The Emerald Leader Award is given annually to an individual, business, and/or nonprofit agency that exemplifies outstanding leadership by positive contributions to Geauga County through volunteer service, philanthropy, or innovation.

Leadership Geauga runs deep in Mary Beth O’Neill’s life. She, a 2008 signature program graduate, and her husband, Jim, a signature and heritage program graduate, have lived in Geauga County since 1991. Mary Beth worked in retail management for 25 years and received her real estate license in 2001. Her service to Geauga County includes serving nine years as a trustee with the Geauga Park District Foundation and now volunteers with the Foundation for Geauga Parks, where she is the Secretary, Chair of the Advancement Committee, and Chair of the annual Twilight Soiree.

She and her husband also support the 4-H livestock auction each year. They appreciate the mission of 4H – to help young people grow personally, grow responsibly, and get to know their peers.

Mary Beth also volunteers with Leadership Geauga on the Advancement Committee and supports the Emerald Ball. She claims, “Leadership Geauga was an opportunity to get to know so much more about Geauga County, as well as many wonderful businesspeople that I may have never met otherwise.”

Mary Beth has served on the Ravenwood Mental Health Board since 2013. She shares, “I am constantly amazed at the heart the people at Ravenwood have for their clients and how the organization has grown and developed over the years to serve more people.” She has a sister who struggles with mental illness, and her mother serves as President of the Buffalo (New York) chapter of NAMI.

Matt Emrick, Leadership Geauga Board President, shares, “Mary Beth O’Neill embodies a leadership culture that we can all take lessons from. Her wisdom comes from a lifetime of allegiance to so many nonprofit organizations. The overwhelming number of nominations Mary Beth received for the Emerald Leader inspires us all.”

Mary Beth O’Neill will receive the 2023 Emerald Leader Award at the Emerald Ball on Saturday, March 4, 2023.


The public is invited to honor Mary Beth O’Neill by attending Leadership Geauga’s annual Emerald Ball, an evening of leadership recognition and philanthropy, on Saturday, March 4, 2023. For information on purchasing tickets, program advertising, event sponsorships, or donating a prize, call 440-286-8115 or visit the Leadership Geauga website at


Founded in 1995, Leadership Geauga County (LGC) is a community-based 501c3 nonprofit organization working to develop and encourage current and future leaders from a cross-section of Geauga County. The organization builds bridges between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with annual programs that inform, educate, connect, and inspire the county’s seasoned and future decision-makers to serve as catalysts in building strong organizations and vibrant communities. LGC programs include the summer Youth Leadership Institute, Signature Adult Program, and Heritage Program for adults at or approaching retirement. Each is a unique combination of relationship building, leadership development, personal and professional growth, and outstanding community education. For further information on Leadership Geauga, please call 440-286-8115 or visit

Learn more about the Emerald Ball