At BrownFlynn, we believe in giving back to our local communities as a vital part of our everyday activities. Additionally, stakeholders indicated the importance of employee involvement in community organizations and participation on boards, stating that BrownFlynn employees are poised to contribute to boards given their skillsets.

Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (SC2019) is a city-wide initiative to enhance the vitality and sustainability of Cleveland, Ohio, through active engagement of its citizens and its business community. Each year since 2010, SC2019 has focused this engagement around a specific topic fundamental to becoming a sustainable economy, such as Renewable Energy. BrownFlynn was an integral part of getting SC2019 off the ground, and continues to participate in the annual Summits and serve on the SC2019 Stewardship Council.

We integrate volunteerism into 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. This is a common trend among companies aspiring to be top places to work, as people seek to work for companies that have volunteer opportunities or other corporate responsibility efforts.

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

  • Adoption Network Cleveland

  • American Cancer Society

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland

  • Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

  • City Beautiful

  • City of Cleveland Sustainability Advisory Council

  • City Year

  • Cleveland Young Professional Senate

  • Cleveland 2030 District

  • Corporate Sustainability Network

  • Food Gatherers

  • John Carroll University

  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute

  • VeggieU


Managing Director Mike Wallace served within the Corporate Responsibility Association as the Chair of both the Responsible Sourcing Thought Leadership Council and the Ratings & Rankings Thought Leadership Council. Mike is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Guidance Advisory Group, the American Bar Association’s Sustainability Task Force, the Advisory Board Center for Health & Safety Sustainability, and the Steering Committee of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Impact Sourcing Initiative.
Senior Consultant Jennifer Andress is on the board of directors of VeggieU, which is dedicated to increasing children’s awareness of healthy food options, and teaching them how real food reaches their plate. The organization believes that children who are exposed to growing their own food are more likely to include vegetables in their diet. The national non-profit organization supplies Classroom Gardens and a standards-based, five-week science program to elementary and special needs students.
Marketing Manager Marissa Brydle is a “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland (BBBS), serving as a role model and mentor for her “Little Sister” Jalacia since 2011. BBBS pairs adult volunteers and youth ages nine through 18 in one-to-one relationships that help children realize their full potential and leave a lasting, positive impact on their lives.
Marketing Manager Marissa Brydle is the Second Vice Chair of Adoption Network Cleveland, which supports anyone touched by adoption, including supporting youth waiting for adoptive families, helping prospective and adoptive families, assisting adult adoptees and birth families, and being a resource in the community.
Associate Consultant Jared Robbins is Treasurer of the Cleveland Young Professional Senate. Jared also co-chairs the City Year Cleveland alumni board and is a member of the national alumni advisory board.
Associate Consultant Sarah Corrigan serves on the Weatherhead School of Management Alumni Advisory Council at Case Western Reserve University.
In 2014, BrownFlynn’s entire team volunteered in the Cleveland community. One group cleaned up a neighborhood park as part of the Thriving Communities Institute of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The other group contributed to cleanup efforts at St. Luke’s Manor with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Linda Warren, the Senior Vice-President of Placemaking, expressed her gratitude and stated, “The hard work and enthusiasm of your team went a long way in helping us reclaim the hillside” from vegetation.
Barb Brown and Margie Flynn received the 2014 Irish Walks of Life Award from the Irish American Archives Society in honor of their contributions to Northeast Ohio through sustainability consulting and community engagement.
Director of Learning and Senior Consultant Cora Lee Mooney volunteered on the Corporate Responsibility Association Professional Development Committee throughout 2014 and organized a webinar on GRI and SASB for members.
Senior Consultant Jessica Urdangarin has participated in Relay for Life of Ann Arbor since 2013, raising funds on behalf of the American Cancer Society for research, education, advocacy, and service. Her team, which includes her young son, has generated over $4,000 in donations each year—and was honored as the “Rookie Team of the Year” in 2013.
Senior Design Consultant Jennifer Griffith offered her design expertise pro bono to several organizations. She created performance posters for the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, and invitations for Adoption Network Cleveland’s 2014 Creating Futures Benefit and Silent Auction and the 2013 Fundraiser Benefiting the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation.
Emily Bryant volunteered three times per month with Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio by visiting children who battle adversity (mental disability or illness) at children’s hospitals, special needs centers, or charity events. The goal is to make children smile and forget that they are ill. The volunteers give the children certificates for being super heroes, powering through adversity, and inspiring others along the way. Emily described that the children she worked with are “an infinite source of inspiration and a true testament to the spirit of perseverance” and she believes it is a “privilege to use [her] personal experience with adversity to bring comfort and happiness to others, even if only for a brief moment.”
In 2014, Analyst Brittany VanderBeek volunteered on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Polar Express as an elf reader, where she read the Polar Express story, sang Christmas songs and led pajama fashion shows and other contests with families in Northeast Ohio as the train traveled to the North Pole. Brittany described that “the magic of Christmas has a whole new meaning to [her] after volunteering on the Polar Express. It was so rewarding to spread the holiday cheer with the community and watch kids and families light up as I read the Polar Express story and sang songs!”

Read about BrownFlynn’s community engagement in 2013 here.

Community Engagement & Volunteerism
Indicators & Performance
Key Performance Indicators 2013 Performance 2014 Performance
Paid Volunteer Time Off Hours 345.75 343.25
Paid Volunteer Time Off Value $94,944* $85,406*
Additional Community Hours 87.75 326.75
Total Volunteer Hours 433.5 670.0
*Calculated at BrownFlynn’s actual hourly rates by role.