Celebrating the culture of community service
Medical Mutual, along with co-founding partner, Smart Business, is proud to present the ninth annual Pillar Awards for Community Service.
The Pillar Awards recognize organizations that set the standard for outstanding service to their communities. These organizations’ service efforts take many forms, including volunteer time, charitable giving and pro bono support. What all our honorees have in common, though, is the culture they have built where service is ingrained in their values and employees are empowered to support their communities.
At Medical Mutual, we strive to embody a culture of service. As a company dedicated to our Ohio customers and employees, we have a responsibility to support the local communities where we live and work. When businesses help those in need, we strengthen our entire community.
One of the Pillar Awards that will be presented is a special honor given to a company whose employees best exemplify the values of Medical Mutual’s own Employee SHARE Program. SHARE stands for serve, help, aid, reach and educate.
Our SHARE Program is the heart and soul of Medical Mutual’s community service effort. Through our employees’ generosity and passion, the program coordinates more than 50 events in support of nonprofit and community agencies. Last year, our employees spent more than 5,800 hours aiding area organizations.
We are proud to be in the company of extraordinary organizations that improve the communities we serve. Together, through our culture of service, we are building stronger communities.
On behalf of Medical Mutual and Smart Business, we congratulate all our 2019 Pillar Award recipients. ●
Chairman, president and CEO, Medical Mutual of Ohio
Pillar Award honorees
Every summer, Formica Corp. conducts a supply and donation drive for Reading Central Elementary at the start of the school year. The company donates a large amount of supplies, backpacks and money to cover students’ needs. Formica communicates with the school to learn about its greatest needs, then provides supplies that directly benefit Reading Central’s classrooms, student and teachers.
Formica continues to support Reading Central’s teachers and students throughout the school year. The company provides students with opportunities to experience college campuses by donating tickets to University of Cincinnati events, creating great memories for the children and their families.
Economic, transportation and other factors can often be barriers for Reading Central families when it comes to accessing community events. Here, Formica helps again. The company provides a means for classes to visit the Cincinnati Zoo and other area events.
Formica also directly volunteers at the school. The Young Professionals group partnered with Reading Central on an after-school STEM group this past school year. Volunteers from Formica would engage third, fourth and fifth grade students in science, engineering and math activities.
Formica continues to communicate with the school’s principal and Reading Central’s staff about how and in what ways it can support the school. Reading Central is thankful for Formica’s continued communication, support and willingness to help the school community in so many ways.
Formica, led by Mitchell Quint, president, North America, is a provider of branded, designed surfacing solutions for commercial and residential customers worldwide. ●
Rex Wetherill, CEO
Hydrotech Inc., led by CEO Rex Wetherill, supports a number of causes that serve a variety of missions. For example, Got-Special KIDS, a company founded by a member of Hydrotech’s ownership team, is dedicated to improving the lives of children with special needs and providing proven and cost-effective educational resources, therapeutic play, sensory products and solutions that enhance learning, promote independence and affirm important life skills.
To support professional development, Hydrotech donated $120,000 worth of training assemblies to Cincinnati State’s Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. The four hydraulic training stands form a system where students can test and train different scenarios they may encounter in the fluid power industry. Between 300 and 350 students will use these stands per year.
Veterans also get Hydrotech’s support. For example, the company backs the Green Beret Foundation, which provides direct and continuous support to the Green Beret community and its families by facilitating the transition of Green Berets and their families from wounds sustained in combat, illness, injury or readjustments from numerous deployments and/or retirement. Hydrotech also annually participates in the Bowling for the Brave event to raise awareness and money for local veterans in need. All proceeds generated stay in the community and help fund local organizations in their assistance programs.
Hydrotech has participated in multiple Habitat for Humanity house builds. All across America, individuals and families struggle to find affordable places to live. Habitat seeks to remedy this injustice by providing low-income people the opportunity to realize their dreams of homeownership. ●
JACK Cincinnati Casino
Chad Barnhill, Senior vice president of regional operations and general manager
JACK Cincinnati Casino, led by Senior Vice President of Regional Operations and General Manager Chad Barnhill,
engages in a number of philanthropic efforts to improve the community.
