Two of Akron's most renowned business leaders were discussing the importance of family philanthropy Wednesday evening at the Women's Endowment Fund dinner.
GOJO Chairman and CEO Joe Kanfer was one of the keynote speakers. He stressed the importance of families getting involved in the community.
"First of all, we have a community with a great tradition, and it's important we pass those traditions on to the next generation," Kanfer said.
"My wife and I have tried to pass our values of giving on to our children, so I feel it's very important to have your family know that giving back is a key part of your day-to day life."
He said he wanted those in attendance to reflect on their own families and how to work with their children on making others lives better.
In addition to running his family business headquartered in downtown Akron, Kanfer has been recognized as one of the region leading philanthropists, serving as a founding director of Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation and as chair of Akron Tomorrow.
Joe along with his daughter, Marcella Kanfer Rolnick spoke about the state of Akron philanthropy with more than 300 guests at the "For Women, Forever” dinner at the Hilton Akron-Fairlawn.
Rolnick said she was humbled by the opportunity to speak about something near and dear to her.
"My father and I are really appreciative of the opportunity to have a conversation with each other in front of of a bunch of our friends and fellow travelers in the community."
"I think its great that we spoke about something that we know families need to discuss," Rolnick said.
One of the key things both Rolnick and her father shared with the group was their ability to work together and communicate and learn from one another.
"It goes to show that people from different generations can come together for one common purpose and have an effective communication," she said.
"These are the kinds of conversations people to have at the dinner table, involving their kids in the tradition of philanthropy."
Marcella is the vice chair of GOJO Industries, who says among her passions as a philanthropist include Jewish education and social entrepreneurship.
Marcella and her father explained their family's philosophy, saying giving back is one of the most important things a person can do.
As a Jewish family, she says one of their most natural things to do in giving back to others comes from their faith.
"It doesn't matter how much you have or how much you don't have, everyone has an obligation to give whatever they are capable of giving," Kanfer said.
"You never know when you could be in a time of need, so it's important to give back knowing it could one day be you."
The Plusquellic Administration is promoting a new start-up headquarters resident of Akron's Global Incubator.
The new resident is Nervomatrix, an Israeli company that uses neurostimulation to help treat back pain. The company says it raised $3.5 million dollars with an Akron-based partner and will open a headquarters locationhere by 2014. Joe Kanfer, GOJO CEO, will also serve as the company's chairman of the board.
News release - City of Akron:
Nervomatrix Ltd., an Israeli medical technology start-up company focusing on neurostimulation to curb back pain, has announced that it has raised $3.5 M in Series A financing, led by an Akron early stage investor, Everett Partners, Ltd. With this financing, the company announced that it is planning to open its North American headquarters in Akron, OH where it will establish sales and marketing, customer service, finance and administration and final assembly for the company. Nervomatrix expects to create dozens of jobs by 2014.
"This is a milestone for the Greater Akron Investment Partnership," said Mayor Plusquellic. "Five years ago the City, the County, Summa, and several local private investors came together to form a partnership and make an investment in the Targetech Innovation Center, in Netanya, Israel. The vision was that the most promising companies emerging from Targetech would set up operations in Akron when they looked to expand to the US. Nervomatrix is the first company to achieve that milestone and we welcome the Company and the jobs it will bring to Akron."
Nervomatrix, founded at the Targetech technology incubator in Netanya, Israel, has developed a revolutionary non-surgical, drug-free treatment for low back pain. Combined in one software-driven device, Nervomatrix’s product acquires the electrical properties of more than 1000 points in an injured back in less than a minute and then pinpoints locations for treatment. Treatment consists of a series of electrical pulses delivered to the targeted locations. Nervomatrix has already received FDA approval and is well on its way to becoming the non-surgical, drug-free treatment for back pain.
"To take an idea, turn it into a prototype medical device, obtain FDA clearance and achieve initial sales in less than four years with relatively little seed capital is a significant achievement" said Joe Kanfer, who in addition to his ongoing role as GOJO Chairman and CEO, will become Nervomatrix’ Chairman. "The back pain market is growing in the US and around the world. We believe this Company is well positioned to exploit this growing market opportunity and become a significant player in the back pain market."
Cleveland’s BioEnterprise also has been working with Nervomatrix to bring its technology to customers. "By locating its North American headquarters in Akron, NervoMatrix is positioned to take advantage of both the growing cluster of neurostimulation excellence and the rich history of orthopedic technologies in Northeast Ohio," said Baiju R. Shah, President and CEO of BioEnterprise. "We welcome
NervoMatrix to the region and look forward to continuing our relationship with the Targetech incubator to see more Israeli companies establish U.S. headquarters in Akron."
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