News Release              

Media contact: Katie Connell, United Way of Greater Cleveland: 404.895.5513 and kconnell@unitedwaycleveland.org

United Way recognized Marc S. Byrnes with Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 Annual Community Luncheon

CLEVELAND (January 18, 2023) – United Way of Greater Cleveland announced a $1.25 million commitment from The Byrnes Family and Oswald Companies, dedicated to United Way’s programs and partnerships, including the August Napoli Fund for Anti-Poverty Innovation. The Byrneses gift is named in honor of the service of current Board Chair Paul Dolan and former President and CEO Augie Napoli.

The gift comes as Oswald begins its 130th year in business and is experiencing significant growth. The firm launched in downtown Cleveland in 1893 with a commitment to community that continues today.  

“We are so grateful to Marc, Viki, their family and the Oswald Companies for this generous gift in support of United Way’s work with our many partners to advance equity and justice for all Greater Clevelanders,” said Sharon Sobol Jordan, president, and CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland. “The Byrnes’ and Oswald Companies’ gift will allow United Way to continue on our path forward to create inclusive prosperity in our region by effectively addressing both the symptoms and root causes of poverty.”

The Anti-Poverty Fund is named in honor of Napoli, who retired from United Way in June after leading the organization since 2016. The newly created fund supports early-stage or test initiatives with the potential to transform Greater Clevelanders’ lives significantly.

Marc and Viki Byrnes said in a shared statement: “The health of the Greater Cleveland community is our family’s and the Oswald Companies’ top priority, with philanthropy and service at the heart of everything we do. We share United Way and its partners’ passion for alleviating poverty’s impact on our city so we all have an equal opportunity to live a better life. Truly none of us does this work alone.”

The Byrneses further noted, “Clevelanders are strong-willed, diversified and have a commitment to collegiality guided by Midwestern values. There is a sincere, genuine dedication to caring for those less fortunate, and these needs are often first met by the incomparable United Way 211 team. United Way of Greater Cleveland’s initiatives around race, diversity, equity and inclusion, and three community strategies focused on economic mobility, health pathways and housing stability are most impactful for improving community relations and the social and financial health of Greater Cleveland.”

Marc’s deep, lifelong commitment and dedication to supporting philanthropic efforts throughout Greater Cleveland include his longstanding support of United Way. Most recently, he received United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s Annual Community Luncheon on Sept. 30, 2022. He was also named a life director of United Way’s board in recognition of his service to United Way and the Greater Cleveland community.

Marc has served as a board director of United Way since 2005, making numerous contributions as a member of the Executive, Resource Development, Planned Giving Advisory and Strategic Planning committees. He also held leadership roles within the organization, including campaign co-chair in 2008, United Way’s board chair from 2016-2017, immediate past board chair since 2018, and United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Philanthropic Fund board chair since 2019. 

Marc and Viki are both members of United Way’s Red Feather Society, as well as the organization’s Legacy Circle Planned Giving Program.

Marc’s extraordinary contributions to the community and those in need resulted in United Way honoring him as Volunteer of the Year in 2011. In 2018, the organization established the Marc S. Byrnes Award for Community Service, recognizing him as the exemplar of outstanding leadership at United Way and many other nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Cleveland. The most recent Marc S. Byrnes Award recipient was Paul Dolan at United Way’s 2022 Annual Community Meeting.

Viki is a dedicated volunteer at Hospice of the Western Reserve. She and Marc also serve as honorary co-chairs at Bellefaire JCB, a child services agency in Cleveland.

Marc is chairman emeritus and former chairman and CEO of Oswald Companies. Under his leadership, the 130-year-old employee-owned company experienced significant growth and strengthened its position as one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage and risk management firms. He is an alumnus of University School and earned his B.A. from Williams College.

The Byrneses have instilled a passion for giving back in their three sons, daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.


About United Way of Greater Cleveland

Founded in 1900, United Way of Greater Cleveland is a local, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the Greater Cleveland area. The largest private-sector investor in health and human services, United Way, invests in efforts that address poverty using a two-pronged approach. The first prong focuses on the daily issues affecting those living in poverty, the Community Hub for Basic Needs. The second drives research and innovation through the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan focused on identifying long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit unitedwaycleveland.org and twitter.com/UnitedWayCLE.

Scroll to Top