So here’s a typical conversation I find myself in quite often:
“So, where are you from?”
“Um, Apple Valley, you know, near Kenyon College? Central Ohio?”
“OOOHHH! You mean Apple CREEK?”
“No, I mean Apple Valley LAKE. Just east of Mount Vernon.”
“Oh, gotcha! Mount Vernon; I know exactly where that’s at.”
People are always familiar with Mount Vernon. Even if they’re not familiar with Apple Valley-- Knox County’s best kept secret. So while I’m super eager to speak the praises of OUR quaint little town, I figured that starting with Mount Vernon is probably the easiest segway.
When you do a little digging on Mount Vernon, Ohio--so as to be more knowledgeable about our neighboring city. And, like any other scholarly search, I started with Google.
My search brought up about 12,000,000 hits. I immediately went to Wikipedia; it normally has other links within its article that will lead me to other places.
But what I found in this internet encyclopedia, grasped my attention immediately.
Underneath Mount Vernon’s rich history, and picturesque geography, there was one name that stood out to me:
Karen Buchwald Wright. The only female under the heading, “Notable People.”
I was intrigued. I clicked on her link and I found more than just a name. I found a humble, quiet, philanthropic, person. Someone who’d rather go without than let the people around her fail.
Karen Buchwald Wright is the president and CEO of the Ariel Corporation, which manufactures gas compressors and is responsible for employing over 1,200 people in the Knox County area. She took over the business from her father in 2001 and the company has taken off in the years since.
In 2009, Ms. Wright started the Ariel Foundation which was crafted to improve the quality of life for the residents of her hometown, Mt. Vernon. And through this foundation and the generosity of her own heart, Wright has given to just about every cause/charity that one could muster up in their mind, specifically the parks, arts, and education.
One of her latest projects was the Ariel Foundation Park. An incredible 250 acre Park built on the former Pittsburgh Plate Glass manufacturing plant. Visitors will be able to enjoy lakes, woods, trails, picnic areas, a bike path, an events center, a restored railroad depot, historic ruins, terraced landscaping and more
She may earn well above the median income in her area, but she doesn’t parade it with flashing lights. In fact, she rarely attaches her name to these donations or projects. Out of the kindness of her heart, she gives.
If you ask us, her name should be first on the list of notable people.
Central Ohio-- Home of Apple Valley Lake (not Apple Creek) and home of our blog’s first “In the Spotlight,” Karen Buchwald Wright.