A distinguished Ohio Senator and a successful alumnus who is now a veterinarian will speak at the University of Findlay’s 2017 commencement ceremonies, which will be held Saturday, May 6 at the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex.
Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, will address undergraduates at 3 p.m. Adam Hechko, DVM, owner and medical director for North Royalton Animal Hospital in Ohio, will address graduate ceremony participants at 9 a.m.
Gardner has served in the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. He was recently elected majority floor leader of the Senate. In addition, he chairs the Senate’s Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education.
For his work supporting students who attend independent and private colleges in Ohio, in 2014, Gardner received the Friend of Independent Higher Education Award. His other honors include Ohio Disabilities Association Legislator of the year and recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Award from the Ohio Library Association.
The senator has maintained a 100 percent voting and attendance record in the House and Senate for 31 years, casting more than 10,000 consecutive roll call votes.
Gardner received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University. He and his wife, Sandy, who live in Bowling Green, serve on the University of Findlay Parents Executive Council. They are the parents of three children, including youngest son Austin, who is a proud member of the 2017 University of Findlay graduating class.
Hechko studied in UF’s pre-veterinarian program. When he graduated from UF in 2002, he was awarded the Founder’s Son Award. He was also the student liaison for the Board of Directors.
A proud graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and an avid Buckeye fan, Hechko earned his DVM in 2006. Since then, he has served as owner and medical director for North Royalton Animal Hospital, a small, four-doctor animal practice, and Paws at Play Resort and Daycare in North Royalton, Ohio.
The hospital hosts several community events annually which attract over 2,900 people, including a Pet Carnival Fundraiser, Christmas Holiday Open House, Adopt-a-Family in need during the holidays, Pet Blessing, Easter Bone Hunt and a monthly Pet Bereavement Support Group. The hospital also assists many pet charities.
Accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in 2012, Hechko has earned the honor of being named the AAHA Accredited Practice of the Year in 2015 for North America. In 2016 he was elected as an AAHA board member.
Married to Jennifer for 11 years, Hechko is also a father to Alexander James, Catherine Marie and Benjamin Adam.
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