Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus


As part of the mission of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA, employees maintain a strong commitment to helping communities ? those nearby and those in need around the world. And Managing Partner Allen J. Reis sees to it that employees are invited to step up to the plate.

WWR supports organizations such as the global agencies such as the March of Dimes and the United Way, and area groups including the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, YWCA Family Center, Marching Miles for Miracle Kids and Pelotonia. The company believes in the fact that we are all global citizens ? answering the call of those in distressed communities, helping others to help themselves and creating legacies of hope for future generations.

Corporatewide, WWR contributed nearly $90,000 directly to support numerous organizations last year. In addition, the company last year donated $50,000 to Pelotonia, a community of bike riders and volunteers working to support cancer research.

Reis inspires employees to get involved and make a difference. Rarely one to say no when asked for philanthropic support, he characteristically does much more than contribute financially. He lends his time, leadership and resources to a variety of charitable agencies.

For instance, as part of one local client’s meal hosting programs held by the YWCA Family Center, Reis volunteered his time and motivated other WWR employees to join in. He enjoyed the program and decided WWR should begin a similar one of its own. WWR now hosts meals every other month at the YWCA funded by employee “casual day” donations and staffed by volunteers from the local office staff.

When the Mid-Ohio Foodbank built a new facility near the firm’s Grove City office, Reis saw it as an opportunity to develop a community partnership between the food bank and WWR. Every month, 15 volunteers assist the food bank with sorting and packaging of food.

By leading by example, Reis sets himself as a model for employees through his commitment and dedication to community service, which then filters down throughout the company.

How to reach: Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA, (614) 228-7272 or

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

The ViaQuest Foundation focuses on improving the lives of a wide array of people who have been diagnosed with developmental, behavioral or emotional disabilities. Since its founding in January 2005, the foundation has impacted the lives of 640 youth and adults. Currently, more than 80 adults with developmental or physical disabilities are employed at locations throughout Ohio thanks to the foundation’s program assistance.

The biggest initiative for the foundation is its vocational program that provides work opportunities for those diagnosed with various disabilities. The services provided to those individuals include job skills and job readiness training. However, the services don’t stop at training the individual. Job coaches work with employers to keep an eye on employee progress, working with the employer to set realistic expectations and help the employee become a successful and productive worker.

Another vital part of the foundation’s work centers on its recreational programs. The “Golf and Life Skills” program is sponsored in conjunction with the PGA, the USGA and the National Alliance for Accessible Golf. In the program, youth and young adults learn life skills through golf. The program is the only USGA- and PGA-founded golf program in the country targeted at those on the autism spectrum, and is also taught in secured juvenile detention centers using adaptive golf equipment.

In addition, ViaQuest facilitates the “Paws with a Purpose” program, which takes shelter and rescue dogs, and trains them to be service dogs. The dogs are then placed in residential treatment homes, group homes, vocational centers and with hospice caregivers to provide support and comfort for those receiving services.

The ViaQuest Foundation was established by management services company ViaQuest Inc., led by President and CEO Richard Johnson, which provides leadership and management oversight to various companies throughout the United States. The company currently operates in Ohio, Arizona, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How to reach: ViaQuest Inc., (800) 645-3267 or

Published in Columbus
Saturday, 31 December 2011 19:01

Meet the 2012 Pillar Awards Columbus sponsors

Rea & Associates

Giving back to the community isn’t something we do just because it makes us look good. It’s an integral part of the culture at Rea & Associates. Almost all of our team members are involved with their communities in some way, either donating their time for special projects or serving as leaders in organizations that are important to them.

And if you were to stop one of these employees on the street and ask if he or she could describe the values that this firm lives by, each person would refer to “The Rea Way” — our value statement. Different parts of the statement resonate with different employees, but one of the lines that best describes the attitude and culture of this firm reads: “Invest in your family, your community and your future.”

That mission is top-of-mind in a number of ways. An annual food drive creates excitement and a healthy competitive spirit, as we see which of our 11 offices can round up the most food to donate to community food pantries. And employees get involved by suggesting community outreach projects and requesting donations for particular organizations through the Rea Foundation.

