News and Announcements

United Way Day of Action, by Logan Rice

Posted by Torchbearers, Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 @ 1:03am

  • On June 20 the 21st annual United Way Day of Action took place and the Torchbearers invited the interns from the Intern Edge program to participate. Day of Action is a day of work and play that benefits local nonprofit health and human service agencies in Summit County. Different groups and companies are assigned specific parts of the community that need assistance.

    Torchbearers were assigned to Camp Manatoc, a summer camp for Boy Scouts that helps them sharpen their outdoor skills. Service activities ranged from painting picnic tables to taking down soccer nets. Afterwards, they let us climb on the rock wall and served us lunch with the Boy Scouts. As an intern, I felt that during these fun activities, I made meaningful new connections with some of the leaders involved with Torchbearers. Day of Action was a beautiful way to help make the Akron community a better place to live.

Thankful for Intern Edge, by Alex Daher

Posted by Torchbearers, Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 @ 1:02am

  • The Intern Edge program is an amazing opportunity that I am extremely thankful to be involved in. At first, I did not know what to expect from intern edge and honestly after a long day of work the last thing I wanted to do was go to a three-hour “meeting”. After attending the first event my attitude came full circle, and now I look forward to Wednesday at 4:30 and usually end up trying to stay much past seven. This program has giving me a whole new perspective of my hometown in which for so many years I took for granted. Over the last few weeks it has been amazing to hear how many opportunities there are in Akron not only professionally but socially as well. We in the intern edge program have learned numerous skills from how to “work a room” to being a great leader and even what one should wear in the workplace. These invaluable lessons are not brought to us in the usually lecture format we as college student are so accustom too but brought to us with smiles, passion, laughter, engaging conversations, networking and fun.

    Two weeks ago, myself and fourteen other intern edge participants attended a power lunch event with Jason DiLauro. I work in financial services and was very interested to hear what Jason, who runs an extremely successful financial services practice, had to say. Now Jason’s energy was more than enough to get anyone excited but he was also gracious enough to share his candid, blunt opinions on several important topics from why having an internship is important to how great Akron is and even a quick financial planning lesson. I truly believe the interactions and connections the intern edge program has created between employers, their executives with the students and recent graduates will pay dividends for many years to come for all parties involved. This has been an amazing experience.

Leading By Example, by Alex Shannon

Posted by Torchbearers, Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 @ 11:44am

  • Intern Edge has given me a wonderful perspective on the Akron area and how closely knit the city is. Again, tonight reassured my decision to stay in Akron and begin a career when I graduate from The University of Akron. The notion that Akron is a “small, big town” was again proven tonight with 20 community leaders coming together at the First Merit building to speak with our group on Leading by Example. This session offered the opportunity to learn from not only these prominent community leaders who have dedicated their time to help us, but the other interns participating in the program. We were presented with questions that challenged us to think about the characteristics and what steps it takes to be a great leader.

    The afternoon began with Justin Hilton discussing his “Secrets to Success.” I can probably speak on behalf of the group when saying he was an engaging and influential speaker. He stressed the importance of developing habits that will lead to your success and how every aspect of your life leads up to these habits. Another talking point he had was the significance of having a mentor and someone to look up to. This really hit home for me because I have been fortunate enough to have someone to turn to for advice on my professional and personal career, so I understand how powerful it can be. In conclusion, he spoke for all of the community leaders in the room when saying how you should give back to your community, with your time and money. Anyone that has been in the program would agree the people and leaders of Akron share the value of service to their community.

    With each Intern Edge session, I learn more about how much that Akron has to offer. It is incredible how much time the people of Akron contribute to our community, therefore, making it a better place to live. Being a longtime resident in the Akron area, it is easy to lose sight of the resources just in our backyard. Going through the program has opened my eyes to all of the great people, events, and places to enjoy.

