2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Ellen Burts-Cooper, senior managing partner, Improve Consulting and Training Group LLC

Ellen Burts-Cooper, Senior Managing Partner, Improve Consulting and Training Group LLC

Ellen Burts-Cooper, senior managing partner of personal and professional development training firm Improve Consulting and Training Group LLC, makes giving back a priority for her staff. Employees are required to contribute to the community in at least one of the following three ways: a minimum of four volunteer hours; a financial or material donation; or use of their skills to help, such as offering project assistance.

Their efforts make a big impact, including the building of the Kaboom Playground for Imagine Cleveland Schools in 2012, and providing leadership training for more than 1,000 students annually.

Burts-Cooper holds the company to the same standard as a whole. Improve Consulting and Training Group offers either pro bono or at least a 50 percent discount to numerous nonprofit clients, including National Black MBA Association Cleveland and National, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Foundation, Girl Scouts of Northeastern Ohio, Cleveland Metroparks, Center for Families and Children, Cleveland Public Library, YWCA Greater Cleveland and many more.

Revenue generated from youth development services is donated back into the community in the form of scholarships, internships, school supplies, college application fee and computers.

The company contributed $25,000 to the Cleveland Foundation to establish the Bagby Palmer Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2011 and gave $5,000 in additional scholarships that year. A $1,000 donation was also made to the National Urban League. In 2012, contributions to additional scholarships rose to $8,000, and the organization donated more than $16,000 in supplies to local nonprofits. Corporate financial contributions for 2011 and 2012 totaled $42,000.

Improve Consulting and Training Group’s efforts on an employee and company level ensure Northeast Ohio continues to be a great place for people and organizations to flourish.

 

How to reach: Improve Consulting and Training Group, (216) 539-8737 or www.improveconsulting.biz

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Enzo Perfetto, manager, Handyman and a Hammer For Our Troops

Enzo Perfetto, Manager, Handyman and a Hammer For Our Troops

Enzo Perfetto is grateful for the opportunities he received from his father that enabled him to be the successful businessman that he is today. It is largely because of that strong upbringing and the things that he has achieved in his life that Perfetto feels such a calling to find ways to give back to his community.

Perfetto has become a mentor to students who want to learn more about the construction industry at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. He felt that most colleges don’t offer the skills in heating and cooling systems and electrical processes that students need to excel in the homebuilding arena. So he set out to build a foundation and lay the groundwork for students to gain those kinds of skills.

The result is a summer camp that brings together students in grades seven through nine for 30 hours over a one-week period. They learn about using power tools and get a much-needed base level of knowledge that can put them in a better position to find success in the industry.

Perfetto, manager of Enzoco Homes, which does business as Handyman and a Hammer For Our Troops, also wanted to do something to help veterans. He met with the VA Hospital in Cleveland and learned that veterans’ benefits do not cover minor home repairs.

He is working with the Paralyzed Veterans of America to come up with future fundraising events and a program that would fill a critical need by helping to make these repairs that while minor, still need to be done.

Through both of these programs, Perfetto has found a way to honor the help he received from his father and to make a huge difference in the lives of future construction industry workers and veterans.

 

How to reach: Enzoco Homes, (440) 221-9613 or www.enzoco.com

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Michael Siegal, chairman and CEO, Olympic Steel Inc.

Michael Siegal, Chairman and CEO, Olympic Steel Inc.

As a steel service center, Olympic Steel Inc. is composed of many divisions — from a corporate office, to satellite warehouses, processing facilities and sales offices throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Together, employees across all divisions volunteer their time and efforts to support numerous community involvement initiatives. But every year, they also come together behind one cause in particular: making wishes come true.

The company launches its “Working for Wishes” partnership in 2004 with the goal to grant a single child’s wish through a partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Yet what began as a $5,000 commitment sparked an overwhelming outpouring of support from Olympic Steel employees, resulting in a fundraising total of $17,500, far beyond the company’s initial goal.

Today, employees at all levels are committed to driving the success of the Working for Wishes program, even in tough economic times. Each of the company’s locations conducts a month of fundraisers to contribute to the wish fund, including bake sales, car washes, raffles and other events.

