United Way of Summit County’s new Akron headquarters is being named after Thomas and Lisa Mandel, local business leaders and philanthropists who recently donated $1 million to the organization.

The local United Way, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, on Tuesday showed off the Thomas and Lisa Mandel Community Center inside the Sojourner Truth Building in a grand opening celebration. (The Sojourner Truth Building will retain its name.)

United Way hosted what it called a patron party, bringing together about 300 major donors and board members to show off the renovated headquarter facilities at 37 N. High Street. Staff moved into the facility in late July.

The move to the new, larger space will allow the United Way to better fulfill its missions and to grow, said Jim Mullen, United Way president and chief executive officer.

He praised the Mandels for their donation.

“All of their dollars are going toward ensuring we can operate in this facility, with the wonderful renovations we did, in a meaningful way,” Mullen said. “It’s going to allow us to continue to expand the work that we are doing. I think that’s critical.”

United Way of Summit County is being guided by what it calls its Bold Goals by 2025 program, unveiled last year, to improve third-grade reading levels, financially empower 11,000 people, improve high school graduation rates and fight the opioid crisis.

The Mandels’ close relationship with United Way of Summit County includes investing more than $400,000 to the organization over the past decade. The Mandels are advocates and longtime members of United Way’s Tocqueville Society for top investors, and their volunteering includes chairing the United Way board.

The Mandels made their $1 million investment through the Thomas and Lisa Mandel Fund, part of the Morton and Barbara Mandel Family Foundation. Thomas Mandel is the president and chief executive of Rubber City Radio Group, which in the Akron area owns FM stations WQMX (94.9-FM) and WONE (97.5-FM) and WAKR (1590-AM).

Being part of the United Way is part of the Mandel family history, Thomas Mandel said.

“I’m actually the second-generation United Way president,” he said, saying his father was president of the United Way in Cleveland.

The Mandels’ donation will give the United Way the ability to do all the things the organization needs to do, Thomas Mandel said.

“This is really overdue. It brings them into this new century,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what they do with the new space. They’ll be able to run more programs.”

Tuesday’s event also honored William and Rebecca Considine as chairs of the United Way’s Centennial Campaign.

United Way of Summit County acquired the Sojourner Truth Building as part of a complicated land swap involving multiple properties owned by the city of Akron, Summit County and Akron Public Schools.

The deal allowed United Way to move out of its former smaller site at 90 N. Prospect St. in downtown Akron and to expand staff and services with the previously announced merger in July with Info Line Inc.

United Way said it plans to rent first-floor vacant space in the Sojourner Truth Building to other nonprofit organizations.

The Sojourner Truth Building is named for the abolitionist and civil rights activist who gave her well-known Ain’t I a Woman speech in Akron in 1851.

Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