Akron Community Foundation announces unprecedented growth at annual meeting

Attendees celebrate three new board members, record gifts

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Akron, Ohio – The Akron Community Foundation officials announced the highest 12 months of growth in the organization’s 59-year history for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. Nearly $20.3 million in contributions and investment growth of 13.7 percent brought the community foundation’s assets to an all-time high of nearly $181 million. President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. delivered the news to a crowd of more than 200 at the community foundation’s 59th annual meeting at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

During the same period, individuals, families, companies and nonprofit organizations started 41 new charitable funds at the community foundation. The largest gift ever, $12 million, established the IBH Foundation Fund on June 7, 2013.  Tim Killian, IBH Foundation board chairman, thanked the community foundation for its partnership in creating a permanent source of funding for IBH Addiction Recovery Center.

"I am very grateful that this management assistance will far exceed my lifetime. In fact, it will live on forever to aid IBH’s mission,” Killian said.

Akron Community Foundation treasurer Paul Belair announced that grants and distributions for the fiscal year totaled more than $7.5 million thanks to the community foundation’s “prudent investment policies.” This grew the organization’s cumulative grant-making to $114 million since its founding. He also reported operating expenses of 1.1 percent, “an expense ratio that is one of the lowest in the country for community foundations of our size,” Belair said.

Dale Koblenzer, Nominating Committee chair, announced the slate of incoming officers, which was approved prior to the meeting: Mark Allio, Bath resident and CEO of MSA Associates, chair; Steve Cox, West Akron resident and partner at Roetzel & Andress, vice chair; Paul Belair, Hudson resident and president of Roth Bros., treasurer and finance chair; Rev. Dr. Sandra Selby, Fairlawn resident, secretary; Steve Strayer, Bath resident and senior vice president at PNC Institutional Investments, community investment chair; Tommy Bruno, West Akron resident and general manager of 91.3 The Summit, community relations chair; and Michael A. Sweeney, Fairlawn resident and partner at Brouse McDowell, immediate past chair.
Koblenzer also welcomed three new board members: Uniontown resident Mark Krohn, partner at Brouse McDowell; Fairlawn resident Dee Lowery, president of FirstEnergy Foundation; and Hudson resident Mike Zeleznik, financial advisor at GDK & Company. They replace Koblenzer, Eileen Burg, Judge Carla Moore and Robert Reffner, each of whom completed three three-year terms.

Petures gave an update on renovations to the community foundation’s office building on West Cedar Street, which was damaged Jan. 10 in a fire of unknown origins. Following the fire, the community foundation temporarily relocated to the U.S. Bank Building at 195 S. Main St. In addition to showing a video depicting renovations, Petures thanked the community for its continued support.

“We’ve been working very hard these past three years to transform Akron Community Foundation into a more donor-centric organization, and we can’t wait to invite all of you to see the physical transformation that is occurring at our permanent home … which will reopen sometime this fall,” he said.

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