The Mariemont Alumni Association and the Mariemont School Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of Mariemont High School’s fourth annual Distinguished Alumni Award.
The award recognizes Mariemont High School graduates of at least 10 years who have notably distinguished themselves by extraordinary contributions and/or remarkable accomplishments in their chosen career; skill, trade or business; in civic duties; in military service; in philanthropy; in volunteerism; in the arts; in the sciences; in education; in religion; or any other field, endeavor or pursuit.
The recipients are Ted A. Beattie, class of 1963, President and CEO, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium; Marie Huenefeld, class of 1959, former longstanding Mariemont Board of Education member and community volunteer; and James Monroe III, class of 1973, founder and CEO of the Thermo Companies. The fourth class of recipients was selected from nominations submitted to a committee including Mariemont Alumni Association (MAA) and Mariemont School Foundation (MSF) board members.
On Friday, October 7, these truly distinguished alumni will spend the day at Mariemont High School, where they will meet the faculty, visit with students and share their stories of success. At 5:30pm, they will be featured as honored guests in the school district’s annual Homecoming Parade. Finally, the Distinguished Alumni will be formally introduced and honored before the Homecoming Game at Kusel Stadium.
Ted A. Beattie graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1963. He attended the Ohio State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in public relations. From 1978 to the present Ted has held numerous leadership roles at zoos and aquariums across the country, including the Cincinnati Zoo, Brookfield Zoo (Chicago), Knoxville Zoological Gardens, and Forth Worth Zoo. The Shedd Aquarium hired Ted as its President and CEO in 1994, a role that he held for more than two decades until his retirement earlier this year. Under his leadership, the prestigious aquarium has experienced record growth and enormous change. It now draws more than two million visitors annually, making it the most visited aquarium in the country. Ted is also the recipient of numerous honors and accolades. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Ted to serve on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. And in 2005, he received the R. Marlin Perkins Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for extraordinary service. Ted and his wife Jill split their time between Lakeside, Michigan and Osprey, Florida.
Marie (Caroselli) Huenefeld was an active member of the class of 1959, participating in athletics, the arts, and journalism. She attended Ohio University and graduated with a degree in journalism. Marie is a lifelong volunteer. Numerous volunteering experiences after college led her to become a trustee of the Association of Volunteers of the Convalescent Hospital for Children. The association has raised millions of dollars for the Convalescent Hospital and the Medical Center and Marie continues her active role on that board today. She is also a member of the Convalescent Hospital Board of Trustees, Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship, and the Cincinnati Horticultural Society. For more than four decades, Marie has served on 12 other city and community non-profit boards. In 1987, voters elected Marie to the Mariemont City School District Board of Education, where she served as president four times. She retired from the school board in 2015 and was honored with the inaugural Marie Huenefeld Friend of Mariemont Schools Award. She was a Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the year in 1999. Along with her volunteer activities, Marie has played an active role in the family business, Dee Sign Co. Marie lives in Mariemont and is the proud mother of two Mariemont graduates, Braden and Kirk.
James (Jay) Monroe III is a graduate of the class of 1973 and attended college at Tulane University. Jay exemplifies the spirit of the American entrepreneur. In 1984 he and his wife used $40,000 -- the proceeds of the sale of their New Orleans home -- to start Thermo Companies, a business selling electricity to utility companies. Jay later raised millions in debt and equity to finance the construction of Thermo's first power plant in Colorado. After building four power plants, Thermos began investing in natural gas exploration projects. Jay and his partners operated these businesses for 20 years and used the profits to build sizable companies in commercial and resort real estate, financial services and aircraft leasing, industrial distribution and telecommunications. Currently, Jay’s largest telecommunications business interest is in the satellite industry, where Thermo holds a majority interest in Globalstar. Globalstar is a publicly traded provider of satellite phones and communications infrastructure to the 3 billion people in world without cellular or landline access. Jay is currently Globalstar’s Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Jay and his wife split their time between Denver and New Orleans.
The Mariemont School Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the long-term success of our students and community through initiatives that enhance educational excellence in the Mariemont City School District. Your support of its Annual Fund Drive is critical to the success of the organization. For more information contact Molly Smyth, MSF Trustee, at 513-271-3316. Nominations for the fifth annual Distinguished Alumni Award will be solicited in the spring.