Each month, Master Provisions Inc. and Isaiah House Ministries partner together to host a mobile food pantry. JACK Cincinnati Casino team members have completed two canned food drives to support Master Provisions. In addition, JACK Cincinnati Casino has donated $25,000 since 2016, and every other month, JACK Cincinnati Casino team members volunteer at the mobile food pantry.
This year, JACK Cincinnati Casino donated $10,000 to St. Francis Seraph School for a new playground. The casino is currently partnering with its vendors for donations of time, labor and money to complete this project at St. Francis, which is home to more than 200 students from preschool to 8th grade. The children currently play in a fenced-in area around the school, but they have no playground equipment.
Cincinnati prides itself on the conservation and enhancement of city parks. Since the property’s inception in 2013, JACK Cincinnati Casino team members have teamed up with the Cincinnati Parks Foundation to help beautify the city as part of the Mayor’s Corporate Challenge. Each year, team members volunteer in a surrounding neighborhood, such as the Pendleton neighborhood and Piatt Park, to beautify the area by planting new pots and trees, spreading mulch, building fences and picking up trash. ●
Lykins Energy Solutions
Jeff Lykins, President
Throughout its 70 years in existence, Lykins Energy Solutions has been giving back to the community. The company, headed by President Jeff Lykins, takes great pride in helping people in need and helping to support nonprofits that are making a difference in the community.
One of Lykins Energy Solutions’ signature events is its annual golf outing to support CASA for Clermont Kids, which gives abused children an advocate who will be by the abused child’s side during the court process. In most cases, the child abuser is a family member. Having an advocate accompany the child in that situation provides support during a challenging experience. Lykins Energy has raised more than $735,000 for CASA since 1989. A recent donation from the company’s golf outing was $75,000, which equated to 37 percent of CASA’s annual budget.
Lykins Energy is also committed to education. The Guy B. and Mabel Lykins Scholarship gives away thousands of dollars each year to local area high school students who are involved in community service projects. Lykins Energy Vice President of Marketing Mary Eisnaugle is the founder and president of an organization called Stopping the Abuse Before it Ever Starts. It’s a child abuse/drug abuse prevention program that works with Clermont County Sheriff’s Office along with Child Focus to get into all Clermont County high schools to educate students about both child abuse and drug abuse. The program has educated over 11,000 students over the last five-and-a-half years. ●
Bob Coughlin, Founder and CEO
Community Partners, Paycor’s associate-run community service program, provides employees with a vehicle to initiate and/or participate in events that benefit others within the company’s backyard. Paycor’s approach to employee choice started when countless requests from employees came in to hold fundraisers with their colleagues for their favorite charities. Rather than restricting requests, Paycor built an internal platform to advertise all employees’ fundraising efforts to the company.
Through Community Partners, making a difference can take many forms. Sometimes it means organizing a walk-a-thon. Sometimes it means taking time out of the work day to mentor local students. And sometimes, it means quickly activating associates to support others in times of devastation.
Being involved in Community Partners is easy for associates. The company, led by founder and CEO Bob Coughlin, has built an internal platform within its intranet where associates can sign up to lead an event, check upcoming events other associates are hosting, join the Community Partners committee and check the leaderboard, which advertises all employees’ fundraising efforts to the company.
Since its inception in 2010, Community Partners has held 1,011 events with 25,004 volunteers. Associates have donated 30,175 hours and $1,087,139 to organizations in the community. In January 2018, Paycor hit a monumental mark of $1 million in donations. So far in 2018, associates have led 141 events with 3,303 volunteers. They have donated 4,750 hours and $85,982 and plan to almost double that number as the year closes. ●
Allison Stevens, CEO
Powernet and its employees place community service at the forefront of everything they do. When its team brings a new product to the market, it also explores how that product can be used to make a real difference in the community. For example, the company contributes high-end technology, such as tablets and Wi-Fi, to low-income communities and nonprofit groups working to create better outcomes for members of the community that are less fortunate than others. Donations of free Wi-Fi, like 2016’s donation to Avondale, gives citizens living in low-income communities a chance to access the internet. This donation has helped many residents with day-to-day tasks and will continue to do so as Powernet expanded the Wi-Fi network in 2018 to multiple apartment buildings in the area, providing hundreds more families with a free connection.
