United Way Services
As chairman of the board of United Way Services, Alex Machaskee demonstrates leadership while giving fully of himself and his resources. The president and publisher of The Plain Dealer served in a variety of fund-raising campaign-related positions before accepting the top role for the 2000 Millennium Campaign.
Machaskee called on area business leaders and encouraged friends and colleagues to donate time and money. The campaign's $46.2 million result was $1.1 million more than the previous year's campaign, a 2.5 percent increase during one of the most difficult economic periods in decades.
Machaskee has been instrumental, both personally and through The Plain Dealer's editorial pages, in raising awareness for the Community Vision Council, a public/private partnership focused on health and human services issues throughout Northeast Ohio.
One of the council's goals is to create a model -- which other cities can duplicate -- for solving community-related problems. Under Machaskee's direction, the council has become an example of how to apply traditional business principles to the nonprofit sector.
Robert G. Jones
Bob Jones, president and CEO of McDonald Investments, is chairman of Applewood Centers' board of directors, which provides leadership to Applewood Centers and its affiliate, Children's Aid Society.
Jones chaired the organization's Capital Campaign Committee, which secured $6.5 million for new programs and capital improvements. As chairman, he led the organization through the years following a merger, including a difficult restructuring period when programs were cut to eliminate a $1 million budget shortfall.
He also spearheaded the development of a program designed to engage every board member in promoting Applewood Centers throughout the community, and suggested staff members be included in board meetings to aid in their educational and leadership development.
Corporately, Jones secured two major gifts from Key Bank totaling $120,000. The first $75,000 gift served as a vote of confidence during a $1.5 million fund-raising campaign to roll out an independent living project.
And, when Jones discovered funds were too tight to show staff appreciation following an important accreditation review, he asked that bills to buy a small gift for every staff member be forwarded to him and wrote a personal check to pay for the gifts.
Rev. Dr. Timothy James
Cleveland Christian Home
Dr. Timothy James, senior pastor of Fifth Christian Church, has served on the board of the Cleveland Christian Home for 12 of the last 16 years, most recently as immediate past president of the board of trustees.
Under his direction and leadership, CCH avoided closure and became an independent entity after 102 years of serving families struggling with child abuse, neglect and mental illness.
In February 2002, CCH's parent organization, the National Benevolent Association, decided to close CCH. But James refused to accept the decision and led the fight to find a way to remain open.
He rallied the Christian Church in the Ohio regional office and more than 250 congregations across Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana to provide financial, moral and spiritual support.
He worked with regional leaders to bring CCH under the regional office's tax-exempt status and gained local and national media attention. And he called upon politicians such as Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, Sen. Eric Fingerhut, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones for support.
His efforts were successful. Less than one year later, CCH is an independent entity and it recently received the highest ratings for quality of service from the Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services.
Frederick David Coleman
Center for Employment Training
During his five-year tenure as a board member at the Center for Employment Training, most recently as past board president, Frederick David Coleman has provided effective leadership and acted as a role model for the organization's student body.
Coleman, vice president of human resources at Ranpak Corp., has served as chairman of several CET board subcommittees. He provides human resources consultation and financial support and promotes the employment of CET graduates with Ranpak and other local employers.
But his most important contributions are his time and involvement with CET's students. The average student is a 33-year-old African-American male who has not been in a formal school setting for many years, resides in one of the most economically depressed neighborhoods in Cleveland and is classified as low or no income. CET provides these students with life and skills training.
Coleman makes it a priority to attend CET student recognition events and spends considerable time talking to students individually and encouraging their success. As a successful African-American businessman, he is a role model CET students can emulate.
Bruce G. Higley
Achievement Centers for Children
As chairman of the Facilities Committee, Bruce Higley led a one-and-a-half year search to secure property for the future home of Achievement Centers for Children during an $8 million capital campaign.
His work for the agency, which serves children with disabilities and their families, was integral in the conception, design and implementation of the capital campaign.
Higley, executive vice president of The Albert M. Higley Co., has served as ACC vice president for the past two years. As Facilities Committee chairman, he navigated zoning, political and construction obstacles on behalf of ACC to acquire the property for its soon-to-be-built 36,000-square-foot facility. In doing so, he helped influence businesses and foundations across Greater Cleveland to support ACC and provide services for the agency.
Higley, his company and his family have also made a positive impact on ACC through volunteerism, business assistance and financial support.
James R. Neville
Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation
James Neville was elected to the board of trustees of Health Hill Hospital for Children in September 1992. Since then, he's been an active member and effective leader, serving on the board executive committee since 1996 and as chairman of the Board Quality Improvement Committee since 1995. Other committees include strategic planning and building and grounds.
Neville, executive vice president of Christian & Klopper Inc., took a leading role in 1998 during the board's deliberations about the future of the institution and its mission of serving special-needs children. He brought the analytical skills and detailed focus of an architect to long and challenging discussions. The hospital subsequently joined the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and in 1999 changed its name to the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation. Today, Neville serves as the organization's chairman of the board of trustees.
Neville has been committed to the agency since his daughter received post brain cancer surgical therapy at the hospital several years ago. As chairman of the board's Quality Improvement Committee, Neville has set out to improve patient satisfaction to ensure patients and families receive the same level of service that impressed and supported him during his daughter's hospitalization.
Cleveland Works Inc.
Gary Ragonese has been a Cleveland Works board member since January 2001, serving as board treasurer since joining the organization. Ragonese, a vice president with KeyBank National Association, has provided expertise in budget preparation and oversight, as well as general financial management matters.
He played a critical role in ensuring the organization was prepared for audits, and has been active in discussions regarding strategies for future financial viability. Ragonese joined the board at a time when the financial recordkeeping needed a major overhaul. He helped install a new financial accounting package and train staff in its use. He also developed and implemented rigid internal controls and financial processes.
And as oversight, he created new board reporting to enhance the board's understanding of the financial position and results of operations.
These processes resulted in audits which had no findings for the past two years. In prior years, Cleveland Works had numerous internal control findings. The clean audit allows it to enter the 2002/2003 fiscal year as a low-risk auditee, and in a stronger financial position than it has been in for years.