Once the money is pooled, an Olympic Steel facility is selected to sponsor a local Make-a-Wish child and host a celebration to present a “wish check” to child and family.

Through this dedication of volunteer efforts, fundraising and donations, Olympic Steel was able to grant five wishes in 2009, one of the toughest years for many businesses. Since 2004, Olympic Steel employees have granted 64 wishes with nearly $400,000 in donations toward the cause.

And in 2011, the company exceeded its 2010 record high by more than $21,000 — enabling the organization to grant 12 wishes for children at local chapters of Make-A-Wish Foundation. Impressively, the company’s employees also contributed more than $92,000 in cash donations and 100 hours of their time to more than 40 other charitable causes last year.

 

How to reach: Olympic Steel Inc., (216) 292-3800 www.olysteel.com

2012 Executive Director of the Year Finalist: Elizabeth Fowler, executive director, Cleveland Zoological Society

Elizabeth Fowler, Executive Director, Cleveland Zoological Society

Since 2001, Elizabeth Fowler has been the executive director of the Cleveland Zoological Society, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to the top tier of zoos nationally. Under her leadership, the Zoo Society serves a membership of 46,500 households in Northeast Ohio, raises significant support for education, conservation and capital improvements and creates awareness of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as a major civic asset for the region.

The zoo and the Cleveland Zoological Society share a mission to create compelling experiences that connect people with wildlife and inspire personal responsibility for conserving the natural world. In Fowler’s 11 years as executive director, she has doubled the society’s assets and generated consistent increases in annual operational and capital support for the zoo.

She successfully led the organization through two major capital campaigns within the last 10 years: $12 million for the African Elephant Crossing exhibit, which opened in 2011 and included $1 million for greening initiatives and a Kresge Challenge Grant. She also secured $5.5 million for the Sarah Alison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine in 2005 and the donation for the first CT scanner in any zoo in the world.

2011 proved to be a big year for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Cleveland Zoological Society. The successful completion of African Elephant Crossing caps nearly a decade of planning, design, fundraising and hard work. Since its opening on May 5 last year, African Elephant Crossing has delighted more than 1.3 million visitors, while providing a high-quality habitat for six elephants.

The impact of the new exhibit resonated across all programs in 2011. It helped the Cleveland Zoological Society surpass its ambitious capital campaign goal by 3 percent, earning a prestigious national challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation and helping ensure the successful launch of innovative education and conservation programs linked to the new exhibit.

 

How to reach: Cleveland Zoological Society, (216) 661-6500 or www.clevelandzoosociety.org

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Therese Glorioso, president, Home Instead Senior Care

The local branch of Home Instead Senior Care — a health service organization dedicated to providing personalized quality private duty homecare to seniors in Northeast Ohio — takes its work to heart. The seniors it serves are not seen as clients — they’re overlooked community members.

The company, led by President Therese Glorioso, extends its dedication to enhancing the quality of life seniors in the community to its philanthropy work. Its “Be A Santa To A Senior” lauched in 2004, provides holiday gifts and needed companionship to lonely and indigent seniors in eight Northeast Ohio counties. The number of those helped has increased from 186 seniors at the start of the program to more than 2,500 served in 2011.

The organization plans for this event year-round. The program begins with community partners who place holiday trees in their stores or place of business. The more than 50 locations include BJ Wholesale Club, multiple local Chambers of Commerce, Walmart and Giant Eagle stores, Key Bank and more. Home Instead Senior Care then works with local nonprofit organizations and other groups that work closely with the elderly to identify candidates for the program.

Those identified get their names and needs decorated onto ornaments for the trees in merchant stores. Shoppers can then purchase and place the needed items in collection bins. Volunteers collect, wrap and deliver the presents, providing companionship to many without during a time when holiday warmth is most needed.

Home Instead Senior Care’s corporate financial commitment to the “Be A Santa To A Senior” in 2011 was approximately $30,000. This includes purchasing printing supplies, trees, decorations, wrapping materials and remaining gift items on the list of presents for seniors, as well as providing staff time — which totaled more than 1,500 volunteer hours.

