Lynn Aschliman is the kind of man who would run into a burning building to save a pickpocket, then thank the thief for hanging onto his billfold.
Now this native son, who has been a business and community leader, is Archbold’s 2007 Citizen of the Year.
As is typical with Aschliman, he turns the acclaim of the award away from himself.
“It’s one of those things where the only way you can accept something like this is when you think about what it’s all about, and it’s all about community,” he said.
“Without community, you don’t have citizens of the year.
“If I can be part of celebrating community, I’m all for it. If it’s celebrating Lynn Aschliman, no way,” he said.
Aschliman has filled numerous leadership roles. He was active in decision-making positions at Archbold Evangelical Mennonite Church, Sunshine Children’s Home, and Salem Children’s Home.
He is a past-president of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, Archbold Lions Club, and Archbold Area School Board.
He said he has “never sought, or necessarily even aspired to, a leadership position. Every one of them, I have been appointed, including school board. In fact, I think that was the first time I voted for myself, but I thought I’d better.
“It was Virgil Miller who approached me and asked if I would consider running. He even carried my petition for me. I figured if I was on the ballot, I ought to vote for myself, but it was hard.”
Aschliman’s nominating petition lists several accomplishments.
“Facilitated the change of his parents’ home to a group home for three mentally handicapped women. Handles finances for his mother and sister.
“Significant roles in youth ministry at church. Currently serves as a group leader at church, and a strong supporter of Taylor University, University of Toledo, and Northwest State Community College.”
He is a 1967 Archbold High School graduate and a 1971 graduate of the University of Toledo. At UT, Aschliman was one of several Archbold graduates who was an outstanding football player.
After graduation from UT, Aschliman went to work for Sauder Woodworking in February 1972, and stayed with them until 1989, when he was named president of Archbold Container Corporation, then a Sauder subsidiary.
ACC was sold to Green Bay Packaging about two years ago; Aschliman remained at the helm.
He “led ACC in strong costing procedures which have cut down on waste material and time, and provided sound information on ACC finance. This has aided in making ACC a strong employer in Archbold.”
One Of Three
Michael L. Short, Archbold Lions Club vice president, noted there were two other candidates for Citizen of the Year.
The Citizen of the Year is selected by a committee including the presidents of the Archbold Ministerial Association, Black Swamp Women’s Club, Archbold Rotary, and Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, and Short, representing Lions.
This year’s Citizen of the Year is honored at a banquet, Thursday, Nov. 1, at Founder’s Hall, Sauder Village.
Being named Citizen of the Year puts Aschliman in a league with many remarkable people.
“That’s what’s daunting. I certainly don’t put myself in that league,” he said.
“When you look at the accomplishments of the people I’ve looked up to my whole life, living in this community, then becoming part of that group is a little bit… how do you even say it?
“Humbling, absolutely for sure.”