Jeff and Mimi Ryznar firmly believe in giving back to others – and supporting the Mahoning Valley community. The business owner and physician both feel that everyone has gifts to use and share. Here, they explain why they share their time, talents and treasures with Akron Children’s Hospital.
How did you become interested in philanthropy and giving back?
While our professional lives allow us to make a difference, we wanted to do more and make a lasting impact on the world around us. We know that we are called to treat others as we want to be treated. To have that empathy in trying to live the golden rule provides examples for our daughters to carry on a legacy of caring that will, hopefully, outlast us all.
Why does your family support Akron Children’s?
We do our part, however small it may be, with the intention that we are fulfilling the obligation set out to ensure that the continuum of care Akron Children’s provides the Mahoning Valley is always available and provided to children in need.
Jeff, you hear a lot of stories in your role as a marketer. Tell us the story of how you and Mimi became involved with Akron Children’s.
Akron Children’s cared for our daughters – Maeryn (10) and Kyra (8) – early in their lives. During one of Kyra’s visits to the Akron campus, a code blue alarm went off.
Our thoughts, prayers and feelings immediately went to that child and family. Our gratitude for our girls’ good health, thanks to Akron Children’s, turned into a commitment to the institution. We were going to do whatever we could to make sure families who have to go through something like that have support, that no child is turned away and that every Akron Children’s caregiver knows how special and vital they are to this mission.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of donating to Akron Children’s?
That just by thinking about making a gift, you will learn more about how your time, talents and treasures will impact the hospital. Talk to your family and friends who have benefited from the hospital’s wraparound care. Connect with the hospital’s talented and compassionate Foundation team members. They can share stories of how contributions – of any size – leave a lasting legacy on our community, our neighbors and children’s lives.
We hear that both of you are pretty competitive. Tell us about that.
The thrill of competition drives us to perform at a high level. It’s not about winning but seeing how far we can push ourselves and get the best out of each other. It’s not uncommon for us to have friendly banter during Browns and Steelers games, on the golf course or tennis court, or even playing Monopoly or Scrabble. We push each other, but we both want to come out on top.