In-Tribute

In Tribute 2016 honoree BRUCE H. AKERS

Bruce_AkersBruce H. Akers retired as Senior Vice President, Civic Affairs, for KeyBank. He held the same position with Society Bank. He also chaired the Key and Society Foundations. He started his banking career with National City 56 years ago, and subsequently worked at Ameritrust, where he was vice president, Public Relations, and assistant to the Chairman/CEO. Akers was Chief of Staff to Cleveland Mayor Ralph J. Perk, from 1975-1977.

In 2008, he was appointed by the President of the State Senate to the nine-member Commission on Cuyahoga County Government Reform. In 2009-2010, he co-chaired the Citizens Committee that drew up and successfully passed the new Charter Government for Cuyahoga County. In 2012-2013, he was Chair of the Charter Review Commission of Cuyahoga County. He served as an initial member of the newly formed Cuyahoga County Economic Development Commission, representing the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association.

Akers is Vice Chair of City Year Cleveland, is a Trustee and on the Executive Committee of The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, and serves on the Ohio Steering Committee for the national Committee to Fix the Debt. He is a Trustee of Destination Cleveland (formerly the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland), the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Opera Cleveland, and The 1990 Project. He is on the Leadership Council of the Cleveland Food Bank, the Community Advisory Committee of the Cleveland Restoration Society, the Advisory Board of the Cleveland Bridge Builders, the Cleveland Leadership Prayer Breakfast Steering Committee, and the Community Advisory Council of the Junior League of Cleveland. He served on the Center for Emergency Medicine Leadership Council at University Hospitals. He is a trustee emeritus on the Visiting Committee to the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, and is President of his Leadership Cleveland class.

He serves on the Executive, Central, Policy and Platform Committees of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. He is past president of the Cuyahoga County Mayors & City Managers Association, and the Chagrin Valley Inter-Governmental Council. He is past co-chair of Regional Prosperity Initiative of the Northeastern Ohio Mayors & City Managers Association. He was named the 2006 Municipal Leader of the Year by Northeast Ohio Leadership Magazine. In 2006 and again in 2009, he was named by Inside Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Greater Cleveland. In 2011, he received the George V. Voinovich Award for Municipal Service from the Cuyahoga County Mayors & Managers Association. Last year, he was inducted into the President James A. Garfield Hall of Fame by the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.

Akers is past Chairman/President of the Cleveland Advertising Association, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Big Brother/Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland, The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, Park Works, Town Hall of Cleveland, Look Up To Cleveland, the Citizens League Research Institute, Cleveland's Promise (the local arm of America's Promise), Friendly Inn Settlement, the Greater Cleveland Committee on Hunger, The Republic Club, the Philosophical Club of Cleveland, and the Princeton Alumni Association of Northern Ohio. He is one of the founders of Business Volunteers Unlimited. In 2000, he completed 30 years as a member of the National Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, and is currently a member of its National Advisory Council.

He is a past trustee of the Cleveland City Council on World Affairs, the Cleveland Food Bank, United Way Services, National History Day, Hiram House, the Cleveland 500 Foundation, the Cleveland Independence Day Association, Hill House, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and the advisory councils of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, and radio station WKSU-FM.

In 1970, he was designated one of the Outstanding Young Men of America, and in 1975 he received the Big Brother of the Year Award from Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland.  In subsequent years, other past honors include Volunteer of the Year Award from both United Way of Greater Cleveland and Leadership Cleveland; Lighthouse Award, from the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America; Community Caregiver Award (Providence House); Spirit of Courage Award (March of Dimes, Oho Chapter); the Green City/Blue Lake Award for Regionalism from Eco City Cleveland; Community Gratitude Award (New Directions); the General William Booth Award (The Salvation Army’s highest award to a civilian), and the Salvation Army’s Divisional Advisory Board Award, for “outstanding, unwavering and selfless service” to The Army; Community Award (MS Society); the Distinguished Alumnus Award (Princeton Associates, N. Ohio); the President’s Spirit Award from Christmas in April Cleveland; the Above and Beyond Award from Jobs for America’s Graduates; and a Paul Harris Fellow by rotary International.  In 1999, he was inducted into the Cleveland Advertising Association’s Hall of Fame, and in 2009, he was honored by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland for his 38 years of service to this youth-mentoring program.  In 2014, he received the idealist of the Year Award from City Year Cleveland, and in May, he was presented with the Champion of Student Success Award by City Year America at its National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

Akers is a graduate of University School, Princeton University, and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers.  He and his wife, Barbara, are residents of Pepper Pike, where he served as Mayor from 1991 to 2011 (five terms).  Prior to that, he served on the Pepper Pike City Council for 16 years.