How Tom Slemmer enhances National Church Residences’ mission for seniors

Pillar Nonprofit Executive Director Finalist

Thomas W. Slemmer
president and CEO
National Church Residences
(614) 273-3504 |

“No money, no mission.” That’s not just Tom Slemmer’s mantra; it’s the reason that National Church Residences has grown to become the nation’s largest not-for-profit owner and manager of affordable senior housing.

When Slemmer joined National Church Residences in 1975, the organization had just one senior residence and a handful of employees. Since taking the helm as president and CEO in 1988, Slemmer has directed the organization’s successful growth to more than 330 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico, with 3,000 employees.

To meet the challenges of a difficult housing environment, cuts in public funding and changes in health care policy, Slemmer has helped National Church Residences institute the business best practices and management techniques to better drive its faith-based, mission-driven organization. This includes creating a five-year strategic plan, developing measurable goals and holding each of the organization’s departments accountable for its own bottom line.

By instilling both the philosophy and the infrastructure, he continues to help the organization fund its mission successfully and look for ways to enhance its services — for example, by investing in a National Church Residences University that trains housing and health care workers.

With an effective growth strategy, National Church Residences has been able to enhance many of its offerings for seniors. Today, the organization owns and operates six continuing care retirement communities and five supportive housing communities for the formerly homeless and disabled.

Slemmer also oversaw development of a robust health care program for seniors, which added services such as adult day health, assisted living, skilled nursing homes, rehabilitation, hospice and others. Today, National Church Residences Home & Community Services serves 450 clients and National Church Residences Center for Senior Health serves 560 clients.


How Jay Jordan develops partnerships to drive the mission and purpose of OCLC

Nonprofit Executive Director Pillar Award

Jay Jordan
president and CEO
Online Computer Library Center Inc.
(614) 764-6368 |

As president and CEO of Online Computer Library Center Inc. (OCLC) — a worldwide library cooperative — Jay Jordan frequently quotes the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

To further OCLC’s “public purpose,” which is to establish, maintain and operate a computerized library network and promote the use of libraries around the globe, Jordan has focused on developing partnerships that combine the best practices of businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Since 1998, he’s overseen more than a dozen acquisitions and established more than 300 corporate partnerships to help OCLC increase the availability of library resources and reduce the rate-of-rise of library per-unit cost for libraries and their patrons. As a result, the organization has grown its OCLC WorldCat database to more than 270 million records, which it has since made available on the Internet to people everywhere around the world.

In addition to external growth, Jordan is committed to growing OCLC’s internal culture and the organization’s role in the Columbus region. From creating OCLC Center for Leadership Development to advocating workplace programs such as the OCLC Diversity Fellowship program to establishing the President’s Inclusion Council, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and Employee Resources Groups to create an actively inclusive work environment, Jordan has actively worked to make OCLC a best place to work.

Through these efforts, Jordan has helped grow OCLC’s impact within the Columbus community and within the library field.



How CompManagement focuses its giving in health, human services

Pillar Award Finalist

Mary Beth Sanford
senior vice president
CompManagement Inc.
(614) 376-5300 |

Because CompManagement Inc., a division of Sedgwick, operates in the occupational health sector, it concentrates its corporate giving and volunteer services in the areas of health and human services. CompManagement is strongly committed to the growth of business and industry in Ohio, as well as to community service.

CompManagement provides support to civic organizations, such as EPIC and several chambers of commerce across the state of Ohio. In 2010 and 2011, CompManagement contributed more than $165,000 in membership dues, event outings and financial gifts supporting chambers of commerce and civic associations.

CompManagement’s extensive community involvement demonstrates the spirit of giving that permeates the organization’s corporate culture. Examples of corporate financial contributions over the past three years include a 2011 Sedgwick holiday card project to raise awareness of and to raise funds for injured U.S. military personnel and the donation of a $25,000 Ohio-manufactured vehicle to Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital.

CompManagement has a 15-member colleague activity committee that promotes colleague interaction through office activities. The committee is self-funded; all money raised is given back to the colleagues as a prize or incentive for participation unless otherwise specified.

The colleague activity committee meets monthly to manage the company’s community service efforts, including fundraising events, blood drives, volunteer opportunities and other service activities. The group works closely with the company’s human resources department to advertise and promote volunteer activities among the company’s employees to ensure that all of CompManagement’s team members have an opportunity to be involved in a meaningful way.

