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VAN WERT — The R.K. Thompson family and Van Wert Service Club are pleased to announce Robin Elston, President of Elston Consulting, LLC, will be the speaker for this year’s awards banquet on Tuesday April 29.

With degrees in chemical engineering and business, Elston spent her first 15 years after college working in engineering, manufacturing, and human resource management in a Fortune 500 company. In 2001 she left a great job to follow her passion and started Elston Consulting. Since then, Elston has worked with hundreds of organizations to resolve issues and improve productivity and results across the U.S., as well as Europe and South America.

Though Elston’s primary job is to help companies improve their bottom line, she is also a popular workshop leader and motivational speaker on leadership and life. She has a unique ability to combine strategies for personal growth with humorous relatable examples. Many of those examples come from living with Steve, her husband of over 20 years and their five children.

The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award Program was initiated 44 years ago by R.K. Thompson, Jr. in honor of his father the late R.K. Thompson, Sr. Both men had worked closely with young people and encouraged them to set high, but attainable goals and then apply themselves to obtain those goals.

The program provides cash awards for high school seniors in Van Wert County who best exhibit that character trait. The Self-Reliance Award is designed to seek out and honor a senior who “does the best with what he or she has,” whether he or she is a scholar, an athlete, a student leader or someone who must seek employment to help their family meet expenses. The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award is sponsored by the Thompson Family Trust, through the Van Wert County Foundation, and administered by the Van Wert Service Club.