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ACF celebrates grant, fund records at annual meeting

AKRON, Ohio (July 11, 2018) – Yesterday, Akron Community Foundation announced record grants and distributions totaling $13.2 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, the highest single-year grant total in the organization’s 63-year history.

Board Treasurer Rick Fedorovich delivered the news during the community foundation’s annual meeting at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, where more than 400 of the foundation’s fundholders, donors, grantees, professional advisor partners and other community leaders gathered to celebrate the year’s accomplishments.

President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. said Akron Community Foundation had also welcomed an all-time high of 51 new charitable funds during the fiscal year, bringing its total number of funds to more than 600. Together, the funds represent nearly $220 million in philanthropic capital and have collectively invested almost $153 million in grants back into the community since the community foundation’s inception in 1955.

“I’ve lived and worked in three different states, so trust me when I say this is an extraordinarily generous community,” said Petures, who celebrated his 10th anniversary as president and CEO in May. “I’m so excited that Akron Community Foundation continues to play a pivotal role as a catalyst, collaborator and convener for the fulfillment of the philanthropic dreams of this community’s citizens, today and forever.”

Petures said the community foundation will once again convene thousands of residents to discuss pressing community issues during its On the Table Greater Akron event on Oct. 3, 2018. Last year, an estimated 6,000 people came together in small mealtime conversations to brainstorm ways to create a stronger community. Now in its second year, the initiative will focus on addressing the top five issues that emerged in 2017. Petures explained that those conversations will help shape the community foundation’s grantmaking priorities in the coming months, including a proactive grantmaking strategy. The foundation will also be launching a grant initiative to help local nonprofits fund capital improvements to their facilities.

In addition to making strategic changes to its grantmaking, Petures said Akron Community Foundation will also be taking an innovative approach to its work with charitable families. He announced the creation of The Center for Family Philanthropy, a resource center for contributors, donor-advised fundholders and private family foundations. The first of its kind in Greater Akron, The Center for Family Philanthropy will specialize in helping families create a charitable legacy that can be passed down to future generations.

“We’re proud to more formally embrace our mission of teaching philanthropy and helping multi-generations of family members learn what makes this community so special,” Petures said. “Legacies and traditions of giving back are most often sustained through familial ties – between grandparents and grandchildren, parents and children, aunts, uncles, and other family members.”

Also at the meeting, Robert Cooper, Governance Committee chair, introduced the slate of incoming officers for Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors: Steve Strayer, Bath resident and senior vice president of PNC Bank’s Institutional Asset Management Group, chair; Ilene Shapiro, Fairlawn resident and Summit County Executive, vice chair; Mike Zeleznik, Hudson resident and managing member of Zeleznik & Associates, treasurer and finance chair; Rick Fedorovich, Hudson resident and CEO and managing partner at Bober Markey Fedorovich, secretary; Rob Malone, Akron resident and partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC, community relations chair; Sylvia Trundle, Akron resident and retired Akron Police Department captain, community investment chair; and Steven Cox, West Akron resident and partner at Roetzel & Andress LPA, immediate past chair.

Cooper then welcomed the board’s newest member, J. Bret Treier, an Akron resident and managing partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, who accepted a three-year appointment to the board. Cooper also thanked Nick Browning, president of Huntington Bank’s Akron region, who retired from the board after nine years of service.

“Nick served at a time of great transformation and growth for the community foundation,” said Cooper. “We are grateful for his commitment and contributions over the years.”

Board Chair Steve Strayer also announced that local attorney Tom Knoll will be honored with Akron Community Foundation’s Bert. A Polsky Humanitarian Award on Oct. 16. Knoll will be the 51st recipient of the award, which Akron Community Foundation presents each year to an individual or couple who has shown selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron.

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 63 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of March 31, 2018, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $220 million with a growing family of more than 600 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded nearly $153 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.