October 2021

Announcing the 2021 Corporate Citizenship Awards: Meet Central Ohio’s most generous companies

Courtesy of Columbus Business First
By Doug Buchanan
October 5, 2021

Columbus companies truly stepped up during the pandemic, continuing to be generous in the face of rising community needs.

There was no pullback in philanthropic contributions, which was borne out when we surveyed companies for our annual Corporate Citizenship list.

We launched the survey in 2018 to quantify the giving done by the region’s companies and their employees. We honor the most generous companies in several size categories for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. The top 10 companies in the Extra Large and Large categories and the top five companies in the Medium and Small categories have been named honorees.

Each year, we also choose five Vanguard Award winners, honoring efforts by local companies to innovate with their nonprofit partners. The United Way of Central Ohio, the presenting sponsor of this year’s Corporate Citizenship Awards, also will present a Vanguard Award to one of its annual campaign donors.

We’ll celebrate the 2021 honorees at an evening reception on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Columbus Museum of Art. More details are here.

Here are this year’s honorees, alphabetically by size category. Their final rankings will be revealed at the event. We’ll also publish the full Corporate Citizenship list with all the companies that responded to the survey in the Nov. 19 edition of Columbus Business First.

Extra Large
Bath & Body Works
Big Lots Inc.
Cardinal Health Inc.
Fifth Third Bank
Grange Insurance
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Park National Bank
Victoria’s Secret
White Castle

The Basement Doctor
The Champion Companies
Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club
Continental Office
Diamond Hill Investment Group Inc.
First Commonwealth Bank
Messer Construction Co.

Budros Ruhlin & Roe Inc.
FCBank, a division of CNB Bank
Miles-McClellan Construction Company Inc.
Reminger Co. LPA
Savings Bank

Champion Trading Group
Kaufman Development
Meyers + Associates Architecture
Robert Weiler Co.
The Edwards Group at Morgan Stanley

This year’s Vanguard Award honorees are:

The Cardinal Health Foundation, for its work supporting Columbus City Schools students and teachers during the pandemic. Cardinal increased funding to organizations like the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to provide meals to at-risk students, coordinated with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and PCs for People to get students computers and hotspot devices, and worked with I Know I Can to fund increased outreach to high school seniors.

The Champion Companies, for its work helping the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Ohio secure a new facility. The partnership was the result of a charity basketball game between teams from Champion and developer Crawford Hoying at the organization’s former home in Milo-Grogan, and the desire to provide a better facility for the kids it serves. Champion provided a lead gift and got other corporate partners on board, plus led design, engineering and permitting for the project.

T-Cetra, for its partnership with GroundWork Group to launch a local crowdfunding source called NeighborRelief. The website lets people help cover utility bills or rent for others in their community. The organizations recruited more than 20 nonprofits to help identify and validate people’s needs. So far more than 500 families have been helped, and the state has now supplied funding as well to use the platform to distribute state and federal assistance.

Turner Construction, for a training partnership it launched with ECDI and NRT & Associates to boost diversity in the industry. Following a series of roundtables to gather input, Turner expanded its construction management program to provide customized mentoring to those who could grow their capacity to become qualified women- and Black-owned construction firms. One such client, Jeanna Hondel with Ascension Construction Solutions, is now leading renovations of ECDI’s headquarters.

CoverMyMeds, for its work to support the Columbus Urban League’s justice and equity initiative, I Am My Brother’s Keeper. Employees have served as mentors and tutors to kids in the program, while the company provided transportation funding for a variety of community activities. It also provides summer work readiness training focused on developing digital technology skills needed for today’s workforce.

And finally, the Dale E. Heydlauff United Way Legacy Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Leadership goes to Designer Brands, for its commitment to improving communities and working differently to give back. In addition to a long-term partnership with United Way through their workplace campaign and volunteerism, in 2020 Designer Brands launched a point-of-sale initiative to support United Way of Central Ohio’s Community Response Fund and formed the national United Way Equity Advancement Fund to support innovative solutions that drive lasting, positive change in the advancement of equity and social justice for BIPOC communities.

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