17th Annual Torchbearers Anniversary Honors Local Leaders & Shares Strategic Vision

Torchbearers celebrated its 17th Annual Anniversary ceremony with nearly 300 community members on Thursday, February 20th, at The Tangier, selling out the event for the second year in a row.

“Our Anniversary celebration is a fantastic opportunity to gather the Torchbearers family and the people of our community who support this organization, so we can raise a toast to another wonderful year of growth and share our vision for the upcoming year,” said Vish Bhatt, 2020 Torchbearers President. “I’m so proud of the hard work and passion that our members and alumni have dedicated to serving the greater Akron community over the last 17 years in the name of Torchbearers.”

After the event’s opening cocktail reception, Bhatt shared the organization’s accomplishments from 2019 and presented the organization’s goals for 2020 and beyond. Much of Torchbearers’ energy this year will be focused on refining the organization’s strategic plan, which includes diversity and inclusion and opening a new headquarters in downtown Akron.

As part of its Anniversary tradition, Torchbearers honored Daniel Rice, President & CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, as the Read Family Friend of Young Leaders Award recipient for his role in developing young leaders through mentorship and promoting opportunities for young people to get involved in the community.

Also honored was Patrick Bravo, Executive Director of the Summit County Land Bank and Torchbearers Class of 2012, who was recognized as the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for his commitment and advocacy of Torchbearers and his passion for advancing greater Akron.

“Daniel and Patrick are incredibly generous leaders, giving freely of their time and energy, especially to young leaders,” said Bhatt. “The ripple effect of their work will be felt for many years to come throughout the greater Akron community.”

Torchbearers would like to thank our presenting sponsor, Huntington Bank, for its support of this event. Torchbearers would also like to thank sponsors Axesspointe Community Health Centers, Billow Funeral Homes, Bober Markey Fedorovich, FirstEnergy Foundation, Leadership Akron, Legacy Strategic Asset Management, Meghan MacDonald State Farm Insurance, Meltdown, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, The Read Family, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Department of Job and Family Services, Wealth Impact Advisors, and The University of Akron.