Share this post
FaceBook  Twitter  

 CAAO’s Accomplishments, Honors, and Awards – 2001 – 2014

As a catalyst for regional economic development, CAAO has worked to promote entrepreneurship and leadership empowerment through its member organizations and individual members since 2001 and has made an economic contribution of over $70 million through increased contracts, jobs created, promotions obtained, and loans/lines of credit accessed, with an average annual budget of less than $200,000.  Over 30 member organizations have collaborated with CAAO to multiply this impact throughout the region.

CAAO piloted the RISE Program (Resurgent Investment in Successful Entrepreneurs) in partnership with National City Bank in 2007 training ten companies over six months with the following 6 month follow-up outcomes:

  • 12 New Alliances/Partnerships for each company
  • 58 New Contracts for $20.5 MM
  • 12 New jobs created
  • 34% average increase in monthly revenue

CAAO piloted the STRIDE Initiative (Sustain, Train, Retain, Develop and Employ) in partnership with NOMSDC and ULGC from 2010 through 2011 training six companies over 12 months through October 2011.  As of November 2011, the following stats have been collected:

  • 15 New Alliances/Partnerships for each company
  • 20 + New Contracts under discussion
  • 3 Contracts Confirmed (final dollar amount unknown at this time)
  • 6 New jobs created so far

 CAAO pre-screened over 250 construction and construction related businesses for a national corporation and held a one day matchmaker for 75 of those companies for the national corporation and received raving feedback stating that it was the best matchmaker held in the entire country and yielded the most qualified minority vendors for the corporation than in any other state in the country.

 CAAO’s BESTT (Base, Enhanced, Sustaining, Trust Builders, Trust Builders Plus) donor program was created in 2009 to grow an individual donor base.  A variety of thank you gifts are available under each level, including tickets, discounted events, coaching, executive matchmaking, business matchmaking, etc.  To date over 60 individuals have been recruited into CAAO’s BESTT bringing in needed program revenue and adding significant value to the individuals who support CAAO.  (See CAAO’s BESTT flier for details.)

 Youth Innovation Forum – over 160 students, ages 10 to 19 have gone through 4 plus months of training in critical thinking and product concept production.  Each and every student who has completed at least one year of the program has graduated from high school and enrolled into college full time, some with full scholarships.  See Youth Innovation Forum details on the website.  In August 2014, Dr. Patricia Ackerman of the Ohio Board of Regents stated that the CAAO Youth Innovation Forum was the most innovative youth program in the State of Ohio.

Other significant accomplishments include:

  • 2014 – CAAO receives a regular column in Smart Business Magazine, prepared by William Holdipp Jr.
  • 2014 – CAAO’s Executive Director Emeritus honored for Black History Month by 107.3, the WAVE
  • 2011 – Hosted Affordable Care Act Roundtable for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius
  • 2009 – Hosted Delegation from Belarus for the Cleveland Council of World Affairs
  • 2009 - National finalist for the Collaboration Prize – CAAO placed in the top 20
  • 2009 - Honored by CBC Magazine for the Best Networking Event and Best Networking Organization
  • 2008 – Hosted Delegation from Nigeria in partnership with Cleveland State University
  • 2007 - MLK Jr. Community Service Award from City of Cleveland, Cleveland Orchestra, and GCP
  • 2006 - Toast of Midtown Award for Community Service
  • 2006 - Community Impact Award, Black Pages Ohio
  • 2006 - BrownFlynn Circle of 10 finalist out of 63 nonprofits in Northeast Ohio “for defying the traditional definitions of creativity and excellence – thinking outside the box to ensure the healthy future of their organizations”
  • 2005 - Community Impact Award, Cleveland Northeast Ohio Chapter of the National Black MBA Association


Frequent media coverage, including:

TV5 - The Kaleidoscope Show

TV3 - The Good Morning Show and the Noon News

TV8 – Public Service Announcements

TV19 – The Morning News

WZAK – The Urban Spotlight

WSOM – Public Service Announcements

WJCU – Public Service Announcements

The Boston Globe

LA Times

The Plain Dealer

Call and Post

The Akron Reporter


Akron Beacon Journal