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BW establishes corporate engagement hub to expand, elevate and ease partnerships

Baldwin Wallace University is rewriting the playbook on corporate and organizational partnerships to provide an easy entry point to a range of campus programs and services, faculty expertise and emerging student talent.

Better for business

Lacey Kogelnik serves as executive director of BW's new Corporate and Organizational Engagement.The newly established Corporate and Organizational Engagement is the next step in a BW strategic initiative that gives partners direct access to an expanded portfolio of campus resources that offer targeted solutions for organizations, municipalities and companies.

"BW has longstanding successful programs that support businesses," says Lacey Kogelnik, executive director of the new Center. "Now, we are working with outside consultants and an internal team to set up a centralized, holistic process that makes the experience of accessing our programs and services better for business."

Strategic priority for BW

The Center is a high priority for BW President Bob Helmer, who aims to redefine university-organizational partnerships and expand BW's position "as an essential partner in the economic and community development of Northeast Ohio and beyond."

"What we've found in working with our corporate partners through the years is that they may know about BW's digital marketing center or our professional development or other specific experts or services, but they don't have a comprehensive view of all the University has to offer and no single point of access," Helmer says.

"We're out to change that," he adds. "Partnering with BW is going to be even easier and more beneficial for businesses."

Responsive relationships

The goal is to establish and grow partnerships that tap BW's ability to be nimble, flexible and innovative problem-solvers.

"The BW community has always been about relationships, not transactions, and it shouldn't be any different for our corporate and organizational partners," Kogelnik says. "We start from a place of empathy and work collaboratively and iteratively to meet our client's challenges."

Kogelnik, the former director of BW's Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG), understands the needs and speaks the language of business. She has helped to shape successful BW partnerships with many of the best-known organizations in Northeast Ohio, including Sherwin-Williams, FirstEnergy, Swagelok, OEC, Parker Hannifin, Westfield Group and others.

At the same time, Kogelnik knows the breadth of the opportunities represented in BW experts, programs and services. Her new role is consultant, concierge, solutions strategist and bridge between the corporate and academic worlds.

Campus Hub

The BW Center for Innovation and Growth building at 340 Front Street will get an interior makeover to better serve as an innovation hub for some of the Office for Corporate and Organizational EngagemeThere are also plans for a makeover to the Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG) building at 340 Front Street, which will serve as an innovation hub for some of BW Corporate and Organizational Engagement's signature programs. Converting classrooms to co-working spaces is among the goals of that project.

The portfolio of services will include the Digital Marketing Center, the Hive Design Group, the Community Research Institute (CRI), the Ratcliffe Growth Practice, NEO LaunchNET (powered by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation) and BW Professional Development.

However, services and expertise available to corporate and organizational partners will not be limited to what is physically housed at the CIG or part of the official program portfolio.

"We've already encountered a corporate client who was interested in establishing an endowed scholarship, but the conversation led us to talk about diversity and inclusion and major event hosting," Kogelnik explains. "They were excited that BW could serve as their university partner for broader business needs."

Aiming to exceed expectations

Kogelnik says BW's research and benchmarking have shown that few universities are approaching corporate partnerships in a way that truly works for business.

"For any organization that has found it challenging to navigate a university and its vast resources, know that BW is ready to do corporate engagement better," Kogelnik says. "We provide a centralized and tailored approach to maximize the partnership and exceed expectations."

Find out more

For information about opportunities with BW Corporate and Organizational Engagement, contact executive director Lacey Kogelnik at or (440) 826-2393.

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