By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — Bill and Elaine Mercurio have received many awards throughout their lives. But the one they received Friday during the Greene County Annual Report to the Community means the most to them.
The Beavercreek residents were given the prestigious E.J. Nutter Award, created to honor and recognize people who have distinguished themselves and brought benefit to Greene County while keeping in line with the E.J. Nutter tradition.
“It’s just special,” said Bill Mercurio, who previously received the “Outstanding Engineer and Science Award” by the Affiliate Societies Council of Engineering and Science Foundation, and was a regional winner and national finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. “It’s different because this award is given by the people that you know. When you get local people that can see what you do … to me that award is much greater. This award is much more prestigious.”
Nutter was a local businessman and philanthropist who rarely — if ever — said no. The Mercurios aptly personify that mantra.
They are the co-founders of Michael’s House, a child advocacy center in Fairborn, dedicated in 2008, in honor of their son, Michael, who died unexpectedly in July 2007 at the age of 37. Michael Mercurio devoted his life to improving the lives of others, especially children. The facility supports children who are affected by abuse and neglect and works to improve the delivery of services to children in Greene County.
But that’s just part of the Mercurio’s legacy.
Elaine Mercurio is heavily involved in her community and has generously dedicated her time to various organizations including the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, St. Luke’s Parish, Beavercreek Park Board, Greene Community Health Foundation Auxiliary, Family Violence Prevention Center, Beavercreek Women’s League and Greene County Juvenile Court as a court-appointed special advocate. She has received many awards for her service including the “Civic Award” by the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce, “Volunteer of the Year” by the Family Violence Prevention Center, and “Paul Harris Fellowship Award” by the Beavercreek Rotary. She was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003.
“I’m just humbled,” Elaine Mercurio said, quickly distributing credit all around. “When we tried to do things we had an army behind us. We just sometimes took the lead but we had an army on board.”
Despite all her previous honors, she said she was “shocked” to receive the E.J. Nutter Award.
“We don’t do it to get this (award), but it’s nice to get it,” Elaine Mercurio said.
In 1990, Bill Mercurio led a management buy-out of Beavercreek-based Plastic Trim, Inc. and turned the company into a success as a leading automotive manufacturer of plastic exterior trim for Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. He sold Plastic Trim, Inc., to JPE, Inc., prior to his retirement in 1997. In 2003, he re-purchased the company, which had become unprofitable due to falling sales. After reviving the company, Mercurio sold it to Minth International in 2007.
As a result of his company’s success, he was honored with many awards including “Business Person of the Year” by the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce. He has been involved with the Beavercreek chamber, St. Luke’s Parish Council, Beavercreek Ambassador’s Club and the Wright Brothers Institute.
“They are doers, givers, visionaries, parents and grandparents,” Bob Nutter, youngest son of E.J. Nutter said in introducing the Mercurios. “They go together like peas and carrots, Fred (Astaire) and Ginger (Rogers), love and marriage.”