2020 Pillar Award for Community Service – Northeast Ohio

On behalf of everyone at Medical Mutual and our co-founding partner, Smart Business, we welcome you to the 23rd annual Pillar Award for Community Service.
The Pillar Awards recognize companies whose employees have gone above and beyond to invest their time and resources in supporting our community.
Last year at this time, no one thought a global pandemic would alter the world as it has. Medical Mutual, like you, had to react and adapt quickly. And like this year’s award winners, in the face of unprecedented turmoil and change, we held fast to the belief that we have a responsibility to support our neighbors in need throughout Ohio.
We are proud of the ways our company and our employees have dedicated resources to provide relief through the pandemic, but it is truly an honor to be in the company of such outstanding organizations that exemplified community commitment — organizations that gave back in remarkable ways through charitable giving, volunteering, pro bono support and more. We are pleased to join Smart Business in honoring the exceptional contributions these businesses have made, because we know that a united business community is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Clearly, this year of unexpected change has not dampened our spirit of community. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that there’s no challenge we, as a community, can’t overcome. We are all in this together.
On behalf of Medical Mutual and Smart Business, we congratulate all our 2020 Pillar Award recipients.
Rick Chiricosta
Chairman, president and CEO, Medical Mutual

Pillar Award Honorees

Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Jeffery Patterson, Chief Executive Officer
The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority was established in 1933 as the first chartered public housing authority in the country. CMHA owns and manages property and administers rent subsidy programs to provide eligible low-income individuals and families quality, safe, affordable housing in Cuyahoga County and improve the quality of life for the communities it serves.
Its values govern the actions of all CMHA employees and establish a standard of excellence. Under the leadership of CEO and Chief Safety Officer Jeffery K. Patterson, CMHA embodies the values of commitment, accountability, respect, excellence and safety in its decisions, planning and activities to fulfill its mission and achieve its vision to better Cuyahoga County communities. CMHA has 60 developments providing approximately 10,000 housing units and 15,000 vouchers serving approximately 55,000 people in Cuyahoga County.
With the onset of the pandemic, CMHA pivoted to ensure its housing communities and residents were safe and receiving necessary resources, whether physical protective equipment or factual news, to combat the unknowns. CMHA has always been mission-focused in serving its residents, and employees stepped up to the challenge to serve low-income residents.
They assessed residents’ needs, shifted the organization’s focus, established new, innovative ways of offering services, found ways to provide value through digital and teleconference platforms, provided residents with free services, collaborated with community partners with like-minded missions to continue to serve residents and remained dedicated to serving residents during this crisis to survive and thrive together as a community. ●
Todd Barnhart, President
GARDINER’s intelligent team of professionals is committed to building long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with the company’s clients. Its associates are not only dedicated to making GARDINER a great company to work with, but also to helping make the cities they live and work in better.
Founder and chairman Bill Gardiner’s philosophy is to “Do the right thing at the right time.” This has grown into a culture where associates giving back to the community is a big part of what GARDINER is. The company’s culture originated with leadership but came to life through the people.
GARDINER hosted a field trip for STEM students from Magnificat High School, in which the girls interacted with engineers and technicians and participated in a career discussion with some of GARDINER’s and its clients’ female professionals to hear advice about the opportunities and challenges for women in the industry. GARDINER associates attended, and the company sponsored the 2020 NEO Regional Science Olympiad Tournament, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education and increase interest in science among female, minority and all middle and high school students.
In addition, each year GARDINER fields a team of riders in The Cleveland Clinic’s VeloSano: Bike to Cure event, and associates have committed to helping 25 families a year who leave the Forbes House shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
GARDINER’s culture has always been caring and generous, and the executive leadership team continues to encourage associates to keep finding ways to reach out and make a difference. ●
W. Michael Jarrett, President and CEO
Civic responsibility is a part of the fabric of Jarrett’s culture to serve those around it. Jarrett defines civic responsibility as “giving back to our communities by donating our time, talents, energy and resources to worthwhile causes in our communities and society.” Although it always strives to help its community, it really kicks it up during the holidays.
The company partners with the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Wayne County Children Services. Each year, Jarrett “adopts” two children who otherwise might not receive Christmas gifts that year. It puts up trees and hangs ornaments containing either a gift or monetary amount to be used toward a gift requested by the child. Employees deliver gifts to Wayne County Children Services for children to unwrap on Christmas morning.
