COL Girard E. Besanceney, ’66
During his military career of over 30 years, Colonel Girard E. Besanceney held command roles at platoon through battalion levels, chiefly in Transportation Corps. He earned 4 Meritorious Service medals and 3 Legions of Merit.
He was graduated from The Ohio State University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), and later undertook graduate studies in Industrial Management at Central Michigan University. His military education culminated at the US Army Command & General Staff College. As his career ended, he was Chief of Staff at 83d Army Reserve Command.
In addition to his military career, Jerry led a distinguished civilian one during which he built and guided international and domestic businesses. He first served as HR then Plant Manager at the Holophane Plant in Newark. Then he was President of Prestige Products–a wood importer, and its successor, Eagle Industries–a furniture manufacturer.
He served as General Manager of Tech Int., directing factories and businesses in the US, Europe, and Asia, establishing 2 mills in China, 1 of which produced wood veneer products, and the other tire repair and industrial rubber products.
After retirement, he was a DoD Ombudsman, assisting returning service members. In 2019, he received the Ohio Outstanding Performance Award for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
COL Besanceney continues to serve on many boards and committees, often in leadership roles, such as Newark Rotary Club, Goodwill, and Licking County Chamber of Commerce. Notably combining his community and military roles, as a member of OSU-Newark Campus and Central Ohio Technical College Boards of Trustees, he was instrumental in facilitating the introduction of ROTC to the OSU-Newark Campus. He personally brokered a meeting between the OSU Professor of Military Science and OSU-Newark Regional Campus Dean.
On a lighter note, but still in leadership roles, he was a Governor of Buckeye Lake Yacht Club, and as fleet captain of the Inter-lake Yacht Club Assn., he coordinated the racing among 160 yacht clubs.