Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:26

Committed to the community

Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL maintains a commitment to the economic development initiatives that help keep downtown Cincinnati a great place for businesses, as well as an affordable destination for family entertainment. Toward that end, Managing Partner Paul Muething and his team at KMK partner with local organizations that advance the community and its inhabitants.

An example of KMK’s commitment to the vibrancy of downtown Cincinnati is the law firm’s partnership with Fountain Square Management Group, a subsidiary of 3CDC, to put on the Wednesday Evening Concert Series at Fountain Square. This 16-week series features a wide variety of reggae bands, and was offered free of charge to the community and downtown visitors.

KMK also dedicates significant support to helping members of the community in need. It partners with a variety of local organizations, such as St. Aloysius Orphanage. KMK’s contribution to the St. Aloysius Companies 4 Kids Golf Classic will assist in its mission to provide services to thousands of children and families touched by mental, behavioral and cognitive disabilities in the greater Cincinnati area.

The firm has financially supported various other local charities, schools and civic organizations, with more than $500,000 contributed in the past two years. Members and employees of the firm contributed an additional $104,000 to The United Way and $50,000 to ArtsWave. Putting in time as well as money, KMK attorneys and staff average more than 5,000 volunteer hours per year.

As part of this volunteer effort, KMK puts its employees’ legal skills to good use. Last year, over half of the firm’s attorneys donated a total of more than 3,300 pro bono hours of service to charitable organizations. Involved with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, KMK attorneys contributed approximately 500 hours of service to Volunteer Lawyers Project cases.

How to reach: Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, (513) 579-6400 or www.kmklaw.com

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:22

Empowering employees

KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group strives for a culture of giving back that embraces employees, as well as the community. A premiere point-of-purchase and retail printing, fabrication and fulfillment company, KDM has enacted company-funded programs to assist employees in their personal lives.

The KDM Dream Makers Program, started in 2008, was created to help employees identify and achieve their goals and dreams. Approximately 150 employees participated in this program in 2011, meeting with a Dream Pro throughout the year — on company time — to work on goal setting and how to achieve those goals. The Dream Pros provide resources to enable employees to reach their set goals, whether that is continuing education or purchasing a new home.

The company, led by President Robert Kissel, also offers a hardship loan to employees having trouble with medical expenses or who have other hardships causing them to be able to meet financial commitments. KDM has provided funds to help employees pay for funerals of loved ones, as well. In 2011, KDM granted four hardship loans and made contributions to help two employees pay for funerals.

In addition to these internal programs, KDM keeps the needs of employees — both current and former — at heart when its service committee designs fundraisers to support a variety of local nonprofits. In 2011, the company raised $3,760 for the American Heart Association through a bake sale, raffle and company and employee donations. The company walked for AHA in honor of a former employee.

KDM walked for ALS in 2011, also in honor of another former employee battling the disease. The company raised $2,700 to support the Walk for ALS, holding fundraisers such as a bake sale, grill out and T-shirt sale. KDM also provided an expense-paid trip to Marco Island for the former employee and his wife the week prior to the walk.

How to reach: KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group, (513) 769-3500 or www.kdmpop.com

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:17

Laying the foundation

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 www.japartners.org

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 11:09

From the hearts of our sponsors

The sponsors of the 2012 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.

Duke Energy Center

It is the goal of Global Spectrum at the Duke Energy Convention Center to provide our clients with an experience that goes above and beyond their expectations. Our commitment to service, attention to detail, ability to listen carefully and respond to every request will enable us to achieve this goal one event at a time. We are fully committed to delivering the highest level of building management and operations in the industry. We take pride in our facility and the community it represents and understand our role in bringing people to Cincinnati and helping them experience all the great things the city has to offer.

Although it originally opened in 1968, the Duke Energy Convention Center experienced its third grand opening in 2006 as the city of Cincinnati unveiled the results of the most recent expansion. At that time, Global Spectrum was hired by the city to manage all aspects of the more than 750,000-square-foot Duke Energy Convention Center. Featuring more than 750,000 square feet of exhibit, meeting and entertainment space, we are the ideal destination for your next meeting, conference, convention, trade show or banquet.