In partnership with the Salvation Army, Jarrett employees collect canned food items, competing to see which department can collect the highest percentage of cans. The company went from 230 cans in 2017 to 4,950 cans in 2018. Also, in partnership with the Salvation Army, it provides Thanksgiving meals to families through “20 Meals for 20 Families.”
According to the company, the world doesn’t turn without generous people. Everyone is better off when we help one another. It doesn’t matter if it’s neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, or community members — the company believes we all need each other, and that our work communities need us to be as devoted to them as our home communities. When you invest in something, it grows. So, if you want your community to grow, you have to invest in it. ●
Kaulig Companies Limited / Kaulig Giving
Matt Kaulig, Executive Chairman and Owner, The Kaulig Companies;
Founder and Board Chairman, The Kaulig Foundation
Under the leadership of Executive Chairman Matt Kaulig and CEO Tim Clepper, Kaulig Cos. Ltd. has cultivated a culture of giving across the spectrum of companies they oversee. Employees are involved in philanthropic and volunteer activities, and Kaulig Cos. operates from the mantra, “The more we make, the more we give.”
Kaulig Cos. has supported more than 60 nonprofits in Northeast Ohio this year, and more than 80 since 2019. It partners with the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE School, funding of its one-of-kind media lab and facilitating LeafFilter’s annual school supplies drive, which provides school supplies for every IPS student.
The company played a key role as a presenting sponsor for the second year in a row for the Cleveland Indians Charities Giveathon and partnered with CIC in its fundraising efforts, media creation and promotion of the campaign. Proceeds from this year’s Giveathon addressed the Digital Divide by benefiting organizations affected by and dealing with eliminating the issue in Northeast Ohio.
Kaulig Charitable Giving Programs™ and The Kaulig Foundation are on the cutting edge of philanthropic efforts in the region. The Kaulig Charitable Giving Programs include direct giving, community involvement and significant partnerships, improving Northeast Ohio and beyond. Its paramount objective is to ensure and promote the well-being of children and families in Northeast Ohio through partnerships with nonprofits.
The Kaulig Foundation serves as the grant-making vehicle for the Kaulig family and Kaulig Cos., considering grant requests from public charities in Northeast Ohio that focus on children and families. ●
MAI Capital Management
Rick Buoncore, Managing Partner
As a firm, MAI is actively involved in supporting a multitude of organizations. In 2019, MAI donated $272,000 to more than 90 local and national charities. Additionally, many MAI employees have contributed significantly as volunteers and leaders of charitable organizations. MAI also created a Young Professionals group with the purpose of educating employees on the importance of supporting their community. Each year, this group works with Business Volunteers Unlimited to identify opportunities for employees to join nonprofit boards and to help with community projects.
The MAI team’s positive energy and collective desire to get involved is a product of Managing Partner Rick Buoncore’s enthusiasm and encouragement. He consistently motivates his colleagues to volunteer for and donate to organizations that are meaningful to them and helps support their causes through company sponsorships.
Buoncore is very active in his community on an individual level. In 2016, he completed a two-year term as board chair of the United Way of Greater Cleveland. In the six years before that, he led or served on several committees, including the Strategic Planning Committee. As head of that committee, he led a team of volunteers in developing a road map to guide United Way’s work as a community change agent in Greater Cleveland.
Buoncore is deeply committed to improving the ethos and culture of the company — one that serves to “take care of their clients, each other and community.” This mantra will continue to guide Buoncore and his team as the firm reaches new levels of success. ●
Mapledale Farm
Dave Johnson, President
Mapledale Farm President Dave Johnson’s strong faith and belief that we all should serve others guides his business and volunteerism both professionally and personally.
Johnson is in charge of community service for the Chardon Rotary, which has donated to multiple entities. The Claridon community received financial help and the Rotary donated to help needy women in Geauga County through county assistance. They made a monetary donation to Geauga hospital employees and started a drive for veterans to assist them monetarily and with housing and clothing resources.
Johnson was the first Chardon member of the chamber of commerce to host the “After Hours” networking event after the pandemic lockdown ended. He knew it was important for businesses to stay engaged, be optimistic about the future and have an opportunity to network and discuss with others how to work together, work through new challenges as business owners and find new ways to do business.
He and other Rotary members donated time and monies to the Geauga Faith Rescue, which helped provide resources for the homeless in Geauga County. Johnson and his team also volunteer at Hannah’s Home, a maternity home for single pregnant women 18 and older.
His approach to running a business and working with staff is that they all need to serve the community in which they live and work. Mapledale Farm is more than just a company; it is a place where people work together as a team and a family to serve others professionally and personally. ●
Orlando Baking Co.
John Orlando, President and CEO
The Orlando Baking Co. has been heavily involved with The Hunger Network because of John Orlando. Orlando has championed goals that prioritize improving access to food, addressing food insecurity and fighting hunger.