 

How to reach: Home Instead Senior Care, (440) 734-7441 or www.homeinstead.com

2012 Rea & Associates Nonprofit Executive Director Finalist: Dennis Allen, CEO, Hattie Larlham

Dennis Allen, CEO, Hattie Larlham

When Dennis Allen assumed the CEO role at Hattie Larlham 24 years ago, the organization provided services to 180 families and operated on an annual budget of $7 million. Allen’s leadership techniques in that time have substantially grown the scope of the organization, both in the types of services it provides and in the number of people it serves.

Today, Hattie Larlham serves more than 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities, and the annual budget has grown to $32 million. The growth Hattie Larlham has experienced under Allen’s leadership is largely a result of his forward-thinking nature.

Due to Allen’s ability to look ahead, the need has emerged for more meaningful socialization opportunities in adulthood to empower people with developmental disabilities to live productive, fulfilling lives. So Allen created social enterprises to provide vocational training and meaningful employment for this underemployed and otherwise marginalized section of the population.

In this model, employees with developmental disabilities work under the guidance of professional job coaches who help them to learn the skills they need to eventually gain employment in the general workforce. Hattie Larlham social enterprise businesses operate in the same way a for-profit, consumer-facing business functions, but any profits are reinvested into the business to allow it to grow.

Hattie Larlham began its journey to employ people with disabilities in October 2006 by hiring six people with developmental disabilities. Today, the program employs more than 200 people with developmental disabilities across four major Hattie Larlham brands.

In 2011, Hattie Larlham celebrated its 50th anniversary. Thanks to the leadership of Allen, Hattie Larlham is poised to continue to be a leader in the care of people with developmental disabilities for the next 50 years.

How to reach: Hattie Larlham, (330) 274-2272 or www.hattielarlham.org

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Daniel P. Walsh Jr., president, Greater Cleveland Region of Huntington National Bank

Daniel P. Walsh Jr., President, Greater Cleveland Region of Huntington National Bank

Daniel P. Walsh Jr., president of the Greater Cleveland Region of Huntington National Bank, shows dedication to helping those in need and improving the region — both within and outside of the company. Leading by example, he has encouraged employee, company and community involvement in numerous philanthropic efforts.

Under his leadership, Huntington has made a $500,000 commitment to the launch of Global Cleveland, to be paid over a five-year period. Walsh serves as treasurer for the organization, which focuses on regional economic development through actively attracting newcomers and welcoming and connecting them within the community.

Working toward the same goal, Walsh has been instrumental in providing a loaned executive to Team NEO to further efforts to bring more business to Greater Cleveland. Huntington also recently committed $2 million to the launch of ECDI in Cleveland — funding microenterprise throughout the region.

On an individual level, company employees get involved in various community service efforts, including donating school supplies through the Salvation Army and volunteering for the Salvation Army’s 10,000 Scoop Challenge. In 2011, employees contributed more than 870 hours of financial education — and are on pace to nearly double that in 2012.

Outside of Huntington, Walsh serves as board chair for the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and co-chair for the 2012-2013 United Way Pledge drive. In 2012, he co-chaired the Red Cross Ball and served on the Harvest for Hunger Kitchen Cabinet.

He also serves on the following boards:  Greater Cleveland Partnership (chair, Government Affairs Committee); United Way of Greater Cleveland (co-chair of the 2012 Annual Campaign), Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, Positively Cleveland (vice chair), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Playhouse Square, ideastream and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (co-chair, 2011 Sports Awards).

 

How to reach: Huntington National Bank, (216) 515-6205 or www.huntington.com

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: Bob Saada, managing partner of the Lake Erie Market, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Bob Saada, managing partner of the Lake Erie Market, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

On a national level, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP upholds a national community service philosophy that includes four tenets: responsible business, diversity and inclusion, community engagement and environmental stewardship.

And under the leadership of managing partner Bob Saada, the PwC office in Cleveland helps bolster all of these tenets. Yet to make the biggest impact in its local communities, PwC Cleveland has specifically focused on two of them: diversity and inclusion and community engagement.

The office’s partnerships with two community organizations, St. Martin de Porres High School and Esperanza, are a perfect example of how PwC Cleveland is making an impact in these areas.

Over the years, PwC Cleveland has made significant contributions to Saint Martin’s through its Corporate Work Study Program — in which PwC Partners and staff mentor students and model behavior within a workplace setting.

