Sharing knowledge, building trust Featured

9:53am EDT November 22, 2004
Robert Joyce runs The Westfield Group by sticking to the company's very simple tagline -- sharing knowledge, building trust.

Those four words underscore the Westfield Center-based insurance company's commitment and style of giving back.

"We feel particularly vested in initiatives that positively impact youth, education or those in need," says Joyce, the company's chairman and CEO. "Insurance is about providing security and protection for the future. Through sponsorships, charitable contributions and volunteerism, Westfield further demonstrates its commitment to making a difference."

Joyce says one of the company's main goals is to support and provide opportunities for young people to learn the skills they need -- whether it is confidence, gamesmanship, etiquette or integrity -- to succeed in life.

Westfield sponsors Academic Challenge, a television show that features the best and brightest students from 78 Northeast Ohio schools and airs for 26 weeks each year. At the end of the competition, the 10 top-scoring schools share grants totaling $34,000.

The company's Westfield Group Foundation hosts several golf-related events as its company-owned Westfield Group Country Club. Four years ago, Westfield partnered with The PGA of America to become the host and title sponsor of the Westfield Junior PGA Championship.

Since then, the tournament has grown into the nations' leading event in junior golf. Each year, more than 300 of Westfield's employees, retirees and community members volunteer their time to help with the event.

In 2001, Westfield founded its Junior Golf Academy. Members of area high school golf teams are invited to the country club for a free half-day of group and individual lessons conducted by the region's top PGA professionals. Nearly 600 young golfers have benefited from the program.

Next year, Westfield will partner with The University of Akron to introduce the Westfield Cup, a national collegiate soccer invitational. Proceeds raised from the event will benefit youth soccer programs across the region.

Westfield's community service efforts reach beyond sports and youth, touching organizations such as the Neighborhood Housing Services of Cleveland, Cleveland Housing Network, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. and the Medina County Performing Arts Foundation.

Last year, Westfield employees pledged nearly $63,000 to the Medina County United Way annual campaign, while Westfield donated a corporate match of $50,000. And recently, Joyce was named the Honorary Campaign Chairman for the United Way's 2004-2005 fund-raising campaign.

How to reach: Westfield Group, (800) 243-0210 or www.westfieldgrp.com