He has been a valued member of the Hunger Network Board of Trustees for many years. He has been in leadership roles on various subcommittees, sits on the Advancement Committee and was part of the 25th Silver Anniversary Campaign. He helped with the launch of the Hunger Network’s Food Rescue program, which has expanded tremendously in just a couple of years, and has rescued over 1 million pounds of food before it went to waste.
He also commits the company to corporate sponsorships for golf outings, charity runs and other fundraising events. The Hunger Network’s largest fundraiser, the Best Party, started as the Orlando Baking Company holiday party. The event continued for 30 years with ongoing financial support from Orlando Baking Co. and over the years has brought in well over $2 million to the nonprofit.
Orlando leads the company by personally participating in the annual monthly giving campaign and has gotten numerous employees and family members involved. Because of his commitment to fighting hunger, he is responsible for generating just over $220,000 from Orlando Baking Co. through monthly giving. His generosity and leadership in the fight against hunger and food insecurity have resulted in an estimated 10 million meals for those in need. Orlando’s dedication to helping others has helped make the community a better place. ●
reLink Medical
Jeffrey Dalton, CEO
CEO Jeff Dalton started reLink Medical three years ago with his father, Ray Dalton, to reinvent the way hospitals dispose of excess and out-of-service medical equipment. Through this work, tens of thousands of medical devices are processed in its warehouse and repurposed each month.
reLink Medical and its staff focus on hospital support, employee development and giving back to the community in strategic and meaningful ways. Profits from reLink go to The Dalton Foundation, which leads and operates other reLink not-for-profit endeavors.
The insightful and strategic solutions created by Dalton — supported by his staff of more than 50 employees — have grown to support over 1,000 hospital systems throughout the country. The impact they have had on these hospitals’ supply chains has led to a new way for hospitals to safely remove and manage out-of-service medical equipment. Unsold equipment is offered for donation to global nonprofits or recycled using R2 certified and landfill-free processes.
From the profits of reLink Medical, the Dalton Foundation started and funded reLink.org in response to the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Illicit drug use and overdoses were on the rise and finding resources to help a loved one was extremely difficult. reLink.org was launched to solve this problem. To date, there are over 7,200 organizations in the database and 63 unique service lines listed covering all 88 counties in Ohio. The public database helps anyone struggling with addiction, caught in human trafficking, or coming out of incarceration. ●
Sober Grid, Ascent Powered by Sober Grid
Beau Mann, CEO
Based in Cuyahoga County, Sober Grid, and its subsidiary, Sober First LLC d/b/a Ascent Powered by Sober Grid, are behavioral digital health organizations. Their services are used by individuals struggling with addiction, families working to help a loved one, treatment centers, drug courts and other recovery organizations.
In 2015, Founders Beau Mann and Nick Krasucki saw a gap in the continuum of care for individuals who suffer from substance use disorder. Sober Grid provides evidence-based addiction recovery peer coaching services that offer personalized support 24 hours a day to its members. It pairs its telehealth peer recovery coaching with a mobile application, Sober Grid, so members can access the largest recovery network and have the right support at the right time. The Sober Grid app has grown to over 250,000 members in 170 countries, and its mission remains the same: To help communities fight the effects of substance use disorder.
The organization provides non-facility-based telehealth services that begin with a recovery plan customized by the client, in concert with a coach. As the client moves forward in recovery, coaches remain accessible by phone. Clients also have access to an on-call coach directly through the app anywhere and at any time. The app allows members to interface with one another and provides a network of peer support, while giving the coaching team real-time access to clients at risk. ●
Union Home Mortgage Corp.
Bill Cosgrove, President and CEO
The Union Home Mortgage Foundation was established in 2015 as the charitable arm of Union Home Mortgage Corp. The foundation exists to equip families with the tools and resources to achieve economic self-sufficiency, striving to improve their financial health and empower them for responsible homeownership.
UHM partners used 550 hours of volunteer paid time off in 2019. Each full-time nonsales partner receives 16 hours of volunteer paid time off a year, and each part-time partner receives eight hours. With this, they can volunteer in areas where they are most passionate. Many departments host department-specific volunteer events, and individuals can use their hours for virtual volunteerism, which can be even more impactful than in-person events.
The company also holds an Intern Day of Service each summer, offering interns an opportunity to make a difference in their communities. This year, the Intern Day of Service went virtual in order to keep interns and nonprofits safe and healthy.
In 2019, UHM launched its first-ever financial literacy program, pairing with the nonprofit BALANCE. The financial literacy program included a free online resource library containing podcasts, articles, videos, worksheets and more on topics such as student loans, buying a car, buying a home, how to get out of debt, improving credit and others. This year, the company is launching a new program under its career readiness pillar called uLaunch, a program for high school students focusing on professional development. The curriculum touches on interviewing skills, communication, public speaking tips, leadership skills and more. ●

