Laying the foundation

Steve Eder, Chairman, Junior Achievement OKI Partners Inc. — Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Chapter

Since he started as a board member 13 years ago, Steve Eder has continued to increase his involvement with Junior Achievement OKI Partners Inc.’s Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Chapter over the years. As chairman of the organization today, Eder leads by example through his strong commitment to its mission, driving others to help the community’s youth succeed.

Eder personally invests his time and resources to grow the scope and impact of JA programs. In addition to his responsibilities as chairman, he has served as a role model to more than 300 students by participating as JA classroom volunteer for more than 10 years.

Spending time in second- and third-grade classrooms at Bond Hill Elementary, a Cincinnati public school near his company, Messer Construction Co., he works closely with at-risk students to lead a third-grade JA program called “Our City.” The curriculum allows the students to explore different jobs and their skill sets by doing projects such as actually building a city, publishing their own newspaper and even creating their own restaurant.

Eder’s dedication has also inspired many other employees at Messer — where Eder is an operations vice president — to get involved in JA’s community initiatives. As a result, the company has raised funding dollars for numerous JA events such as its Business Hall of Fame, the JA Breakfast and the JA Bowl-A-Thon. Under Eder’s leadership, Messer employees have donated more than $12,000 per year through the JA Bowl-A-Thon with an average of 15 teams for each of the last ten years. The company also hosts JA students each year for its nationwide Job Shadow day, when employees spend the day educating students about career opportunities and professional skills. Today, approximately 30 of the company’s employees now volunteer with the Bond Hill Academy (BHS) Partners in Education Program, acting as tutors, mentors and classroom volunteers for students.

How to reach: Junior Achievement OKI Partners Inc., (513) 346-7100 or