Making a difference

Companies of any size can have significant impact on their communities.

That’s the criteria the judging panel will base its decisions on when it names the winners of the third annual Medical Mutual of Ohio Pillar Award for Community Service.

This year’s judging panel includes several community leaders and two former Pillar Award honorees. The panel is composed of Lee Fisher, president & CEO of the Center for Families and Children; John Palmer Smith, executive director of the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University; Stephen W. FitzGerald, founder of the Nonprofit Newswire; and Judy Barker, senior vice president of civic affairs and corporate contributions for KeyCorp. Former honorees on the panel are 1999 Pillar Award winner Dr. Jim Cugelewski, of Cugelewski & Associates DDS, and Klaus Gondosch, director of marketing and community events for Sunnyside Automotive, also a 1999 Pillar Award winner. They join Kent Clapp, president and CEO of Medical Mutual, and Fred Koury, president and CEO of SBN magazine, on the judging panel.

The Pillar Award, sponsored by Medical Mutual of Ohio and presented by SBN magazine, honors companies of all sizes for giving back to the community. Former winners include Marcus Advertising, the Lubrizol Corp. and Cleveland Indians Baseball Co.

When considering the winners, the message is simple: It doesn’t matter how large your business is, how many employees you have or the time commitments you’re able to make. What matters is how you’re able to leverage your time, money and energy to make the greatest impact on the community through nonprofit organizations or direct volunteerism.

Also sponsored by Xerox Connect, Mars Employment, Renaissance Worldwide, COSE and The Cleveland Foundation, a group of companies which know the importance of community giving, the Pillar Award’s purpose is to encourage a charitable environment and recognize creative efforts that make a difference through a four-pronged effort to:

  • Publicize the issue of community service as it applies to the realities of today’s competitive business world;
  • Share creative ideas about how companies of all sizes are having a positive impact in their communities;
  • Honor companies that go well beyond the minimum expectation of community service;
  • Create a sustaining fund, administered by the Cleveland Foundation, to aid local nonprofit organizations in their mission to serve the people of Northeast Ohio. To date, the sustaining Pillar Fund contains in excess of $20,000.

Nominations for the Pillar Award will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2000. Winners will be honored at a banquet Dec. 7, and their good works will be featured in a special editorial package in the December issue of SBN.
For more information, contact SBN at (216) 228-6397. Dustin Klein ([email protected]) is editor of SBN.