How Safelite AutoGlass helps shield Columbus’ needy

Pillar Finalist

Tom Feeney
president and CEO
Safelite AutoGlass
(614) 210-9000 |


A window into giving

How Safelite AutoGlass helps shield Columbus’ needy


Safelite AutoGlass has been involved in giving back to the Central Ohio community for more than two decades since the company’s corporate headquarters moved to Columbus in 1990. Safelite AutoGlass’s charitable outreach includes both financial and volunteer support.

Directed by CEO Tom Feeney, Safelite gives all its associates two paid days off to volunteer — one at an organization of their choice and one as a team or department.

The Safelite Charitable Foundation has donated almost $4 million since its inception to support organizations that support human services. The foundation was created in 2005 as the 501(c)(3) giving arm of the company, aimed at supporting organizations that promote the health and well-being of families through monetary and in-kind contributions and volunteer hours.

Among the numerous organizations that have benefited from Safelite’s generosity through the years are the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Safelite also participates in National Giving Week and presents an annual charity golf tournament.

“We are thankful for the continued support of Safelite’s leadership and employees,” says Michael Carroll, who retired in 2012 after a long term as CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus. “Their continued commitment to our communities — as demonstrated by their support of so many of our programs, including providing leadership at the board of directors level — is a great benefit to us and the people living in Central Ohio.”


How RockBridge’s commitment to generosity helps its community thrive

Pillar Award Finalist 

James T. Merkel
president and CEO
(614) 246-2400 |

RockBridge has a long history of commitment to serving its community and helping those in need. The hotel investment firm’s philosophy is that the strength and success of the community in which its employees live and work is highly dependent on the support of local businesses. As such, RockBridge prides itself on the level of involvement in and commitment to a variety of charitable causes in Central Ohio.

Through volunteer activities, financial and in-kind contributions, and board involvement, RockBridge and its employees are dedicated to helping ensure that the Central Ohio community is a place of continued prosperity and growth.

Headed by CEO James T. Merkel, RockBridge and its employees have been recognized for many contributions to the community, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio’s 2010 Milton Lewin Legacy Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio Corporate Partner of the Year Award, 2006, Salesian Boys & Girls Club Board Member of the Year, Ken Krebs 2005-2006, Boys & Girls Club of America Jeremiah Milbank Society, Business First Columbus Corporate Caring Award, 2004, and Business First Columbus finalist for the Corporate Caring Award, 2005 and 2006.

A good example of RockBridge’s community service is the involvement of the company and its employees in Pelotonia and the fight against cancer. In 2011, RockBridge recruited 14 riders who raised a total of $32,000 to support this cause. For 2012, with donations still coming in, RockBridge’s 68 riders have raised $130,000, making RockBridge, which has fewer than 50 employees, one of the organization’s top 12 fundraisers.

How Fahlgren Mortine helped cyclists meet their goal for cancer research

Pillar Award finalist

Neil Mortine
president and CEO
Fahlgren Mortine | (614) 383-1500


It takes a lot of strength and conditioning to be able to ride a bike 180 miles. When you add the responsibility of raising $1,800 as you physically prepare for such an endeavor, it can become quite a challenge.

Fahlgren Mortine wanted to do its part to reduce the stress for these athletes who committed to taking part in Pelotonia, a Central Ohio bike tour that raises money for cancer research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Under the leadership of President and CEO Neil Mortine, the marketing agency pledged to contribute about one-third of each rider’s goal. Participants start at a minimum of $1,200 for 25 miles and go up to $1,800 for 180 miles.

In addition, Fahlgren Mortine donated office space, billable time and supplies to fundraisers held throughout the months leading up to the ride. At the end of the event, total funds raised through company contributions, the efforts of individual associates and companywide fundraisers totaled more than $15,000.

When Pelotonia founder and CEO Tom Lennox spoke at the agency’s quarterly all-associate meeting last fall, the agency stepped up again and handed him a check for $1,000. They also made a commitment to bring even more riders and support in 2013.

It’s just one example of the commitment to community that exists at Fahlgren Mortine, where the passion runs deep in every employee for the countless projects the agency supports.

How Mark McCullers and the Columbus Crew are using soccer to help the Columbus community

Pillar Award Finalist

Mark McCullers
president and general manager
Columbus Crew
Crew Soccer Foundation | (614) 447-2739

Beyond wins, losses and entertainment, the Columbus Crew maintains a commitment to making a difference in its community. Combining the efforts of the Major League Soccer team’s charitable arm, the Crew Soccer Foundation, with those of its players, coaches and front office staff, the organization works diligently to help make Central Ohio a better place.

