Stephen McPeake Wins 2011 Homer C. Wadsworth Award

McPeake honored for improving lives of people with disabilities

Release Date: 06.15.2011

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation today announced that Stephen McPeake, president and chief executive officer of North Coast Community Homes, is the 2011 recipient of the Homer C. Wadsworth Award. The award is given annually to a local leader who has demonstrated creativity, innovation, ingenuity, risk-taking and good humor in a civic, volunteer, nonprofit or public sector role. McPeake has dedicated his life to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other disabilities.

As founding and current director of North Coast Community Homes, he has spent the past 26 years developing 192 safe, affordable, community homes for more than 937 people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or other disabilities.  He recently founded the Disability Housing Network, a statewide professional association that provides training, technical expertise, risk-reduction strategies, and other information to nonprofits that develop and manage homes for people with special needs. McPeake also helped create the Parent Participation Project, a guide for parents wishing to form their own consortiums to develop group homes for three or four of their own family members.

Prior to starting North Coast Community Homes, McPeake was executive director of Hope Homes, a nonprofit organization that owned and managed a statewide network of group homes for people with mental retardation. He also was district manager of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation’s Akron-Canton office, which served five counties.

He is past board president of the Rose-Mary Center, which provides housing and services to people with developmental disabilities, and founder and past chairman of the Community Fund Management Foundation, a fund that enables parents to create affordable trusts to support and enhance the lives of their children.  McPeake is also treasurer of the Ohio Providers Resource Association, a trade group for organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities. He is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2000-2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pa., and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Kent State University. 

“What sets the Homer C. Wadsworth Award apart from other leadership awards is that its recipients exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to collaborate with others, along with a passion for their work,” said Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “Steve McPeake’s dedication to people with developmental disabilities and mental illness clearly exemplifies Homer Wadsworth’s generous spirit. If ever there was a local hero, Steve McPeake is it.”

Homer C. Wadsworth was executive director of the Cleveland Foundation from 1974 to 1983. He was regarded as a man of creativity, courage, commitment, and innovation. Prior to his death in 1994, Wadsworth’s friends and family established the Homer C. Wadsworth Award to identify and honor those in the community who best reflected those qualities.

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Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s second largest today, with assets of $1.9 billion and 2010 grants of nearly $87 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhoods, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.

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