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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 21, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 19May00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Businessman McFerson's Role In Columbus Community
(McFerson to step down as CEO)
Columbus OH Dispatch 17May00 B2

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Dimon R. McFerson has played a major role in the civic affairs of central Ohio since 1992. He single-handedly decided to build a private arena in downtown Columbus to secure a National Hockey League expansion team. As chairman of the board of Ohio's Center of Science and Industry, McFerson oversaw the center's move to its current location on the Scioto riverfront. Despite the fact that his retirement will take place at the end of the year, McFerson plans to remain active in community service.

This month, McFerson received a nine-year appointment to the Ohio State University Board of Trustees. He is currently the chairman of the United Way of America's Board of Governors and board member and member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors. He has an additional four years left on his appointment to the board of the Columbus Foundation.

McFerson denied rumors that his heart surgery in February, 1999 contributed to his retirement. He hopes to spend more time with his seven children and his grandchildren. "Families are very important in our faith as they are in lots of faiths," he said. McFerson is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Families are the basic unit of society," he added.

In 1998 McFerson's wife came up with the idea to offer to build homes on their 40 acres of property in the Liberty Township in southern Delaware County. The McFersons are building a 6,500 square-foot house and will build a home for five of their seven children. "We told the children, 'We can give you money when we die, or we can give it to you now.' They voted for now. It's terribly exciting to think we've been successful enough in life to do this for our children."

McFerson's successor will face many challenges in an ever-changing financial services business. A business that has become fiercely competitive in a global nature. "The core insurance part of the businesses and its employment are expected to shrink as a percentage of the entire company, but there still will be acquisitions as the auto and home insurance business goes through a period of consolidation," he said.

"I don't think employees and residents should be nervous about this change in leadership at all," McFerson said. "Our board is steadfast in its commitment to Columbus and Ohio."


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