Reality check

Professionals often get so wrapped up in their work that they forget about the community around them. At Skoda, Minotti & Co. in Mayfield Village, giving back to the community is part of the firm’s mission.

Management allows employees to count the time they spend volunteering as part of their work day, rather than requiring them to make up the time. More than 60 percent of the professional staff serve on a nonprofit board or volunteer for at least one organization, with many employees serving on multiple boards.

“The more people who can get out and interact and be in situations where they’re working with people who are less fortunate, we think that helps all of us — the community, the person, and us as a business,” says Greg Skoda, chairman of the business and financial advisory firm. “When they show up here that afternoon or the next day, we’ve got a little bit better person who has been exposed to things and said, ‘Wow, I never knew these kinds of things existed.’”

The firm’s employees spent more than 1,000 workday hours — more than $225,000 of employee time — performing community service from July 2005 to July 2006.

Every Thursday for nearly two years now, two members of the Skoda, Minotti & Co. team have served as Adopt-A-Route Partners and complete a route of the Hillcrest Meals on Wheels program. As a member of Business Volunteers Unlimited, the firm participates in Done-In-A-Day projects and the Volunteer Trust Institute, which trains future nonprofit board members and matches them with an appropriate board.

Skoda, Minotti & Co. also contributed more than $35,000 to area organizations from July 2005 to July 2006.

Skoda says the key to creating a community service committee like the one at his firm is identifying employees who are active volunteers and asking them to serve as the committee’s founding members.

“You’re not going to get everybody involved, but find the people that are active with this stuff,” he says. “Use that as your original seeding ,and then build it from there.”

HOW TO REACH: Skoda, Minotti & Co., (440) 449-6800 or