Medical Mutual Share Award

Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Jeffery Patterson, Chief Executive Officer
The global coronavirus pandemic led The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to pivot its focus to ensuring its housing communities and residents were safe and receiving the necessary resources — whether it be physical protective equipment or factual news — to combat the many unknowns as a result of the pandemic. CMHA has 60 developments providing approximately 10,000 housing units and 15,000 vouchers serving approximately 55,000 people in Cuyahoga County. Its employees stepped up to the challenge during these unprecedented times, assessing residents’ needs and establishing innovative ways of offering services. For example, CMHA provided residents with free services throughout the pandemic and collaborated with community partners with like-minded missions to continue serving residents during the crisis.
CMHA also created a resident hotline and one especially geared for its senior population for any concerns that they had. Residents were encouraged to engage with their property management offices by phone or email, and regularly scheduled “virtual meetings” took place with the CEO or staff by phone. There were many challenges trying to communicate with the residents, however, as many don’t have access to affordable internet. That’s why CMHA’s mission to bridge the digital divide continues more so now than ever so everyone can have internet services either free or at a low cost.
Additionally, with the assistance of CMHA leadership, CMHA residents created the Resident Response Initiative, which is responsible for ensuring that residents have accurate and helpful information, resources and tools to address the immediate needs necessary for combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this initiative, members from the CMHA Board of Commissioners, the CMHA leadership team, and the resident leadership council, worked together to create a positive impact on the community.
For example, the Resident COVID-19 Advisory Council was created to work in conjunction with the CMHA Resident Leadership Council and Progressive Action Council to conduct weekly meetings to assess the impact of the COVID-19 virus at CMHA properties and to provide suggestions on activities to serve its residents.
The Resident COVID-19 Action Team worked together to provide residents with tools, resources, and materials to combat the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Activities included seniors making masks for each other. These residents referred to themselves as the “CMHA Maskateers” and they create over 1,000 masks for fellow residents in the community. They also ensured that common areas in its residential properties were sanitized, and they delivered goods, food and services to residents who were unable to do so on their own.
CMHA residents also created the COVID-19 Senior Outreach Team, which focused on the health and safety of seniors by conducting regular wellness checks and ensuring that their needs were properly met.
CMHA residents and staff, together, are building strong communities that stand tall and stand out. They celebrate success, but most important, lend a hand when needed. ●

Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Award

Jan Gusich
Board Member, North Coast Community Homes
Jan Gusich founded Akhia Communications with a simple mission — to serve clients beyond their expectations in everything the company does. With a career spanning more than 40 years, she has faced gender bias and cultural disparity, and created the agency in 1996 as a workplace based on culture, values and mutual respect.
Nearly a decade ago, Gusich used her guiding principles, values and dedication to help lead North Coast Community Homes, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit working to develop and maintain high-quality, safe and comfortable community housing for individuals with disabilities. She joined the board of trustees in 2011 and currently serves as vice chair of the board and chairperson of the Resource Development and Marketing Committee.
Over the past nine years, she has offered her expertise in public relationship, brand development, crisis communications and cultivating culture to the organization. In 2019, Gusich led communications initiatives for the NCCH Zero Threshold design competition. The initiative focused on elevating the idea of accessibility to be a universal and beautiful design.
She serves the organization as a leader committed to the people served by NCCH, serving as a good neighbor ambassador, visiting and providing social interaction to residents of a North Coast Community Home. In her leadership tenure, she has raised funds, awareness and support for the efforts to ensure housing for individuals with disabilities in neighborhoods throughout Northeast Ohio. Everyone deserves a home and good neighbors, and Gusich is helping make that possible for nearly 650 people. ●
Chris Mapes
Chairman, Northeast Ohio Board, American Red Cross
Chris Mapes, chairman, president and CEO of Lincoln Electric, serves as chairman of the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Board.
During his two-year tenure, he has championed numerous initiatives, including spearheading fundraising efforts to procure a new Red Cross five-bed Bloodmobile by personally engaging countless business and community leaders to garner their financial support.
As chair, Mapes oversaw two highly successful board campaigns, which resulted in 100 percent board participation and exceeded both “give” and “get” board fundraising goals. And the Northeast Ohio Chapter and the Northern Ohio Region exceeded their annual fundraising goals despite significant revenue target adjustments due to national disasters and achieved more than 118 percent of their increased revenue target in FY20.
Mapes’ passion for the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies is evident each year as he leads his Lincoln Electric team in its annual “Sound The Alarm” event in Euclid. During these Red Cross Preparedness and Prevention events, volunteers install thousands of free smoke alarms in partnership with the Red Cross and the local fire department.
His strategic insights and thoughtful approach to managing change provided a calming influence as the Red Cross underwent significant organizational restructuring during a global pandemic and one of the most devastating disaster seasons in the nation’s history. His keen ability to reassure fellow board members has been essential to their continued support and engagement during these challenging times. ●
Cameron Miele
Board of Trustees, Western Reserve Land Conservancy; Member of the Board of Directors for NEOPAT; Member of the Northern Ohio Advisory Board for A Kid Again; President of the Cameron & Katie Miele Foundation. Managing Director, Ellsworth Advisors LLC
Cameron Miele is an investment adviser representative and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor and serves as a managing director of Ellsworth Advisors. His nonprofit executive work and impact on the local area and families is extensive.
Since 2019, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, one of the nation’s largest private land trusts. He has also been a member of the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism Board of Directors since 2019. NEOPAT promotes patriotism and service throughout Northeast Ohio, raising money to support local military families and military support organizations, and create awareness of issues affecting service members.
Since 2016, Miele has served as a member of the Northern Ohio Advisory Board for A Kid Again, an Ohio-based organization that provides hope, happiness and healing to families raising children with life-threatening illnesses. It provides fun-filled adventures that allow children with life-threatening conditions to feel like a kid again.
Miele is also president of the Cameron & Katie Miele Foundation, a private family foundation established by Cameron and Katie Miele. It provides support for organizations dedicated to helping families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses and developmental disorders, those supporting the military and their families, and higher education. The secondary mission is for the Mieles’ three daughters to research and select organizations to support while becoming active volunteers. Since 2015, the foundation has provided more than $750,000 in direct support to worthy organizations. ●

