Every organization has its “go-to” people and Gilmour Academy is no exception. Barbara Watts Siss Oney GO ’73 and Denis Hoynes ’51 received Gilmour Academy’s Alumni of the Year Award on December 19 at the Academy’s new Athletic Center during the Headmaster’s Christmas Party. Oney, a 1973 graduate of Glen Oak School, which merged with Gilmour in 1982, is a leader and innovator in business management, marketing and business. Hoynes, a retired businessman and a 1951 Gilmour graduate, was one of the first students to attend the Academy. The award honors Gilmour graduates who have distinguished themselves in their personal lives and careers, and who have demonstrated leadership and service to the school.
In 2008, Oney partnered with TL Champion to launch Got*City GAME! The reality game show focuses on the positive aspects of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio to impel 18-to-35-year-old people to build their careers in the region. Oney, who is executive director of the project, received a Cleveland Foundation Civic Innovation Lab Grant and was named “Hero of the Region” by the Employers Resource Council. She also owns a consulting practice called CMO To/Go and is a managing partner in Trust Inc., a marketing and business consulting company. She was previously director of Digital Airport Initiative LLC, a technology-based marketing effort to unite corporate leaders and others in Northeast Ohio to sell the city and the region. The one-time chief marketing officer for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, she forged partnerships to develop key events such as the Rock Hall’s CMJ Music Fest and the Grand Prix.
Oney graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in dance education. In 1986, she joined MGM/UA Home Video, launching a 16-year career in the film industry. Oney was director of Worldwide Promotions at Twentieth Century Fox and was a vice president at Universal Studios. She has served on Gilmour’s Alumni Planning Committee and participated earlier this year in a video interview project on entrepreneurship with Gilmour students, which will be available on Ashland University’s Web site.
Hoynes was an eighth grader when Gilmour opened its doors in 1946 and attended the Academy throughout high school. A graduate of John Carroll University, Hoynes was a 1983 recipient of JCU’s alumni medal and served on its alumni board for 17 years. Throughout his career, he worked with numerous companies, including the Central Electrotype Company, J.N. Russell Company and Professional Management, and was manager of fixed asset accounting with the Pick ’n Pay/Finast grocery store chain. He has been active with Gilmour’s Alumni Association, volunteering to recruit classmates to attend reunion weekend, and has organized other activities for his classmates. He was commissioner of the Chagrin Valley Little League for 35 years, and is a volunteer for the Little Sisters of the Poor and a Eucharistic Minister at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Gates Mills.