Powernet, led by CEO Allison Stevens, also encourages its employees to volunteer in the community. The company has implemented charitable PTO time, which offers payment for the day away from work for employees who volunteer with an organization. Employees have taken full advantage of this, spreading Powernet’s charitable values throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area.
The Powernet team provides many contributions to the community in an effort to give back, but none of that is possible without employees’ commitment to community service. To support them, Powernet gives back to its employees to encourage them to give back to the community, in part through social and health/wellness committees, which facilitate a culture of service and fellowship. ●
ProLink Staffing Services LLC
Tony Munafo, Founder and CEO
ProLink Staffing Services LLC has positively impacted dozens of charitable organizations since its founding in 2011 through a wide range of support, both through volunteer and financial contributions.
Led by Tony Munafo, the company’s founder and CEO, ProLink’s culture is built on giving back to the communities in which its staff live and work. The vision is to be a vehicle of growth so its teams can go further personally, professionally and financially. To deliver on that vision, the company encourages well-rounded growth in its employees. ProLink believes community service plays a key role in that balanced growth, which is why it provides a wide variety of options for its team to take active roles in the community. Those options include attending events, volunteering directly with the organizations the company sponsors and contributing to charitable organizations on a weekly basis.
But the most significant example of ProLink’s company-wide community service is its annual Dash Bash, a 5K fundraiser that has been active since 2014. Two to three charities are selected each year to receive all proceeds from the event. This year, beneficiaries included The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the School for Creative and Performing Arts and The Dragonfly Foundation. ProLink raised a total of $40,600, exceeding its initial goal by $5,600. To make the 5K possible, the company’s staff volunteer not just during the race, but also throughout the planning process, including several mini-fundraisers used to generate excitement and internal awareness of the event. In this way, the 5K is a fundraising event that is active all year round. ●
Alexander D. Weidner, CPA, CFE, President
Rudler PSC’s community involvement is both a legacy from the firm’s founding in 1969 and a source of professional pride. The culture is one of work/life balance in which professionals develop whole lives, working and living with purpose, and in turn engaging and making an impact in the communities they call home. It is so central to the company’s core values that it has been memorialized in its strategic plan.
The company, headed by President Alexander D. Weidner, CPA, CFE, believes in philanthropic organizations that advance the community and improve lives. Rudler supports these organizations by volunteering its time and providing needed goods and financial support.
Rudler encourages and supports its staff to get involved with organizations for which they have a passion. Through volunteering, staffers can use their leadership skills to better the community. And since philanthropic organizations are a vital piece of the community, Rudler provides many of its services to local nonprofits at special discounted rates.
Among Rudler’s contributions are The Donald A. Rudler Scholarship at Thomas More University, which contributes $3,000 annually toward financial aid for tuition, books and other educational assistance. Also, Rudler Lends A Helping Hand is an annual volunteer day where the office is closed, yet professionals are paid for their time to volunteer in teams at community organizations. To that end, Rudler developed a time entry code called “community activity” that pays professionals for service on boards and other consistent volunteering for benefit of community organizations. ●
Gary Heiman, President and CEO
Guided by the belief that helping others succeed is what makes communities strong, Standard Textile has a long, proud history of giving to organizations that unite, focus and mobilize efforts to ensure donations are used to make a meaningful, tangible impact.
Many organizations have benefited from the company’s service. For example, as a Disaster Responder Program Member for the American Red Cross, Standard Textile has donated truckloads of products to assist victims of natural disasters. In response to a low level of towel stock last summer, Standard Textile increased the Red Cross’ towel inventory tenfold to furnish 40 pre-stocked shelter trailers in preparation for disaster relief. The products were put to use almost immediately as significant portions of the U.S. were devastated by three historic hurricanes, as well as the deadliest week of wildfires in California history. Additionally, Standard Textile donated diapers and incontinence products to the Texas Diaper Bank, which aims to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities and seniors.