Philanthropist of the Year

Umberto P. Fedeli
President and CEO, The Fedeli Group
Umberto P. Fedeli, president and CEO of The Fedeli Group, a privately held risk management and insurance firm, likes to get philanthropically involved where he can add value and make an impact.
He is an outspoken advocate of the Cleveland Clinic, having served on its board since 2000, and is the chair of its Government and Community Relations Committee. Fedeli has also served on the clinic’s executive committee and for more than a decade has served as event chair for the HeartThrob Ball, the annual gala that benefits Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. It’s an event for which he has helped raise millions of dollars. His efforts for the clinic were commemorated in 2016 when Fedeli and his wife, Maryellen, were honored as Distinguished Fellows and inducted into the 1921 Society, the clinic’s highest benefactor circle, which honors those who have made extraordinary contributions of services and resources to the Cleveland Clinic.
Fedeli is also an honorary member of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese; is currently chairman of the Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation, a charitable organization that he helped establish in 1995’ and is a member of its Hall of Fame. He is the founder of the Cleveland Chapter of Legatus and was formerly on its International Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and The 50 Club.
While these involvements highlight his philanthropic involvement, it’s not an exhaustive list. He and his wife contribute broadly and have hosted many events, both at their home and in the community, to further charitable causes. He says while it’s common to think of philanthropy as fundraising or contributions, there are other ways to give. One way he expresses his charity is by being a catalyst for relationships.
For the past 30 years, he has been hosting luncheons to bring people together. Those luncheons could include community leaders, business leaders and leaders of causes who can use the opportunity to share their work and interests with others. Introductions made at one of these events could kick off a campaign or get people together who can help one another help others.
Fedeli says Northeast Ohio has a wonderful giving community filled with caring people who make a difference in the lives of others. Some of those people work at The Fedeli Group. Associates within his insurance firm also give back to their communities. For example, in March 2019, two groups of employees from The Fedeli Group volunteered at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. The first group helped assemble 1,827 meals, and the second group helped assemble 2,067 meals.
He says the best way to encourage charity is to set the example so that other people want to participate where and in ways they think they can make an impact. Ultimately, it’s about making a difference and finding ways to help others. ●

Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year

Julie Chase-Morefield
President and CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio
When Julie Chase-Morefield first arrived at the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, there were three part-time employees and five full time employees. The operating budget was $617,000 distributing three million pounds of food valued at $4.7 million. Her leadership style has resulted in the growth of Second Harvest. With a staff of 26 and over 3,000 volunteers, Second Harvest currently operates on a $3.45 million budget and distributed more than 12.3 million pounds of food and grocery products. Because of her guidance, Second Harvest is now the fourth largest nonprofit in Lorain County.
In the face of COVID-19 and economic downturn, Chase-Morefield knew the operational model needed to change and that Second Harvest would have to take the lead on getting food to people. In a six-month period, Second Harvest held 100 drive-through distributions at schools, parks and fairgrounds, doubling the nonprofit’s food distribution in the same period from the previous year from 3.05 million pound in 2019 to 6.63 million pounds in 2020. Second Harvest served 32,716 unique households and 98,308 individuals during that time period. The number of new families seeking help for the first time increased 42 percent.
Chase-Morefield has created new ways to look at old problems in food banking and measures everything against impact. Second Harvest was helping about 88,000 lives per year, but since COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn, the nonprofit is helping about 125,000 people per year improve their food security and their overall quality of life. ●
Judy Ghazoul Hilow
Executive Director, Malachi House
Judy Ghazoul Hilow, executive director of Malachi House, is gifted in many ways. The not-for-profit is a residence for people who are diagnosed as having less than six months to live with no means to pay for their care. Hilow leads the entity in strategic, marketing, financial and all operational functions. Given that it is a single-site, stand-alone enterprise housing up to 15 residents at a time, she must be hands on in all aspects of service for this home that never closes. Sometimes people arrive and pass away in those first 24 hours. Other times, people are there for months.
For over 30 years, Malachi House has maintained operations without government support. Hilow takes the lead for sourcing funding from commercial sponsors, foundations and individual and family contributors, ensuring the nonprofit continually meets the budget day after day and year after year. Today, there are plans for expansion — Hilow is pursuing an endowment to best ensure success for years to come. While running a highly efficient operation and preserving funds as best as possible, she doesn’t skimp on resident care, nor on the staff’s requirements to do the job well. She pursues various fundraisers to generate revenue and awareness and leads tours for corporate and civic leaders, as well as people in the community.
Hilow is a light to the community ,showing awareness, empathy and love to those Malachi House serves. With her leadership and vision, she is optimizing its success today and for the future. ●
Mike Matoney
CEO, Crossroads Health and New Directions
Mike Matoney, CEO of the affiliated nonprofit organizations Crossroads Health and New Directions, has worked nearly his entire career to positively impact young lives.
In 1981, he began his career with New Directions as a chemical dependency counselor in the residential treatment and recovery housing center for adolescents and young adults with substance use and mental health challenges. He worked his way through the ranks while continuing his education, earning his MBA from Cleveland State University and assuming his role at CEO of New Directions in 1994.
By 2011, he had positioned the organization for an innovative legal partnership with Crossroads Health in Lake County, a strategic partnership that proved successful for both agencies. The affiliation increased efficiencies with a shared board of directors and senior leadership team and is a model for developing strategic partnerships. In 2017, Matoney, along with the board of directors, negotiated a merger with Beacon Health, the largest adult behavioral health service in Lake County, allowing the organization to provide a comprehensive source of mental health and recovery services to individuals and families of all ages, at all stages of life, across Northeast Ohio.
Matoney is passionate about recovery and sober living. An approachable leader, his infectious enthusiasm and sincere care for others make an indelible impact on clients, parents, caregivers, staff, colleagues, board members, donors and community leaders. He has served as a consultant, presenter and surveyor for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, setting professional standards for behavioral health care. ●
Sondra Miller
President and CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
As president and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Sondra Miller has a laser focus on executing strategic plans. That has allowed the organization to experience unprecedented growth, including in revenue and the number of full-time employees, locations and people impacted by its services. Miller has capitalized on these initiatives and expanded the CRCC footprint within Northeast Ohio. Under her leadership, CRCC has increased its annual revenue by 458 percent, in large part because of Miller’s efforts to secure support from the Ohio Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Act. It’s also increased the number of locations by 900 percent, expanding from one central location to offer services closer to survivors’ homes. Miller has helped Cleveland Rape Crisis Center adapt services to a digital world. In 2016, Miller led the development and launch of the first-ever online hotline and text to chat function, allowing survivors to reach out to an advocate anywhere, anytime, ensuring that CRCC is there to answer every call for services. She’s increased the number of full-time employees by more than 200 percent and increased the number of people impacted by services by 235 percent, through prevention and education programs, individual counseling, advocate programs in hospitals and justice systems.
Along with her staff, Miller is working to create lasting and impactful change, inspiring and driving organizational transformation by engaging stakeholders in a highly collaborative process. Her unique skillset is helping drive change for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. ●

