. "Not only is it rewarding to be a part of that, architects can really influence the quality of life in their communities," he said, such as by serving on the boards of nonprofit agencies that contribute to a community's quality of life.
A member of the American Institute of Architects since 1977, Mr. Stough is former president of the AIA Toledo. He was chosen as AIA Toledo's Architect of the Year in 1997 when he was AIA Ohio president.
As mayor, Mr. Stough has first-hand knowledge about projects ranging from the installation of decorative street lighting to the construction of a new bridge, and as an architect, he can look at those projects from a different angle.
For instance, he's been talking to the Sylvania Community Arts Commission about the design of the new Main Street bridge that is to be constructed next year. Mr. Stough envisions brick piers, one on each corner of the bridge, to enhance the design. The art commission, he said, is interested in putting art work on the brick piers. "This bridge should look like more than an expressway bridge," he said.
Mr. Stough, 53, was a member of Sylvania City Council from 1986 to 1996, and served on the Municipal Planning Commission from 1981 to 1985 and from 1996 to 2006. He is president of the Northwest Ohio Mayors and Managers Association.
A former member of the board of the National Vintage Base Ball Association, he served 13 years as vice president of the Great Black Swamp Frogs Vintage Base Ball Club. He plays on the vintage ball team.
For 13 years he has been on the boards of the Sylvania Historic Village and the Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corporation, and he's been involved with a variety of programs and activities designed to preserve what the architect calls "the historic built environment." He's also worked to promote community growth by improving Sylvania's quality of life.
People who get involved in their communities, he said, really can make a difference.
"I learned early that it can be very rewarding to give back to one's community," he said. "I enjoy public service very much. I meet people and am part of decision making. That is very exciting. Through public service, people really can make a difference."