Jim Balogh, digital media specialist, has always enjoyed his role as a storyteller. Through videos, he’s brought discoveries, training and experiences to viewers, and shared amazing parts of communities that people take for granted or overlook.
At Akron Children’s, Jim used his skills to tell stories about how Children’s serves the community and enhances the health and well-being of children and their families. Some productions were award-winning, such as the Autism Family Foundation video, which earned a Telly Award. Other videos told the story of Children’s expansion, like razing the Wally Waffle Building to make room for Children’s Kay Jewelers Pavilion.
After 11 years at Children’s, Jim retired from full-time work on Jan. 3, but plans to continue working part-time on digital and AV projects and in community service. Jim, a Twinsburg Township trustee, was recently re-elected to his fourth 4-year term. In between these activities, Jim intends to explore cities and towns locally or when visiting his sons in Seattle, Wash., and Green Bay, Wis.
What brought you to Children’s?
I was job hunting and looked on LinkedIn. Children’s had posted an audiovisual manager position. I applied and Beth Smith, vice president of public relations and marketing, hired me.
Have you always worked in the same department and role?
For 9 years, I was the audiovisual manager in the PR department. The AV team creates content, including posters, photographs, videos and more. Basically, we help with whatever the digital media production need is. We serve internal audiences at multiple Children’s campuses and the medical community and handle special events, such as when speakers need AV support. Two years ago, I joined Information Services to manage the modernization, standardization and simplification of Children’s AV equipment used across 40 classrooms, conference rooms and auditoriums. We’re wrapping this project up, and I’ll be at Children’s part time to finish it.
What have your biggest contributions been while here?
There are several. In the PR department, I created a project database for the AV staff to track how many jobs we complete annually, including details about the customer and other specifics. In 2014, I oversaw the interactive patient television system installation project at our Akron and Beeghly campuses. The 500-plus TVs further our family-centered care approach and feature patient education videos, numerous first-run movies and many cable channels. The vendor we partnered with embraced what we had in place instead of reinventing the wheel, helping us reduce costs while deploying and managing the system.
My most recent project to modernize our AV equipment in our meeting spaces makes teleconferencing and video conferencing easier. It’s more user friendly because one button powers the entire system in each room, and all rooms are equipped with microphones to aid audio. The upgrade connects over 80 Children’s locations. The modernization makes collaboration easier and enables us to share Children’s culture throughout the enterprise.
How has Akron Children’s changed since you started here?
It’s not a change as much as a remarkable success story. I wish every employee appreciates how Children’s has developed and sustained its targeted market growth. Children’s leadership strategy leverages Children’s financial strength to “self-fund” its growth to perpetuate the hospital’s independence. It’s a job well done. As a township trustee, I recognize this strategy as we employ it similarly to fund local projects.
What’s your happiest moment at Akron Children’s?
Seeing Beth Smith’s smile when she saw the 7-feet high by 32-feet long display and timeline I created in 2009 of Bill Considine’s (Akron Children’s CEO Emeritus) contributions to celebrate his 30 years as CEO.
With so many little children here, did someone or something especially touch your heart?
While working with the AV equipment during meetings and conferences, I hear parents share stories about their child’s illness or condition. We’re all God’s children. I pray for those parents and their children.
What do you look forward to the most in retirement?
Driving my 31-year-old Mazda Miata! And learning to play the piano.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Sitting and reading outside on summer mornings and enjoying my coffee.
Do you have any advice for people just starting at Children’s?
Embrace the culture. Things will get done, but maybe not on your timeline.
What couldn’t you live without?
My wife, Mary Beth, who has survived serious health issues. I don’t want to miss a minute with her now that she’s doing so well.
What music do you like? Where and how do you listen to it?
Blues, rock, country rock, big band and New Orleans second line street music. I listen at home and in the car.