Glass Half Full Award: Derran Wimer

Dina Younis \
October 24, 2014
GAR Foundation is honored to present Derran Wimer, executive director of Summit Education Initiative with the 2014 Glass Half Full Award. This award was created to recognize Summit County community leaders for their inspiring and optimistic leadership of nonprofit organizations. 
 
If you’ve ever met or worked with Derran, you probably already know about his steadfast and inspirational dedication to ensure that all students in Summit County graduate from high school well prepared for successful careers and/or higher education, and that he is working to meet every need and gap identified by the staff and principal at Findley Community Learning Center through the Adopt-A-School program.  
 
 
But did you know that he trekked cross-country on a motorcycle…several times? 
 
We chatted with Derran to find out what he’d cook for dinner if we ever stopped by his house, and why he always sees the glass as half full. 
 
What song best describes your work ethic? 
Stand By Me. First it is my favorite song.  Second, I think we all need someone to “stand by” them  to support , guide, and help.  I like to work when I think it’s making a difference for others.
 
What’s your superpower? 
I can make myself invisible, especially at social gatherings which I do not want to attend!
 
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us? 
I hope you ate before you stopped by.  Let’s see… I can fry a turkey, open a can of cranberries, baby carrots out of the bag, and I highly recommend eating Thank You Cherries directly from the can with a can of Reddi Whip. Thank goodness I have Sue!  Patient, wonderful, patient, understanding, patient, talented, patient,…!
 
What is the last book you read? 
The Devil in The White City- Erik Larson
 
A little birdie told me that you trekked cross-country on a motorcycle. Please elaborate.
A few trips. Once to Boulder to hang out with two high school buddies, once to Galveston /Houston/Pensacola to visit the oil spill (I taught science), and to visit  my sister and a friend in Pensacola.  All solo trips. I ate in some unusual places, slept in some interesting spots and met some very interesting people!
 
Tom or Jerry? 
Tom. I was a principal. I was always trying to catch the instigator. 
 
What reality show is a perfect match for your talents: The Apprentice, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ghost Hunters or Survivor? 
The Apprentice.
 
Why is the glass always half full? 
Sue, my wife, is great at this.  She sees possibilities and it rubs off on me.  I like being around others who have half full glasses…they are investors in other people…they help them grow and become better. I want to be like that. I guess the question is really: why not?  It is much more fun to think about possibilities and opportunities, to try them and even if they don’t work out, you can learn from them. My coworkers and my family will chuckle at this because I tend to think about all of the “what ifs” and  “yeah buts” when an idea is suggested.  But really I want to try things, I just want to be reassured that there is at least a 51% likelihood of success!  I like to be around people who think creatively and counter to conventions, I like to be around people who are in completely different professions and hear them think and problem solve, my best ideas come from those opportunities.