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Northern Kentucky Businesses Invest in their Community

Northern Kentucky employers dedicate time and resources to give back to their community.

By Bill Lewis on April 3, 2023

Volunteers from KLK Engineers work in a food pantry in Northern Kentucky.
KLK Engineers

Building strong careers and building strong communities go hand in hand for team members at some of Northern Kentucky’s best-known companies, who give their time, money and energy to charitable causes.  

Community service is in the DNA of companies like Perfetti Van Melle North America. The candy company made an especially sweet donation to food pantries across Kentucky. The maker of beloved brands such as Airheads bars, Airheads Xtremes Bites and Fruit-tella Soft Gummies donated 54,000 pounds of its favorite products. 

Perfetti Van Melle is a Northern Kentucky-based candy company that made an especially sweet donation to food pantries across Kentucky.
Perfetti Van Melle

Perfetti Van Melle also celebrates its annual Community Day, which in 2022 involved more than 550 volunteers who contributed more than 2,400 hours over 13 project days. 

It was one of the ways Northern Kentucky’s employers and their workers partner to make life better in the region. 


Raised by The Scurry for local mental health initiatives 

“Serving our community is part of who are, and we feel very fortunate to work in a business where our products, like Airheads and Fruit-tella, can help people smile and enjoy an occasional candy treat,” says Sylvia Buxton, president and CEO of Perfetti Van Melle North America. 

“Being based in Kentucky, we’re honored to partner again with the Kentucky Hunger Initiative and donate our products and help the region’s food banks deliver some of those smiles along with much-needed food staples.” 

Volunteers from KLK Engineers work at the Freestore Foodbank in the Northern Kentucky region.
KLK Engineers

Lending a Hand

At KLH Engineers, the company and its employees participate in Keep Lending a Hand. The company established the community service program in 2016 to support its employees in their charitable work. The program aims to donate time, expertise and financial resources to qualifying community and charitable organizations. 

The Keep Lending a Hand Community Fund awards up to $20,000 per year through grants of various amounts to charitable and nonprofit organizations. Employees submit applications for nonprofits in which they are involved. 

In addition, KLH encourages each of its locations to do a pro bono project every year. As a result, they have assisted organizations, including Freestore Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity MidOhio ReStore and the Cincinnati Community Action Agency, among others. 


Pounds of its favorite products donated by Perfetti Van Melle 

Each year, KLH gives employees 10 paid service hours for hands-on volunteering in groups or individually. For example, a team of employees volunteered at the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati to assemble bags of weekend nutrition called “Power Packs” for food-insecure elementary children. 

“The KLH Keep Lending a Hand Fund is our way of giving back to the communities that we call home. It also serves to instill in our employees a culture of philanthropy and sharing of one’s talents,” says CEO Bob Heil. 

People in tutus pose at the Scurry Event in Northern Kentucky. Every year, TiER1 Performance joins forces with local business owners and community members to raise mental health awareness through a unique fundraiser called The Scurry.

Best Places to Work

While giving back to the community, employers also are creating inviting places where employees can build strong careers. 

VonLehman, one of the region’s largest private CPA and advisory firms, has been recognized as one of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Best Places to Work,” Inside Public Accounting’s “Top 200 Firms,” United Way’s regional “Live United 100,” and the Northern Kentucky Chamber’s “Community Champion.” 

The firm has more than 140 employees across Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. 

TiER1 Performance joins forces with local business owners and community members every year to raise mental health awareness through a unique fundraiser called The Scurry. 

Since its launch in 2010, The Scurry has raised more than $250,000 for local mental health initiatives. 


Awarded per year by the Keep Lending Hand Community Fund

“Our Start the Conversation initiative allows TiER1 to take the best of what we do and partner with people who are the best in the mental health space to make a difference in hopes of supporting the creation of workplaces and communities where people feel comfortable and supported enough to take action when needed. We believe reducing the stigma of mental illness is key to realizing potential,” says CEO Greg Harmeyer. 

“The annual Scurry fundraiser celebrates and supports the network that exists around us — our friends, work colleagues, mental health care providers and communities. It’s our chance to bring the whole community into that effort and activate the larger conversation around mental health,” says Harmeyer. 

Want to learn more about living and working in the Northern Kentucky region? Check out the latest edition of Livability Northern Kentucky.

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