What a summer and fall we’ve have had here in Northeast Ohio as a much-anticipated re-emergence from the pandemic began. With November upon us, the excitement has ramped up at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as the Cavaliers have begun their 51st season in the NBA and the Cleveland Monsters have dropped the puck on their 2021-22 AHL campaign. The Rock Hall hosted its Induction Ceremony at the FieldHouse for the first-time, and in February, the NBA will celebrate its 75th season at the 71st annual NBA All-Star Game and week in Cleveland.
This upcoming year is shaping up to be record-setting in terms of the number of games, concerts and other events that are anticipated to come through the FieldHouse and bring millions of people to downtown Cleveland. While these are exciting times, amid all the craziness, it is important to remember “why” we do what we do.
For us, the “why” is you — our community and our fans. You’ve heard of for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations. We believe in a third category, “For-More-Than-Profit,” and are guided by the philosophy of “Doing Well By Doing Good,” placing people, passion, and the community ahead of numbers on a spreadsheet. This is in our DNA and the entire family of companies under Chairman Dan Gilbert live by this mantra.
What does it mean? The origin and history of our city provides a great case study of the endless possibilities that ensue when a community comes together “For More Than Profit.” Going back to the turn of the century, many of our city’s greatest assets, like the Cleveland Metroparks system and Playhouse Square, were developed during this period. From our renowned museums to the Cleveland Orchestra and more, we have a wealth of assets and institutions that rival that of much larger cities.
This didn’t happen by accident. It was partly a result of the significant investments made by the corporate community, which was interested in “more than just profit” and wanted to build a vibrant environment for all who live, work, and play in our great city. How do we carry this torch from our forefathers and emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever?
As I often say, community engagement is a contact sport. From the public to the private sector, we must all continue to work outside our own four walls to collectively lift our community and advocate for who we are and who we want to be. We may not have as many Fortune 500 companies in the region as we did even a couple decades ago, but that just makes it more incumbent upon all of us to lean in and be the DIFF. Many of you are already doing this.
On our part, through our Rock Family of Companies, we have invested over $2 billion in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and contributed over $44 million in community, civic and charitable giving through Cavaliers Youth Fund grants, donations and additional community gifts since 1994. We will — and we encourage others to — continue to put our pedal to the metal and invest in our city and region at a significant level. Our commitment to the Cleveland community has never been stronger.
Because for us, it’s about “For-More-Than Profit.”
Len Komoroski is CEO of Rock Entertainment Group