Yet, the firm has also looked for ways to become more involved with the students. The firm recently announced a new partnership with Saint Martin’s called “Students Today. Leaders Tomorrow,” designed to include annual touch points and two biannual events. This new program gives the students even more opportunities to engage with PwC staff around personal and professional development.

PwC Cleveland has also begun a new partnership with Esperanza, a not-for-profit organization focused on enhancing educational and economic opportunities for Hispanic children in Greater Cleveland.

With the goal of helping decrease the dropout trend of Hispanic’s in the region, PwC Cleveland decided to partner with Esperanza for a “Youth Executive Mentoring Program.” The program pairs PwC professional staff with Hispanic youth who are beginning college.

Throughout their college experience, PwC staff members act as the student’s mentors, coaches and role models so that they overcome obstacles and successfully graduate. Launched in April 2012, the program also includes book scholarships and PwC internship opportunities.

 

How to reach: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, (216) 875-3000 or www.pwc.com

2012 Pillar Award Finalist: A. Ray Dalton, founder, president and CEO, PartsSource Inc.

A. Ray Dalton, Founder, President and CEO, PartsSource Inc.

PartsSource Inc. has received plenty of awards for its success in business growth, job creation and financial accomplishments. Yet as the company has continued to grow — it is now the largest provider of replacement parts for medical equipment used in hospitals, imaging centers, and other acute care facilities — it has also continued to gain attention for its philanthropic reputation.

Today, “giving back” is a key component of the company’s continued success.

As founder, president and CEO of PartsSource, A. Ray Dalton continued to drive the company’s mission to improve healthcare delivery while reducing the cost, in the U.S. and abroad. Today, the company pursues this mission by seeking out opportunities to lend its expertise to help others.

While certain technologies may be considered outdated in the U.S., PartsSource helps refurbish this “outdated” equipment that can be used to save lives in Third World and medically challenged countries. The company frequently finds, packs, and ships medical equipment abroad to impoverished areas of the world at company expense.

In numerous cases, it has also sponsored or sent teams of employees to help implement this technology. Many employees also use their own time to participate in mission trips abroad.

To increase the focus on “giving back” in its corporate culture, PartsSource continues to take steps to drive employee volunteer efforts.

Recently, the company added the new position of Director of Community Outreach so it can better utilize resources for community outreach programs and partnerships such as United Way, the Red Cross, Youth Challenge and Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank.

The company’s leaders also encourage giving back by awarding employees who use their vacation time to volunteer for programs such as Habitat for Humanity, with a 50 percent vacation payback.

And of course, they walk the talk. Dalton has made several mission trips to India where he helped provide medical care to underserved populations.
How to reach: PartsSource Inc., (330) 562-9900 or www.partssource.com

2012 Pillar Awards: Sponsors

The sponsors of the 2012 Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service support the program because they believe in its mission — to recognize the critical tie between the for-profit and nonprofit communities. Here is a little bit about each of this year’s sponsors.

 

Rea & Associates Inc.

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 they could describe the values that this firm lives by, they would all 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 www.reacpa.com.

 

Fairmount Minerals

At Fairmount Minerals, our mission is to conduct business in a way that respects people and the environment while working toward increasing the prosperity of our shareholders, employees, customers, communities and the global environment. Therefore, connecting with our communities and our longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility is vitally important as we ensure that the stakeholders we touch receive the resources they need to live and prosper.

When companies discuss corporate social responsibility, it is often in terms of social or philanthropic efforts — where does the company donate to the community? Do employees volunteer for any organizations? But, for Fairmount Minerals, it is strategic corporate social responsibility. This encompasses a much broader scope of work. We have adopted socially responsible practices — not only investing in charitable organizations, but we have policies and procedures in place that value the employee and all stakeholders. For Fairmount Minerals, the “people” aspect of the “3 P’s” (people, planet and prosperity) translates into respectful business practices, attention to stakeholder needs and responsible operations.

Fairmount’s social investment policy guides our actions with respect to charitable donations and corporate volunteerism. Fairmount Minerals supports community investment through cash grants, in-kind donations and corporate volunteer efforts. Fairmount Minerals commits to donate a minimum of 1.5 percent of its pretax/pre-equity earnings annually through financial, volunteer and in-kind support of not-for-profit organizations.