Plugging In, by Logan Rice

Posted by Torchbearers, Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 @ 8:31am

  • Before attending college at Ohio University, I lived in Cuyahoga Falls my entire life. Akron was always in my backyard, but after attending the Plugging In session at Intern Edge, I really never knew what I was missing out on in the community. During the session at Canal Park, representatives from the Akron Zoo, Summit Metro Parks, and the Akron Civic Theatre explained exciting events that are happening this summer. There were also food experts from local restaurants that suggested some of Akron’s hidden gems and professionals that recommended some of the popular places to live in the area for young professionals. Summit County Executive, Russ Pry, and the owner of the Rubber Ducks, Ken Babby, also gave advice on events in Akron and explained why they love the community.

    After each Intern Edge Session, I've learned more about Akron and what it has to offer young professionals. The Plugging In session encouraged interns to explore the unique events that Akron holds this summer and after the session I know that I will definitely be in attendance at many of these events.

TB Family Picnic for TB Members & Alumni, Rescheduled

  • Friday, May 16th, 2014 at 5pm - 7pm
    Location: Winery at Wolf Creek, 2637 S Cleveland-Massillon Rd, Norton

    Join fellow TB Members along with their family members (kids included) and significant others…

    • 12 people attended

5th Annual Recruitment Mixer

  • Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 5pm - 7pm
    Location: Akron Art Museum, 1 South High Street, Akron

TB Family Picnic for TB Members & Alumni ***POSTPONED***

  • Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: Winery at Wolf Creek, 2637 S Cleveland-Massillon Rd, Norton

    Due to the weather, the TB Family Picnic will be postponed.

    Join fellow TB Members…

    • 24 people attended

AkRun & Crawl

  • Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 at 5pm - 11:59pm
    Location: Behind the AES Building, 388 South Main Street, Akron

    Join us for Torchbearers' eighth annual AkRun & Crawl on Saturday, August 23, 2014. The…

Why I love Akron, by Kat Pestian

Posted by Torchbearers, Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 @ 11:19am

  • When I turned down a job offer in Los Angeles after college my friends thought I was crazy. When I moved from Columbus, Ohio back to my hometown of Akron, no one understood (well, no one but my overjoyed family).  I could never quite put it into words why I love Akron so much, until this morning at 8:17 a.m.

    Running late for work, I was backing out of my driveway when the telltale sound of spinning tires echoed in my ears.  My little white VW Jetta was stuck in the snow. I put the car in reverse…nothing. I put it in drive…nothing. My husband had already left for the day, it was -10 degrees outside, and I was stuck—blocking half of Melbourne Avenue. I called my dad, my husband, and my brother-in-law for advice, but no one answered. With my nose hairs freezing, I began to shovel under my car, desperately trying to remove the snow under my tires.  After digging for several minutes, I put my car in drive, then reverse…still nothing.

    Suddenly a loud voice coming from the cab of a large, gold pickup truck said, “Hi, I’m Bill. Try this.” This stranger walked over to the front of my car and asked me to accelerate while he pushed. He didn’t ask if he could help, he just helped.

    It didn’t work. After five minutes of my car being as stubborn as my English Bulldog, Bill had to leave for work and I began to call AAA.  As I dialed my phone, another neighbor stopped. He was dressed in a crisp business suit, offered a very kind “good morning,” and began to push my car while I remained behind the wheel pedal to the metal. As he was pushing, two other neighbors parked behind him and walked over to help. With little introduction, they all began working together and, miraculously, my car moved out onto the snow-covered bricks of Melbourne Avenue.

    I jumped out and cheered while they smiled, each telling me to have a wonderful day. As they began to walk away, I said the only words I could think of: “Thank you, you are my angels!” They smiled and I added, “Oh, by the way, I was having this crazy morning, running late, and today’s my birthday. You guys absolutely made my day.” As they all started wishing me a happy birthday, one of the neighbors said, “Oh! It’s my wife’s birthday, and tomorrow is our anniversary. We’ll be married 31 years.”

    Bundled up in sub-zero temperatures and stuck in the snow, I realized why I love this town. In Akron—and specifically on Melbourne Avenue—people don’t ask to help, they just help. People celebrate each other, and are proud of the love they share in their lives and the love that surrounds them. Not a single person drove by me this morning without getting out and helping. No one.

