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Cleveland Foodbank and the Aids Taskforce honored with new Innovation Award from Case's Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations

The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University, a nationally recognized graduate program designed to build leadership skills in the nonprofit community, announced two inaugural winners of its new Nonprofit Innovation Award. Honored are the Cleveland Foodbank and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland for their "first rate job of reaching deep into the community and their astounding work in a complex environment," said David T. Abbott, Chair of the Mandel Center awards selection committee and Executive Director of the George Gund Foundation

David A. Simpson, chief executive officer of the Hospice of the Western Reserve, will receive the Mandel Center's 2006 Leadership Award. The award winners will receive recognition on March 28 at noon during the Mandel Center's annual Awards Luncheon at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel.

"This year the Mandel Center added the Innovation Award to be given to an organization in order to recognize outstanding work by a nonprofit that thinks outside of the box and is creative in its management and service to the community," stated Susan Lajoie Eagan, PhD, executive director of the Mandel Center. She went on to say that the selection committee was so impressed by the nominations that two exemplary organizations were selected for this first-time award.

"This is a very proud moment for the Cleveland Foodbank as there is no more prestigious award in Cleveland's nonprofit community than this," said Anne Goodman, the executive director of the Cleveland Foodbank.

The award selection committee cited the Cleveland Foodbank as "amazing" in its delivery of 14 million meals annually to fight hunger in Northeast Ohio Their innovations included completing a new distribution center which combined four buildings into one. The new facility in its first year distributed more than 1.1 million more pounds of food than in 2004. The new Center was also built using environmentally friendly or green design on a former Brownfield site. An additional result will be to reduce the Center's operating expenses in the long run.

Goodman praised the work of the Foodbank's donors, volunteers and dedicated people as making the program a big success.

The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland is one of the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service, prevention, education advocacy organizations in Ohio, annually serving over 2,000 people.

The selection committee said that the Task Force's efforts to build their organization through mergers and collaborations have been "exceptional."

"We're truly honored to have received the Mandel Center's Innovation Award. It is recognition of the passion and creativity of our Board, staff, volunteers and the community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS that we are here to serve," said Earl Pike, director of the AIDS Taskforce.

The Mandel Center will recognize Simpson for his work at the Hospice of the Western Reserve, and will continue the Center's tradition over the past decade of recognizing outstanding area leadership in the nonprofit sector. For 20 years, Simpson has played a profound role, and has had an immense impact nationally, around the hospice movement.

While honored by the award, Simpson is also "humbled."

"I am cognizant that it is our entire Hospice of the Western Reserve team that truly deserves this recognition. The Hospice is led by an amazing Board of Directors and a very talented management team," said Simpson.

The mission of the Hospice of the Western Reserve is to provide the highest quality palliative end-of-life care, caregiver support and bereavement services throughout Northeast Ohio.

"This award is a tribute to our entire staff of 1,700 paid and volunteer employees. It is their dedication and compassion that are the essence of our mission-based, not-for-profit organization," he added.

During the annual awards luncheon, Bill Shore, president of Share Our Strength, will give the keynote address. For luncheon information and reservations, contact Ann Lucas at 216-368-5214 or visit


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.