Dick Cahoon was born and raised in Akron and graduated from Firestone High School in 1973. He went off to Cornell for a few years and ended up back in Akron, working at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. and attending night school at the University of Akron. Dick met his wife Doreen at Firestone, and they married in 1979. Dick left Buffalo for Cleveland and his job as Sr. Vice President at the Dunlop Tire Corporation to assist in the startup of Dealer Tire, LLC in early 2000.
Dick was on the Board of Directors at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland for six years and now serves on the Board of MOCA Cleveland, College Now Greater Cleveland, Magnolia Clubhouse and Progressive Arts Alliance. Dick has recently become the Chairperson of the board at the Ratner School. He is retired from Dealer Tire and enjoys frequent trips to Southern California and as much time as possible with his wife and grandchildren.
Dick and Doreen settled in Cleveland Heights, where they have lived for the past 17 years. Their daughters both moved to the Cleveland area by choice after they earned their master’s degrees from Kent State University. Dick and Doreen joined SVP in 2010, and he immediately joined the Investment Team and volunteered to be Lead Partner for MedWish International. He has also led a time-only engagement with Magnolia Clubhouse. Dick was appointed to the SVP board in fall 2011 to fill an unexpired term and is completing his final term in the role of board president this year.
Why did you join SVP?
I like the mission and it fits with my philosophy
How has your involvement with SVP affected you?
It’s made me smarter and more focused in my philosophy regarding philanthropy
What inspires your passion for philanthropy?
Everybody deserves an even break
What social issue are you most passionate about?
What do you think is the biggest barrier to social change?
Too many people are concerned about how to get things done instead of the outcomes themselves.
What nonprofit do you wish everyone knew about?
Progressive Arts Alliance
What makes Cleveland special?
It is home.
If you were to spend a day in the Greater Cleveland area, what would you do?
Take a hike along Doan Brook then catch a Tribe or Cavs game.
If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
Batman because he is Everyman
If you could have lunch with anyone, whom would you choose?
Dick Cahoon | The Gift that Keeps on Giving
By: Hilary Sparks-Roberts, Executive Director
Before SVP, Partner Dick Cahoon claims he was “on no purposeful trajectory of any kind.” He describes his career as being one where he “fixed stuff that was broken or created stuff out of nothing” – no small feat, but clearly not driven by the appreciative self-awareness he has now.
He attributes his change of heart to SVP.
From the minute he joined, Dick has thrown himself into SVP with a vengeance serving as an Investment Team member, an Ambassador, the Lead Partner of MedWish International, and as a current board member. He actively meets our newest Partners to learn about their dreams and connect them to professionals in the greater Cleveland community who might be able to help them. And he guides our Investees with a sure hand and an open mind. Dick’s impact on MedWish has been profound. According to MedWish’s former Development Director Matt Fieldman, Dick was their “go-to guy for all sorts of projects, big and small.” He added that Dick has “been providing the kinds of personal and professional guidance we’ve been looking for, and his perspective has been invaluable in many important decisions.”
Dick describes SVP as “worth its weight in gold” and as an “organization that does great things in a way and to a degree that no other organization gets close to.” He is especially excited by the number of younger and more diverse Partners who are flocking to Cleveland’s SVP. He feels surrounded by “extraordinary people who care and who are inspiring,” people he wouldn’t have met but for SVP.
Of course, our other Partners feel the same way about Dick.
And Dick’s “giving story” is not limited to SVP.
Dick and Doreen (his wife and fellow Partner) have served on the board of Cleveland’s Children’s Museum. He is currently on the board of College Now, a local organization that provides guidance to Cleveland Metropolitan School District students as they prepare for college. Dick is also on the board of MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art) which was featured in the July 2013 edition of The New York Times.
Thanks to SVP, he now focuses on what really matters to him. And thanks to Dick, SVP continues to benefit from his kind heart, generous spirit, business savvy, and endless zest for life.