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award

Chris Mapes
President and CEO, Lincoln Electric
Chairman, Northeast Ohio Board, American Red Cross
As American Red Cross Northeast Ohio board chair, Chris Mapes has demonstrated selfless and inspirational servant leadership heading up the nonprofit’s more than 45-member board of directors. It’s clear, through both his attitude and deeds, that Mapes has a personal passion for the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Under Mapes’ leadership, the Northeast Ohio Chapter and the larger Northern Ohio Region exceeded annual fundraising goals, achieving well above their increased revenue target for fiscal year 2020. The nonprofit was able to accomplish that despite significant revenue target adjustments that were made as the country faced the dual challenges of one of the most devastating disaster seasons in its history and a global pandemic brought on by COVID-19. That success can be attributed in part to Mapes’ positive can-do attitude.
Overseeing the Northern Ohio Region’s busiest and most populous chapter, Mapes played a crucial leadership role this year. The chapter he chairs increased the number of counties served by 33 percent and the entire region expanded by 41 percent. His strategic insights and thoughtful approach to managing change were a calming influence during a difficult period as the Red Cross underwent significant organizational restructuring in the midst of a global pandemic. He was, through the change, able to reassure fellow board members, something that was recognized as essential in maintaining their support and engagement to achieve that goal despite myriad and sometimes unforeseen challenges.
Mapes has been the driving force behind numerous Red Cross initiatives. Recently, he led the fundraising efforts to procure a new five-bed Bloodmobile valued at more than $500,000. He personally engaged business and community leaders to get financial support for the Bloodmobile, which will collect thousands of life-saving blood products during its years of service to the American Red Cross and the community.
Mapes has also overseen two incredibly successful board campaigns that resulted in full board participation and exceeded the board’s fund-raising goals. These successes led directly to increased support from corporations and foundations that use board participation as an organizational litmus test for future funding determinations.
Mapes, who is also chairman, president and CEO of Lincoln Electric, personally led his team from Lincoln Electric in its annual “Sound The Alarm” event in Euclid. The team of Lincoln Electric volunteers installed smoke alarms in partnership with the Red Cross and the local fire department, resulting in thousands of free alarms installed, hundreds of families educated on fire safety and hundreds of homes in Euclid made safer.

Thanks to Mapes’ leadership, Lincoln Electric was the first organization to receive the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio Partnership Award. It was given because of the company’s sponsorship of blood drives, volunteerism, hosting Red Cross training classes and financial donations.