Community cheer

Marc S. Byrnes, chairman and CEO, Oswald Cos.

As Ohio’s oldest employee-owned risk management and insurance brokerage firm, Oswald Cos. has a rich history of commitment to the community. While this commitment is one of the company’s four core values, Chairman and CEO Marc S. Byrnes says a commitment is all that he asks for from employees. Which community they choose to honor is entirely up to them.

Whether it’s through service, charity, philanthropy volunteerism or advocacy, Oswald’s employees live their commitment by investing their time, money or fundraising for the causes that they are most passionate about. And for many of them, that involves a lot more than just writing checks and taking payroll deductions.

In 2011, female leaders at Oswald banded together to take charge of their community efforts by forming a group dedicated to supporting and serving female-related charities. The group, known as WooHoo — Women of Oswald Helping Out Others — attracted 80 women in just the first meeting, and today, it is working toward its goal of steering eight major charitable drives annually, as well as leading small fundraisers and volunteer efforts. The group has already helped Dress for Success, Providence House, The City Mission and Cogswell Hall. WooHoo has also organized a number of teams for community events such as March of Dimes, The 2011 Cleveland Heart Walk, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk and others.

Nearly 40 percent of Oswald’s employees serve as trustees or advisers of 70 nonprofit organizations, committing personal time or money to causes they care about.

For the past seven years, the company has also chosen a local charity as the beneficiary of its “Day of Caring,” which involves employees investing a day of labor to work onsite and help out, whether it’s painting, cleaning or volunteering in some capacity. Previous recipients include the Boys and Girls Clubs, Neighborhood Family Service Center and Camp Cheerful.

HOW TO REACH: Oswald Cos., or (216) 367-8787