As part of its corporate responsibility programs, Global Spectrum is committed to reducing the use of natural resources and the amount of waste that results from the various activities and events that take place at the Duke Energy Convention Center. These efforts are part of a corporate initiative called the Global Spectrum STEP UP Program, which is a program designed to distinguish us as a socially and environmentally responsible organization.

Our efforts to develop a buildingwide recycling program to increase the operating efficiency of the Duke Energy Convention Center began in April 2008. As the program has continued to evolve and expand, we have developed strong partnerships with Hamilton County Environmental Services and The Recycling Group to grow our support and promotion of recycling.

Colortone

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.

Learn more at www.colortone.com.

The Eisen Agency

The Eisen Agency has a longstanding tradition of community service and giving back to our community — some in visible ways and others that are truly behind the scenes. Every member of our firm is part of some local nonprofit organization, where we do far more than simply sit on boards and committees — we proactively “do.”

We donate literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in in-kind work to nonprofit groups that could otherwise not afford our expertise. We help local schools, and twice annually, we do a large food drive and cleaning product drive to help the less fortunate.

As Cincinnati’s premier and most awarded public relations firm, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of community relations to foster further brand communications with current and prospective clients and business and community leaders and in building a positive image of our business and creating a positive work environment. We believe that professionals want to work with and work for organizations that are actively engaged in the community, and strive to help out.

It can be said that, “It’s just PR,” as if PR was a bad thing. We would say, “Darn right, it’s PR; it’s what our firm is, who we are and we’re proud of it.” Because, in the truest sense of the term, we are blessed, through hard work, tenacity and determination, to be in a position to be able to relate to our publics through a series of community relations and philanthropic programs that provide children toys for Christmas, food on tables, and volunteers and donations for several of Greater Cincinnati’s most recognized nonprofit organizations.

For more information, contact The Eisen Agency, www.theeisenagency.com or (859) 291-4302.

Published in Cincinnati

About the program

The Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service, presented by Smart Business Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, recognizes the tie between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds by honoring organizations and individuals for positively impacting the region and strengthening the community.

About the awards

  1. Each honoree, irrespective of the specific award, itself, is a member of “The Pillar Award for Community Service class of 2012.”
  2. The specific award falls into one of the following categories:

    1. Pillar Award — recognizes for-profit entities for broadly defined “general good deeds” — i.e., giving back to the community, corporate philanthropy (financial contributions), pro bono work, volunteerism, etc.
    2. Medical Mutual SHARE Award — recognizes the one member of the “Pillar Award for Community Service class of 2012” for its employee-driven philanthropy. This is where the employees take the lead role in determining the organization’s philanthropic efforts.
    3. CVS Samaritan Award — recognizes the one member of the “Pillar Award for Community Service class of 2012” for its commitment (or his or her commitment if it’s an individual) to helping break the cycle of poverty in the community service efforts.
    4. Executive Director (of the Year) Award — recognizes the top executive(s) of a nonprofit organization(s) for his or her ability to efficiently run the organization in a fiscally responsible manner,  effectively tap into the expertise of the board of directors and successfully deliver upon the organization’s mission.
    5. Nonprofit Board Executive (of the Year) Award — recognizes for-profit executives for their work on the boards of nonprofit organizations. This may be bringing unique expertise to the board, providing financial support or leading large-or-small-scale volunteer efforts that help impact the success of the organization.
    6. Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award — recognizes one top executive of a for-profit company whose commitment to and spirit for community service and giving serves as an example for the organization he or she leads and filters down throughout the organization.
    7. At its core, all honorees are Pillar Award for Community Service winners.

About Smart Business Network

Smart Business Network is a national multimedia company that provides insight, advice and strategy to C-suite executives and entrepreneurs. It publishes 17 regional management journals under the brand Smart Business, operates multiple Web properties and produces conferences and events across the U.S.

