It's all relative Featured

9:20am EDT November 22, 2004
Making community service part of a company's goals helps employees feel a responsibility to be leaders in their community. So Ernst & Young Northeast Ohio's leaders support their employees' volunteer efforts and provide time for these activities during traditional office hours.

From the Achievement Centers for Children to Western Reserve YMCA, Ernst & Young employees serve on 79 boards in Northeast Ohio.

"Since the founding of Ernst & Ernst in Cleveland in June of 1903, our personnel have been dedicated to giving back to the community and take pride in our commitment to the community," says Donald T. Misheff, Ernst & Young's Northeast Ohio office managing partner.

Ernst & Young's Cleveland Community Connection (C3) Board connects employees to the Northeast Ohio community. C3 hosts an annual community service day that teams Ernst & Young employees with various organizations. Last year, nearly 400 employees devoted an afternoon to 15 local charities.

Formed in 2001, C3 is a nonpartner volunteer board that includes individuals from nearly all nonpartner levels and practice groups of the firm.

"Our approach gives our people an avenue to give something back, do the right thing through our extensive networking capabilities and make the community a better place," says Lee Ann Lednik, a C3 board member and senior manager in the Northeast Ohio assurance practice.

The Ernst & Young team participated in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Race For Research and won the MMRF Hero's Award for being the top fund-raising team. It also won individual awards in several divisions.

The Northeast Ohio office donated nearly 20,000 cards to benefit St. Jude's Ranch for Children, and Harvest for Hunger has benefited from several Ernst & Young fund-raisers, including a chili cook-off, jeans day, bake sale, Chinese raffle and a food drive.

The firm consistently supports the United Way of Greater Cleveland and can be found among the top 20 organizations when ranked by donations. Two firm leaders, Dick Baker and Ernie Novak, have served as Greater Cleveland United Way Campaign chairmen, in 1973 and 2002, respectively.

Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year program is in its 18th year of honoring successful company owners and their businesses, and the Ernst & Young Foundation has contributed more than $110 million to charitable organizations since its inception in 1937. The foundation provides support to colleges and universities, civic and cultural agencies and the communities in which the firm operates.

HOW TO REACH: Ernst & Young LLP, (216) 861-5000 or www.ey.com