Standard Textile associates have also rolled up their sleeves to make an immeasurable difference in communities around the globe by investing their personal resources, leadership, energy and time. They have built houses for the homeless, collected goods and money for the victims of natural disasters, granted wishes for the terminally ill, participated in charitable bike rides and marathons for cancer and arthritis patients, as well as provided service troops with morale-boosting gifts.
Standard Textile is led by President and CEO Gary Heiman. ●
The Corporex Family of Cos.
William P. (“Bill”) Butler, Founder, chairman and CEO
The Corporex Family of Cos. invests more than bricks and mortar. William P. (“Bill”) Butler, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, commits to corporate philanthropy because giving back lays the foundation for a strong and vibrant community.
Years ago, Butler and his wife, Sue, established a family foundation to set an example of generosity. Following suit, the company’s leadership team fosters a culture of contribution, which comes in part through the work ethic of Corporex’s employees.
Through the company’s corporate giving program, Corporex and its affiliates donate significant resources to strengthen communities, with special emphasis on education, health care and social service charities. In the past 12 months, Corporex and its affiliates contributed to more than 50 local nonprofits through monetary and in-kind donations, event sponsorships, cause-related marketing and pro bono professional services that leverage the skills of the company’s development, construction, design and finance professionals.
In addition to annual cash contributions, the company regularly supports the operations and development of select charities and community initiatives. For example, Butler founded Life Learning Center to help disadvantaged individuals reach their highest potential. Since 2006, Corporex and The Butler Foundation have given significant charitable support to the Center’s launch and expansion. Today, Life Learning Center is a public charity that prepares at-risk adults for productive employment and long-term life success through a unique program that combines holistic education, job search training and individualized life coaching. ●
Total Quality Logistics
Ken Oaks, CEO
For several years, Total Quality Logistics, led by CEO Ken Oaks, took a traditional approach to philanthropy. The TQL executive team drove charitable decisions, and the company hosted a few campaigns each year around charitable causes it selected. While a lot of money was raised during one week, the company believed it could do better.
To learn more, employee giving data was mined, best practices were benchmarked against similar companies, and discussions were had with other leading Cincinnati businesses to see how their efforts compared to TQL’s. This research gave the team a clearer picture of why, where and how employees were giving.
The team’s research and collaboration led to the conclusion that all of their objectives could be met by opening the door for their employees to make their own choices when it comes to giving. Rather than contributing to a blanket organization, employees could choose to give or volunteer to their charity of choice. Then TQL would honor that choice by matching their donation. The TQL Cares Annual Giving Campaign and National Volunteer Weeks were born.
In 2018, these two annual campaigns resulted in over $800,000 donated to the community and over 3,000 hours volunteered. During both campaigns, TQL incentivizes participation and encourages employees to give to or volunteer at the nonprofit of their choice. In the two years since their launch, these programs have seen double-digit growth each year. The company believes it is empowering and growing community leaders who invest to make a difference and not to please their employer. ●
Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Awards
Executive board of trustees member, marketing chair, GRAD Cincinnati
Edita Dolan-Mayo works tirelessly to create a lasting impact that will better the outcomes of today’s underprivileged youth. Although she is involved with multiple community organizations, her passion for community service shines brightest with her role as the chair of marketing on GRAD Cincinnati’s executive board of trustees.
Since taking on this role in 2014, Dolan-Mayo has led a major redesign of the GRAD Cincinnati website, streamlining the appearance and display of information in order to better communicate GRAD Cincinnati’s mission to the public and improve accessibility. She also runs the nonprofit’s marketing and public relations committee, guiding the team to increased marketing efforts and visibility within the community.
GRAD Cincinnati’s Annual Founder’s Banquet has been Dolan-Mayo’s primary responsibility. She plays a key role in the organization’s premier event each year, managing, planning and executing the banquet with great success. Her hard work has paid off, as she has helped raise over $100,000 in scholarships for seniors entering college over the last three years.
