Ed Guignon has lived in Coppell for the past 38 years, volunteering his time to things in the city that he has a passion for, such as serving on the parks and recreation board or being a member of the Coppell Arts Council. Guignon was recognized at the Coppell City Council on Tuesday for his years of service to the city since he is moving away to Denver, Colorado to spend more time with his three children.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from college with a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering and moved to the Dallas area with my company just a few years later. Once in Dallas I switched careers completely from engineering to computer sales with IBM. I moved to Coppell as a single guy in 1985, got married to a wonderful woman (Angie), raised three awesome kids here and have lived here in Coppell for the last 38 years. I have always been a believer in community volunteer service, and was a volunteer with United Way, Big Brothers, Red Cross and local hospitals in my early years after college. After raising my kids here in Coppell and living here a while, I decided that I wanted to give back to this community and I've been actively doing that for the last 13-plus years. My wife and I are now both retired and our three kids live in Denver, so we made the difficult decision recently to move there to be closer to our kids. I not only have been fortunate enough to be able to spend my volunteer time on things I have a passion for, but I've also been blessed to have met such wonderful people over my years in Coppell. This includes neighbors, fellow volunteers, city staff, council members and mayors, etc. Those quality people are what makes this move the most difficult for me.
What is your favorite place to spend time in Coppell?
Whether it was with my kids as they were growing up, going for a bike ride or a run on my own, or just hanging out there with my family for a picnic, frisbee golf, youth sports, hikes, etc, my favorite place in Coppell to spend time over the years has been outdoors in the parks and on the trails.
In what ways are you involved in the community?
I was a member of the Parks and Rec Board for the last 13 years, and was Chair or Vice Chair for six of those years. I was one of three Co-Chairs who helped fundraise for and build the Kid Country community playground in Andy Brown Park. I was one of three Co-Chairs of the Living Well in Coppell non-profit organization in town which promoted health and wellness in the community. I was a volunteer Coppell youth soccer coach for 14 seasons. I was a member of the Coppell Arts Council for many years and also was a member of the Coppell Arts Center Foundation. I was a member of the Coppell bike and hike master plan committee. And I was an active citizen member of the Coppell 2030 and Coppell Vision 2040 strategic working groups. I was also a volunteer board member on our neighborhood HOA for the last few years.
What were some of your favorite volunteer opportunities?
As I mentioned, I've been fortunate to be able to spend my volunteer time on things that I have a real passion for, and so all of my Coppell volunteer activities have been a passion of mine. I really enjoy working with our future generation, which is our youth. So my years of coaching soccer, helping to make the Kid Country playground a reality, and working on the Parks and Rec Board to provide programs, facilities and outdoor activities for all ages, were especially rewarding for me. But equally I am a strong believer that the aesthetic beauty of the arts is an important component of a well-balanced and joyful life and community. So my efforts with the Coppell Arts Council and the Coppell Arts Center Foundation to help bring about our new Coppell Arts Center, and to make the arts more accessible to the community, are also something I was proud to be a part of.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have always been an outdoor enthusiast, and over the years have experienced everything from hang gliding, aerobatic open-cockpit plane, bungee jumping headfirst off a 125-foot tall bridge, glider plane, parachuting, etc. But in the last couple of decades I've focused mostly on outdoor adventures such as camping, backpacking and hiking, white water rafting and mountain climbing. In fact two years ago I completed climbs to the peak of all 55 mountains in Colorado that are higher than 14,000-feet tall.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about so many things in life. First and foremost I'm passionate about my wife and three kids. But I'm also very passionate about nature and the outdoors, aesthetics and the arts, mentoring our youth for a better life, wellness of mind/body/spirit, education and learning. I'm also passionate about this City of Coppell that I came to genuinely love over the years.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by people of high integrity who genuinely care about helping others, and who are willing to take a stand for what they know to be good and right.
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
I honestly don't think about my own legacy. But back in my 20s I was asked "What is your long-term goal?” My answer then would be the same today.... I would like to help and make a positive impact in the lives of the broadest group of people that I possibly can.
What are some of your favorite books or movies?
I read a lot of non-fiction books in order to learn about life. But I like a good fictional drama book as well. As far as movies, I really like thought-provoking movies about standing up for one's principles and integrity, even when it means you stand alone at times. I like good dramas too. My favorite movie is probably "Shawshank Redemption” and I like quirky but thoughtful movies as well, like "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.”
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