How Dan Pierce and employees Systems Evolution Inc. support Cincinnati’s children

Dan Pierce, Founder and CEO, Systems Evolution Inc.

Pillar Award Finalist

Dan Pierce
founder and CEO
Systems Evolution Inc.
(513) 459-1992 |


Systems Evolution Inc. is a close-knit company, which is why its employees were hit hard when a tragic accident changed the life of one their own. After a 2005 bicycle accident took the life of 10-year old Josh Helfrich, the son of SEI consultant Ann Helfrich, the consulting firm channeled the support and compassion of its team to found Josh Cares.

As founder and CEO of SEI, Dan Pierce has played a lead role in creating the charity and making it a focus of SEI. Several months after Josh’s accident, Dan and his wife reached out to Ann and her family with the idea to create a philanthropic initiative in Josh’s memory. The result was Josh Cares, a program within Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The motivation behind Josh Cares is that no child should suffer through a serious illness and lengthy hospitalization without ongoing presence and support of a family member. Josh Cares provides these children with surrogate companions — Josh Cares Child Life Specialists  — who can offer the love and support and help them connect them with classmates, friends and family who cannot be there.

Today, SEI employees lend their time, talents and financial support to Josh Cares. SEI individual employees have donated nearly $62,000 of their own money to Josh Cares to date. As a company, SEI has also led corporate donations to the charity since its inception, contributing nearly $50,000 in sponsorship support and employee giving matches. And through the volunteer efforts of SEI employees, Josh Cares has been able to raise an annual budget of $335,000 to support many children and their families in their time of crisis.

How Larry A. Sheakley inspires his workers to give back to the community

Larry Sheakley, CEO, Sheakley

2013 CIN Pillar

Pillar Award for Community Service Finalist

Larry A. Sheakley



(800) 877-2053 |


Larry A. Sheakley, owner and CEO of the business services company Sheakley, leads by example. Dedicating a phenomenal amount of time and energy to community service initiatives and nonprofit work, Sheakley’s altruistic actions motivate his employees to involve themselves in volunteer efforts.

Currently, Sheakley serves on the board for the Cincinnati Music Hall Revitalization Committee and is actively involved with both the Oversight Committee of the Partnership for a Greater Cincinnati and the Lighthouse Youth Organization.

He has been the chairman of the Cincinnati Art Museum, co-chair of the Cincinnati Opera Capital Campaign, vice chair of the Taft Museum of Art, a board member of the Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund and a member of the Cincinnati Ballet Building Committee. He has held the positions of president of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America local chapter and co-chair of Team in Training and Leadership Campaign board member for United Way.

Additionally, Sheakley has worked in the past to benefit Ohio employers as the president of the National Association of Unemployment Tax Organizations and as a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Employment Services in Ohio.

Sheakley, which provides business services such as payroll, human resources and workers’ compensation, was founded in 1963 as Raymond Sheakley & Associates. Purchased in 1980 by Larry A. Sheakley as a business with less than $1 million in sales and concentration in only one area, Sheakley has grown into a successful company of more than 2,000 employees with headquarters in Cincinnati and a total of nine regional offices in Ohio, Iowa and Tennessee.

How Power Net Global employees volunteer their time

Bernie Stevens,President and CEO, Power Net Global

Pillar Award Finalist

Bernie Stevens

president and CEO

PowerNet Global

(800) 860-9495 |


PowerNet Global understands the best way to contribute to its local communities is to offer its employees the opportunity to volunteer their time.

To encourage community involvement, the communications provider gives charitable paid time off, which allows employees to appropriate up to eight hours of their paid time per calendar year to any charity of their choice.

Some organizations that PowerNet employees support include The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the City Gospel mission, The Healing Center and Transformation Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.

In addition, the company takes care of its own. PowerNet organized donations and support for an employee whose teenage daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Employees raised money to purchase an iPad so she could remain connected to family and friends and be entertained while at the hospital.

The company also took a picture of employees holding big letters that spelled, “Get well soon, Julia!” and sent it to the family.

PowerNet also has the PowerNet Global Social Committee, which prepares a variety of events throughout the year to provide employees with opportunities for fun and fellowship. It hosts fundraisers to help support local charities and offers opportunities for employees to partake in company fellowship.

For example, it has hosted yard sales with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer, a “Biggest Loser” event with half of the proceeds going to benefit the Fairfield Food Pantry and a school supply drive for local students.

How Paycor takes care of each other

Bob Coughlin, CEO, Paycor Inc.

Pillar Award Finalist

Bob Coughlin


Paycor Inc.

(800) 381-0053 |


One of Paycor Inc.’s most important guiding principles is “taking care of each other.”

The payroll processing company created its own community service program, Community Partners, to coincide with the principle. The grassroots program encourages employees to take care of the Greater Cincinnati community.

