Cleveland Foundation awards its second annual Encore Cleveland Prize to Jack Binder for socially impactful work by Greater Clevelanders aged 50+

New grants for Encore Cleveland bring foundation’s support of initiative to $4.3 million

release date: 11.16.2016

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation presented its second annual Encore Cleveland Prize to South Russell resident Jack Binder. The award was established by the foundation in 2015 to recognize individuals age 50 and older for innovative work that combines personal meaning with social impact to enhance the lives of Greater Clevelanders. 

The Encore movement is a national effort to leverage the energy and experience of Americans who seek to fill community needs upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. The Cleveland Foundation launched Encore Cleveland in 2013, and to date, has awarded more than $4.3 million in grants to support Encore Cleveland programs.

encore-jack-binder-2016“Jack exemplifies the innovative next chapters our Encore Cleveland work is all about,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “He uses skills developed over a three-decade long corporate career to help an organization adapt and address a critical epidemic in our community. We hope his example inspires other experienced Clevelanders to join the Encore movement and explore opportunities to define their next chapter while improving our community.”

After a 25-year career in the chemical industry, Binder found his new life passion through a volunteer board role for the nonprofit Suicide Prevention Alliance. He helped the organization rebrand and refocus its mission around recognizing teen depression and preventing suicide. Today, the organization is known as LifeAct,, and it serves more than 25,000 students each year. Binder became LifeAct’s CEO in 2014.

The foundation’s $4.3 million in support for Encore Cleveland includes the following recently approved grants:

  • $420,000 to Fairhill Partners to expand a successful pilot program, which trains Encore volunteers to serve as peer leaders in providing evidence-based self-management programming to impact the health of vulnerable seniors.
  • $239,478 to Mature Services, Inc. to grow its Encore Career Network Program, which provides paid employment opportunities for Greater Clevelanders age 50 and older within the nonprofit and government sector.
  • $122,500 to Westside Industrial Retention & Expansion Network (WIRE-Net) to expand the organization’s Encore Cleveland Technical Corps Program (TCP), which recruits and trains retired industry tradesmen and technicians to prepare Cleveland Metropolitan School District students for 21st century careers in manufacturing, construction, transportation and information technology sectors.

Learn more about the Encore Cleveland movement at


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2015 grants of $95 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit and follow us on, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation.