4 area residents honored by North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence (2024)

The North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence Dinner and Induction Ceremony, which benefits the North Central State College Foundation, is scheduled for Thursday at the James W. Kehoe Center in Shelby.

The North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence will have a pre-reception at 5 p.m., with the program at 6 p.m.

This event will honor four north-central Ohio residents whose vision, creativity, and community involvement exemplify excellence in the region, according to NCSC.

The 2024 honorees:

Patti Kastelic, OhioHealth Mansfield & Shelby (retired)

4 area residents honored by North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence (1)

Kastelic is a lifelong resident of Mansfield known for her servant leadership, stewardship and compassion within OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals, as well as a number of local organizations that improve the health and well-being of individuals throughout central Ohio.

Kastelic retired from OhioHealth after serving nearly 50 years in healthcare leadership, including director of cancer services and director of nursing. She helped build a formal oncology program at a time when patients typically had to travel to Cleveland or Columbus for cancer services. She has traveled throughout Ohio to educate others about cancer prevention and the importance of cancer screenings. She was a champion for the OhioHealth Mobile Mammography unit dedicated to north central Ohio. She has served as president and chairperson of the Mansfield Cancer Foundation and a board member for the Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund.

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Kastelic has received nominations for numerous awards for her service and was given the ATHENA award in 2018.As a volunteer through St. Peter’s Parish and Catholic Charities of the Toledo Diocese, she leads outreach to inmates at the Richland Correctional Institution. She has also been active in the United Way of Richland County.

Dan Niss, president, Charter Next Generation

4 area residents honored by North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence (2)

Niss grew up in Minnesota and learned his work ethic by watching his parents work the farm and raise a family. Hard work and commitment to family continue to be at the forefront of who he is today. These foundations, coupled with his competitive nature, have resulted in tremendous industrial success and the opportunity to give back to the community he loves.

As a leader in the industry, Niss has re-imagined blown plastic film manufacturing. He serves as president of Charter Next Generation, which continues to revolutionize packaging solutions for numerous industries, dramatically lowering the volume of packaging materials required to deliver goods to end users. While CNG operates multiple facilities throughout the country, Niss has chosen to remain in north central Ohio, close to his roots.

Throughout our community, Niss is providing leadership and philanthropic impact through numerous partnerships. He and his family have provided resources to enhance the athletic facilities at Ontario Schools and Ashland University. He assumed ownership of Westbrook Country Club, embarking on a complete evolution of the facilities, remaking it into a world-class facility. Niss Aviation now serves as the fixed base operator at Mansfield Lahm Airport, which is also being transformed with a new terminal and improved aviation facilities.

Matt and Linda Smith, entrepreneurs

4 area residents honored by North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence (3)

The Smiths met at Purdue University. They both helped organize concerts and events for the students, meeting numerous stars of the era performing in West Lafayette. Following college, they settled on the Smith family farm in Galion. Linda managed farm operations while Matt pursued his career through numerous business interests including PECO II and Galion Amco, which evolved into Valentec International in 1986. Environmental awareness led the Smiths to explore alternative fuels from renewable resources through numerous entities in Ohio and throughout the United States. Today, their newest endeavor is centered in Curacao.

Both Linda and Matt have been community-focused throughout their careers.Linda was a founding member of the Women’s Fund at the Richland County Foundation. She serves on the board of the Avita Health System. Matt has been heavily involved in Scouting throughout the region and has served on the NC State Foundation Board and NC State Board of Trustees for decades. He has held numerous positions with state and national organizations serving community colleges.

Together, their love of the environment has spurred their involvement in national and international efforts of entities like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Cousteau Society, Ocean Futures Society, and the Ohio Environmental Council. The Smiths also support the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where many of the stars they met in college are honored.



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4 area residents honored by North Central Ohio Hall of Excellence (2024)


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