The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties has selected A. Ray Dalton of PartsSource in Aurora as the 2014 recipient of Robinson Memorial Hospital's Paragon Award.

It will be presented as part of the Real Heroes of Portage, Lake and Geauga Counties event May 15 at the Bertram Inn in Aurora.

After completing his military service, Dalton went on to earn his degree. He started his first business at age 25 and has since created seven successful companies. In 2004, he won the Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year award for the Northern Ohio Region and was a national finalist in 2007.

Dalton is frequently requested as a motivational speaker and keynote presenter at conferences and business meetings. He recently published his autobiography "Proceed with Confidence," in which he discusses his life experiences and offers his insights on personal and business growth.

His upbringing motivated his involvement in many civic organizations. He sits on several not-for-profit and community boards, and volunteers his time to encourage students and individuals to live their dreams.

He was a board member for the American Red Cross Blood Services Division for many years, and sat on the local chapter board. His company supported one complete program of Red Cross nurse assistant training, which helped 30 people become accredited as nurse assistants.

EVEN WITH his challenging schedule he prioritizes his faith, family and civic duties to include humanitarian mission projects, according to the Red Cross. He has been married for over 30 years to wife Jan, and has five children and eight grandchildren.

The Red Cross presents the Robinson Memorial Hospital Paragon Award to a community member who best exemplifies leadership in the community, demonstrates compassion for its people and actively supports the lifesaving missions of both the American Red Cross and Robinson Memorial Hospital.

The inaugural award was presented to Portage businessman Neil Mann Jr. in 2012. In 2013, the award was presented to Ron and Joan Burbick of the Burbick Foundation.

As a community leader in emergency preparedness and response, the Red Cross presents the Real Heroes Awards to residents of Portage, Lake and Geauga Counties who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency, or who have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of others.

Their actions embody the ideals, principles and purpose of the American Red Cross to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Reservations for the banquet cost $40 per person, with the proceeds supporting local Red Cross services. To reserve a space, contact Shelley Sprang at 330-535-2224 or