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CNX Builds Community Connections through Philanthropy

February 26, 2022 | By Dorothy Tecklenburg

WCCF Board Chairman Jim McCune (left), presents CNX Chief Operating Officer Chad Griffith with the Charles C. Keller Excellence Award for Corporate Philanthropy
WCCF Board Chairman Jim McCune (left), presents CNX Chief Operating Officer Chad Griffith with the Charles C. Keller Excellence Award for Corporate Philanthropy

When you hear executives at CNX talking about their commitment to the community, there is something you notice right away.

They believe it.

Some companies pay lip service to helping the community, because it makes a good sound bite or photo op. CNX received WCCF’s Charles C. Keller Excellence Award for Corporate Philanthropy because they don’t just talk a good game, they live it.

As Chief Operating Officer Chad Griffith explains it, “We all have a blue-collar mentality. We came from here. We’re all local. Our CEO is from Mt. Washington. Our COO is from Avella. Doing an honest day’s work, doing what we say, following through and fulfilling our promises are more important than just saying the right thing.”

CNX Installing a Bat house at Peterswood Park
CNX volunteers installing a bat house at Peterswood Park.

CNX has driven change locally. Young male athletes now understand healthy relationships through the Coaching Boys to Men program offered from Domestic Violence Services and funded by CNX. What makes a bigger impact than food? CNX employees became proficient at packing or delivering boxes for Food Helpers or packing Love in a Backpack for the Salvation Army. According to Salvation Army Captain Amber Imhoff, “Their support and encouragement helped us fight for good in the community.”

Griffith’s favorite project is a $1 million grant to bring broadband to Greene County. “In our modern world, schools are now quick to go virtual. Families with no access get no education,” he explained. “We want to help fix that. High-speed access helps people improve themselves, advance opportunities, and improve overall quality of life. It’s a no-brainer! The need is there.”

Others are taking notice. This month, Newsweek named CNX one of the 400 most responsible US companies.

CNX CEO Nick DeIuliis is proud of their work.

CNX packing food at Food Helpers
CNX volunteers packing food at Food Helpers.

“Our environmental, social, and governance philosophy is straightforward and can be summed up in three words: Tangible, Impactful, and Local. We value actions and measurable results. We have absolute conviction that the work we do on behalf of society is noble.”

Noble? Isn’t that a bit lofty?

“It’s about humanity,” Griffith points out. “A small investment creates a phenomenal ROI (return on investment) in the world you operate in.” He encourages all businesses to consider upping their game.

“Doing something good justifies itself, but from the business side, the benefits of community and political support create a tangible benefit to a company.”

They recently created the CNX Foundation to administer its $30 million commitment over five years to broaden the path to the middle class throughout the Appalachian region.

At a time when people were forcibly disconnected from work, school, and family, much of what CNX supports is helping nurture those lost connections.

They are asking employees what causes they are passionate about. What do they support and how can the company help? Those grants are often small, but in Griffith’s words, “Sometimes a little makes a big difference. You can get one thing done and celebrate it. We all feel rewarded for making a positive impact.”

For detailed information about CNX grants, go to