Linda Venner is a nurse, a human resource professional, a mom – and a philanthropist.
Linda is also a longtime supporter of Akron Children’s Hospital through individual giving, as well as giving through her family-owned business, Clampco Products Inc. Along with her husband, Jim, they have been supporting Akron Children’s since 1994.
Linda’s relationship with Akron Children’s began at a very young age. In fact, it is one of her earliest memories. She came to Akron Children’s to get her tonsils removed, and she can still remember the iron bed she was in and the look of the hospital as they wheeled her into the operating room for the procedure.
Years later, she was once again connected to Akron Children’s when she gave birth to her second child, Rachael, who was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Akron Children’s. At the time, Linda couldn’t travel with Rachael to the hospital, but she never forgot the kindness of the NICU nurses.
“I was on the phone with them every day, and they would let me listen to her and they would tell me how she was doing,” Linda said.
After a week, Linda was able to visit Rachael to nurse her, and soon after that they were headed home.
In 1971, Jim founded the company Clampco Products, and Linda began working with her husband while their family continued to grow. As the company expanded, the Venners began to think about ways they could give back. Akron Children’s was one of the first places where they started to donate.
“We were able to do something, so we thought, ‘Why not Akron Children’s?’ We certainly have had some wonderful experiences there, and we would like to pass that forward,” Linda said.
But Linda is quick to point out that philanthropy is a team effort that includes her husband. And together they have instilled the importance of giving back in their four children.
Linda’s giving is deeply rooted in her past and her faith. As a young woman, Linda studied nursing at the now closed all-women’s College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. There she learned the importance of women overseeing their lives and making their own decisions. She also learned the importance of passing that independent decision-making to others.
“Philanthropy is something that anyone can do,” Linda said. “It is important to include philanthropy in your plans. Even if it is setting aside a few dollars every month, find that thing that speaks to your heart and support it. You never know the impact you may have on those who most need it.”