Elsasser’s inspiring leadership earns Ferrari Award
BOWLING GREEN, O.—For two decades of dedicated service to the University and the community, Jim Elsasser, associate athletics director for internal affairs, has been named the 2012 Michael R. Ferrari Award winner.
Presented at the annual Administrative Staff reception April 12, the honor includes a $1,000 cash award and a reserved parking spot for a year. The Ferrari is the highest award given to administrative staff and recognizes those who represent the values exemplified by former interim president “Mick” Ferrari: demonstrated excellence in one’s work while also promoting harmony, having strong relationships with the University community and being committed to the growth and betterment of BGSU and its students.
Elssaser has moved up through the administrative ranks based on those principles, said nominator Andy Grant, director of business operations. He has had responsibility for some of the biggest projects, culminating in his serving as the athletics representative to the core design team for oversight of the Stroh Center construction.
“Jim has the knack of expressing himself in a professional manner, even during challenging moments,” wrote nominator Michael Schuessler of Design and Construction and project manager for the Stroh.
“He spent countless hours making the building a reality—while staying within budget,” said Mary Ellen Gillespie, associate athletics director for external relations. “His commitment to ensuring the building is LEED-certified has earned BGSU great national visibility and recognition while securing gold status.”
Elsasser’s “unique ability to deliver a message in a direct yet constructive manner,” as Greg Christopher, director of intercollegiate activities, said, is admired by many and has made Elsasser one of “the most valued staff members in our department.”
He has had a significant impact on the department’s progress and development as a whole, said Gillespie, from his earlier days as “facilities guru” and sport administrator for golf and hockey to his current position, in which he oversees the department’s finances and internal operations. He has streamlined the financial system and increased cross-campus collaboration for better accountability and organization.
Elsasser brings his visionary and creative strengths, along with attention to detail and efficiency, to his everyday work, said Stephanie Young, head women’s golf coach. “His tireless work ethic coupled with a quiet, yet determined demeanor is always steadied by a steadfast, well thought out plan.”
His tasks often entail a sense of urgency since they are directly related to the experience attendees will have at BGSU events, Grant noted. Elsasser is masterly at determining what needs to be done and making sure it happens, even if it means him mowing the baseball field or painting a tennis shed before the MAC championship.
“Jim rolls up his sleeves and makes things happen in order to help others,” Gillespie wrote, adding, “In these challenging times with stress and frustrations running high, Jim is always there with his Seinfeld quotes and subtle humor to lighten the mood. He is flexible, honest and genuine.”
This and his rapport with the University community have led to his being in demand for committees across campus, from student affairs to parking and traffic.
He also is well known in the community, coaching youth sports, serving on community committees and in his church.
“He represents our institution well,” Gillespie wrote.
(Posted April 13, 2012 )