Congratulations to Dane Shryock…the 2023 Coshoctonian Recipient. Below is the speech for the award.
The Coshoctonian is one of the most prestigious honors our community recognizes. The award recognizes the totality of achievements from any one individual, and is, in a sense, a lifetime achievement award for Coshocton’s leaders. In short, those recognized as Coshoctonians have made a difference in our community. Coshocton is a different, and better, place because they were (and are) here.
This can certainly be said for this year’s recipient. The best communities don’t just happen…you have to build a case for their success. Success leaves clues…and this year’s recipient has searched for…and created evidence around…the success of Coshocton County for years.
This year’s recipient of the Coshoctonian Award is Dane Shryock.
Let’s start where Dane learned to build a case…professionally. Dane was hired by Sheriff Hoop and raised through the ranks at the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Department. He moved from Road Deputy To Chief Detective and Captain. Jon Mosier, retired from the Sheriff’s department called him “the best detective Coshocton County has ever had.”
High praise indeed, from a respected local officer.
And while you may say, that’s just one man’s opinion. It’s not. The Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recognized him as the “Outstanding Police Officer of the Year,” and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the FBI…you may have heard of it) and the Ohio Attorney General gave him the “Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Police Work.”
Dane was also instrumental in catching a Serial Killer. That’s not something you hear every day! Dane Shryock was part of a task force that solved the Thomas Dillon case in 1992. Again, from Jon Mosier, “There were lots of people that were involved in the case that never thought we would solve the case. But Dane had a theory and would not let it go.”
Mosier continued, “When Dane got an idea, he would stick with it until he proved it was either right…or wrong. Had he not done that with the Dillon case, more people would have surely died.”
These are just a few clues to the success that Dane experienced while serving and protecting our community. But wait…there’s more.
Dane has also developed the ability to “build a case” for future leaders of Coshocton County.
We received multiple letters from current leaders in the community who have been mentored by Dane. As Tiffany Swigert said, “He took a chance on me before I had proven anything.” Then once he took that chance, Dane worked to lead and mentor each person he took under his wing.
As Valerie Shaw said, “Dane will continue to just stop in and see how I am doing. Even now that I don’t report to him, he continually stops in to see how I am doing and if I need anything.
He is more than a boss…he is a leader.”
Success leaves clues. But even when there was not sufficient evidence, Dane is willing to “play a hunch” when it comes to growing leaders in the community. And sometimes that means creating evidence in the mind of those you mean to lead.
But when building the case for a great leader, I think you have to ask…what do they do when times get tough? Everyone looks good when things are going well…right? Okay…let’s look for evidence there.
Dane also has an entrepreneurial streak. Back in 2002, before he retired from the Sheriff’s department, Dane started his own landscaping business. So, he certainly understood the challenges that came with the pandemic in 2020 for small businesses in our community. That is why Dane (and the rest of the County Commissioners) worked with the Port Authority and other local agencies to provide grants to small businesses to help them stay afloat during that trying time.
More clues…to his impact on Coshocton County.
And finally, how about his time as a public servant in the Coshocton County Commissioners office? Do we find evidence for community impact in his work there? It’s an open-and-shut case.
During Dane’s 18 years as a commissioner, Dane has spearheaded countless projects that have had (and continue to have) lasting impact on the community. Under his watch, the commissioner’s office has invested in a Dog Warden Program (where he hired now Fire Chief Rusty Dreher), established a county IT department, and EV charging stations, and improved wifi options throughout our county. While this is a wildly incomplete list of projects, it shows Dane’s willingness to invest in the future of the community.
As fellow commissioner Gary Fischer said, “His energy for Coshocton County is unmatched. Dane will wake up in the middle of the night, thinking about a solution to a problem, and he can’t let it go. Often, he will call me at 6 a.m. because he knows I will be up, and he will tell me about ideas that he has been thinking about since 2:30 in the morning.” His mind is constantly building that case for a better future for Coshocton County.
And we see that future shaping up in front of our eyes.
Dane has been instrumental in getting grant funding to help build our new EMS building, enhancements to our local transportation department, and more.
And talk about building a case! Dane Shryock was an integral part of the committee that passed the sales tax levy for the new Coshocton County Justice Center. This committee was a wonderful example of how a community can accomplish remarkable things if everyone in the room is rowing the boat in the same direction.
Or to say it differently, if everyone is working to build the same case for Coshocton County’s future.
So, as I said before, success leaves clues. And when a career and a life are built in the service of Coshocton County, success leaves a legacy.
Please join me in congratulating Dane Shryock as the 2023 Recipient of the Coshoctonian Award.