Our company is only as strong as the communities in which we operate. Thriving communities help pave the way for a brighter, more prosperous future. At Fairmount Minerals, connecting with our communities is vitally important to supporting our business sustainability — and making a difference in the world.

Learn more about www.fairmountminerals.com.

 

Ganley BMW

Ganley BMW has been serving Middleburg Heights, Cleveland, Akron, Elyria and Strongsville since 1999, and we have been an official BMW franchise since 1986. Giving back is part of our corporate culture. Last year, Ganley BMW celebrated its 25th anniversary and is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. Since opening our doors, Ganley BMW has maintained a solid commitment to you, our customers, offering the widest selection of BMW vehicles and ease of purchase. Over the past 25 years-plus, we have been in business, we have never been a stranger to philanthropic efforts. Our owner and founder has been involved with Crime Stoppers since its foundation. The dealership chain has also helped wounded police officers and their families in times of need. Philanthropy is truly woven into the very fabric of what we do every day.

For more information, visit www.ganleybmw.com.

 

Colortone Staging & Rentals

Colortone Staging & Rentals 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 www.colortone.com.

 

LaCentre Conference & Banquet Facility

LaCentre Conference & Banquet Facility has quickly built a solid reputation as the premier venue for hosting full-service conferences, special events and business meetings. Our world-class facility has embraced elegance, high-tech communications and delectable culinary creations to assure your event is an absolute success. Numerous nonprofit organizations hold their charity fundraisers each year at our facilities, providing their guests with unparalleled ambiance.

LaCentre’s creativity extends to its technology, atmosphere, capability, flexibility, form and taste. Our dedicated and devoted staff provides clients with a positive and enriching experience with more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate events of nearly any size.

For more information, visit www.lacentre.com.

 

Clark-Reliance

Clark-Reliance’s corporate philosophy on philanthropy starts from the top down. Chairman Matthew Figgie and President and CEO Rick Solon not only engage employees in corporate philanthropy but lead by example.

A 2011 winner of the Pillar Award, Clark-Reliance has been engaged in numerous awareness and fundraising campaigns including the National Kidney Walk for several years.

A cause close to home, Matthew received a kidney from co-worker Dave McKee in 2009. Not knowing how to thank him, Matthew asked Dave what he possibly could do in return. Dave replied, “Because of who you are, who you know and what you do, you are going to be able to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Help them. Heal them. Fix them.”

In 2012, Clark Reliance raised enough money to make Cleveland the second-largest walk in the country, surpassing Baltimore, Silicon Valley and Long Island.

Clark-Reliance employees turned out in record number to support this cause and raise awareness of the importance of awareness and prevention of kidney disease.

A family-environment, Clark-Reliance relies on employees’ suggestions for causes to support and to make a difference. Whether it is giving to the community where they work, or to a cause that is important to an employee or their family member, Clark-Reliance rallies around employees and organizations that are important to them.

Building a culture that embodies a giving heart required building a culture that is like a family. Clark-Reliance cultivates a family environment in which they do extracurricular activities together (such as bowling leagues and outings to Cedar Point). Also, many of the employees have been with the company for an extended period of time, so much that they have a club of employees who have been employed with Clark-Reliance for 20 years or more, some employees for more than 50 years.

Because of the familial environment, employees tend to be passionate about work or any cause relating to work or to the importance of a co-worker. Employees are willing to give of their time, expertise and ideas to impact an organization that needs the engagement of the company.

 

Hyndsight Productions

Hyndsight Productions is committed to serving Northeast Ohio by using its talents to advance philanthropic organizations throughout the region.

Through authentic storytelling and creative packaging in video format, Hyndsight believes in the power of story to advance philanthropic organizations — their missions, goals and communities.

Hyndsight demonstrates its community service by offering its time and talent to organizations in Northeast Ohio in need of authentic communication of their goals, key messages and impact.

From strengthening the region to helping underserved populations to supporting the strong artistic community in Cleveland, Hyndsight Productions is proud to be a part of advancing and progressing Northeast Ohio.