K. Michael Benz, Executive Advisor at Ciuni & Panichi, Inc., provides strategic planning and business development expertise to the client service menu and the firm’s leadership team. In addition to his work at Ciuni & Panichi, Inc., he serves as Fifth Third Bank Affiliate Director, Northeastern Ohio, and ReCreation Partners, LLC, Vice Chairman.
He was United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO for 17-plus years. Under his leadership, United Way raised more than $732 million dollars to fund health and human services in our community. Also under Mike’s leadership, United Way implemented one of the most innovative public art projects, GuitarMania®, raising over $2 million and attracting national and international acclaim. Mike also is known for operating a very tight ship, and he has kept administrative expenses under 13 percent, which is less than many other nonprofits, including other United Ways around the country.
In addition to raising funds for Cleveland, Mike invested as much energy to ensure United Way’s investments were sound. In 2008, under his leadership, United Way implemented a new approach to funding programs that is heavily grounded in research and designed to move the needle on our community’s problems.
Five and a half years ago, Mike retired from United Way to a community that had other plans for him. Currently, in addition to acting as executive advisor at Ciuni & Panichi, Inc. and his other consulting assignments, he chairs the South Pointe Hospital Board of Directors – a Cleveland Clinic Hospital, and serves on the Leadership Center Board of Directors and Executive Committee and Engage Cleveland Board of Directors.
Among his many awards and honors, Mike has served as the Cuyahoga County Community College Foundation master of ceremonies for their Presidential Scholarship Luncheon. In that role, he introduced President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, and Magic Johnson. He has been inducted into the Wickliffe High School Hall of Fame and the Wickliffe City Hall of Fame for Achievement. He was recognized as SME Businessman of the Year and he received the Gordon E. Heffern Lifetime Award for Ethics, Values and Community.
Mike is a Clevelander and his work reflects his passion for this community. He was instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Cleveland and served as the museum’s director.
Mr. Benz can be reached at 216.765.6923 or by email here