Howard & O’Brien Associates’ CEO Lee Ann Howard and President John O’Brien have a personal commitment to community involvement, and it has become a philosophy that permeates their company’s culture.
As the top executives at their Cleveland executive recruitment consulting practice, the couple encourages their team members to participate in community service efforts and the nonprofit organizations of their choice.
“It is our company’s belief that our employees are best-suited to determine what cause is most important to them,” O’Brien says. “They should not feel obligated to participate in a companywide, predetermined effort. Howard & O’Brien Associates supports all organizations or causes in which our employees are involved.”
Howard and O’Brien’s employees understand that their employers support their volunteer efforts. If a team member needs time off during the day to prepare for an evening fund-raiser, work schedules can be rearranged easily. The company also contributes financially to causes supported by its employees, and the company leaders attend events when possible.
Howard & O’Brien Associates has made numerous sizable cash donations to local nonprofits, including Womankind, Providence House, Dress for Success of Cleveland, Center for Families and Children, YWCA, The Gathering Place, the Women’s Community Foundation and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. The company also has donated significant pro bono consulting work for JumpStart, Baldwin-Wallace College, Karamu House and the Women’s Community Foundation.
Serving as good role models, Howard and O’Brien are board members of The Gathering Place, The American Heart Association and Cleveland Scores. During the summer of 2006, the couple took their children to Guatemala and worked with Adopt-a-Village to bring needed supplies to Guatemalan schoolchildren. The crayons, pencils and other supplies were collected by their children’s classmates at their Shaker Heights elementary school.
“Every human being benefits from being connected to the community around them, whether it is a work, industry, school, church, city or town community, even our global community,” O’Brien says. “We gain a sense of belonging or connectedness and of accomplishment when we help others in any of these realms. It connects us all to the ‘human condition.’”
HOW TO REACH: Howard & O’Brien Associates, (216) 514-8980 or www.howardobrien.com