Bruce Mazzoni retired at age 42.
His job took him all over the world but left him little time at home. When his contract at work was up for renewal, he decided to take a sabbatical.
“I just never went back to work,” said Mazzoni, now 55, of Cranberry Township.
This left him plenty of time to get involved with the community, which has earned him accolades.
Mazzoni, along with Butler attorney Jennifer Linn, is being honored as the 2013 Distinguished Service Award winner.
The award is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Butler and the Butler Eagle, and is given annually to a senior recipient and a junior recipient for their community service.
Both will be honored at a dinner May 7 at the Butler Country Club in Penn Township.
Mazzoni, who is the senior recipient, started his community work on the board of directors for the Cranberry Public Library.
At the time, the library was considering closing on Sundays due to a lack of funding. Mazzoni suggested going to the community to raise money to keep the Sunday hours, which was successful.
Mazzoni also got involved with the Butler County Federated Library System to keep the Bookmobile operating.
“I just thought it was so important to have library services in the northern part of the county,” Mazzoni said.
From his involvement with the library, people encouraged him to run for township supervisor. He initially declined, but eventually decided to run. He was elected in 2005.
Today, Mazzoni is the chairman of the supervisors. He said people always tell him that it must be difficult to be a supervisor for such a large township.
“I always say it's just the opposite,” he said, praising the township's large staff.
He also is the treasurer of the Cranberry Township Community Chest.
Six years ago, he said the CTCC was about to disband. At the same time, he said many civic groups in the township were fading away. He said research showed many communities with thriving civic groups were based around a central entity. He and others felt that CTCC could be that entity.
Today, the community chest has 17 endowments and more than $1 million in assets, and Mazzoni said civic groups have grown.
Mazzoni is the chairman of CTCC's Project of the Year initiative, of which there have been four.
The first was the installation of a community sign near the intersection of Route 19 and Freedom Road in 2011. In years past, a sign there was torn down when the intersection was expanded.
Mazzoni said CTCC realized it would not be able to pay for the entire project, so it went to civic groups to help raise money. It also got UPMC Passavant to lease space on its property for the sign.
Since then, there has been a project every year.
Mazzoni also serves on the Butler County Community College board of trustees.
Mazzoni found out he was getting the award when county Commissioner Dale Pinkerton called him about three weeks ago. He said he initially tried to decline the honor.
“Truly, I enjoy doing this stuff,” Mazzoni said.
However, he said he knew it was a big deal and he is happy to promote the causes he is involved with.
“I very much appreciate it,” said Mazzoni, who is married with two adult children.
Linn, the junior recipient, started getting involved in the community when she moved here about 10 years ago for work.
“I guess it's a feeling of being part of a greater community,” said Linn, a Beaver County native.
Linn, who owns Jennifer R. Linn and Associates, has been involved with the Rotary Club of Butler for about 10 years.
She was president of the club in 2007-08. From 2008 through 2012, she was assistant governor to Rotary District 7280. From 2013 to the present, she has served as District 7280's lead trainer and the Western Pennsylvania Tri-District PETS lead trainer.
On the county Rotary level, Linn is the vice president and treasurer for the Butler Rotary Foundation and co-chairman for its annual Rotary Turkey Roundup, which provides food vouchers to needy families during the holiday season.
She also is co-chairman for the Butler Rotary Foundation's annual Sporting Clay Shoot, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
Linn formerly was on the board of directors for the Community Health Clinic of Butler County and the board of directors for Butler County Against Heroin.
Since 2011, she has been on the BC3 board of trustees.
She said she probably is most proud of her involvement in the early years of Butler County's Stand Tall Drug Awareness and Prevention Program in schools.
“Getting the program up and running,” Linn said.
Most recently, she has been acting as legal counsel to the Dunbar Community Center board and working with the center's after-school tutoring program at Butler elementary schools.
Linn, 36, lives in Butler with her daughter.