2013 CIN Pillar

Pillar Award for Community Service Finalist

Melanie Rose-Billhardt

vice president of customer care

Victoria’s Secret Direct

(614) 415-7000  | www.victoriassecret.com


Among its many community activities, Victoria’s Secret Direct joined with the Children’s Hunger Alliance to present the first Kids Day Backpack Bash for more than 500 children at Montgomery County Fairgrounds Historic Roundhouse in July 2012. The Kids Day event promoted the USDA Child and Adult Food Program, which provides hot meals and snacks for children ages 5 to 18 at approved after-school program sites during the school year.

In addition, Victoria’s Secret Direct has supported the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s Taste to Remember event since 2006 and contributed almost $34,000 to the event. Other corporate contributions include $95,000 in support of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools and Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiatives and the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s annual Menu of Hope event.

Each year, Victoria’s Secret Direct hosts Community Cares Week in Dayton. Community Cares Week supports multiple nonprofit organizations in the community with community service hours.

Melanie Rose-Billhardt, vice president of customer care for Victoria’s Secret Direct, has served as chair of the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s Southwest Ohio Regional Board, serving Cincinnati, Dayton and surrounding communities for five years. She also serves on the agency’s governing board.

Rose-Billhardt has worked to raise awareness of the Children’s Hunger Alliance by securing various marketing materials for board members to distribute when introducing the agency to corporate and community members.

She has contributed her time, talent and personal resources to advance the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s mission and vision, and she was instrumental in securing additional corporate funds to support the Kids Day 2012 Backpack Bash.

Published in Cincinnati

2013 CIN Pillar

Pillar Award for Community Service Finalist

Louis Beck


Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank

(513) 247-0300 | www.usavingsbank.com, www.guardiansavingsbank.com


The philosophy at Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank is straightforward: They get involved in community activities because it’s the right thing to do.

Led by CEO Louis Beck, the company’s service projects are employee-driven. Each month, the company holds an employee action committee meeting open to all employees. Anyone in the company can come and present a project or an organization close to his or her heart that he or she wants the banks to support.

Beck leads the company’s community giving. He is the driving force and sets a strong example through action. He never misses a community action committee meeting and constantly supports, encourages and motivates everyone around him.

The impact that Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank has on the community is far-reaching. Each year on Thanksgiving, the employees and families of Union and Guardian get together in the morning and carry out a major holiday initiative. They meet at the Kroger grocery store on Ferguson Road, load their cars and then deliver Thanksgiving dinners to needy families all over Cincinnati. Last year, they gave dinners to more than 900 families.

In addition, if not for Union and Guardian’s giving spirit, students at Ethel M. Taylor Academy, Lincoln Heights School and South Avondale School would not have the wealth of school supplies and backpacks the company provides; and the residents at Tender Mercies, a shelter for mentally ill homeless people, would not have Christmas presents and dinners provided by the company’s workers.

Published in Cincinnati


Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Award

Ellen M. Katz

president and CEO

The Children’s Home of Cincinnati

www.thechildrenshomecinti.org | (513) 272-2800


Ellen Katz has been president and CEO of The Children’s Home since 2005, although she has worked with the agency since 1990. During this time, the agency has responded and adapted to the changing needs of children and families in our community and has received local and national recognition for quality service.

Today, Katz is focused on developing the vision and strategy to ensure long-term growth and success for The Children’s Home. She has grown the agency from 189 employees in 2005 to 270 today. That staff runs 25 programs and related activities serving 6,000 clients annually, up from 1,200 clients in 2005.

Under Katz’s leadership The Children’s Home of Cincinnati has seen its assets and endowment grow from $70 million to more than $81 million and its budget increase from $13 million to $19 million. Her work has impacted the community, helping thousands of children overcome significant behavioral and educational challenges.

Katz’s leadership has propelled The Children’s Home into a flexible, innovative organization that consistently responds to the ever-changing needs of vulnerable children and their families. She utilizes unique management techniques and processes, effectively harnessing for-profit business to help the 148-year-old agency adapt to changing economic circumstances.

These kinds of collaborations have resulted in higher quality and an increased impact of services, greater presence in the community and in increase in funding opportunities, as well as decreased duplication of community services and a better capacity to serve children with the greatest needs.

Published in Cincinnati

Pillar nonprofit board executive finalist

Brenda Stier-Anstine


Mount Carmel Foundation

(614) 546-4500 | www.mountcarmelfoundation.org

When Brenda Stier-Anstine joined the Mount Carmel Foundation Board of Trustees in 2005, she quickly became involved with its communication initiatives and strategic planning process. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to funding the mission-driven health and education programs and services provided through the Mount Carmel Health System, which operates four hospitals in Central Ohio.

