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WARREN DILLAWAY / Star Beacon GLEN WARNER is retiring from Molded Fiberglass in Ashtabula. Warner poses with vehicles built with the company's products.

ASHTABULA — When Glen Warner’s children asked him for some thoughts on his upcoming retirement, the word “enthusiasm” came to mind.

And for those folks who know Warner, 69, who’s served as an ordained Baptist minister to area churches, as well as vice president of marketing and special projects for Molded Fiber Glass for the past 35 years, that particular word comes as no surprise.

“Enthusiasm is an essential part of doing successful work,” he said. “It inspires new, fresh ideas and brings energy to the goals and quality to the effort. It sets your goals high enough to bring out the best effort.”

Earlier this year, Molded Fiber Glass honored Glen Warner for his 35 years of loyal service to the company. His tenure has included various leadership roles in sales, marketing and community relations — beginning in 1973 as president of Western Reserve Press where he marketed the books and newspaper columns of founder Robert S. Morrison.

Some notable accomplishments over the course of his MFG career include an instrumental role in capturing the Freightliner business that led to major sales for the next 20 years. In 1998 he was honored with the Pioneer Award for his valuable contributions in identifying and cultivating significant key customer relationships.

Warner credits his teammates who he describes as “outstanding, caring people.” He said Brian Kane was one of many of those people.

Warner recalled calling on a major tractor builder in the Midwest to see if they were in need of molded fiber glass parts. Behind his office was his personal museum filled with old, very primitive tools like horse-drawn plows, mule treadmills, and steam powered threshing machines.

“He said he liked to study them because that is where he got his new ideas,” Warner said. “By remembering their original purposes, he could relate the same function and principles to the modern world.”

Warner thought of Proverbs 16:3: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Beyond his life at MFG, Glen contributed to the community and world at large. In 1976, he took a leave of absence to work for the White House Advance Office on Gerald Ford’s presidential campaign.

Among his many community activities, he served as chairman of Kent State University-Ashtabula “Next Step Campaign,” raising $6 million for construction of the Health and Science building.

This year, he was elected president of the philanthropic Ashtabula Foundation. Upon retirement this month, he plans to spend more time on that endeavor.

As an ordained minister, he has been active in numerous churches and community projects, and a familiar officiant at the weddings and funerals of many generations of teammates.

Warner is married to Nancy Warner, board member of the Molded Fiber Glass Companies, and they have two children and five grandchildren. Upon retirement this month, Warner and his wife plan to spend much of their time at their new residence in South Carolina enjoying their two youngest grandchildren.

“Nancy is a true Buckeye, so we’ll maintain our Ohio residence, too,” he said.

Warner met Nancy while in seminary in Boston. He was singing in a choir and she played the piano.

“It was love at first sight,” he said. “Such a lovely, young woman ... that smile (sigh) I was a goner.”

Born in Rome, N. Y., Warner grew up on a dairy farm. He left for college at age 17, when he felt the call to ministry. When he needed college money, the family would sell a cow, he said.

“As I reflect on the interesting experiences of my life, I know I was fortunate in so many ways: Partnering with a really smart wife, learning a strong work ethic on my childhood farm, solid family support, college and seminary, wonderful mentors, good church friends, teammates and materials at MFG, the great territory of the western U.S. and the wisdom of a friend, who said, ‘If you work hard, you get lucky,’” he said. “I add to that the discovery of praying for my customer’s success, and this I did, every time I went in to call on them.”

Warner said the “Ask, Seek, Knock” principle that Jesus Christ talked about means that as we really desire good things for others, we find ourselves twice blessed.

“As we pray for them, we, ourselves are aligned with God’s purpose for our own lives,” he said. “We become open to his timing and patient with that, using every experience as preparation for the eventual, positive outcome. I guess that’s a good definition of faith.”

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