The effort began in March 2010 as a way for Paycor associates to share their community service passions with their co-workers, raise awareness for charitable events and causes that are important to them and gain support for their participation in community activities. It is not funded by corporate financial contributions; associates give their own time and resources.

Since the program started, Paycor associates have led a total of 152 events, filling 3,289 volunteer opportunities. In 2012 alone, Paycor associates led 41 events, filling 909 volunteer opportunities.

Paycor supports Community Partners with an intranet page that publicizes the events, allowing associates to connect with event leaders and enabling them to share their successes by posting event recaps and photos.

Paycor also motivates participation by giving all associates a Community Partners certificate they use to collect stickers for each event they attend. Once an associate reaches 10 events, he or she is rewarded with a T-shirt or other item.

Paycor has worked with a number of charitable organizations, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes and American Cancer Society, to name a few, and plans to continue growing and expanding in years to come.

How Tom Keckeis ensures Messer Construction is a good Cincinnati neighbor

Tom Keckeis, President and CEO, Messer Construction Co.

Pillar Award Finalist

Tom Keckeis

president and CEO

Messer Construction Co.

(513) 242-1541|


Messer Construction Co. CEO Tom Keckeis believes in leading by example.

Keckeis has always recognized that giving back to the community is important and that it is essential to take part in the community where one lives and works.

Throughout his career, Keckeis has been involved in a number of nonprofit organizations. He is a current board member and past chair of the Greater Cincinnati YMCA and serves on the board for Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, where he leads the Corporate Giving Committee.

While Keckeis enjoys all aspects of community service, he says his real strength is in construction, and this is where he can make the most impact.

For nine years, Keckeis was involved with People Working Cooperatively, an organization that helps the elderly stay in their homes by assisting them with necessary repairs. He used his knowledge and experience in renovations to make a substantial impact and even recruited his children to help.

Through his example, Keckeis has led Messer to be a good neighbor, and the company’s employees have supported their communities with time, energy and financial resources.

In the past 21 years, Messer, on behalf of its employee-owners, has invested more than $12 million to make its communities better places to live, work and raise families.

In 2011, Messer and its more than 800 employees invested more than $1.5 million in community organizations across the nine regions in which it builds. Included in that investment are three $25,000 grants awarded by the Messer Foundation to employee-recommended community organizations.

How Bob Kissel ensures concerted company effort at KDM P.O.P Solutions Group

Bob Kissel, President, KDM P.O.P Solutions Group

CIN Pillar Award

Bob Kissel


KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group

(513) 769-3500 |


KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group, led by President Bob Kissel, operates a committee to ensure a concerted company effort is being made to raise funds for local charities and nonprofit organizations.

During the first quarter of 2012, the committee selected the American Heart Association to focus on. Various initiatives, including a bake-off, jeans day and participation in the AHA Walk in March, resulted in $2,522 raised for the organization. KDM also sponsored a table at the “Go Red for Women” event.

Habitat Humanity was a focus during the company’s second quarter, with $1,500 raised via a pie-in-the-face contest that resulted in a record number of employee participants. And when tornados struck KDM’s community in February, the Service Committee hosted a food/supply drive for Matthew 25 Ministries. Employees also put in generous volunteer hours.

The third quarter brought the challenge of filling a 16-foot truck with school supplies for Princeton City Schools, as KDM partnered with Frame USA to work on the monthlong “Fill the Truck” project. The committee hosted several fundraising events and appealed to local businesses for donations. KDM employees also contributed several thousand dollars to the effort.

Other company contributions included a $2,500 donation to the Ronald McDonald House, $2,500 to the Sisters of Mt. Notre Dame, $1,000 to Kicks for Kids, $500 to the Hope Box Derby and $1,500 to the Dan Beard Council Boy Scouts of America. KDM also donates hams to Tender Mercies each year for the holidays.

How Junior Achievement and Carol Burns are helping to educate students

Carol Burns, Vice President of Education, Junior Achievement of OKI Partners


Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Award

Carol Burns

vice president of education

Junior Achievement of OKI Partners  | (513) 346-7100


Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Junior Achievement programs show students how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking in the workplace. Students put these lessons into action, which, in turn, help strengthen their communities.

With the help of Carol Burns, vice president of education at Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, the program helps inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement of OKI Partners teaches programs in more than 250 schools in western and southwestern Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana.

Junior Achievement reaches 9.7 million students per year in 379,968 classrooms and after-school locations. JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs and rural areas throughout the U.S. and in 122 countries around the world. Junior Achievement’s 330,000 classroom volunteers around the world come from all walks of life and include businesspeople, college students, parents and retirees. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of the organization.
JA’s mission is simple. It ensures that every child in its regions has a fundamental understanding of the free-enterprise system. JA helps kids understand the connection between personal responsibility, hard work, perseverance and success in work and in life through the experiences of its volunteers who share their knowledge.
The 578,000 students that Junior Achievement of OKI Partners reaches are part of the future. These kids crave opportunity, they want to be successful, and they dream big about the future.