In September 2009, Stier-Anstine’s peers recognized her leadership and passion by voting her to the role of chairman, a role she’s embraced with gusto. She has led efforts to launch the capital campaign for Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Project GRACE, the largest expansion project in the history of Mount Carmel Health System.

As co-chair of the campaign, she led the way in helping Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, located in Westerville, Ohio, strengthen its community partnerships.

Through her leadership, she helped both the hospital and the foundation redefine their focus to build stronger, more personal philanthropic relationships with the community, as well as internal corporate board members and volunteers.

Stier-Anstine’s support makes the expansion of mission-critical programs and services possible. In fact, she helped Mount Carmel St. Ann’s earn the largest single philanthropic gift in the organization’s history.

Beyond leading the capital campaign, Stier-Anstine volunteers many hours to Mount Carmel. She regularly partakes in strategy sessions and meetings, providing marketing and communications expertise that has generated a positive cultural change for the organization. She supports the hospital both personally and professionally and continually introduces individuals to the foundation by hosting “meet-and-greets” and tours. She is also CEO of Marketing Works, a B2B strategic marketing communications firm.



Published in Columbus

Nonprofit Board Executive Pillar Finalist

Robert “Skip” Weiler Jr.

Foundation board member and past president

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio

(614) 839-2447 | www.bbbscolumbus.org

Robert “Skip” Weiler Jr. has a long history of involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. In 1986, he became a big brother volunteer in the organization’s community-based program. Four years later, Weiler joined the organization’s board of directors, serving as board president in 1996 and 1997.

During Weiler’s tenure as president, the agency planned and initiated its first-ever capital campaign to raise funds for the building that now serves as its headquarters. Through his leadership, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio raised more than $4 million from a variety of sources, including Weiler’s family. After Weiler’s tenure on the board of directors, he became a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation, recently completing a two-year term as foundation president.

Weiler’s impact on the organization has been far-reaching. As a result of his involvement, many individuals and businesses have been introduced to Big Brothers Big Sisters and its mentoring program. Hundreds of individuals have been recruited as volunteers, resulting in significant program growth.

Under Weiler’s leadership, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio grew to be the largest in the country, outperforming Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in communities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Today, the Central Ohio organization continues as the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters program in existence.

Weiler continues to serve on the board of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation and is a founding member of the organization’s Legacy Society. Weiler also continues to actively mentor and recruit volunteers.


Published in Columbus

Nonprofit Executive Director Award Finalist

Laura Warren

Board chair

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council Inc.

(614) 487-8101 | www.gsoh.org

Adult volunteers of Girl Scouts of the USA provide an accepting and nurturing environment to 2.3 million girls nationwide for building character and skills for success in the real world.

Laura Warren has made great strides on behalf of this organization, successfully overseeing three councils through a two-year merger process in 2009 that created the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council Inc. In her eighth year as board chair, Warren’s efforts have helped bring about organizational efficiencies and alignment, positive culture change, and consistent quality programming to girls around the council’s 30-county jurisdiction.

The new council is now one of the strongest Girl Scout councils in the country, with one of the greatest percentages of members. While Girl Scout councils nationwide were losing membership, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council grew significantly — bringing total membership to 33,000 girls currently.

Warren has supported many successful changes in addition to the merger, including a 2010 Strategic Initiatives Concept. One initiative focused on diversity has led to an 11 percent increase in Latina volunteers, with the help of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition and Centro Esperanza.

Prior to her role as board chair, Warren served Girl Scouts in other capacities including treasurer, chair of the finance committee, chair of fund development and an executive committee member.

She also serves as a mentor and engages in various volunteer efforts outside of the Girl Scouts, including work for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. She formerly chaired Choices Eliminating Domestic Violence.


Published in Columbus

Pillar nonprofit board executive finalist

Brooke Billmaier

past president

St. Stephen’s Community House

(614) 294-6437 | www.saintstephensch.org

It didn’t take Brooke Billmaier long to be recognized as an emerging leader on the board of trustees for St. Stephen’s Community House. The decision was immediate, and as a vote of confidence, she was named co-chair of the organization’s largest and most important fundraiser, Bravo! For the Children.

Before her leadership, the event had never broken into six-figure net profit territory. As a result of her leadership, the first year she co-chaired the event, it raised $120,000 in net proceeds. Billmaier motivated the board development committee as well as the entire board to utilize their contacts in more effective and innovative ways to increase the net profit of the event. The 2012 Bravo! For the Children event raised nearly $200,000.

