The Leadership Akron Alumni Association has named Laura Culp, Ron Kopp, Kyle Kutuchief, Amanda Leffler, and Brian Pollak as this year’s recipients of its Read Family Difference Maker Award. The Read Family Difference Maker Award honors an individual(s) who have been instrumental in expanding the scope and impact of Leadership Akron’s mission and work. The 2018 award recognizes the Leadership Akron and Torchbearers Partnership Agreement Team that forged the formal partnership between Leadership Akron and Torchbearers.
In 2009, Leadership Akron and Torchbearers announced an agreement to collaborate efforts to advance community leadership in the Akron area by empowering and connecting existing and emerging leaders to a broader continuum of community leadership. Through this collaboration, both organizations support one another in programming, fund development, events, communications, and more.
Laura Culp of Sikich, LLP, and Brian Pollak of UBS Financial, began the initial stages of the process to establish the formal relationship between Leadership Akron and Torchbearers. They enlisted attorneys Ron Kopp of Roetzel & Andress, L.P.A., and Amanda Leffler of Brouse McDowell, to formalize the legal agreement. Kyle Kutuchief of Knight Foundation, who would assume the role as Torchbearers president later that year, was a part of the agreement from ideation through implementation overseeing the relationship between the two entities that he would ultimately carry forward through his tenure. “We are thrilled to honor these key individuals who were instrumental in shaping the relationship between Leadership Akron and Torchbearers. The collective effort of this core group has transformed how Akron approaches community leadership development,” said Scott Read, Co-Founder of Torchbearers.
In consulting with the namesakes of the award, Roger, Judy, and Scott, about the focus and nature of the Read Family Difference Maker Award, a shared aspiration emerged to make the award not only a form of recognition, but an opportunity to create something meaningful for others. The resulted concept was an installation of Gingko trees at Cascade Locks Park that would add to the environmental and scenic quality of the area for the benefit of its public users. The recipients of the Read Family Difference Maker Award will be recognized with a ceremonial Gingko tree planting in October.