JANCOA supports charities as well as employees’ dreams

Mary Miller, CEO, JANCOA Janitorial Services

CIN Pillar Award

Mary Miller


JANCOA Janitorial Services

(513) 351-7200 |


JANCOA Janitorial Services makes an effort to support charitable organizations within the Cincinnati community that create educational and economic opportunities for the less fortunate. But it also makes improving the lives of its own associates a top priority.

CEO Mary Miller and President Tony Miller created The Dream Manager, a program that inspires JANCOA employees to pursue their personal dreams. Through one-on-one coaching sessions and group classes, employees are encouraged to identify their dreams and take action steps to achieve them.

Accomplished dreams have included earning a GED or college degree, purchasing a home or automobile, starting a small business, quitting smoking, adopting and many more.

This generosity of spirit translates to JANCOA’s charitable work outside of the company. Area organizations that have benefited include the American Heart Association, United Way, Life Success Seminars, Goering Center for Family Businesses, ISSA, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Dress for Success, BSCAI and Bridges for a Just Community.

JANCOA’s demonstrated value of community service comes straight from the top. Mary Miller serves on the United Way’s “Women’s Leadership Council,” the Women Excel Leadership Team board, the Middle Market Advisory Board for the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, the board for the Goering Center for Family and Private Business at the University of Cincinnati, the Building Operators and Managers Association board, and the Cincinnati Green Steering Committee.

How iSqFt covers the community with outreach initiatives and fundraisers

Dave Conway, CEO, iSqFt Construction Software Technologies

CIN Pillar Award

Dave Conway


iSqFt/Construction Software Technologies

(800) 364-2059 |


Community service is a key focus at iSqFt/Construction Software Technologies, led by CEO Dave Conway. The company’s Community Outreach Committee engages iSqFt employees in fun outreach initiatives and fundraisers to make a positive, lasting impact within the communities they live and work in.

Each year, the committee selects organizations and initiatives to support based upon the requests of iSqFt employees. This past year, these included Boys Hope Girls Hope, American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge, Military Families, Roll Hill Academy, Hoxworth Center, The Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent DePaul, Animal Friends, and Crossroads’ Health Center and Reach Out and Read.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Cincinnati — which identifies and provides help to gifted children facing economic barriers — is the company’s “adopted” charitable organization. ISqFt has donated numerous hours and thousands of dollars to help support BHGH participants.

One of many fundraising initiatives that the company undertakes is a monthly restaurant fundraiser. ISqFt partners with local restaurants to provide company meals, with 10 percent of total food orders benefiting the iSqFt Community Outreach Program. Employees can also use contribution coupons at participating restaurants to have 10 percent of their meal costs go to this this fund.

Other fundraising initiatives include a candy-gram fundraiser, a Mother’s Day flower fundraiser, a Split-the-Pot fundraiser and a cornhole tournament fundraiser.

Proceeds contribute to BHGH in many ways. ISqFt serves as the direct corporate sponsor for the Annual Boys Hope Girls Hope Hearts for Hope Gala and organizes and throws annual BHGH graduation parties and Thanksgiving gatherings, among other activities.

How Mick Hillman makes community giving a yearlong focus at The Hillman Group

Mick Hillman, CEO, The Hillman Group


Pillar Award
Mick Hillman
The Hillman Group
(513) 851-4900 |


As a leading distributor of fasteners, key duplication systems, engraved tags and related hardware items, The Hillman Group is known by its customers for a commitment to customer service. But equally important to employees at the company is a commitment to giving back to the Cincinnati community, where Hillman has made its home since 1964.

Hillman’s 13-member community involvement committee participates in and conducts fundraisers and volunteer activities for the company’s employees throughout the year. As a partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the company raises money through fun activities such as its March Madness fundraiser, Final Four TV giveaway and “Taking the Fright out of Breast Cancer,” a monthlong list of activities throughout October. These and other initiatives of the committee allow employees to actively contribute to community initiatives throughout the year.

In addition to fundraising, Hillman supports community giving efforts through corporate donations. The company donates a percentage of profits from its key and key accessory line to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Susan B. Komen Foundation. In 2011, the company was awarded the Platinum Level Sponsor Award from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

CEO Mick Hillman and the company’s executive team works side by side with employees during the volunteer days and fundraising efforts, making community service an organizationwide focus. Year to date, Hillman employees have donated more than 800 hours of community service to organizations including Freestore Foodbank — with their Kids Power Pak Program and Rubber Duck Regatta — the Cancer Support Community, Tri State Habitat for Humanity, and other not-for-profits and community organizations.