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ACF launches The Center for Family Philanthropy at May 16 concert

Center for Family Philanthropy logo

On Thursday, May 16, Akron Community Foundation welcomed nearly 1,000 guests to E.J. Thomas Hall for its official launch of The Center for Family Philanthropy. The foundation celebrated the launch with a free concert by Emmy Award-winning musician, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett. Through his performance titled "A Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett," the son of business magnate Warren Buffett wove his story of generational giving into musical selections and projected video clips of his film, television and philanthropic work, such as the fire dance scene from "Dances With Wolves." The event was sponsored by PNC.

"By telling my story (through A Concert & Conversation), it defines what privilege, success and wealth really mean to me and why charitable giving is both essential and life-fulfilling," Buffett said. "It's exciting to hear about the work The Center for Family Philanthropy will be doing to serve as a catalyst for community members to achieve strategic philanthropy, make a positive impact on the community, and, most importantly, involve next generations in the process."

Akron Community Foundation announced its plan to create The Center for Family Philanthropy at its annual meeting in July 2018. The creation of this center is part of the community foundation's three-year strategic plan, representing a natural progression of the foundation's work to ensure future philanthropy in Greater Akron through multigenerational giving.

"We've been providing the region's most generous families with philanthropic services for decades," said John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO of Akron Community Foundation. "The Center for Family Philanthropy is taking those services to the next level, offering even more strategic and customized support to families who are intentional about their charitable giving, and who want to engage future generations to make sure they take it seriously, too."

Services through The Center for Family Philanthropy will be provided by Akron Community Foundation's trained and experienced philanthropic advisors and will include one-on-one consultations, strategic giving plan development, grantmaking education and evaluation, family meeting facilitation, and more. The foundation will work with current fundholders, private family foundations, and other community members who are interested in engaging their family members in their charitable giving.

During the launch event, the community foundation also introduced the inaugural class of the Institute for Emerging Philanthropists, a new six-month program designed by The Center for Family Philanthropy to educate the next generation of donors about strategic charitable giving and the importance of place-based giving on the future of this community.

The training program will officially kick off in the fall. The inaugural members of the institute include: Michael Allio, Aspiring Do-gooder, L4 Project; Kelli Crawford-Smith, Communications Director, City of Cuyahoga Falls; Sawyer Dawley, Sales Assistant, Graphic Communications; Rosheadra Edwards, Lead Contractor Administrator, FirstEnergy Corp.; Ramona Hood, Vice President, Operations Strategy & Planning, FedEx; Chad Immel, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones; Matt Jentner, Vice President & CFO, The Jentner Corporation; Andrew Lamb, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors; Margaret Ann Leppo, Facility Owner & Manager, Crooked River Ranch; Leia' Love, Owner, Leia' Love Hair & Nail Salon; Bill Lowery II, Realtor, Stouffer Realty; Tucker Marshall, Vice President, Finance, The J.M. Smucker Company; Brynn Allio Popa, SVP, Strategic Initiatives & Engagement, Greater Akron Chamber; Frank Shotwell, Regional Sales Manager, The J.M. Smucker Company; Lara Steere, Board Member, Access Inc.; Marcy Venarge, Controller, APV Engineered Coatings; Laura Wallerstein, Attorney/Shareholder, Roetzel & Andress; and Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah, VP, Deputy Gen. Counsel, Corp. Secretary & Chief Ethics Officer, FirstEnergy Corp.

For more information about services offered by The Center for Family Philanthropy, visit

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