2015 Pillar Awards: Honoring greatness in the name of outstanding community service

Pillar Award honorees

Embracing the call to service

How reflecting and growing in its faith has inspired AMEND Consulting

cin_pa_CraigToddAMEND Consulting LLC
Craig Todd
Managing partner
www.amendllc.com

 

A strong vow to embrace the call to serve is at the root of AMEND Consulting LLC. Whether donating time, financial assistance or consulting services, the company pursues any means to strengthen the Greater Cincinnati community.

During the recent financial strife, AMEND stuck to its philosophy of giving. Instead of pulling back, it changed its giving structure from 5 percent of its bottom line to pulling 6 percent from the top line, a practice that continues today.

AMEND has given financially towards tuition assistance for Cincinnati Works, faith-based organizations such as Dynamic Catholic, Central Parkway Ministries, Scared Heard Radio, The Dan Beard Council and other nonprofits.

Strengthening the community is not only shown through financial gifts but stewardship. Members have served on academic advisory boards at the University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University and Lee University in Tennessee. Team members are involved in C-Change, which helps young professionals develop and enhance leadership skills.

Potential candidates are being sought out to engage in pro bono process improvement work. AMEND employees can give back by offering their skills and talents to those in the community that can’t afford them. The initiative is being launched through the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund with a focus on improving area high schools’ fundraising efforts and donor retention.

Through this multi-tiered approach, AMEND has worked to enhance the surrounding cityscape by providing the tools, insights and enthusiasm necessary for many charitable organizations to sustain and grow their service offerings. The company has found that money alone isn’t enough. Commitment and sacrifice are key to truly embracing a cause.


Dough-nation to end hunger

Panera Bread aims to end hunger and help those in need

cin_pa_JeffRainsBreads of the World LLC, dba Panera Bread
Jeff Rains
CEO

www.panera-ohio.com

 

For 18 years, Breads of the World LLC, dba Panera Bread has relentlessly worked to support hunger relief agencies and other charities around the Ohio/Northern Kentucky area.

Believing no food should go to waste, at the end of each day the company donates unsold bread to local hunger relief agencies such as area churches, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Salvation Army and many more. Southwest Ohio’s Panera Bread donated more than $2.3 million in product in 2013 through this Day End Giving program.

Panera Cares Community Breadbox, in partnership with Feeding America, helps food banks fight hunger in more than 75 U.S. markets. In 2013, Freestore Foodbank was presented with a check for $40,000 and Shared Harvest Foodbank received $5,000 thanks to customer donations and contributions.

Outside of its quest to fight hunger, Panera collaborates with the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio. Their annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign raised more than $34,000 in 2013 by donating 10 cents of every pink ribbon bagel sold at all 21 locations. Also, $10 pink coffee tumblers helped generate donations by offering free brewed coffee for October with purchase.

Panera Bread employees are provided with many opportunities to volunteer in their communities. The Power-Pack-A-Thon campaign on National Day of Service is an opportunity to work with Freestore Foodbank volunteers to pack thousands of lunches for local children involved in free and reduced lunch programs at area schools.
Panera Bread has shown its commitment to serving Southwest Ohio and giving back to organizations that support causes that have a positive impact on the community.


Serving hope

Daymon Worldwide employees help out Ronald McDonald House Charities

cin_pa_DarylKlovstadDaymon Worldwide
Daryl Klovstad
Vice president
www.daymon.com

 

At Daymon Worldwide, senior leaders have created a culture dedicated to giving back to its Cincinnati community by supporting employees’ volunteer efforts and providing corporate funding. The brand development company and its satellite offices support many charities with grants from its Daymon Foundation.

Daymon Worldwide involves and supports its employees in its charitable efforts in a variety of ways. It offers employees two days of paid time off per year for 16 hours of community service, rewarding employees for volunteering. Additionally, Daymon has its Associate and Community Engagement Committee, which organizes volunteer and donation opportunities, as well as social events for fellow associates.

The jeans fund is another way in which Daymon employees can give back. With an annual donation to the jeans fund, workers are permitted to wear jeans every Friday.

In 2014, the company used $2,000 of its jeans fund to support one of its favorite organizations, the Ronald McDonald House Charities. On the third Thursday of each month, a group of volunteers donate their time to cooking and serving a meal at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati. The $2,000 helped serve approximately 700 meals to residents in need.

The senior management team has been encouraging and accommodating to employees who take time out of the workday to give back to Ronald McDonald House Charities. As a result, over half of Daymon’s Cincinnati employees have served at the house.


History of giving

Formica Corp. provides a continuous presence for its charities

cin_pa_MitchellQuintFormica Corp.
Mitchell Quint
President
www.formica.com

 

Whether it is employees cooking for guest families at the Ronald McDonald House Charities or executives repairing a dock at Camp Joy in Clarksville, Ohio, Formica Corp. has lasting relationships with its chosen charities.

Since 1913, the laminate and solid surfacing manufacturing company has donated more than $100 million in funds and products, and countless hours of volunteer time annually to charitable projects in the Cincinnati area. Some of the numerous organizations that have benefited from Formica’s community service include the GLAD House, Freestore Foodbank and Hoxworth Blood Center.

Education-related organizations are another area of focus for Formica. Through its Backpack Drive in 2012, 23 backpacks and other supplies were donated to Beech Acres Parenting Center. Keeping the momentum going in 2013 and 2014, Central Elementary School in Reading, Ohio, was the recipient of 39 backpacks and supplies.

Formica employees consistently participate in food drives, tutoring and mentoring programs, community beautification efforts, cancer walks, blood drives and many other charitable programs. In 2012, the Formica team made it their mission to help lessen the stress of the holiday season for families with children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, cooking meals for families and providing wrapped gifts.

