BOARDMAN -- Herman Maass, retired plant manager of the Lordstown General Motors Assembly Plant, is the 2002 Great Communicator honoree of the Youngstown Hearing & amp; Speech Center.
Maass, who spent more than 25 years of his 42-year GM career at the Lordstown plant, will be recognized for outstanding contributions to communications and community service at the center's 10th annual Great Communicators dinner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman.
Lawrence D. Burns, vice president of GM research and development and planning, is keynote speaker for the event.
Burns, who lost his hearing eight years ago, oversees GM's global research and development programs and is responsible for its product portfolio, capacity, technology, process and business plans. He also is a member of the Automotive Strategy Board, GM Automotive's highest -level management team.
Burns is the first recipient of the National Campaign for Hearing Health's Leadership Award, which honors a business person who takes an active role in promoting hearing health in the business world and general public.
Maass began his career with GM as a co-op student in 1964, and was recognized for improving union-management relationship at the facility while reducing manufacturing costs and improving product quality.
He is a member of the board of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and has served as chairman of its Grow Mahoning Valley infrastructure committee, which was responsible for completing the funding for the King-Graves Interchange and numerous other major projects in the area.
Maass has served on the Kent State University Trumbull Campus Advisory Board and is an original member of the L.E.A.D. Organization, which recently came under the Leadership Mahoning Valley umbrella.
Also to be recognized at the dinner are the Yazbek family: Lloyd, Linda, Jennifer and Elizabeth, who will receive the May Vetterle Award given to an individual or family living with a speech or hearing loss and serving as a role model to others. The award will be presented by Erika Kauffman, Miss Deaf Ohio, who will compete for Miss Deaf America in July.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Youngstown Hearing & amp; Speech Center, a nonprofit United Way organization. It was founded in 1925 and offers programs and services to people with communication challenges.
Thursday's event is sponsored by GM Lordstown, Packer Thomas, Home Savings & amp; Loan, Key Bank, the DeBartolo Corp. and Sky Bank. Tickets are $40 and can be obtained by calling (330) 726-8855.