From the hearts of our sponsors

The sponsors of the 2011 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service support the program because they believe in its mission — to recognize the critical tie between the for-profit and nonprofit communities. Here is a little bit about each of this year’s sponsors:

Rea & Associates Inc.

Giving back to the community isn’t something we do just because it makes us look good. It’s an integral part of the culture at Rea & Associates. Almost all of our team members are involved with their communities in some way, either donating their time for special projects or serving as leaders in organizations that are important to them.

And if you were to stop one of these employees on the street and ask if he or she could describe the values that this firm lives by, each person would refer to “The Rea Way” — our value statement. Different parts of the statement resonate with different employees, but one of the lines that best describes the attitude and culture of this firm reads: “Invest in your family, your community and your future.”

That mission is top-of-mind in a number of ways. An annual food drive creates excitement and a healthy competitive spirit, as we see which of our 11 offices can round up the most food to donate to community food pantries. And employees get involved by suggesting community outreach projects and requesting donations for particular organizations through the Rea Foundation.

And then there’s a special group of employees who are so dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations succeed that they have dedicated their careers to it. They specialize in providing services to the not-for-profit industry and enjoy the challenge of understanding the increasing demands these organizations and their board members face. We’re proud to be a partner in our clients’ successes.

Congratulations and best wishes for continued success to this year’s Pillar honorees.

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FirstMerit Bank, with roots dating back to 1845, has a strong history of philanthropy. This is particularly true in and around our Akron headquarters. What is changing is that, as our company grows, we are instilling that philanthropic culture into our other markets, such as Cleveland and Chicago. In Cleveland, the FirstMerit Foundation has recently stepped up in a big way to support organizations such as Playhouse Square, University Circle Inc., the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Hospice of the Western Reserve. We do this because we can make an impact, and these groups really contribute to a better quality of life in Cleveland.

The fact that our mission statement is “To improve and preserve the financial well-being of the communities we serve” means that philanthropy is indeed imbedded into our company’s philosophy.

We believe that developing relationships with and investing in local nonprofits, charitable organizations and neighborhood anchor institutions builds healthy and vibrant communities. Because we identify and respond to community support initiatives, we accomplish our objectives. We partner with community leaders to ensure that local contributions meet local needs.

When other companies give, it raises the bar and we all benefit. We are all motivated, driven people with a spirit of healthy competition that can spill over into philanthropy. Others notice the visibility that a particular company gains from their community involvement and want the same. It means more funds going to support those in need and a healthier community overall. It is also a great source of networking for our employees and our leaders. It is the right thing to do.

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Fairmount Minerals

At Fairmount Minerals, our mission is to conduct business in a way that respects people and the environment while working toward increasing the prosperity of our shareholders, employees, customers, communities and the global environment. Therefore, connecting with our communities and our longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility is vitally important as we ensure that the stakeholders we touch receive the resources they need to live and prosper.

When companies discuss corporate social responsibility, it is often in terms of social or philanthropic efforts — where does the company donate to the community or do employees volunteer for any organizations? But, for Fairmount Minerals it is strategic corporate social responsibility. This encompasses a much broader scope of work. We have adopted socially responsible practices — not only investing in charitable organizations, but we have policies and procedures in place that value the employee and all stakeholders. For Fairmount Minerals, the “people” aspect of the 3 P’s (people, planet and prosperity) translates into respectful business practices, attention to stakeholder needs and responsible operations.

Fairmount’s social investment policy guides our actions with respect to charitable donations and corporate volunteerism. Fairmount Minerals supports community investment through cash grants, in-kind donations and corporate volunteer efforts. Fairmount Minerals commits to donate a minimum of 1.5 percent of its pretax/pre-equity earnings annually through financial, volunteer and in-kind support of not-for-profit organizations.

Our company is only as strong as the communities in which we operate. Thriving communities help pave the way for a brighter, more prosperous future. At Fairmount Minerals, connecting with our communities is vitally important to supporting our business sustainability — and making a difference in the world.

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Ganley BMW

Ganley BMW has been serving Middleburg Heights, Cleveland, Akron, Elyria and Strongsville since 1999, and we have been an official BMW Franchise since 1986. Giving back is part of our corporate culture. Ganley BMW is celebrating our 25th anniversary and is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. Since opening our doors, Ganley BMW has maintained a solid commitment to you, our customers, offering the widest selection of BMW vehicles and ease of purchase. In the 25 years that we have been in business, we have never been a stranger to philanthropic efforts. Our owner and founder has been involved with Crime Stoppers since its founding. The dealership chain has also helped wounded police officers and their families in times of need. Philanthropy is truly woven into the very fabric of what we do every day.

For more information, visit

Colortone Staging & Rental Inc.

Colortone Staging & Rental is a premier audiovisual and staging company with expertise in event design and production. We stage a multitude of events, including corporate meetings, awards banquets, special events, trade shows, concerts, webcasts and videoconferences. CSR also manages audiovisual equipment for hotel properties and operates a full-service equipment rental division. The solutions we provide, combined with our highly trained technical staff, ensure the success of every event. Our quality is unmatched and our attention to detail is unsurpassed.

The staff at CSR consists of the best in the business. Our technicians have an average of five years in the audiovisual and event management business. Their diverse backgrounds allow us to think on our feet, act quickly and provide flexibility and creative problem solving to every situation we find.

The company is also an active member of the community, consistently finding ways to give back where it can.

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LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility

LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility has quickly built a solid reputation as the premier venue for hosting full-service conferences, special events and business meetings. Our world-class facility has embraced elegance, high-tech communications and delectable culinary creations to assure your event is an absolute success. Numerous nonprofit organizations hold their charity fundraisers each year at our facilities, providing their guests with unparalleled ambiance.

LaCentre’s creativity extends to its technology, atmosphere, capability, flexibility, form and taste. Our dedicated and devoted staff provides clients with a positive and enriching experience with more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate events of nearly any size.

For more information, visit

Think Media Studios

Think Media Studios is honored to support the Pillar Awards for the fourth year. Brian Glazen opened the doors to Think Media only four years ago, and quickly, the community of Northeast Ohio opened its doors to this young, thriving company. Think Media encourages giving back to the community that has so warmly welcomed it. Glazen and his employees believe that growth comes from a spark within, and so, it is their philosophy to make a positive and lasting change in the community by not only sharing their expertise and resources but also their time. Among the organizations they have worked with to impact change are the Cleveland Clinic, Progressive and ICI Paints.

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