Michael Brandy
Matthew 25: Ministries
Chair, Board

Energy, Expertise Leads to Growth
For Michael Brandy, president of Bellevue-based developer Brandicorp LLC, the success of his business means much more than just making numbers.

"It took me a long time to figure out I had a gift that was usable to help people," he says.

"In our company's culture, we encourage people to work in charities. We don't care where they work, but we want them to give ... For me, it's Matthew 25."

Greatly influenced by his father, who was a founding elder of Matthew 25: Ministries, Brandy got started in the international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization in 1992. Since 2001, he has served as Chairman of the Board, committing his energy and expertise to the growth of the ministry. He is also a financial donor who seeks donations on the ministry's behalf. In its nomination of Brandy as an All-Star, Matthew 25 Development and Media Director Joodi Archer wrote, "With Mr. Brandy's support, M25M has grown 160 percent since 2001, shipping 13 million pounds of aid in 2010."

The work is also about accountability. "We have 30 partners around the world, and I know the people, so I know that they get the products we ship and are giving it to the poor," Brandy says. "It's not going to the black market or anything."

Brandy also donated land to M25M to build the ministry's Loveland offices and headed the search team that selected the ministry's current location. When they found the building, located in Blue Ash, it was old and worn down, but Brandy saw past that.

"We always get a building and think we'll never use that much space, but we always do, so it's really a good thing," he says. "We thought, "¢You know, this building is like our charity. It needs refurbishing and a new life pumped into it, which is what we do at Matthew 25.' "

"” JULIANNA ROCHE

 
Don Bush
United Way
Chair, Tocqueville Society

For Don Bush, It's About Need and Stewardship
Don Bush, for 32 years a CPA and managing partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, can't imagine what Cincinnati would be like without the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

"It has such broad importance to the economic viability of this community," says Bush, who has for two years chaired the United Way's Tocqueville Society, representing those who contribute $10,000 or more.

"Without the United Way, the core health of the community would be much different than it is today. Many individual agencies would not be able to exist, nor would we have the collaboration to make sure we are leveraging assets to help the community."

And there are those who know the United Way might not be as healthy without Bush's efforts. Under his leadership, the Tocqueville Society has grown to more than 800 members, giving $11.2 million in 2010, making it the second-strongest such society in the agency's international system.

Established in 1972, the society takes its inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote in the 1830s of his admiration for Americans' commitment to volunteerism. Bush says that spirit is alive and well among the Tristate's corporate and civic leaders. He says the society has become a way for them to become stakeholders, not just contributors, in United Way efforts.

"The society is a unique blend of community leadership representing corporate, government and civic groups," Bush says. "It's a way people can come together, understand the needs of our community and provide great stewardship of those dollars."

In its nomination of Bush as an All-Star, United Way Director of Major Gifts Raye N. Allen calls his vision and leadership "extraordinary." She adds, "Don recognizes that generosity takes many forms.  With the creation of a LinkedIn site and an evening series, members are asked to participate in rich discussions on issues that challenge our community."

Bush also served as the head of the Boy Scouts of America's Dan Beard Council, overseeing a capital improvements campaign for its new headquarters. A Miami University graduate, he recently became chairman of the board at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

"” RICK BIRD


Tom Long
Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Board Member, Volunteer
 
"I'm Not Afraid to Ask for Some Bucks"
When he was 8, Tom Long went blind in his left eye. He was playing with a friend outside when he yelled for him to turn around, which he did "¢ only to find a stick being poked directly at him.

But Long has never let his visual impairment stop him. During college he couldn't pass the eye exams to get into ROTC or Officer Candidate School (OCS). In the Korean War, he became a First Sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division.

"Figure that one out," he jokes.

Thirty-seven years ago, Long decided to put his skills toward the work of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI). He has since served as a board member, chair of the Building and Grounds Committee and a member of the Finance Committee.

"I feel they have a very strong commitment to blind people," he says. "I think the whole program is good, from middle-aged people to senior citizens to children. I think kids that have visual impairments need a little extra care, so I push that a little bit."

Having been in construction and as previous owner of Long Architectural Sales, Long was also instrumental in the oversight of the organization's $3.5 million building renovation in 2000, and in developing funds for the building project. In fact, Long prides himself on his ability to get people to donate.

"I'm very active, and I'm not afraid to ask for some bucks "¢ I send out letters asking for donations every year," he says.

In nominating Long as an All-Star, CABVI Executive Director John H. Mitchell credits him with raising $775,000 to fund CABVI services and projects, which include CABVI's music program, adaptive computer equipment, the agency's call center and two agency vehicles for use in transporting clients with vision loss.

"” J.R.