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 10:51

Charitable investments

Most companies these days look to give to charitable causes whether it is through volunteering time and talent or giving donations, but rarely do you find that more than 50 percent of a company gets involved. For Timothy Johnson, founder, president and CEO of Johnson Investment Counsel Inc., a provider of comprehensive investment management and financial advisory services, 50 percent employee participation would be subpar.

Among the company’s employees, 78 percent of them volunteer their time to more than 144 different nonprofit organizations, churches or schools. All members of Johnson Investment Counsel believe in being an active member in your community and giving back in order to thrive as a company. It is this level of devotion that has made charitable giving part of the company’s culture.

The company encourages all of its employees to get involved in local organizations for the betterment of the community and provides support to employees who choose to join the boards of these types of community organizations. The company makes sure to help employees in these positions by providing monetary support as well as time during the business day to attend meetings and organizational events.

The company also has put in place a Corporate Citizenship Committee to get the business involved in the community through service projects. The committee helps arrange everything from serving dinner at the Ronald McDonald House, building a playground at a local YMCA, to spreading mulch for neighborhood associations.

The company doesn’t just sustain the interests of its employees regarding community service; it encourages clients, as well. Created in 2004, the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund enables clients to create and manage endowments and donor-advised funds. From 2007 to date, more than $22 million has been given to nonprofit organizations from this entity alone. More than a quarter of a billion dollars are held in 365 charitable trusts, endowments, foundations and other charitable accounts that have been directed to charity by Johnson Investment Counsel’s clients.

HOW TO REACH: Johnson Investment Counsel Inc., (513) 661-3100 or www.johnsoninv.com

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 10:49

Creative community outreach

Dave Conway, president and CEO of iSqFt/Construction Software Technologies, supports a community outreach committee that engages employees to give back to the community through a variety of outreach initiatives. This committee evaluates and directs fundraisers and outreach activities based upon employee requests and the needs of local organizations.

The preconstruction bidding software company hosts a number of creative fundraisers to raise money that the community outreach committee can use toward local organizations, such as a monthly restaurant program, candy grams for Valentine’s Day, competitive penny wars, and chili and salsa contests.

Of the organizations the company supports, iSqFt considers Boys Hope Girls Hope of Cincinnati its “adopted” cause. The company has raised thousands of dollars to further BHGH’s mission to identify gifted children who face economic barriers and offer help and hope to families looking to break the cycle of poverty.

iSqFt is a direct corporate sponsor for the Annual Boys Hope Girls Hope Gala, and also supports their Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser. The company funds BHGH’s Thanksgiving feasts each year for members and their families, as well. But iSqFt goes beyond supporting BHGH events. It creates initiatives of its own.

The company sponsors families in the Cincinnati area that are in need during the holidays each year, with this last year focusing on BHGH members’ families. Through a giving tree program, iSqFt facilitated donation of presents from employees to BHGH members and their families. Employees also met BHGH student needs this year by collecting school supplies.

iSqFt’s Flower Sales fundraiser through the Natorp’s Garden Center in Cincinnati, held annually the week before Mother’s Day, generates hundreds of dollars to fund the Boys Hope Girls Hope Graduation Celebration. This event, occurring every June, is the company’s way of providing a stress-free celebration for BHGH graduates — many of whom are the first to graduate high school or college in their family.

How to reach: iSqFt/Construction Software Technologies, (800) 364-2059 or www.isqft.com

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 10:46

Truckin’ on

In December 2010, Dan Regenold, CEO of Frame USA Inc., a wholesale manufacturer of picture frames, had a vision. He wanted to fill an entire 54-foot semitruck for a charity. He knew this would be a big undertaking, but one for a great cause that people could get behind.

He put together a team of giving coordinators, consisting of packers, donation collectors, marketing and public relations professionals, and more, to help coordinate this event in under 30 days. By the end of December, Frame USA ended up needing a second truck because it overfilled the semi. This resulted in 833 boxes and 30-plus skids equaling more than 22,200 donations.

The truck didn’t end there. To Regenold, the truck represented more than donations. It represented hope, life, and a second chance for people within his community who were down on their luck. It was at that point that the truck became a catalyst, ultimately giving birth to what is now called “Fill the Truck.”