In everything Dolan-Mayo does, she strives to help youth succeed, promoting initiatives and raising funds that will give students the tools they need to find success in their education and prepare for their future. Her work in the Greater Cincinnati area has touched hundreds, if not thousands of young lives. By utilizing every resource available to her, Dolan-Mayo has been able to strengthen the future of the community. ●
Past president, board of directors, Gorman Heritage Farm
Christopher Patterson has served on the Gorman Heritage Farm Foundation board of directors for six years. He will begin his seventh year in January. Patterson served as president of the board for five years and now serves as past president, and also chairs the land use committee. Patterson also serves as liaison to the village of Evendale.
Gorman Heritage Farm Foundation is under contract with the village to operate and manage the Gorman Heritage Farm. While the farm is a 501(c)3, it maintains strong ties with the community of Evendale, which is an important supporter of the farm. Patterson takes steps to ensure the relationship stays strong and proper.
In addition to serving as a board member, Patterson is a longtime member of and donor to Gorman Heritage Farm. He attends and/or volunteers at all of the farm’s annual events. He is the first board member to make his annual donation each year and encourages others to do the same.
Patterson also volunteers his time helping out around the farm when needed. He volunteers at or attends all of the farm’s annual events. He has cleaned out the chicken house, shoveled muck out of the pond, cleared trails, baled hay, chopped wood, and so on. While Patterson is a professional, he is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is an excellent leader and sets a hard-working, positive example for staff, volunteers and other board members. ●
Chair of board of directors, Master Provisions
Jason Wessel is a tireless advocate for those in the community who lack basic resources. He is engaged at both leadership levels and
at the hands-on level in attacking hunger and poverty.
When Wessel holds quarterly meetings for his management team, business is conducted for about 45 minutes. When that is done, the team serves the organization for two to three hours, working together as volunteers.
Wessel was named to the Master Provisions board in 2014. He chaired the board’s operations committee, applying his extensive health care management expertise to what was then a new local food outreach program, the clothing program, and Master Provisions’ social enterprise, which leverages a fleet of trucks to earn revenue through freight delivery during downtime.
Wessel has also served as board chair-elect. In that role, he oversaw growth in the social enterprise and facility planning. He is now completing a two-year term as board chair. In that role, Wessel led board initiatives in leadership development for the board and senior staff members, as well as growth of the board and its committees.
In all these endeavors, Wessel leads by example. He volunteers regularly at mobile food pantries that bring nutritious fresh foods into two Northern Kentucky neighborhoods. Wessel volunteers each month at the Covington pantry located on St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s Covington campus.
Wessel is fully present and prepared for each committee and board meeting. He has also helped engage other board members in fund development activities. ●
Medical Mutual Share Award
Matt Stautberg, SVP Corporate Planning & Treasurer
In 2017, Macy’s Inc. employees participated in more than 3,200 community projects, totaling more than 155,000 hours of time dedicated to their communities. The retailer’s Partners in Time volunteerism program extends to every Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s location. The company believes that giving back is about understanding the role it plays in communities, and living up to its commitments. Through volunteerism, the company is able to build a connection that extends past the walls of its stores — between its customers, its colleagues and communities.
Since Partners in Time began in 1989, Macy’s colleagues have given nearly 3 million hours of community service to thousands of charities in their local communities. That equates to a value of more than $55 million.
In 2017, Macy’s donated more than $52 million due to the generosity of its customers and colleagues from across the country. This number contributes to several giving campaigns, such as Share the Warmth, where Macy’s partners with Clothes4Souls and donates a coat for every coat purchased in its stores and online, as well as the Macy’s Believe Campaign, celebrating its 10th year, which partners with The Make-A-Wish Foundation to donate $1 million based on the amount of letters written to Santa. The company hosts a dozen wishes in its stores across the country during the holiday season. Currently it is hosting Thanks for Sharing, which benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, March of Dimes, Reading is Fundamental, Ralph Lauren Pink Pony, Futures without Violence and Go Red for Women.
