Charity begins at home: our teammates, our community,
our clients, our extended Geis family
Erwin & Katherine Geis
The Geis Foundation’s story and mission is intrinsically intertwined with the story of the Geis Family. German immigrants, Mr. and Mrs. Geis came to Northeast Ohio with little in their pockets and the dream of a better life in America. Though hard work, perseverance, and some help from new friends along the way, they formed the Geis Companies in 1967, a small design build company. The more successful their endeavors became, the more they felt the need to give back. As they became involved in numerous charitable efforts, it was their employees that established the first scholarship in their names as a Christmas gift in 2001.
It is in their honor that The Erwin & Katherine Geis Charitable Foundation promotes education to underprivileged youth, assists in the development of the design/build industry, and encourages the philanthropic efforts of Geis employees. We routinely fund $50,000 of scholarships to several Greater Cleveland Catholic High Schools, $12,000 of scholarships to Geis extended family members, and we also award grants to local non-profits, including Rainey Institute, Boys Hope Girls Hope, and numerous other worthy groups. In 2014, the Geis Companies focused on downtown Cleveland re-development and completed several game-changing projects for the city. The Foundation decided, as premier Cleveland developers, we could do more to help our city still reeling from the housing market crash and trying to deal with the influx of refugees. The Geis Foundation was founded shortly thereafter with the mission of renovating vacant and undesirable properties within Cleveland neighborhoods in order to provide housing for new immigrants and refugee families, and thereby make a meaningful difference house by house, family by family. At the time of this writing, we have three houses underway, which we lovingly refer to as “Geis Village.”
“Geis exemplifies the tenet of turning passion into purpose through charity, employee volunteerism, and projects that are laying the groundwork for success for the next generation of Clevelanders.”
-Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation.
“Philanthropy has become the true legacy of my parents. Through our charitable work, which is a partnership with our employees, we hope to support others in the pursuit of the American dream.”