2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Michael Siegal, chairman and CEO, Olympic Steel Inc.

Michael Siegal, Chairman and CEO, Olympic Steel Inc.

As a steel service center, Olympic Steel Inc. is composed of many divisions — from a corporate office, to satellite warehouses, processing facilities and sales offices throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Together, employees across all divisions volunteer their time and efforts to support numerous community involvement initiatives. But every year, they also come together behind one cause in particular: making wishes come true.

The company launches its “Working for Wishes” partnership in 2004 with the goal to grant a single child’s wish through a partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Yet what began as a $5,000 commitment sparked an overwhelming outpouring of support from Olympic Steel employees, resulting in a fundraising total of $17,500, far beyond the company’s initial goal.

Today, employees at all levels are committed to driving the success of the Working for Wishes program, even in tough economic times. Each of the company’s locations conducts a month of fundraisers to contribute to the wish fund, including bake sales, car washes, raffles and other events.

Once the money is pooled, an Olympic Steel facility is selected to sponsor a local Make-a-Wish child and host a celebration to present a “wish check” to child and family.

Through this dedication of volunteer efforts, fundraising and donations, Olympic Steel was able to grant five wishes in 2009, one of the toughest years for many businesses. Since 2004, Olympic Steel employees have granted 64 wishes with nearly $400,000 in donations toward the cause.

And in 2011, the company exceeded its 2010 record high by more than $21,000 — enabling the organization to grant 12 wishes for children at local chapters of Make-A-Wish Foundation. Impressively, the company’s employees also contributed more than $92,000 in cash donations and 100 hours of their time to more than 40 other charitable causes last year.


How to reach: Olympic Steel Inc., (216) 292-3800 www.olysteel.com