At BrownFlynn, giving back to our local communities is core to our culture. Stakeholders stressed the importance of employee involvement in community organizations and participation on boards, stating BrownFlynn employees are poised to contribute to boards given their skillsets.

As a give back to the community in celebration of our 20th year in business, Principals and Co-Founders Barb Brown and Margie Flynn co-authored and self-published a book featuring stories and advice from 25 accomplished, influential women executives describing their personal experiences and journeys to success. The Firm has pledged to donate all net proceeds from book sales to support the education of young women transitioning out of foster care through the YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) Program. BrownFlynn is incredibly grateful to the women who took time out of their busy schedules to share their life experiences for inclusion into the book, and we are proud to share this valuable resource with everyone. Our BrownFlynn team members invested almost 800 hours into the book project during the reporting period.

During our 2015 staff retreat, we visited Spice Acres Farm to volunteer our time to tend to the grounds. Spice Acres is family-owned by a local chef and caterer, and serves as the main source of crops and livestock for his businesses. Spice Acres is one of 11 farms that are a part of a farm-leasing program in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park called the Countryside Initiative. This Initiative is managed in partnership with the Countryside Conservancy, and is the only program in the country that conserves National Park land through sustainable farming. Our team took a tour of the farm and learned about sustainable farming from the chef, and we capped off our day with a wonderful dinner prepared by the catering business, Spice of Life. We are lucky to live and work in proximity to such a wonderful resource and program.

We promote volunteerism in our business and culture through our Volunteer Time Off policy, which offers each employee 40 hours of paid volunteer time annually, including community involvement in performance reviews, and sponsoring company volunteer efforts.

Our team members serve on several boards and volunteer their time and talent to non-profit organizations in the Cleveland, Ann Arbor, and Pasadena areas, including:

  • Adoption Network Cleveland

  • American Cancer Society

  • Aurora Local Schools

  • Avon Local Schools

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland

  • Center for Arts Inspired Learning

  • Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

  • Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group

  • City of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability Advisory Council

  • City Year

  • Cleveland 2030 District

  • Cleveland Climate Action Fund

  • Cleveland Young Professional Senate

  • College Now Greater Cleveland’s Emerging Leader Program

  • Cornerstone Chapel

  • Corporate Sustainability Network

  • Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation

  • Epoch Pi, LLC

  • Food Gatherers

  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio

  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute

  • Hingetown Hoedown Music Festival

  • John Carroll University

  • Junior Achievement

  • Leadership Cleveland

  • Ohio University Honors Tutorial College Board of Visitors

  • St. Paschal Baylon Church

  • The Toledo Naturalists’ Association

  • Udall Alumni Association

  • Veggie U

  • Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University


Analyst Kate Lasco serves as chair of communications for the Udall Alumni Association board of directors. The Udall Foundation provides student scholarships and funding in fields related to environmental protection and Native American issues and rights.

Senior Consultant Jennifer Andress serves on the board of directors for Veggie U, an organization dedicated to increasing children’s awareness of healthy food options and teaching them how real food reached their plate. She is also a co-organizer for the Hingetown Hoedown, an annual folk, roots, and bluegrass festival that aims to bring the music of the mountains to Cleveland’s city streets. The festival is an all-day event that shuts down several city streets in the blossoming Hingetown neighborhood in Cleveland, and brings Ohio-based musicians and Cleveland-based food and art vendors together for a low-waste, high-energy event.

Associate Consultant Marissa Brydle is the 1st Vice Chair of the board of directors for Adoption Network Cleveland, a non-profit organization that provides support services for anyone touched by adoption or youth in foster care. Marissa has served on the board since 2011, and is co-chair of the Outreach & Development Committee and a member of the Special Events Committee.

Associate Consultant Jared Robbins serves on the board of directors for the Cleveland Young Professional Senate (CYPS), an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and inclusion of young professionals in civic decision making. BrownFlynn happily donates our office space as the meeting location for CYPS’ board. In 2016, CYPS partnered with The City Club of Cleveland and The Cleveland Foundation to present the Greater Cleveland Caucus Series, a year-long series of events to foster community engagement among Greater Cleveland residents.

An alumnus of City Year, Associate Consultant Jared Robbins continues to give back to City Year and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through his service on the City Year Cleveland Alumni Board. City Year, an AmeriCorps organization, partners with public schools in high-poverty communities to provide high-impact student, classroom, and school-wide support, to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success.

In 2015 the BrownFlynn Team volunteered at Spice Acres Farm as part of our annual staff retreat. We helped tend to the grounds while learning about sustainable farming, and enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the Farm’s catering business, Spice of Life.

Senior Consultant Jessica Urdangarin participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in 2015 and 2016, along with her two children. She also taught second grade students (2015) and first grade students (2016) through Junior Achievement.

Senior Design Consultant Jennifer Griffith volunteered her time and talent for many organizations during 2015-2016, including the Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group, the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, and the Girls Scouts of Northeast Ohio. For CCDSIG, Jennifer designed a logo, medal, and t-shirt for their 3.21 Go Run for World Down Syndrome Day 2016. The logo and medals were designed to be reused each year with different ribbons. She also designed the poster for the Youth Theatre’s production of Tales from the Brothers Grimm. Jennifer is a regular volunteer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio (as well as an adult member), including community service days, cleanup projects, food pantries, and camping with youth girl scouts.

Community Engagement & Volunteerism
Indicators & Performance
Key Performance Indicators 2013 Performance 2014 Performance 2015 Performance 2016 Performance
Paid Volunteer Time Off Hours 345.75 343.25 263 290.6
Paid Volunteer Time Off Value $94,944* $85,406* $59,261 $62,666
Additional Community Hours 87.75 326.75 326.25 349.85
Total Volunteer Hours 433.5 670.0 589.25 640.45
*Calculated at BrownFlynn’s actual hourly rates by role.