When a leadership retreat had to be canceled in 2008-09 because of financial challenges, Billmaier took the initiative and developed an alternative. She called upon her HR team at Victoria’s Secret, where she is vice president of merchandise planning, to help — and soon, the St. Stephen’s staff received training as openings occurred in the corporate training sessions.

Volunteers who serve in a board position or help with Christmas Care, the food pantry or child care are now tracked, thanks to a system established during Billmaier’s tenure as president. This has helped create a 45 percent increase in repeat volunteers.

Billmaier believes the mission of the agency is the promise made when a family enters St. Stephen’s doors for help — and, “We must do all we can to keep that promise,” she says.


Published in Columbus

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award Finalist

Ira Sharfin


Continental Office Environments

(614) 262-5010 | www.continentaloffice.com

Ira Sharfin helped pioneer the Project Mentor program, which is a collaboration between the Columbus City Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, in the Columbus area, and in its first year, he and his company, Continental Office Environments, enlisted 18 mentors in the program, which seeks to mentor students throughout the Columbus City School System.

That number reflects more than 20 percent of Sharfin’s in-office staff, which is one of the largest percentages of associate involvement in the program in the Columbus area — and additional staff members have joined the program in subsequent years.

In 2008, Continental Office Environments had the unique opportunity to host all of the company’s mentors and mentees from Mifflin International Middle School at the Ohio Governor’s Residence.

In addition to meeting then-Gov. Tom Strickland and his wife, the Continental team planned a special lunch that included educational activities and a tour of the residence grounds. Continental’s staff provided each child with a disposable camera to document the visit and take pictures with mentors and the governor.

After the event, Continental arranged for each student to receive a photo album with prints of his or her developed pictures, and a signature from the governor, as a keepsake.

This past year, Continental’s Project Mentor volunteer mentors saw the students in the inaugural class graduate from high school. It was a proud moment for Sharfin — who also serves as a mentor — and his staff, and it was a time to reflect on the tremendous relationships that have been created.



Published in Columbus

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Pillar Award Finalist

Mark Swepston

president and CEO

Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling

(614) 294-8600 | www.atlasbutler.com

As he grew up, Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling President and CEO Mark Swepston learned about the importance of community service from his grandparents, who regularly supported their churches, and his father, who was involved in organizations such as Boy Scouts, the Tri-Village Lions Club, Pilot Dogs, Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce.

It wasn’t long before Swepston became involved himself. As early as the age of 10, Swepston and his father would sell light bulbs door-to-door for the Tri-Village Lions Club.

By the time he was 22, Swepston had begun working at Atlas Butler and was taken to a Jaycees meeting by his brother Steve. Together, they created a variety of fundraising activities to support community causes — including a “rally in the alley,” held on the streets of downtown Columbus on Friday nights, working at a regatta on Griggs Reservoir and chairing the Ohio Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation student leadership conference.

Swepston’s passion for community involvement has extended to his team members at Atlas Butler, who give of their time and resources each year, supporting a wide variety of community causes, including the Salvation Army, the American Cancer Society, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and the Komen Race for the Cure, to benefit breast cancer research.

Sweptston’s team also volunteers as part of an annual “heat the town” effort, in which skilled HVAC technicians volunteer their time to inspect and service the heating equipment in homes of the disabled and disadvantaged.

Published in Columbus

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award Finalist

Jane Grote Abell


Donatos Pizza

www.donatos.com | (614) 416-7700

Jane Grote Abell was just a young girl when she started working in her father’s pizza shop, the first store in the company known today as Donatos Pizza. It was on Thurman Avenue, where Abell saw the way her family treated customers and learned to do the same.

It was the way she served people then, and it’s the way she serves and leads people today. Donatos provides a safe place for youngsters who are 14 or 15 years old to get a first experience in the working world. Abell ensures that it is also a great place to bring your family for pizza and a great place to call a part of your community.

“When we hire a 16-year-old, we want to make sure that that mom and dad feel good about the place that their teen is going to work,” Abell says.

It is with employees that she has the deepest interaction, and it is there where she can make the biggest impact on someone’s life. She takes the time to sit down with associates who are having a tough time outside of work and helps them work through the struggles.

Outside of the restaurant, Abell serves on numerous boards and works tirelessly to build and support programs that make a positive difference in the lives of her neighbors. It is through these efforts that she serves as a role model for girls, women and anyone who wants to be a positive influence in their community.

As Abell says, “Values aren’t the soft stuff.” They are the foundational element for everything Donatos does.

Published in Columbus
Page 1 of 29