As in years past, Mark McCullers, president and general manager of the Columbus Crew, has helped Crew staff and players donate more than 250 hours and $347,000 to numerous community needs. The Crew and its Soccer Foundation utilize soccer as a vehicle to serve at-risk youth through education, field development and healthy lifestyles.

The team’s areas of philanthropic focus are education, soccer field creation, refurbishment and programming in underserved communities, and health awareness. From volunteering their time and money at local area hospitals or helping kids learn to read or play sports, Columbus Crew members are involved in the community year-round.

Last March, the team opened its new Crew Soccer Foundation Field, a project three years in the making that transformed the area north of the Stadium Club at Crew Stadium into a beautiful synthetic mini-pitch. Since its completion, the foundation has created two field programs: the Heroes League and a monthly clinic series for area at-risk youth.

The club has also begun construction to build a soccer field and refurbish three others at the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s Innis Park complex. This initiative will develop soccer programming, including leagues and clinics to serve at-risk youth, starting in the spring.

Above and beyond How Michael Fiorile helped Columbus College of Art & Design aim higher

Pillar Awards Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Finalist

Michael Fiorile
immediate past chairman
Columbus College of Art & Design | (614) 224-9101

Michael Fiorile is a big thinker and persuaded the Columbus College of Art & Design’s entire board and senior leadership to think big, too. He is a man who is not satisfied by doing just “good enough.” He leads to achieve more and exceed past expectations.

Fiorile has devoted almost nine years of service to the CCAD board of trustees. He was elected to the board in November 2003. He served as board vice chair from

2008 to 2010 and as board chair from 2010 to 2012. He served on the board’s executive and governance committees from 2008 to 2012 and served on the executive committee until this year.

His most recent appointment expired in June 2012, but he agreed to serve one additional year as an ex officio member.

Throughout Fiorile’s board service, he has been tremendously generous himself, as well as assisting with corporate gifts and opening doors to additional private donors. The personal philanthropy of Fiorile and his wife, Karen, has placed them in the top tier of CCAD donors, and his advocacy on the college’s behalf has played an important role in securing leadership gifts.

In his final year as board chair, he was instrumental in increasing participation in board giving from 74 to 100 percent and increasing the average board gift by more than 200 percent.

In addition, the board and senior leadership alike appreciated how Fiorile kept the board conversation at the strategic level — avoiding micromanagement while keeping everyone’s eyes on collective goals.

How Atlas Butler makes community service a priority

Pillar Award Finalist

Mark Swepston
president and CEO
Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling
(614) 294-8600 |

The staff at Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling, led by President and CEO Mark Swepston, participates throughout the year in many different efforts that serve the needy or disadvantaged in the Columbus community. One of the company’s longest-standing community partnerships is with the Salvation Army.

Each year, company associates volunteer as bell ringers at Salvation Army donation kettles throughout the Columbus area. Some 30 percent of Atlas Butler associates give of their time in three-hour shifts for the donation effort.

In addition, associates have participated in the Salvation Army’s “Christmas Cheer” program for the needy. As one of the largest holiday gift-distribution efforts in Ohio, Atlas Butler volunteers help the Salvation Army distribute toys, food and household items to more than 7,000 families over a two-day period.

Atlas Butler’s community involvement doesn’t end once the holidays are over. For the past four years, company associates have participated in local 5K runs that benefit various charitable efforts, including the American Cancer Society, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and the Komen Race for the Cure to fund breast cancer research. Atlas Butler associates will often show up between 35 and 60 strong to run in charity races.

In addition, each summer Atlas Butler spearheads a local “fan drive” in which the company, along with individual associates, donate new electric box fans. The fans are distributed to Franklin County residents age 65 and over who suffer from health problems and do not have central air conditioning in their homes.



How customer relationship management software can help businesses excel

Gina Rosen, consultant, Columbus

There are many pressures on organizations to make the most out of every customer interaction and maximize the return on investment on marketing and sales spend. However, businesses often don’t have the work force necessary to handle these functions as timely and effectively as they would like or the tools and processes in place to measure and track success. Companies that are able to track interaction, engagement, investments and customer patterns and behaviors often enlist the help of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

“A CRM tool helps businesses manage sales, marketing and customer service operations without significantly expanding their work force,” says Gina Rosen, a consultant at Columbus. “CRM, in the past, may have been nice to have — a luxury technology, but in today’s marketplace, it’s a must have to stay competitive.”