Creating and celebrating community is in Macy’s DNA. Macy’s celebrates together during special occasions and shows up during times of need. It creates memories and shares joy during the holidays. It’s proud to be an integral part of the local communities it serves as an employer, as a hub for both connection and commerce and as a responsible corporate citizen. Macy’s values its engagement with communities and the strong relationships it’s built within its stores, the workplace and the communities it serves. Making life shine brighter for its customers, colleagues and communities is at its core.
Though various programs in 2017, Macy’s helped 67,050 students prepare for high school graduation, and helped 176,910 children prepare for kindergarten through early childhood education programs.
The company provided 28,950 people with access to HIV Testing, and provided 68,880 people with services such as transportation, food delivery, dental and more. It helped 67,630 women access health screenings and another 9,060 women complete domestic violence programs.
Overall, in 2017, Macy’s total giving in Cincinnati was $1,164,100.
Creating community is at the heart of Macy’s. The company is proud to be a good neighbor by supporting thousands of charities nationally, and in communities across the country. ●
Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year Awards
Executive Director, Cincinnati International Wine Festival
Cincinnati International Wine Festival’s Executive Director Debbie Dent has skillfully and strategically maximized the festival’s small, nonprofit budget to creatively cultivate fresh ideas, spearhead new initiatives and develop new partnerships to have a broad-reaching positive impact on numerous charitable organizations across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Now in its 29th year, the festival features 700 wines from 250 wineries across the globe, all to benefit 35 Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky arts, education, and health and human services charities. Dent handed out a record $453,000 in grants to the charities in 2018, and led the festival to exceed $5.6 million in total since its inception.
In her role only a few years, Dent’s pioneering leadership style would lead outside observers to believe she likely has managed a team of 20 for 15 years or more. In addition to planning and overseeing the operations for the weekend-long festival, she also manages dozens of high-end dinners at restaurants across the city, while wrangling hundreds of volunteers and hosting thousands of Cincinnatians at the Duke Energy Convention Center for grand tasting events. She manages relationships with hundreds of partners, sponsors, patrons and beneficiaries, as well as the event planning, operations and budget management of an annual golf tournament and numerous other promotional events and activities. With a background of running successful small businesses for 25 years, Dent finds ways to cut costs and increase revenue by applying for-profit business strategies to nonprofit operations. Thanks to her fearless leadership, the 2018 wine festival was the best attended on record. ●
Julie Heath, Ph.D.
Executive director, Economics Center
As executive director, Julie Heath has led the Economics Center to remarkable growth in several areas. For example, when Heath came to the Center, the financial outlook was mediocre at best. A major donor had recently pulled its support, putting the Center’s future in jeopardy. Heath pulled together a subcommittee of the finance committee, conducted biweekly meetings to assess the Center’s cash flow situation, re-organized staffing and got the nonprofit through that difficult time. Now the Center is very well situated, with a new endowment to fund a program and six months of operating expenses in reserve.
Perhaps the most notable impact Heath has had on the Economics Center is $martPath. After spending several months researching, Heath pulled together a task force of board members to help guide the product development. She engaged a team of developers and together, they produced $martPath, a digital platform that delivers economic and financial literacy instruction in a classroom setting to students in grades 1-8. $martPath has won two national curriculum awards and has over 22,000 teachers across the country using it. Most importantly, with an initial $1 million investment, in three years’ time, $martPath has generated $1.4 million in gross revenue.
Heath empowers her staff to think bigger, encouraging them to move beyond what is to what might be. That approach has led to many program improvements, both large and small, that have kept the Center moving and improving. ●
Sandi (Sandra) Kuehn
President and CEO, Center for Addiction Treatment
When Sandi (Sandra) Kuehn accepted the position as president and CEO at the Center for Addiction Treatment, she had three very connected objectives.
The first objective was to support the nonprofit’s core mission. The goal was to create a physical environment that would be therapeutic for patients and foster a positive work environment for staff. It had met capacity in its existing facility and needed to consider expansion.
Second, salaries for staff were very low — embarrassingly low. To do good work, an organization needs dedicated, happy employees. There was never any doubt about the dedication of the team, but it was time to make sure compensation matched commitment and was at least comparable to other nonprofits.
