How Mark Tripodi’s tragedy transformed into helping others

Nonprofit Director of the Year, Medical Mutual Pillar Awards 2014, Greater Cleveland

neo_pa_MarkTripodiMark Tripodi
Cornerstone of Hope

Good mourning, Ohio

To say Mark Tripodi and his wife Christi Tripodi comprehend grief is an understatement. In 2000, their 3-year-old son passed away from bacterial meningitis. Instead of succumbing to the pain, the Tripodi family developed a way to serve others who are struggling with loss. In 2003, they opened Cornerstone of Hope.

Cornerstone of Hope offers programs that include individual or group counseling, memorial events and crisis responses in the community. It’s based on the idea that it is important for children, adolescents and adults to understand the bereavement process and be given opportunities to express their emotions. Cornerstone is a place of support and guidance for every member of the family that is grieving.

Tripodi’s compassion for each person can be seen through his actions, such as a hug for a client who is waiting for an appointment, inviting a family over to his home for dinner to talk after they have lost a child and making phone calls on the anniversary of someone’s loss to just check in and see how they are doing that day.

When Christi’s aunt and founding board member, Lisa Kurtz Luciano, died in 2012, Cornerstone of Hope was looking for a way to remember her. So in the summer of 2013, Tripodi applied for Cornerstone of Hope to be featured on Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters.” A beautiful treehouse was built on the property that offers comfort and a quiet place to relax, ensuring that everyone will be served along their grief journey.