EXAIR celebrates Founder’s Day each year on February 22nd (or the closest working day) in order to commemorate the birthday of our founder, Roy Sweeney. He founded the company in 1983 and drove EXAIR to become the strong, successful and innovative company that it has over the years. Roy led EXAIR for 33 years. Today would have been his 87th birthday.
We choose to make this day a celebration and a day to mark our ongoing commitment to the service of others in keeping with the values that Roy and his wife Jackie felt (and feel) very strongly about. We continue to look outside our company, outside ourselves and outside our immediate surroundings to do what we can to improve the world around us.
This marks our 5th Founder’s Day. Over the past four years, we have supported a total of 21 different charities with direct, substantial donations as part of our commitment to organizations that are making a difference right here in our area. This year, we have chosen to further deepen our commitment by contributing to all 21 organizations that we have supported in past years:
Cincinnati Works Partners with all willing and capable people living in poverty to assist them in advancing to economic self-sufficiency through employment https://cincinnatiworks.org/
Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati Helps eliminate substandard housing locally and globally by building and renovating decent, affordable homes to sell to low-income first-time homebuyers. https://www.habitatcincinnati.org/
Matthew 25: Ministries Provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief along with partners in the Greater Cincinnati area, across the US and in more than 60 countries https://m25m.org/
SPCA Cincinnati Offers programs including animal adoptions, animal cruelty investigations, spaying and neutering shelter animals, companion animal and wildlife rescue https://spcacincinnati.org/
Tender Mercies Transforms the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing security, dignity, and community in a place they call home https://www.tendermerciesinc.org/
Women’s Crisis Center Supporting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse https://www.wccky.org/
Dragonfly Foundation Supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families www.dragonfly.org
Master Provisions Supporting those in need with food, clothing and other items in the Greater Cincinnati area and abroad through mission trips www.masterprovisons.org
Cincinnati Youth Collaborative Supporting vulnerable children and young adults to overcome obstacles and succeed in education, career, and life www.cycyouth.org
Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House provides a home for critically ill children and their families while they get the life-saving medical care they need www.rmhcincinnati.org
Women Helping Women Prevents gender-based violence and provides evidence-based prevention and expert crisis intervention and support services for survivors of dating violence, sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking www.womenhelpingwomen.org
Elementz Elementz is an urban oasis of hope and a catalyst of change for Cincinnati’s inner-city youth. This Urban Arts Center fosters talent, ignites potential and inspires possibilities. www.elementz.org
Special Olympics Ohio Special Olympics Ohio is part of the global inclusion movement using sports, health education, and leadership programs to empower people with intellectual disabilities. www.sooh.org
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra The CSO is situated in the heart of Cincinnati and is contributing at every level to serving our community and elevating Cincinnati’s vibrant cultural scene. www.cincinnatisymphony.org
MusiCorps MusiCorps is a conservatory-level music rehabilitation program that helps wounded warriors play music and recover their lives. www.musicorps.net
EXAIR also established an Employee Volunteer Program in 2018 that enables every full-time employee with at least 90 days of service to volunteer with organizations of their choice during the normal work week with full pay by EXAIR. The COVID pandemic has impacted our ability to volunteer with outside organizations for nearly a year. We look forward to better days when we can collectively work with organizations in our community to improve the lives of those in need.
So, as we celebrate Founder’s Day today, we wish Roy a happy birthday. We miss having him here. We remember what he did for all of us and for countless others. And we pledge to continue his commitment to helping those who need it.
Over the weekend we had an incredible art installation take place and they call it BLINK! This event takes place in downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, spanning more than 30 city blocks and crossing the historic John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River. BLINK turns the region into an outdoor art museum with large-scale projection mapping, murals, and immersive art. All of the entries have some kind of light element and center around light.
There are so many people involved in the opening night parade, including University of Cincinnati art students, local dance studios, art collectives, high school bands, and local companies. Each of them helped kick off the festivities with brightly lit costumes and accessories for all to enjoy.
This is the second year for this event and the first year we went downtown to see it, and man was it incredible! These artists must put months of work into the installations they create. I tried to get a few photos but i was so amazed I only took this one!
