Corporate Volunteer Update

Corporate Volunteer UpdateBeth A. KapesHost Committee

The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee has been busy recruiting thousands of volunteers to help welcome the 50,000 visitors to our region in July. In addition to a tremendous response from the local community, numerous corporations have become involved by organizing groups of employee volunteers to help Cleveland and Northeast Ohio shine while in the Republican National Convention spotlight.

One example of corporate volunteer spirit is Ohio CAT. Headquartered in Broadview Heights, Ohio CAT is the exclusive authorized dealer for Caterpillar equipment and engines throughout Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. With origins that date back to 1945, Ohio CAT has been led by three generations of the Taylor family. Pride in its own history is one reason why Ohio CAT is enthusiastic to be part of what the Convention will present historically.

“Our owner Ken Taylor believes we need to be good citizens in the communities in which we live and work. The Convention has given us the opportunity to engage our employees in this historic event,” explains Paul Liesem, vice president of Ohio CAT. “The last Convention was 80 years ago, and the next one could be just as distant.”

Organizing the troops
As a top Caterpillar dealer, Ohio CAT employs over 1,100 people in more than 20 locations. This outreach throughout the region is a valuable logistic in organizing volunteer efforts.

“We have 50 employees volunteering their time,” Liesem states. “They are thrilled to be part of this, and many have said they’ll participate in as many shifts as they can.”

Suzanne Phillips, who helped organize Ohio CAT’s efforts, shares that when the opportunity to volunteer for the Host Committee was offered to employees, there were some questions about whom they were actually volunteering for. “It was easy for me to clarify that this had nothing to with being a Republican or Democrat—it’s about being a good ambassador for the city,” she says.

The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee is not affiliated with any political party. Its primary responsibility is to organize the logistics, host and fund the Convention—efforts that promote Northeast Ohio and ensure Cleveland is best represented while lessening the burden of local governments to support the Convention’s success.

“The Convention is about engaging our employees in something bigger than we are as an organization,” adds Liesem. “It’s about giving back to the community.”

Corporate considerations
The Host Committee corporate volunteer opportunities mirror those open to the public both downtown and throughout Northeast Ohio. From roles that guide visitors traveled through hotels or serving as “wayfinders” in highly travelled corridors throughout downtown and University Circle, volunteers will play a prominent role during the Convention.

Companies can select activity and location preferences for employee participation, with each corporate volunteer required to work two four-hour shifts. Volunteers will work in groups of four per shift, with most shifts falling between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For those companies considering a potential group role with the Host Committee’s volunteer efforts, Liesem states they will have no regrets. “This is our chance to engage our employees in this historic event, celebrate citizenship in the United States and showcase Cleveland and Northeast Ohio to the world.”

If your company is interested in volunteering for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, click here. Or, email for more information.