Making it official

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award

A broken leg couldn’t even stop A.J. Hyland from serving his community. He hobbled out in a cast last January to lend a hand, helping more than 100 of his employees sort food and prepare meals as part of “Time to Make a Difference Week” at the Cleveland Foodbank.

As president and CEO of Hyland Software Inc. in Westlake, he has cemented a culture of giving through his own personal commitment as well as corporate policies that promote it.

Inside the company, Hyland has made the commitment to community service official. Two years ago, for example, he created a full-time position dedicated entirely to engaging employees in community service and managing the company’s charitable contributions.

He also allocates an annual budget to Hyland’s Charitable Giving Program, formalizing the company’s effort to give back to the communities where employees live and work. Through the program, the company accepts donation and sponsorship requests from nonprofits and educational organizations — as well as from employees, who can submit requests on behalf of organizations where they contribute time or finances. In that way, Hyland gives back as a way of responding to concerns and interests of his employees as well as those that bubble up from the community.

Hyland also offers employees 12 hours of paid volunteer time every year so they can pursue charitable opportunities even during business hours. He makes sure employees are aware of volunteer needs in the community by communicating opportunities regularly.

In his personal life, Hyland is just as committed to service as his corporate policies would have you expect. It’s not uncommon to find his entire family serving Saturday dinner at West Side Catholic Center or participating in charity runs, for instance. He truly walks the talk that he promotes at Hyland Software.

He currently serves on the board of directors for Hyland Software. Previously, Hyland also served on the board of directors of the Association for Information and Image Management for five years, acting as chair of the association in 2004. In 2005, he was welcomed into the association’s Company of Fellows.

Through both his formal company policies and his more informal personal actions, Hyland proves to be a model corporate citizen who inspires employees to give back to their communities.

How to reach: Hyland Software Inc., (440) 788-5000 or