Economic Development

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Fund for Our Economic Future Names Samolczyk Chairman

December 12, 2017

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Members of Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaborative of foundations, corporations, universities and local governments in northeastern Ohio have elected Mark Samolczyk, president and CEO of Stark Community Foundation, as chairman.

Samolczyk, who is the fund’s fifth chairman, succeeds Brian Frederick, who recently retired as president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

Samolczyk, who joined the Stark Community Foundation in October 2009, has served as vice chairman, and he sits on a number of civic boards, including Team NEO, JumpStart, the Stark Economic Development Board and the Downtown Canton Land Bank.

“The fund is the leader on inclusive economic growth in our region and I hope to further bring to ground its research, expertise, and regional economic development strategy and support in our local communities,” Samolczyk said in a news release.

Samolczyk’s term will run through March 2020, when he will be eligible for a two more two-year terms.

Fund members elected Samolczyk during the final meeting of the year at Cuyahoga Community College’s Advanced Technology Training Center on Dec. 7. Voting members include a variety of philanthropic organizations that give a minimum of $100,000 over three years to the fund.

During the meeting, members also awarded several grants to support  job creation,  preparation and access in the region.

Awards included:

  • Up to $400,000 to BioEnterprise for one year of operating expenses to advance the region’s biomedical cluster, including its work to provide business growth services to biomedical companies and its health information technology talent initiative to grow talent for the sector and improve access to jobs for more people across northeastern Ohio.
  • Up to $270,000 to Magnet to support its Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers program, which helps small and midsize companies innovate and reach their growth potential. And up to $50,000 to support Magnet’s Early College Early Career youth apprenticeship program, which aims to connect inner-city and rural students directly to open, high-paying positions available in the region’s manufacturing sector.

“Despite many achievements in the last decade-plus, the region continues to face real economic challenges. We are leaving people behind and further widening the economic and racial divide,” said Brad Whitehead, president of the fund. “Our actions today advance our commitment to ensuring all people in northeast Ohio participate in and benefit from our growth.”

Pictured: Mark Samolczyk.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.