And then there’s a special group of employees who are so dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations succeed that they have dedicated their careers to it. They specialize in providing services to the not-for-profit industry and enjoy the challenge of understanding the increasing demands these organizations and their board members face. We’re proud to be a partner in our clients’ successes.

Congratulations and best wishes for continued success to this year’s Pillar honorees.

Learn more at


Colortone Staging & Rental is a premier audiovisual and staging company with expertise in event design and production. We stage a multitude of events, including corporate meetings, awards banquets, special events, trade shows, concerts, webcasts and videoconferences. CSR also manages audiovisual equipment for hotel properties and operates a full-service equipment rental division. The solutions we provide, combined with our highly trained technical staff, ensure the success of every event. Our quality is unmatched and our attention to detail is unsurpassed.

The staff at CSR consists of the best in the business. Our technicians have an average of five years in the audiovisual and event management business. Their diverse backgrounds allow us to think on our feet, act quickly and provide flexibility and creative problem solving to every situation we find.

The company is also an active member of the community, consistently finding ways to give back where it can.

Learn more at

The Charles Penzone Salons

The team members at The Charles Penzone Salons offer their time and talents to a multitude of charitable efforts in Central Ohio. In 2011, more than 150 professionals volunteered countless hours of time to support nearly 70 charitable organizations.

Though The Charles Penzone Salons supports many organizations throughout Central Ohio, they are strong advocates for causes that empower women and support children. This year, The Charles Penzone Salons hosted the 13th annual Mother/Daughter Spa Day for A Kid Again in July. The Grand Salon in Dublin closed its doors to regular guests, so team members can volunteer their time to pamper girls with life-threatening illnesses and their mothers.  More than 100 A Kid Again honorees enjoyed a wonderful day filled with hair and spa services, dinner and other special activities. More than 70 Charles Penzone team members volunteered their time and talent to help make this event happen.

For the last 12 years, The Charles Penzone Salons have supported Komen Columbus Race for the Cure. For the last two years, they have been a GOLD sponsor of the Race by offering mini manicures and massages in the Survivor-Palooza area, among several other things.

The hearts, hands and time of the professionals at The Charles Penzone Salons is the reason why the organization can support so many of Central Ohio’s philanthropic organizations. The company is incredibly thankful for their professionals’ ability to live purpose-driven lives.

For more information, visit

Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board

Each year, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board staff participates in the statewide Combined Charitable Campaign. The CSRAB staff sets a lofty financial goal in order to help as many nonprofit organizations as possible. The staff takes great pride in working together to raise funds for so many worthy organizations. In addition, during the holidays, the entire Statehouse staff collects nonperishable food items to donate to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to ensure needy families are taken care of during the holidays. CSRAB employees are encouraged to give back year-round whenever they can.

The Ohio Statehouse works very hard to play a vital role to ensure a better community.  Through its free innovative programming, special events and educational forums, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board works hard to ensure that the Statehouse continues to be a gathering place for every citizen. Often called “the People’s House,” we work hard to provide this programming in order to “give back.” During these difficult economic times, more familiars are looking for free programming. This is an area in which the Statehouse is proud to partner with the city, downtown Columbus community and other nonprofit organizations.

For more information, visit or call (614) 728-2130.

Findley Davies Inc.

Since Jim Findley and John Davies founded Findley Davies’ in 1969, their firm belief in the value of community service has continued as a foundation of our philanthropic focus. Our dedication to family and community is written in the “Findley Davies Story” that is passed along to each new employee at the time of their employment orientation and is reinforced by principals and other associates, alike.

Beyond the written word in our history and Mission Statement, the active role Findley Davies and our associates play in the communities in which we live and work is evident. Across all offices and levels within Findley Davies, there is a wide variety of non-profit and community organizations in which associates are involved. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the way they are most comfortable and for the organizations and causes they are most passionate about.

For more information, visit


Commercial Vehicle Group

Commercial Vehicle Group is a strong philanthropic partner to the community through direct contributions and through the volunteer efforts of our associates. We seek to support organizations whose efforts and goals are far reaching in number and whose ethics and core values mirror those of the company.

We are proud to support many nonprofit organizations that benefit education and youth development, civic and community organizations, and programs and services with which our team members are actively involved, such as youth sports teams and civic events.