    To my neighbors who stopped to help the girl with the ridiculously big fuzzy earmuffs and frozen hands, you reminded me of my faith in the power of this great community. This town offers what we all want in our lives, and the best birthday gift is a reminder that when harmony exists within, it shines through to the outside, too.

    Harmony exists on my street, and in my Akron, and it shines through on to those we touch throughout the day. Thank you, Akron!

Torchbearers Announces Class of 2014

Posted by Torchbearers, Thursday, January 9th, 2014 @ 9:52am

  • Thirty-Nine young leaders selected to Torchbearers’ tenth class

    Torchbearers, a Greater Akron young professional organization, is proud to announce the selection of 39 future leaders for its Class of 2014.  The organization had a record number of applications creating the most competitive selection process to date.  As a result, Torchbearers is proud to present an exceptionally strong and professionally diverse class of future leaders in Greater Akron. 

    Members of this new class will take part in a year-long curriculum devoted to leadership development, community service and talent attraction and retention in Greater Akron.  Members will have the opportunity to participate in the Torchbearers College Curriculum, serve the community through unique volunteer opportunities and network with community leaders. 

    Recruiting an incoming class that is representative of Greater Akron community was especially important to Torchbearers.  

    “I’m excited to collaborate with other community-minded professionals on how we can make a positive impact in Akron,” said Jennifer Hertzig, practice growth manager at BCG & Company, and Torchbearers Class of 2014 member.

    Priya Srinivasan, senior engineer at Bridgestone Americas and Torchbearers Class of 2014 member, said “I look forward to the new opportunities Torchbearers will bring including new friends, new activities, and the opportunity to work closely with the non-profits in the area.”


    Blake Babcock
    Fast Switch

    Rachel Barnette
    The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

    Brian Berg
    United Way of Summit County

    Taylor Bond
    EdgePoint Capital Advisors

    Catherine Breck
    Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

    Russell Burgett
    Cohen & Company, Ltd.

    Alison Caplan
    Akron Art Museum

    Katie Carver
    Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

    Emily Clark
    Dental Ceramics Inc

    Chip Clupper
    County of Summit

    Melissa Cort

    Michael Davis
    Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology

    Jaclyn Donadio
    Apple Growth Partners

    Katie Greenwald
    Hitchcock Fleming & Associates

    Annie Hanson
    The University of Akron

    Jennifer Hertzig
    BCG & Company

    Jessica Knopp
    Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP

    Zachary Kohl
    Akron Area YMCA

    Willy Kollman
    The University of Akron

    Melanie Korman Roddy
    Benjamin Media, Inc.

    Vincent LaGuardia
    FirstEnergy Corp.

    Morgan Lasher
    Graphic Publications

    Drew Maconachy
    Maconachy Stradley Insurance

    Erin Maconachy
    Outcast Media

    David Oeschger
    Roetzel & Andress L.P.A.

    Marissa Pappas
    Marissa M. Pappas, Esq.

    Kat Pestian
    Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

    Stacey Pinter
    March of Dimes

    Amanda Pry
    Roetzel & Andress

    Nicole Rataski
    Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

    Brooks Rutledge
    Mortgage Information Services

    Jane Spelich
    Old Carolina Barbecue Company

    Priya Srinivasan

    Brian Steere
    Steere Enterprises, Inc.

    Jessica Tepus
    Bober Markey Fedorovich

    Christian Turner
    GAR foundation

    Kristen Uitenham
    The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

    Cathy Vue
    Asian Services In Action, Inc.

    Alison White
    Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) - Akron Hub/ The University of Akron

    Future leaders ages 25-39 who are interested in leadership development and community service are encouraged to apply for the Class of 2015.  The application process will begin in March and runs through July.  Please visit for more information on how to apply.

