When you see the opportunity, it makes life a lot easier

Jeff Griffiths learns something new every day as co-founder and executive director at HandsOn Northeast Ohio.

“Growing from a small startup nonprofit into a 10-year organization, the needs of an executive director change,” Griffiths says. “Hopefully we’re providing a platform and an environment with our workplace where people can make mistakes, adapt, learn and make changes.”

HandsOn provides an infrastructure for other nonprofits to focus more intently on their important philanthropic cause. It’s work that was born out of necessity as many charitable entities struggle to make ends meet due to a lack of resources.

“Every single one of our agencies has turned over its direct contact to us,” Griffiths says. “One organization has had nine different volunteer coordinators in the nine years we have worked with them. That revisit and reintroduction of how we support an organization — that work is daily.”

As you’ll read in this month’s Building Stronger Communities feature, Griffiths is a man who has a nearly endless supply of energy. When he does get tired, he’ll take a few moments to recharge with his family and then it’s quickly back to work.

“We want to be the place for all people to volunteer in a meaningful way,” he says. “Making connections — whether it’s an individual, a family or a company — that’s what we want to do.”

Greg Vlosich also has some experience with being very busy, though in a much different way. As the co-owner of GV Art + Design, Vlosich’s business has become THE place to go for a T-shirt when one of the Cleveland’s sports teams is making a playoff run. That makes him perfect for this month’s Uniquely feature.

With the success of the Cavaliers and Indians, it’s been a wild ride lately and at times, it was a little challenging to keep up. But Vlosich and his team have done it while never compromising the quality of the product.

“We’ve never wanted to substitute the quality of our work or the quality of our shirts and the customer service,” he says. “Growing faster than we even anticipated, there were challenges along the way trying to keep up with orders. Those are the growing pains you go through and you just have to figure out the best way to accommodate and grow with it. You can’t complain if it’s something you love to do and you don’t know when that chance will come again.”

Mark Scott is senior associate editor at Smart Business Network