In addition to his own personal commitment to community service, President and CEO Mervin Dunn also encourages his officers and directors to actively participate with civic and charitable organizations, as evidenced by his scheduling of all of his senior team to “ring the bell” on behalf of the Salvation Army Red Kettle initiative in December 2009 and his support of an onsite “Coats for Kids Drive” that benefitted local youth.

For more information, visit or call (614) 289-5177.

Catering by Design

Catering by Design has a longstanding commitment to supporting nonprofits and causes throughout Ohio. We are proud to have catered the Pelotionia (a fundraiser with the mission to cure cancer) in 2009 and 2010, serving more than 15,000 meals.

We serve events throughout Ohio, including corporate luncheons, picnics and elegant evening balls. Our professional staff and highly trained certified chefs work directly with you to provide the perfect food and beverages to complement your event. Catering By Design is the preferred caterer for the Columbus Symphony summer concert series, Picnic With the Pops. We are also the exclusive caterer at the Aladdin Shrine Center at Easton and also provide catering services for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies in Canton.

For more information, visit or call (614) 436-1234.

LOGOS/Black Box

LOGOS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Box, is dedicated to combining business acumen with technical savvy, guiding talented team members to create innovative IT solutions and enabling clients to have confidence in their IT infrastructure. The firm and its leadership team are also dedicated to giving back to the community where its team members live and work. Part of this is through The LOGOS Way, which includes the following mantras:

  • We greet every day with a positive can do attitude.
  • We are a team with heart, integrity and rhythm.
  • We take on each project with efficiency, diligence and a sense of urgency.
  • We are students of learning and creators of innovation.
  • We never rest on our laurels. We always look for ways to improve how we do business for our clients and for ourselves.
  • We believe in creating long-term, trusted relationships with our clients.

For more information, visit or call (440) 871-0777.

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

It’s one thing to encourage your employees to be active in the community and give back to those who have less than you do. It’s quite another to give your employees two days off each year to go help those who need it, but that’s what happens at Safelite AutoGlass.

For one of those two days, employees can help any organization they like. On the other day, employees go as a team or a department and work together to give back. Much great work is done on these two days, but it doesn’t mean the other 363 days each year are forgotten.

Take Safelite’s efforts with Meals on Wheels for example. More than 40 Columbus-based associates donate their lunch hour and one paid volunteer hour each month to deliver food to seniors through the local Meals on Wheels Adopt-a-Route program. It takes about two hours to complete a route in pairs and President and CEO Tom Feeney says it makes a huge difference.

“I appreciate our associates’ support of this program because it saves LifeCare Alliance $12,000 per year, which is equivalent of the salary of a paid driver,” Feeney says. “More importantly, our volunteers might be the only smiling faces the Meals on Wheels clients see each day.”

Safelite is also a regular contributor to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and this year, it added a special event to its support. The company held a hot dog sale and executive balloon toss that raised more than $3,200 for the food bank and gave employees a chance to pelt their favorite leader with a water balloon.

In addition to these causes, Safelite is part of the effort to ensure Columbus is prepared should disaster strike. The company is the lead sponsor for the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus’s Ready When the Time Comes program for 2011 and 2012.

How to reach: Safelite AutoGlass, (614) 210-9000 or

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

Roush Honda owes its very existence to the people of Central Ohio. The company began when Edwin “Dubbs” Roush began selling Honda motorcycles out of the back of his Westerville, Ohio, hardware store in 1965, moving into the motorcycle outfit into its own location, next to the hardware store, in 1966.

Over the years, the fledgling business grew into a respected automotive dealer due to the loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising of its customers.

So it’s probably no surprise that Roush Honda, which is now led by President Jeffrey Brindley, places a strong emphasis on giving back to the community that gave Roush Honda its start almost half a century ago. The company is involved in multiple charity and community causes in Columbus and the surrounding communities.

Roush Honda’s donations to the communities it serves are immediate and life-changing for the people who benefit from the programs that the dealership supports. From donating a box truck that allows the Westerville Area Resource Ministry to deliver food, to an educator-mentor award recognizing teachers, to providing all factory-recommended service and maintenance for a handicapped-accessible van owned by a single mother whose daughter suffers from a rare disease, Roush Honda’s collective community efforts have touched many lives in countless ways.

