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From left: Cliff Deveny, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Summa Health; Thomas G. Knoll, 2019 Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Award honoree; and Naomi Ganoe, volunteer chair, Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Council.

Knoll named 2019 Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Award honoree

Annual Summa Health honor presented for work in charitable giving

The Summa Foundation honored Stark & Knoll co-founding attorney and philanthropist Thomas G. Knoll with the 2019 Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Award for his outstanding service as a philanthropic partner of Summa Health.

Cliff Deveny, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Summa Health, presented the award to Knoll at the fifth annual meeting of the Summa Health Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Council on Tuesday, December 10, at the new patient tower conference center located on the Summa Health System – Akron Campus.

The council includes several of the region’s leading legal, financial and wealth planning professionals. The Legacy Advisor Leadership Award recognizes a council member for his or her professional advocacy on behalf of Summa Health.

“Through his personal generosity and as a philanthropic partner of Summa Health, Tom demonstrates selfless volunteer leadership as a financial advisor. He is actively involved in stewarding charitable giving with those who share his devotion to the health and well-being of the Akron region,” said Phylis Ferrara, president of Summa Foundation and chief development officer of Summa Health.

Knoll is the co-founder of Akron-based law firm Stark & Knoll, where he advises clients in corporate, real estate and nonprofit law. His career as an attorney has spanned more than 50 years, benefiting businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout Northeast Ohio.

He has served Summa in multiple capacities over several decades. He continues to do so today, serving on the Summa Foundation Board of Directors, the Campaign Executive Committee, and as a member of two Summa Health leadership councils – the Charles Deering Legacy Advisor Leadership Council and the Cardiovascular Leadership Council.

Knoll is the founding chair of the steering committee for the Summa Health Golf Outing, which has raised nearly $2.3 million for Summa Health nurses over the last decade.

In 2018, Knoll and his wife, Ginny, served as honorary chairs and Diamond sponsors of the Sapphire Ball, helping to raise more than $1 million for Summa Health.

Beyond Summa Health, Knoll is well known for his extensive charitable work. He is the co-founder of Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Akron and First Tee of Akron and past president of Northern Ohio Golf Charities.

He has received many prestigious awards for his humanitarian work, including the H. Peter Burg Economic Development Leadership Award from the Greater Akron Chamber in 2008, the Sir Thomas More Award from the Akron Bar Association in 2011 and the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award from the Akron Community Foundation in 2018.

Previous winners of the Legacy Advisor Leadership Award are Richard Burke (2017), Bob Bonchack (2016), Philip Kaufmann (2015) and Leigh Gerstenberger (2014).

Charles Deering was an Akron-area industrialist and philanthropist. Upon his death in 1927, his estate commitment led to the development of what is now Summa Health System – St. Thomas Campus.


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