Currently, Fill the Truck encompasses a broad spectrum of community service and charitable initiatives. Fill the Truck coordinates a charity of the month program on the Frame USA’s website where a percentage of all sales and customer donations help support a different charity each month. And, of course, at the end of the year, they fill another 54-foot semitruck to maximum capacity and beyond.

Since 2006, the company has designated one or two nonprofits to sponsor as part of its charity of the month program. Through this process the company has built long-lasting relationships and partners to provide assistance to its community on both a local and national level.

The company’s efforts through its website generate roughly $1,500 a month for the charities the company supports. In 2011, Regenold and Frame USA hope to keep filling the truck and someday have multiple trucks filled in multiple locations.

HOW TO REACH: Frame USA Inc., (513) 250-4105 or www.frameusa.com

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 10:43

Lending a hand

As a person committed to community involvement himself, Stuart Aitken, CEO of dunnhumbyUSA, a consumer data analysis company, allows employees to choose what programs and organizations they get behind as a business.

The philosophy has lead to the formation of the company’s Helping Hands program in 2006. The mission is to organize and support activities for dunnhumby employees and their families, allowing them to make a difference to local communities through their gifts of time, talent and financial contributions. The program has been so successful in Cincinnati that dunnhumbyUSA’s offices in Chicago, Atlanta and New York actively participate in national and local activities.

The program has grown so much and garnered so much support from employees that it is a part of the company culture and is now being developed in the company’s global offices. One of the key differentiations of the Helping Hands program is that employees vote to select the charities that the company will support for the year. In the fall, charities are nominated by employees and put to vote. The charities must be recognized by the IRS, maximize the financial resources of the company and provide opportunities for everyone to volunteer.

Employee participation runs Helping Hands. A team is assigned to manage the relationship with each charitable organization to determine where the need is, establish goals and accomplish great things for all involved.

In 2011, dunnhumby focused on seven charities: American Cancer Society, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, SPCA Cincinnati, Freestore Foodbank, Ronald McDonald House, Drop Inn Center and Women Helping Women. Since October 2010 to the end of 2011 about half of dunnhumby’s 450 employees have participated in Helping Hands events, the group has organized 18 events in that time, approximately 1,340 volunteer hours were recorded, and $45,000 was awarded to charities the company supports through fundraising and corporate donations.

HOW TO REACH: dunnhumby USA, (513) 632-1020 or www.dunnhumby.com/us

Published in Cincinnati
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 10:24

Real vision

Having spent more than 60 years growing its presence in the community, Cincinnati Eye Institute is now the largest private ophthalmology practice in the U.S. and employs more than 300 professional staff and 50 doctors. Let by CEO Clyde Bell, it provides care for more than 100,000 patients each year.

Yet the way that CEI gives back to its community is hardly limited to the care it provides to patients of its practice. Outside of the day-to-day running of the organization, doctors and staff of CEI offer their time, money and talents to help others. Many CEI doctors and staff serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations in their free time. The practice not only supports this participation but also allows employees to earn “CEI” points for their community involvement efforts, which are redeemable for prizes.

In 2006, CEI created its nonprofit charitable organization, The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, as a means of strategically addressing the eye care needs of the community with the mission “to preserve and improve sight.” In addition to the $70,000 in cash donations and sponsorship dollars CEI has given to charitable organizations over the past five years, it also allocates $175,000 annually in cash and donated services to support the foundation’s operations and initiatives.

Foundation initiatives include The Dr. Richard S. Kerstine Vision Outreach Program, which provides education about eye disease in the community, and OneSight, the country’s first free eye clinic in a school-based health center. In January 2008, it also launched the region’s first free eye care clinic. The Roselawn Eye Clinic was created with the goal of treating patients who need eye care but are poor and uninsured. The majority of the clinic’s volunteering doctors, technicians, receptionists and staff are CEI employees, who have given more than 3,285 hours of time and provided more than half a million dollars of free eye care.

How to reach: Cincinnati Eye Institute, (513) 984-5133 or www.cincinnatieye.com

Published in Cincinnati