The company donates an average of $55,000 per year to nearly 20 area organizations, including the Westerville City Schools, Olentangy Local Schools, Big Walnut Schools, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Opera Columbus, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the Westerville Symphony and the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Roush’s staff members also give freely of their time, donating more than 100 hours to the Gahanna Rotary Club and to the Westerville Rotary Club and 300 hours to the Olentangy Youth Athletic Association.

How to reach: Roush Honda, (614) 882-1535 or

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year

R. Gabe Reitter II’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio isn’t just a recent endeavor. It goes back 28 years to 1983 when he attended the organization’s Taste of Class for Kids as a guest. Inspired by the youth-mentoring organization’s mission, he became a member of the Taste of Class committee ? and boosted the net revenue from $12,000 to more than $150,000 over his seven years on the committee.

He was on the board of directors for five years, serving as president in 1994. In addition, he is a member of the BBBS Foundation Board, having been on since 1999.

Reitter’s business experience, including being president of Reitter Wall Systems, combined with his interest in philanthropy, helped the organization learn how to raise funds effectively. His passion and leadership have been instrumental in getting the community involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

He was responsible for leading a strategic planning process, which increased the size of the board and launched school-based mentoring as a growth strategy. Under this plan, students during the school day are matched to mentors. It eventually would become a growth model for the national organization. Nearly every Big Brothers Big Sisters program in the country today has a school-based model. In Columbus, Project Mentor is in place at all middle and high schools in the city schools, as well as in other districts in Central Ohio.

Reitter is serving as chairperson of the Camp Oty’Okwa Comprehensive Campaign and has been the project manager for the construction of a new dining hall at the year-round residential camp. More projects are planned for the future to which Reitter has given his commitment.

But his most significant contribution has been the people he has put in touch with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many of the friends, business associates and others that he has introduced to the agency have become partners in his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many as well have become important in the agency’s ability to progress and grow. In effect, he has recruited a new generation of leaders for the organization and Camp Oty’Okwa.

How to reach: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, (614) 839-2447 or

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

METTLER TOLEDO, a leading global supplier of precision instruments and services, cares about the tiniest details ? and it shows in its support of the United Way of Central Ohio, which awarded the company its highest honor, the Corporate Award of Excellence.

Ken Peters, head of North American Market Organizations, endorses the campaign in countless ways, from the establishment of new initiatives and goal setting to the implementation of innovative ways to encourage employees to contribute more volunteer time and financial donations.

Each year, campaign co-chairs meet with Peters to discuss all aspects of pledging and fundraising. He offers to support activities in any way possible. Among his efforts are many personal time commitments: engaging in face-to-face discussions with employees about United Way, communicating UW information in quarterly leadership calls, including UW content in monthly staff meetings, conducting at least one staff meeting each year at a UW agency, joining employees on volunteer visits and participating on a UW board.

Peters’ commitment to United Way inspires others to embrace his dedication. He encourages committee members to be creative about messaging and to embrace it with fresh eyes so that they can continue to promote the importance of their efforts to others in the company. Peters advocates a focus on impact areas of education, income, health and home.

The campaign also involves thanking those who donated. Most notably, Peters and his staff thank donors during regular quarterly meetings and in different venues, including leadership calls, “ride-along” visits and other face-to-face conversations.

METTLER TOLEDO employees also volunteer for causes such as Meals-on-Wheels, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Community Care Day, Faith Mission, Wendy’s Chili Open, Operation Buckeye and United Cerebral Palsy.

In addition to raising approximately $50,000 for the Japan earthquake, METTLER TOLEDO contributed almost $200,000 to United Way through its employee pledge process, company-match program and variety of fund-raising activities.

One more key philosophy that Peters employs is that he encourages employees to be advocates of United Way, not with any sense of pressure, but with a sense of personal commitment and dedication to something in which they believe.

How to reach: METTLER TOLEDO, (614) 438-4511 or

Published in Columbus

Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award

for Community Service — Columbus

Executive Director of the Year

When you talk about Jane Scott and the Columbus Metropolitan Club, you can’t avoid talking about how much the organization has grown since she became executive director in 2003.