To remain active in the Cincinnati-area volunteer community, Formica launched its Social and Community Involvement Committee in 2011. This group meets and organizes community events on behalf of the company, participating in projects involving youth, health and well-being, and building homes. More and more employees have joined and the projects keep coming.


Giving inside and out

How KDM shows value to employees and its community throughout the year

cin_pa_BobKisselKDM P.O.P. Solutions Group
Robert Kissel
President and CEO
www.kdmpop.com

 

KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group leaders and its more than 350 employees are eager to contribute to a cause or volunteer their time. Those causes, however, are not always outside the company walls.

During the past year, the company and its employees have donated time and money to local and national nonprofit organizations such as Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities. The company and its employees have donated more than $30,000 to support causes close to their hearts, and given another $25,000 in printed signs and banners to community nonprofits.

For the past two years, KDM has sponsored a child’s wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The service committee began its fundraising efforts through a series of silent auctions, raffles and a cookout. The employees managed to contribute $5,500, to which company leaders added $2,500 for a total donation of $8,000 — the average cost of a child’s wish.

While much of its charitable efforts impact the surrounding community, KDM also finds ways to give back to its employees. For Christmas 2013, KDM employees and their families were invited to Breakfast with Santa. More than 100 children signed up for the event that included breakfast, gifts and a picture with Santa. Bad weather forced the event’s cancellation, but KDM delivered bags to each KDM employee who had children signed up. Each child received gifts, snacks and a note from Santa.

This past fall, KDM employees donated both money and time to build a house through Habitat for Humanity that will be donated to a KDM employee.


Covering all the bases

Modern Office Methods donates funds, equipment and talent to area charities

cin_pa_KevinMcCarthyModern Office Methods
Kevin P. McCarthy
President and CEO
www.momnet.com

 

Name any Cincinnati-area charity and chances are Modern Office Methods has helped them in some fashion. Nonprofits like Children’s Hunger Alliance, Mental Health America of Franklin County, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati and Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati have all benefited from MOM’s efforts to better the community it calls home.

Whether it is a corporate financial contribution in the thousands or walking through the stands of Cincinnati Reds’ stadium selling tickets to benefit the Reds Community Fund that supports inner city baseball teams, MOM lives up to its workplace culture of giving back.

This year, MOM employees participated in Banking on Our Communities to benefit the Cincinnati ToolBank. The MOM team was tasked with building and assembling picnic tables and a children’s play area for a community in Over-the-Rhine.

Yet MOM still has time to organize its own giveback program. In 2010, MOM launched Jump START Your Nonprofit, a contest in which nonprofits enter for a chance to win free office technology products and services. The contest has generated more than 100,000 votes on MOM’s website.

Jump START Your Nonprofit has had four successful years of awarding technology makeovers of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 to 12 area nonprofits, including Cincinnati Center for Autism, Helping Hands Center for Special Needs in Columbus and Elizabeth’s New Life Center in Dayton. MOM also donates free equipment to many of the 825 applicants who have not been awarded a technology makeover.


Sharing the passion

Powernet donates tablets to those in need

cin_pa_AllisonStevensForbesPowernet
Allison Stevens
CEO
www.powernetco.com

 

Powernet sets philanthropy as a core value within the company, and its record proves it year after year. The communications provider has made it its mission to lend a hand to its neighbors any way possible.

From financial contributions to hosting and participation in fundraising events, Powernet supported countless causes, communities and ministries in 2014. Nonprofits such as the American Heart Association, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and JDRF have all benefited from the company’s support.

Sharing the love but taking it one step further, Powernet incorporated its expertise in technology and telecommunications into its charitable efforts. Powernet donates tablets to those in need of technology, such as Appalachian Children’s Home, The Dragonfly Foundation, City Gospel Mission, Miracle Ministries and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati.

Powernet works with its employees on continuing its mission of giving back. That is why it provides Charitable PTO for its employees to work one day out of the office for a cause of their choosing. Some of the nonprofits and charities that benefited from this policy include the Hoxworth Blood Drive, The Dragonfly Foundation and Cancer Council ACT.

Attention and care also plays a role in giving back. Last year, employees purchased food and prepared meals for local shelters. Collectively, the Powernet team donated and purchased items from the Powernet Yard Sale, which benefited local charities.


Charity is not dodged

Total Quality Logistics focuses employees’ drive into high-energy charity events

cin_pa_KenOaksTotal Quality Logistics
Ken Oaks
CEO
www.tqljobs.com

 

While Total Quality Logistics has given more than $2.4 million over the past three years to charities, its culture of high energy and high drive has translated into unique fundraising and charitable events.

For instance, TQL partnered with the Professional Leadership Network to sponsor a dodgeball challenge. Proceeds from the event sent several hundred undeserved area youth to Challenge Camp, which is designed to develop leadership skills and instill ethics.

The TQL Flag Football Tournament, in partnership with CancerFree KIDS, is an adult flag football tournament that raises money for research to help eradicate pediatric cancer. The same charity is the benefactor of TQL’s “Tackle Hump Day,” a Wednesday extravaganza on the square that features team-based football challenges to raise awareness among downtown workers about CancerFree KIDS.

Since 2007, 820 TQL employees have raised nearly $70,000 for the American Heart Association through participation in the Heart Mini Marathon 5K. Some 197 runners/walkers from TQL participated. The company also supports and participates in the Forest Hills Foundation for Education 5K, the Cystic Fibrosis Walk, and held an urban race to raise money and awareness for the Marvin Lewis Community Fund and the Reds Community Fund.

Less athletic employees can improve the impact of their charitable donations with the help of the TQL matching gift program. The company matches one employee donation per calendar year at the rate of 50 percent of the original contribution. Knowing boots on the ground often matter more than money, TQL also grants employees time off for volunteer efforts.