11th Anniversary Reception

  • Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: The Tangier, 532 West Market Street, Akron

    We invite you to join Torchbearers for the 11th Anniversary Reception on Thursday, February 20,…

    • 233 people attended

New talent attraction and retention programs seek to expand opportunity in Akron

Posted by Torchbearers, Sunday, December 8th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

  • Torchbearers, a local organization that supports young professionals, is developing two dynamic programs aimed at attracting and retaining Greater Akron’s next generation of leaders. The programs are supported by $65,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

    Intern Edge will connect Akron summer interns in both for-profit and nonprofit companies to community life and foster connections between interns, community leaders and other civic players. Interns will gain exposure to new places to live, play and volunteer while building relationships with peers and community change makers. The six- to eight-week program aims to create a deeper sense of attachment to Akron, and will help local companies attract young talent to the area. It will also provide career resources to interns who want to return—or remain—in Akron.

    Torchbearers will partner with Leadership Akron, in designing and administering the program. Together they will create an interactive and robust program that will showcase Greater Akron’s many advantages.

    Torchbearers Ambassadors will help promote Akron as a vibrant place to work and live. Ambassadors will work with human resources representatives in local companies to connect with job applicants after interviews with the potential employees are completed and inform them about places to live, play and connect in Greater Akron and the region. The goal is to help local employers recruit and retain more of their employees, particularly young professionals.

    Knight Foundation is providing $45,000 to support the internship program and $20,000 for the ambassadors pilot. The funding will go to resources needed to develop the programs and inspire participants to pursue careers in Greater Akron.

    “These two programs will highlight Akron’s rich community life and encourage talented professionals who are considering Akron as a career destination to make it their home,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for Knight Foundation. “Building on the existing talent pool in Akron will add to the vitality of the city and create more opportunities into the future.”

    The Torchbearers Ambassadors pilot will begin in early 2014, and Intern Edge will launch in the summer of 2014. Both programs will ultimately be maintained through fees from participating companies. Torchbearers will announce an application process and additional program details early next year.

    Please contact Kyle Kutuchief at for more information.

TB College Graduation Event

  • Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: Sheraton Suites Akron/Cuyahoga Falls, 1989 Front St, Cuyahoga Falls

    The 2013 year is rounding out and we want to recognize our applicable first year TB members for…

    • 50 people attended

Lights, Camera, Murder! (By Invitation Only)

  • Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: Akron Civic Theatre, 182 South Main Street, Akron

    You and a guest are invited to come walk the blood red carpet and enjoy a…

    • 59 people attended

*DEADLINE TOMORROW*: 4th Annual Charity Cornhole Tournament Benefiting Akron Rotary Camp

Posted by Torchbearers, Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

  • TB members Scott and Jaime Kolligian would like to invite you, your closest friends and family to join us for the 4th Annual Charity Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, July 27th at Canal Park. This year’s tournament proceeds will benefit the Akron Rotary Camp, a local organization focused on children with special needs and their families. There are plenty of opportunities to play and/or to volunteer, beginning with our set-up shift at 7:30 AM. Tournament check-in is at 8:30 AM, with tournament play kicking off promptly at 9:30 AM.

    Thanks to the community-first focus of Akron Aeros’ owner Ken Babby and his generous staff, we are excited to hold this year’s event at such a fun local Akron venue. There will be cash prizes for the top teams, as well as contests, promos and raffles throughout the day.

    An informational flyer is located here. To register your team for the tournament, go to and click on the link to the tournament in the bottom right hand corner. For volunteer opportunities or if you have any questions, contact Scott Kolligian at

    Thanks and hope to see you all on the 27th!

Torchbearers Membership Reception

  • Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 at 5pm - 7pm
    Location: 140 East Market Street, 3rd Floor, Akron
    • 131 people attended

AkRun & Crawl

  • Saturday, August 17th, 2013 at 5pm - 11:59pm
    Location: Behind the AES Building, 388 South Main Street, Akron

    Join us for Torchbearers' seventh annual AkRun & Crawl on Saturday, August 17, 2013. The…

"My Akron" Launch Party

Posted by Torchbearers, Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

  • Join DAP Emerging Leaders at the launch of My Akron on March 26th at 7:00 pm at Paulo’s. This is a collaborative atmosphere that empowers people to share ideas for the betterment of Downtown Akron. This will be the kickoff event and costs $5. Enjoy appetizers while you listen to ideas and vote on the winning project. All money will go towards the winning project. Please visit!/events/426777287408350/?fref=ts or contact Amber Genet at for more information.

