When Aultman Hospital CEO Christopher Remark first began supporting United Way of Greater Stark County, he knew it played a vital role in the community. But it wasn’t until he joined the organization’s board of directors in 2011 that he fully appreciated its impact.
“When I started giving nearly 25 years ago, I knew [United Way of Greater Stark County] was a good cause and a good organization,” said Remark. “But when I became a board member, I learned so much more about what they do and how crucial it is to this area.”
Remark said it was the organization’s unique allocation process that resonated with him.
“It’s so inclusive. There are people from all walks of life and all parts of the community who are helping to decide how these donations are going to be invested. It’s not a small, select group of three people or United Way’s CEO. It’s the community that decides how their dollars can be best put to use,” he said.
During his tenure as chair of the board, Remark helped guide United Way through its transition to a new funding process.
“For a long time, the allocations always went out to agencies. But we strategically changed that process to fund initiatives in the areas of health, education and financial stability. So whichever organizations can best help us to meet those goals, that’s who we’re going to fund,” he said.
With that fundamental switch, the organization created an impact that led to measurable results throughout the community.
“We started to see more change and greater outcomes aligned with the mission of United Way,” he said. “[Agencies] began to change their programming to meet those goals and impact areas, so everyone was better aligned.”
In 2019, Remark received one of United Way of Greater Stark County’s Gold Key Service Awards, which recognizes individuals in the local community who continually demonstrate the highest degree of personal dedication and service.
Although his board tenure ended in 2018, Remark continues to stay actively involved, and he encourages others to do the same.
“My favorite thing with United Way is their annual Day of Caring, because it engages so much of our community,” said Remark. “It allowed me to see firsthand the work that their funded partners are doing to make a difference. It also helped me understand how important the funds are that come from United Way to fulfill that mission. To me, that just cemented why I was involved.”
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