Live life intentionally -- that is the advice of Philip Mallott, the 2020 Rotary Club of Westerville's A. Monroe Courtright Volunteer Service Award winner.
Mallott was honored on June 18 during a limited in-person ceremony at the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, 150 Heatherdown Drive, with others joining via Zoom.
During his acceptance speech, Mallott said each person has one life and should try to live it intentionally.
"I recommend we follow the model Jesus gave us when he said, 'Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve'."
Mallott said his father, the Rev. Gerald Mallott of Defiance is a minister who also worked at Defiance College for 40 years.
"We grew up with his prayers which would conclude, 'Please keep us mindful of the needs of others'," he said. "I pray we all are ever mindful of the needs of others and we truly live the Rotary motto: Service Above Self."
John Oleyar, Courtright Award chairman, said the service award was created to recognize local people and organizations who exemplify the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self" by quietly performing years of community service without personal benefit.
Oleyar said it would be hard to find a more meaningful example than the one set by Mallott.
Twenty years ago, Mallott had attained a position as chief financial officer of a division of The Limited.
But he decided he wanted to change his life's priorities at the age of 42.
Mallott felt twin callings: One, to devote himself more fully to his own family, and another, a calling to service to others, Oleyar said.
Mallott decided to leave an accomplished career and put his life on a different course, more aligned with his personal values.
He said the sum of the ensuing 20 years evolved through opportunities for new personal and professional growth, revealing his gifts and purpose to bear fruit in the service of others.
He is a 22-year trustee of his alma mater, Defiance College, where he served three years as its board chairman.
He also gave another 10 years to the board of Material Assistance Providers, now known as the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, including two years as its chairman.
While there, Mallott put in place a major fund-raising program which grew steadily over time, and recently yielded a figure of $1.3 million raised in a single year.
He also spent 10 years on the board of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, including a year as its chairman.
Mallott is in his 12th year of service on the Pension Board of the United Church of Christ, which manages pensions for the church's pastors in Ohio.
He also currently chairs the board of United Church Homes.
That organization offers senior-living options, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and memory care to about 5,000 residents in more than 70 communities.
At one point, Oleyar said, Mallott decided he wanted to do more than just board service.
So he began organizing "hands-on" groups to bring direct, face-to-face help to people in need.
Oleyar said one of Mallott's projects involved putting together a team to assist the Furniture Bank and they helped with ongoing pickup, delivery and repair of furniture for reuse by low-income families.
In another instance, Mallott organized volunteers to work with at-risk students at a central city school.
For about 10 years, they offered tutoring, team coaching, art projects and after-school recreation.
Mallott also has organized volunteers and fundraisers from his church, Westerville Community United Church of Christ, to help with projects at Westerville Area Resource Ministry.
Mallott said his greatest joy has been helping others be successful as they lead impactful, sustainable, people-focused organizations.
He said he likes helping people flourish, whether it is encouraging a gifted athlete, or tutoring a struggling student, or whether it is recruiting church members to put their gifts to work in service to others, or working alongside church leaders to navigate through uncertain times.
"I just want to help others in whatever way I can," Mallott said. "Using the gifts God has given me, leveraging the opportunities I've had to develop those gifts, and put them to use in the service of others. I want people to flourish."
He said he's humbled to accept the A. Monroe Courtright award.
The award honors the memory of Courtright, late editor of Westerville's Public Opinion newspaper, who died unexpectedly while serving as president of the Westerville Rotary.
This annual award dates back to 1977.
Oleyar said the most important purpose of the award is to encourage a tradition of community service, and the hope is that others will be inspired by example and choose to follow a similar path.