    Submitted by: Amber Genet,

Torchbearers Celebrates Ten Years

Posted by Torchbearers, Monday, March 4th, 2013 @ 8:33am

  • A room filled with more than 350 young professionals and community leaders gathered at The Tangier in West Akron on Thursday evening to celebrate the past decade of accomplishments of the local young professionals group, Torchbearers. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while reminiscing about how far the organization has come since its inception in 2003. In addition to looking back over the past ten years, several exciting announcements were highlighted during the event’s brief program.

    The momentous events included the announcement of the creation of two new community awards, the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Friend of Young Leaders Award, which will be presented by Torchbearers to notable community leaders in the area each year.

    The Friend of Young Leaders Award was created to showcase an individual or organization within the community that has made a significant impact on the development of young professionals. Daniel Flowers was honored as the first recipient of this award. Flowers, who became president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank at the young age of 32, has continually demonstrated outstanding support for the education, career development and leadership engagement of his young professional staff members, Torchbearers and young professionals throughout the Akron area.

    The first recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award were presented to Torchbearers co-founders, Jefferson Satterfield and Scott Read. Satterfield and Read founded the organization in 2003 to identify, connect, and develop young leaders in Greater Akron. Today, Torchbearers has grown to a membership of nearly 100 strong and reflects the diversity found across the Greater Akron young professional community.

    “Who better to receive our first Alumni Award than our founders, Scott and Jeff, whom none of this would have been possible without their vision,” said Torchbearers President, Amanda Leffler.

    Since 2009, Torchbearers has collaborated with Leadership Akron in efforts to advance community leadership in the Akron area, and just recently, the two organizations have signed a newly-drafted affiliation agreement to collaborate more closely on an ongoing basis. The agreement will strengthen the two organizations’ affiliation through coordinated fundraising, ex-officio board representatives and collaboration on marketing efforts. Both organizations will retain independent governance and distinct identities, and Torchbearers will continue to identify as an independent affiliate of Leadership Akron.

    Torchbearers also announced the creation of its endowment fund with Akron Community Foundation, providing for Torchbearers’ long-term sustainability.

Torchbearers Members volunteered more than 580 hours in 2012

Posted by Torchbearers, Monday, January 7th, 2013 @ 10:19am

  • Torchbearers, a young professional organization, is focused on building a better Akron-area community through leadership development and service. To that end, in 2012 its members dedicated more than 580 volunteer hours.

    “The reason people join our organization is not only to grow as future leaders, but to serve others. The remarkable number service hours from our members in 2012 demonstrate that commitment,” said Kyle Kutuchief, press secretary. “We are fortunate to have so many amazing not-for-profit organizations in Akron where our members can step up and give back all year long.”

    Community organizations and programs that Torchbearers members volunteered with include:

    Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
    The Akron Children’s Hospital “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” Radiothon
    Akron Marathon
    Autism Family Foundation
    Camp Quality Ohio
    Destination College
    Habitat For Humanity
    Humane Society of Greater Akron
    Leadership Akron Alumni Association/Junior Leadership Akron/Torchbearers Joint Service Project at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
    St. Bernard's Parish Hot Meals Hunger Program
    United Way Day of Action

    In 2012, the following Torchbearers members exceeded Torchbearers’ expectation for service hours:

    Jessyca Blake
    Jennifer Cassidy
    Lashawrida Fellows
    John Hickey
    Kevin McCauley
    Jonathan Morschl
    Brian Musolin
    Karlo Petrak
    Kelly Price
    Angie Rogers
    Emily Schepens
    Kimberly Young