Giving Back

As one-year ends and another begins, it is a natural time for reflection. It also coincides with the season of giving. Looking back over the past year, I am proud of what our employees have done of their own accord and as part of the company to give back to the communities we serve.

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Engaging in philanthropic activities fosters a sense of community and teamwork among employees. When colleagues come together to contribute their time and effort towards a common cause, it builds a strong bond that transcends the typical work environment. This camaraderie can lead to improved collaboration and communication within the workplace, enhancing overall team dynamics.

Volunteering allows employees to develop a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment. By giving back to the community, individuals often find a renewed sense of meaning in their work and personal lives. Engaging in charitable activities can provide a sense of accomplishment, boosting morale and job satisfaction.

Now they call this focus on giving back – Corporate Social Responsibility. However, we just feel it’s our obligation to the community and our employees since they often spearhead the groups we are involved with.

Here are a few highlights from our year of service:

The Great Outdoors

I don’t get out as much as I would like, but we sure have some impressive golfers on our staff who are out on the greens helping to raise funds with our clients and colleagues. This year, we sponsored the Cleveland Christian Home (now part of The Centers) annual golf outing. We have sponsored this event for over 30 years, and it was important to our founder, Bob Fortney. We are proud of our decades of support for this organization and their youth centered mission.

Our golfing prowess (or at least confidence) had us on several courses supporting other causes like the Jimmy Malone Scholarship Fund, Kent State University School of Architecture and Fore the Kids. We donated time and funds to help support these causes.

When not on a golf course, we were at the beach. (Construction is tough, right?). We participated in local efforts to keep the shores of Lake Erie and surrounding waterways clean as part of the education and outreach of Drink Local, Drink Tap. We had 18 people hit the shores and collect 965 pieces of trash (weighing in at 18lbs). Most of it was bits of plastic and other debris. It’s astonishing what washes up!

Feats of Strength

We spend a lot of time in planes due to performing work all over the country for our clients. This fall, we had a different experience at the airport. We were on the tarmac pulling the plane (to the gate perhaps?). This was part of the Special Olympics Plane Pull fundraising event. We proudly raised $2,433 for the organization and had twelve of our strongest out pulling a plane. Look for them at an airport near you!

Collections and Distributions

Throughout the year we support many of the local organizations with collections at offices and jobsites. We recently collected toys for the local Safety Council. This fall, we collected 289 books for the Kids Book Bank – a huge success! We also participated in a blood drive this November for the American Red Cross.

We also have a long-standing company tradition of food distribution going back to our founder handing out turkeys in the community during the holidays. We have expanded on that tradition with frequent volunteer events at the Cleveland Food Bank. We are gladly put to work on a range of activities from sorting pallets to most recently packing 240 boxes of food.


Occasionally, we get to shake the dirt and dust of the jobsite off and promote some of the great non-profits we work with at a dinner or event. We had the opportunity to support Drink Local, Drink Tap at their annual Splash party while hosting valued clients and partners to help preserve freshwater resources and promote equitable access to clean water globally. We also supported the efforts of the Honduran Children’s Rescue Fund at their annual event in Cleveland.

These are just a few of the highlights we did as a company. However, I want to also recognize all the work our employees do giving back in their own way. Our company is full of volunteer coaches, Scout leaders, dog cage cleaners, PTA members, committee volunteers, and board members. It’s all part of our mission to build – not only buildings, but to build each other up and the community around us.

Mitch Lapin

Mitch Lapin is President at Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. His responsibilities are to drive the growth of Fortney & Weygandt, Inc.’s general contracting service nationwide. Lapin works closely with Fortney & Weygandt’s Board of Directors, Management Team and all employees to serve clients and partners on all projects.