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."