Attending college close to home helped one Sheffield Lake man contribute to the family business while also learning skills to advance in the company.

Karl Guenther, 22, will graduate in May with an Associate of Applied Business – Business Management degree. He plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in business from Kent State University, which he will attend in the fall.

“When I graduated high school, I wasn’t ready to go away to college,” Guenther said. “Coming to LCCC made sense for me because I could keep working part-time for my family’s company and also stay on top of school work.”

Guenther’s family owns Chemtron Corp. in Avon. The company provides environmental cleanup services to public and private organizations.
Throughout his time at LCCC, Guenther benefitted from LCCC’s academic advisers.

“At first, I was scheduling my classes online and trying to figure out my path on my own. Then I was set up with Krista O’Neill in Enrollment Services and she was a godsend,” Guenther said.

With O’Neill’s help, Guenther was able to schedule his classes in sequence and graduate as quickly as possible.

Staying close to home for his education allowed Guenther to continue to volunteer work within the community. Two years ago, he helped spearhead a benefit dinner for the family of Elyria police officer Jim Kerstetter, who was killed in the line of duty in 2010. The dinner raised more than $20,000 for the Kerstetter family.

“I had hoped to raise about $5,000, but as we got closer to the event, we had to print more tickets and find a bigger hall,” he recalled. “It was humbling to be part of such a great event.”

After he earns a bachelor’s degree, Guenther plans to continue work his family business and eventually earn a master’s degree in business.