2017 Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service – Greater Akron/Canton

The Pillar Award for Community Service was developed by Smart Business and Medical Mutual to honor businesses and individuals dedicated to making Northeast Ohio a better place to live. The program is designed to demonstrate the tie between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds and showcase best practices.

Here we highlight the Greater Akron and Canton companies that were honored with 2017 Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service. To see the entire 2017 Northeast Ohio class, visit the full article on our Cleveland market page.

Pillar Award Honorees

Jill Soltau
President and CEO

JOANN debuted a new look and logo this summer, but its core mission remains the same: to inspire the creativity in everyone.

Led by President and CEO Jill Soltau, the fabric and craft retailer has aligned with several national organizations that represent communities in need of assistance in the areas of education, health and support for service members and their families. One of the strongest partnerships is with Kids In Need Foundation, through which JOANN gives back to children and teachers at both a local and national level. The impact of this work can be seen across the country and in Cleveland.

In the past few years, JOANN has given more than $150 million in school supplies to KINF through its store discard program. Each of the company’s 870 stores across the U.S. works with a KINF affiliate to donate clearanced-out supplies to a regional resource center, or to a local underserved school or organization, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

JOANN also raises funds through coin box collections in all stores each summer. The funds collected go toward covering costs for teacher supply boxes each year, as well as toward the KINF Second Responder program, which helps classrooms recover after natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Education for all is critical and JOANN is committed to furthering that effort both locally and nationally. ●

LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Matt Kaulig

LeafFilter Gutter Protection, led by CEO Matt Kaulig, has thrown its support behind both local and national philanthropic organizations. Kaulig’s involvement with the local community has empowered the company’s employees to give back. And with 43 offices and over 1,500 employees across the country, the sentiment has spread nationwide.

LeafFilter establishes projects in the communities in which it operates either by working with local organizations or by developing relationships with the community. For example, Kaulig is a founding member of Santa PICsU, a nonprofit that gives to children and families in traumatic situations. The LeafFilter team works with the Pediatric Intensive Care Units to find children and parents who are most in need of the healing power of giving.

The Santa PICsU organization has two annual events that focus on raising money for those in need. At the most recent Christmas in July barbecue, the LeafFilter team raised more than $100,000 that went toward funding weigh beds for Akron Children’s Hospital, as well as a complete renovation for the PICU waiting room.

LeafFilter also supports Akron Children’s Hospital’s Walk for Babies, and its generous donations have had an incredible impact on the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

The company’s generosity also extends to local organizations, such as Hudson Youth Football and Cheerleading, and Keep Akron Beautiful, as well as national organizations like the Make-A-Wish and Marine Corps Scholarship foundations. ●

Click here to see the entire 2017 Northeast Ohio class.