This is just one example of the amazing projections! To be honest there were so many installations it would probably take someone all four days to see them.
Not only do I give props to the artist who designed the installations, but kudos to the engineers who brought their ideas to life. We suspect there will be a BLINK 2020 but are waiting to hear the announcement. Many EXAIR folks went down to visit the event, we are happy (and proud) to support our local art communities by spreading the word and enjoying what they have brought to this event.
Today I had the honor to participate in a local memorial event to recognize 9/11/2001. This was the fifth year for the event in which participants climb 2,071 stairs within Nippert Statium at The University of Cincinnati. This number symbolizes the stairs of the 110 floors each of the World Trade Center towers had. The amount of time to complete the event is 56 minutes. This was my first time attending the event and I must say, I was awestruck.
The number of people that attended the event was amazing. The event started at 6:34 this morning, I arrived around 5:30 and met with a local group that were going to ruck the stairs rather than simply running / walking. We each carried a pack, ruck sack, with us with a 30 lb weight plate. The goal was to complete the 4 laps that the event required.
As I was going through the repetitions up and down the stairs, they were making announcements of the events that transpired on that day in history, and the names of those that lost their lives scrolled across an electronic screen I began to recount where I was on that day. I was actually on that exact campus just a few hundred yards away. I walked right through that stadium on 9/11 to go to class.
The stairs began to wear on me quickly and I was only halfway through my first lap. Then I saw a group of young ROTC students with Xavier University’s Air Force ROTC program. That picked my hopes up for a bit and I went on. The harder it got for me the more details I remembered about that day. The more flights I did the more I thought about those that lost their lives, seeing the names I began to take a step for each one just to push on to the next. At the end of the time I did not complete the 4 laps needed to commemorate the total number of stairs. I did complete two full laps of stairs knowing that after that event was done I still get to go home and hug my family.
This day is always going to be a day of remembrance in my family. Today, I was lucky enough to commemorate it among some amazing veterans, active duty, and future military and first responders.
Throughout my tenure here at EXAIR I have seen the company give to many different organizations and to the team members here. Recently we implemented a program where employees are allowed to choose a charity of their choice to go and volunteer for a day each year. This year for my volunteer day a group of seven members from EXAIR went to help a non-profit organization that focuses on helping students and teachers in 16 local counties.
The organization, Crayons to Computers is a free store for teachers in these counties that surround Cincinnati. The store is stocked with donations from corporate and private entities and staffed by volunteers. Their inventory can be anywhere from classroom supplies, books, decorations, technology equipment, even stocked book bags to give to students. The store is the largest of its kind here in the United States and has been serving the Cincinnati area for 20 years. Their belief is that a teacher should not have to spend money out of their pocket to supply students in need with school supplies and to ensure that schools in need have access to supplies that aren’t always easily available.
They have a sales floor where the teachers shop and then a large warehouse where the donations are all sorted and stocked for easy pull to the sales floor when needed. This is where our team spent the day. We did jobs like sorting books by reading level, organizing / packaging chair mats, unloading trucks, and finally, consolidating over 30,000 boxes of 24 count crayons so that their valuable warehouse space was being used more efficiently. These crayons were all donated by financial institutions here locally that had challenged each other to see who could donate more. It still isn’t the amount of crayons that they will supply to teachers within this school year, but it helps tremendously.
By volunteering our time we were also able to give 10 teachers who’s school would not normally qualify for shopping at Crayons To Computers the ability to go and shop for a day. This was an added bonus that we were made aware of after the fact. This is yet another way that Crayons to Computers gives to our community.
One of the best takeaways I have from this year is that I got to give back to an organization that my amazing wife would shop at when she was teaching students in need. It was organized by someone here on our team that had no knowledge of my personal connection. We ended up getting more done than they had ever hoped to get out of 7 volunteers. This was all made possible by a company that doesn’t just focus on making excellent products and providing top notch customer service. EXAIR is also focusing on making sure our team members interests are embraced by letting them choose how to give their time and the companies time to a cause they believe will give back to our local community.
If you would like to inquire about donations or how you could help Crayons to Computers, please check out their site directly.