From the editor Featured

10:01am EDT July 22, 2002

The cover story in this issue is self-explanatory: The Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service was designed to honor companies that show an exemplary commitment to the community. The program's threefold mission is:

1. To recognize outstanding contributions to the nonprofit community;

2. To foster and encourage an environment of community service among the many businesses served by both SBN and Medical Mutual;

3. To share creative ideas on how companies that may not be rich in resources can still make an impact in the community.

As a fourth element, we have promised to donate proceeds of the program to charitable causes, through the new Pillar Award Fund managed by The Cleveland Foundation. SBN committed to a minimum donation of $10,000. (At the time this column was written, the accounting was far from done. The final figure will be reported in the January issue.)

I was pleased and impressed with the response this program has received in its first year. From dozens of nomination, our judges selected 11 companies of all shapes and sizes that have clearly gone out of their way to make an impact on the community. We told you their names in November, we're honoring them at a banquet Dec. 3, and you'll find their stories in our cover story package.

In the mean time, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have worked so hard to make this effort a success from the start:

  • Medical Mutual of Ohio. As the founding sponsor, Medical Mutual has provided the vision, support and resources to start this program from scratch, which has been no small task. I specifically want to mention Jared Chaney, Linda Libertini and Dave Buckel for their hands-on assistance and counsel. In the time I've worked with them, I've found a genuine sense of commitment to making Northeast Ohio a better place to live and work.

  • The State Bank and Trust Co. and The Hoffman Group, which as corporate sponsors have shown tremendous enthusiasm and support for the mission of sharing stories about good deeds on the part of business.

  • The seven Pillar Award judges.

At SBN, we managed this new project as a true team, without titles or boundaries.

Regional Sales Manager Melissa Gottlieb and her sales team - Angela Berresford, David Cho, Chris Carroll and Scott Garrison - all set aside their ambitious sales goals for as long as it took to bring this program to fruition.

Others who leapt outside of their job descriptions and put in extra hours are Christine Royhab, our network office manager, and, if the title belongs to anybody, de facto event chair. She spent more time than anybody worrying about details, lifting heavy cargo and applying oil to stubborn squeaks.

Also, Renee Doan, receptionist; Lynn Bajec, SBN Cleveland office manager; Debra Andelmo, layout manager; Jim Mericsko, marketing designer; Dustin Klein, associate editor and Tracey Fritz, junior accountant, all of whom jumped in to help without waiting to be asked.

Finally, CEO Fred Koury and Publisher Michael Marzec, both of whom made it easy and enjoyable for us to take our eyes off the bottom line in order to follow the lead of our Pillar Award winners in service to Greater Cleveland.

Bob Rosenbaum can be reached at (216) 529-8584, or by e-mail at brosenbaum@sbnnet.com.