Smart Business spoke with Rosen about CRM, its applications and how it has helped businesses improve processes to better engage customers, target sales and gauge marketing effectiveness.

What are the typical features offered by a CRM system?

The features offered by CRM are very diverse. It’s primary applications are contact management; marketing automation; sales force automation; sales and lead management; reporting and analytics; call center and case management, particularly with respect to customer inquiries or complaints; workflow automation, or automating manual processes; and social media integrations. Businesses have the option for on-premise solutions where the software is hosted at the business on its servers, or they can utilize a Web-based or cloud option, which involves less initial financial investment. The software can also be customized to meet the particular needs of a business.

Is CRM cost prohibitive for businesses?

No it is not, however, had this question been asked six or seven years ago the answer would have been yes. Previously, enterprise-ready CRM software required significant funds to get the software and hardware in place. But with the advent of cloud-based solutions, even businesses run by a sole proprietor can afford CRM and leverage its applications to optimize processes. The cloud-based model allows business owners to pay through subscriptions that charge per user. The pay per user cloud-based model offers a low-cost opportunity to implement CRM, experience the value and see the return on investment (ROI).

What are the most compelling reasons an organization would implement CRM technology?

A recent survey of 200 top-performing small and medium-sized businesses showed that the number one reason businesses implement CRM software is to establish data-based metrics for sales and marketing. It also provides the ability to show ROI and quantitative key marketing metrics that mean a lot to businesses.

The second reason CRM is implemented is to proactively communicate with customers. Customers expect a lot these days, and one of those expectations is that businesses, whether small or large, interact with them. To stay in front of your customers and offer personal interaction is critical.

Within that same vein, the third reason companies take advantage of this software is for custom-targeted sales and marketing. With CRM you can customize that end user experience, which makes your sales force more effective. Customers can interact directly with your CRM custom solution through your existing website and experience a tailored visit based on previous interactions, or your sales force can utilize the standard feature when interacting with customers and have all of a customer’s history available in one spot.

What are the most important value drivers for CRM?

The top value for a business is the software’s ability to help manage marketing and sales campaigns. CRM can help businesses test marketing and distribution strategies and gauge customer reactions. This information can be applied to future marketing efforts.

Another important value driver is that the software serves as a customer data repository, allowing you to consolidate customer knowledge within the organization in CRM. This includes far more than just contact details, but also customer behaviors and attitudes and price sensitivity. This, combined with personal data, can allow businesses to build more effective and predictive sales models and marketing campaigns that result in higher sales.

Further, CRM systems can help demonstrate ROI. With CRM you can quantitatively show increases in sales, customer referrals and participation in promotions.

What is the most common challenge a business faces when implementing CRM?

Typically the challenge is user adoption — getting your sales force and front line users to embrace CRM. They often see populating the fields as double entry, an extra step, or another way for management to check in on them. But once the sales force sees that using the software results in more sales, they can easily overcome that hurdle.

What are the most common performance metrics?

The top one, hands down, is revenue growth. The faster you can show ROI the better.

Second is growth in a business’s customer base, which means adding new customers or converting leads into paying customers.

The third most common performance metric is aggregating customer data. Many companies have customer data spread out over disparate systems. CRM gives businesses a one-stop shop for their records.

Can you give us some examples of companies that have benefited from implementing CRM?

The Toledo Mud Hens baseball team, which works within the media and entertainment industry, had ticket sales go up 88 percent in one year and their internal operations couldn’t keep up with demand. Adopting CRM allowed them to automate and streamline inefficient processes, which translated into more ticket sales. A customer testimonial is available with more information.

Another example is the human resources consulting firm Findley Davies. Implementing CRM in their call center has given them the ability to manage daily responsibilities and track productivity. It has dramatically changed and improved day-to-day operations within their Benefits Administration department.

Gina Rosen is a consultant at Columbus. Contact her at (248) 850-2195 or [email protected]

With more than 20 years in the market and 6,000 successful business implementations, Columbus is a preferred Microsoft Dynamics business partner for ambitious companies. Columbus’ key deliverables include flexible and future-safe ERP, CRM, BI and related business applications that deliver competitive advantage and immediate impact.