At that time, the club’s annual income was $243,474. Seven years later under Scott as executive director, the income was slightly greater than $774,000 ? a whopping 300 percent increase. In addition, corporate sponsorships went from $82,000 in 2003 to $222,000 in 2011; the number of corporation sponsors grew from 30 to more than 80. Membership increased from 600 to 800.

What is perhaps more important is that Scott has driven improvements in the club’s presence and reputation in the Columbus community, as measured by news media attention, the caliber of forum speakers and attendees. Scott has helped develop a recognizable and consistent brand. The organization regularly schedules well-known CEOs in the community, the Ohio governor, cabinet-level officials and even presidential candidates such as John McCain.

With the assistance of several club members who are with The Ohio State University, the CMC launched the Civic Engagement Class. This class is taught several times a year with more than 60 students attending the weekly forums.

Forums are now video recorded and photographed for use on the club’s website, greatly increasing the awareness of CMC. In addition, the videos are sold or provided to statewide television outlets such as the Ohio News Network.

The Columbus Metropolitan Club has adopted this premise as a main part of its mission: “the organization prides itself in being a credible source of information about current affairs — the organization to which Columbus citizens look to provide a platform for a discussion of social, political, economic and cultural issues of concern to the community.”

Jane Scott continues to fulfill that mission, even envisioning a for-credit class at one of the community’s colleges or universities where CMC forums would make up the major component in the curriculum.

How to reach: Columbus Metropolitan Club, (614) 464-3220 or

Published in Columbus
Thursday, 01 December 2011 12:40

The power of philanthropy

At Ernst & Young LLP’s recent Strategic Growth Forum, the largest gathering of high-growth entrepreneurs in the world (more than 2,500), myriad issues facing business today were discussed.

The annual forum serves as an idea marketplace where the best and brightest minds share what works, what doesn’t and what’s next in the wild world of business and entrepreneurship.

One common theme that arose from participants during the forum was the importance of giving back to the community.

Entrepreneurs passionately believe it is their responsibility to help strengthen the communities where they and their employees live and work. They believe that since they have the means to do so, it’s important to carry that success forward and help those who are in need. And they believe it’s imperative to supports causes that align with the missions or beliefs they and their employees hold.

I was honored to spend some time at the forum with Amy Rosen, president and CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. We spoke at length about how NFTE works nationwide with inner-city schoolchildren to teach them entrepreneurial skills and create the next generation of high-growth businesses.

Many of you might not have made the connection, but here in Northeast Ohio, we have an affiliate of NFTE in Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU). This connection resulted from YOU’s merger with E CITY, a program that serial entrepreneur John Zitzner founded several years ago.

As you might have noticed, this month’s edition includes coverage of the 2011 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service. We received a record number of nominations — nearly 90 — which represents how companies are working with and supporting the nonprofit sector, how executives are donating their time, talent and money to causes on the boards of nonprofits and how nonprofit leaders are applying for-profit business savvy to make their organizations that much stronger.

We, at Smart Business, were so impressed by the record number of nominees and the work they are doing that we felt we would be doing a disservice by only telling you about the winners. Because of this, we have expanded this issue so that we could tell you about every organization that submitted a nomination.

As you read, we hope you walk away with the same level of new inspiration as we have received.

Dustin S. Klein is publisher and executive editor of Smart Business Network Inc. Reach him with your comments at (800) 988-4726 or

Published in Akron/Canton
Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:07

The 2011 Pillar Award for Community Service

The Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service, presented by Smart Business, honors businesses of all types and sizes that make outstanding contribution to their community. Its purpose is to encourage a charitable enviroment, recognize creative efforts that make a difference and demonstrate the ties between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.

This year's winners were honored at a special banquet on December 7 at LaCentre Conference & Banquet Facility in Westlake, OH. Check out our live blog of the event.

Take a look at how these kind and selfless individuals and companies do what they do:

An introductory letter from Rick Chiricosta, President and CEO, Medical Mutual

Pillar Award for Community Service honorees:

Medical Mutual SHARE Award honoree:

FirstMerit Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Award honorees:

Rea & Associates Executive Director of the Year Award honorees:

Fairmount Minerals Sustainable Business Practices Award honoree:

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award honoree:

For a full list of all the award nominees, please see: The honor roll

The judges who had the unenviable task of picking the winners

A list of our fine sponsors

Published in Cleveland