Finally, to meet both of these goals, it was clear more revenue and more diverse funding streams were needed. The nonprofit had to ensure it could remain fiscally sound now and years down the road.
With the support of a great team, Kuehn says the Center for Addiction Treatment has achieved all three. By securing additional grants and public funding and executing a successful capital campaign, the nonprofit’s operating budget has grown in the last 10 years from approximately $1.3 million to nearly $7 million. In that same 10-year period, the staff has more than doubled to 110 positions. And in 2017, it opened its new 22,000-square-foot Spaulding Recovery and Family Care Building to expand service offerings to include primary care and additional mental health counseling. ●
Co-founder and CEO, Learning Through Art Inc.
Learning Through Art Inc. provides quality performing arts programs in support of arts integrated education, literacy, community development and engagement encouraging multi-cultural awareness and understanding. Its co-founder and CEO, Kathy Wade, has utilized LTA as the platform to build community through art from classrooms to corporate boardrooms for 26 years. She has created, written and produced LTA’s programs of cultural arts to increase opportunities for collaboration, arts education, artistic growth, community engagement and economic development within the Greater Cincinnati community and beyond. Tapping into her own lifelong love of the arts, Wade is committed to creating LTA programs based in social-emotional learning that build bridges, break down barriers and bring neighbors and neighborhoods together in celebration of the mosaic beauty of our region and world. Since 1992, Learning Through Art has served over 1 million community participants of all ages, instilling a sense of art appreciation, cultural understanding and connectedness.
Wade has dedicated her life to art. She created and produced 21 summers of cultural performing arts programming to engage neighbors to meet neighbors. She created the Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival in 2005, with initially free, now $1 all-day admission to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, where over 185,000 neighbors meet each other while celebrating the mosaic beauty with an international performance schedule.
Wade believes artists must give back what they have taken out of the community. Through her approach to building community through art, she works hard to give back every day. ●
Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award
Publisher, Cincinnati Magazine
As a long-time Cincinnatian and publisher of Cincinnati Magazine, Ivy Bayer has been involved in a volunteer and fundraising capacity with local charitable organizations in Cincinnati for many years.
As the volunteer chair of the marketing committee for the Madeira Chamber of Commerce, the Madeira Criterium & 5K Race and active member of the board for the cabinet for NCI Designation at the University of Cincinnati and The Health Collaborative, she fully understands that fundraising in Cincinnati is no small task. She also understands that year-end giving is vitally important to the success of nonprofit organizations in the city.
That’s why she and her team at Cincinnati Magazine developed an innovative, city-wide fundraising competition to raise awareness about the important charitable work being done by hundreds of nonprofits in Cincinnati, as well as connect these organizations with new prospects who are passionate about their causes.
Driven by her own passion to give back, Bayer aimed to leverage the incredible platform of Cincinnati Magazine to do good in the community. She wanted to develop an innovative initiative to not only facilitate connections between individuals and nonprofits, but also to empower nonprofit staff teams with simple tools and templates designed to help them raise as much money as possible, in a short period of time, and achieve their year-end fundraising goals. Hence, Cincinnati Magazine’s Cincinnati Gives Challenge was born.
The challenge debuted in November 2016 on Giving Tuesday. Bayer and her team tirelessly recruited more than 100 local charities to join the challenge in its debut year. The result was an event that completely exceeded expectations. And the positive response she received from the community, the media and from participating charities gave her the affirmation she needed to know that her big idea was a great one. Year two did not disappoint either as the teams in the month-long challenge competed to not only raise the most money, but also to win $30,000 in additional cash prizes. The event had a total community impact of more than $500,000. Over the past two years, Bayer has enlisted the help of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Jeff Ruby’s, and Procter & Gamble to help underwrite some of the operational costs of hosting the challenge.
Year three of the Cincinnati Gives Challenge included support from Procter & Gamble, and Q102 as the new radio media partner. What an incredible compliment to Bayer and the magazine for their grassroots, local fundraising initiative to again be backed by such an internationally-renowned business and a far-reaching media outlet.