 
Larry Neuman
Cedar Village
Chair, Board
 
Inspired Responsibility to Seniors Drives Efforts
Larry Neuman might not remember every paper he wrote while studying at Tulane University, but he does remember the one he wrote in 1963 about Rosalie Cohen, a true leader in the national Jewish community and the first woman to head the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans.

It's people like Cohen who inspire him, Neuman says. And as Chair of the Cedar Village Foundation, he says he's fortunate to work with these kinds of people often.

"I've met a lot of wonderful people there "” residents who are very accomplished and deserve a vibrant Jewish community," he says.

And that's what Neuman has worked tirelessly to give them.

He has served on the Cedar Village Board of Trustees for nine years, including five years as treasurer. He has also served as Chair of both the Endowment and Finance committees, helping to obtain the foundation's tax-exempt status.

And recently, he became the first Chair of the Cedar Village Foundation, whose mission is to raise and invest funds for Cedar Village through events such as the annual golf outing, "Eight over 80" (which recognizes outstanding people in the community over the age of 80) and Battle of the Bands.

"I think we have a responsibility to our seniors to make their golden years as happy and as vital as possible "¢ When you get to utilize your specific skills for a nonprofit, it makes you feel really good."

"” J.R.


John Silverman
Talbert House
Immediate Past Board Chair
 
It's Exponential "” Helping Fathers Helps Children
As a valued volunteer for Talbert House, a community-wide nonprofit network of social services, John Silverman is able to do one of the things he values most: give back to the community.

While the Talbert House has more than 30 programs focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment and reintegration, Silverman found that it was the Fatherhood Project that really resonated with him.

"It teaches men how to be dads, and many clients don't have a good relationship with their own father, but they want to have a better relationship with their own kids," he says. "It's important to me not only because we help fathers form better relationships with their kids, but because we stop cycles that could go on for generations."

In 2011, Silverman chaired the Fatherhood Luncheon and helped host the Community Celebration for Fathers to spend a fun, free day with their children.

"It's a difficult statement for a man to say, "¢I'm not as good of a father as I should be, but I want to do something to change that.' If a man can buckle down and say that, then to me, we as a community need to help him," he says.

Though his own father passed away as the Fatherhood Project started to take off, Silverman is now father to two girls and hopes to pass on the great relationship he had with his father to them.

"I've got kids, and being a dad is the most important job I have "¢ I had a great Dad "¢ and the relationship between a father and his kid is very important," he says. "It's just unfortunate when it doesn't happen because it's such a simple thing "¢ It's (the Fatherhood Project) an exponential change. If we are improving the relationship of one father, that translates to us investing in their kids and grandkids."

In nominating Silverman as an All-Star, Neil Tilow, president and CEO of Talbert House, says, "John was not satisfied with an inaugural attendance of 1,000 (at the Fatherhood event) and has a goal to triple the outreach in 2012. During a time of significant budget cuts, John has raised over $150,000 and increased awareness to support services."

"” J.R.

 
Betsy Townsend 
Civic Garden Center
Board member
 
It's About Nature, Children and "Green Everywhere"
Betsy Townsend vows to never host a meeting in a windowless room. But if she really had her way, she'd also see a lot more "green" every time she peeked outside a city window.

That's why she has spent the past five years serving as a board member of the Civic Garden Center (CGC), helping to build a better community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship, with a strong focus on children.

"I have a passion for getting kids outside especially, and we have so many kids that don't have a place to be outside," Townsend says. "It's about supporting our mission of gardening everywhere, and doing that in an environmentally friendly way."

One way Townsend accomplished that was by working as project manager for CGC's Green Learning Station "” a former gas station transformed into the ultimate recycling project and demonstration site for "green" gardening. Making its debut in August, the station already has seen a lot of positive feedback from visitors and student field trips.

"One principal said he was so happy that he saw the kids forget about their iPhones and get engaged," she says.

Not only was Townsend a catalyst behind this unique effort, but according to CGC Board President Karen Sills, Townsend's overall fundraising efforts to date exceed $1 million.

In addition to her work at CGC, Townsend is also co-chair for Leave No Child Inside "” Greater Cincinnati, an organization that focuses on educating communities through outreach programs and collaborative efforts. It's about how time spent in nature is essential for the physical, mental and emotional health of all children.

"I know how I feel, and I've always been worried about inner-city kids," she says. "I think, "¢What would it have been like for me if I had no place to play outside? And how does that impact these kids emotionally?'

"I want to see green everywhere, a more pleasant environment. I want people to understand what impact that has on us in every way "¢ regardless about what you believe about climate change "¢ we're in a world with limited resources, and we need to protect them."

"” J.R.