CLEVELAND, OH – The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage named Christopher M. Connor this year’s recipient of The Maltz Heritage Award, the Museum’s highest honor. Connor accepted the award presented by Maltz Museum Founder Milton Maltz at an event held on Monday, May 14, at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
During his acceptance speech Mr. Connor said, “The Maltz Museum stands as a beacon in our community, reminding us of the importance of having an understanding heart, remembering and respecting our history, and welcoming people of all walks of life with open arms.”
The Maltz Heritage Award recognizes a Cleveland leader whose vision and humanity has created a force of positive change in the community. Mr. Connor was the fifth person to be honored by the Museum in this way. Previous award recipients include Audrey and Albert Ratner, Barbara Snyder, Sandy Cutler, and Toby Cosgrove.
“Chris Connor is an exemplary leader, and we are humbled to be able to recognize him for the generous contributions he has made to the community,” said the Museum’s Board Chair, Grant Dinner.
Event Co-chairs Richard J. Buoncore, Managing Partner of MAI Capital; James A. Ratner, Chairman of Forest City Real Estate Investment Trust and Chairman of Playhouse Square; and Thomas F. Zenty, Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals, spoke of Mr. Connor’s exemplary leadership.
In a tribute video, Mr. Zenty said, “My definition of a leader is someone who will take people to places that they would not normally go on their own and Chris is someone who can clearly get you to the summit.”
Watch the full tribute video here.
Mr. Connor is the retired Executive Chairman of The Sherwin-Williams Company, a 150-year-old, $15.8 billion global leader in the paint and coatings industry. Over his 33-year career he held a number of increasingly important assignments in many different leadership roles. Most recently he served as Chairman and CEO before taking on his assignment as Executive Chairman. He retired from the company on December 31, 2016.
During his tenure, Mr. Connor and the company were consistently recognized by many business publications for financial excellence, integrity of business practices, and a strong track record of shareholder wealth creation. Business Week magazine has frequently included Sherwin-Williams in its 50 top-performing companies in America, Fortune Magazine has recognized the company on three recent occasions as one of our nation’s top 100 places to work, and for three consecutive years Harvard Business Review identified Mr. Connor as one of the top 100 best-performing CEOs in the world.
Mr. Connor currently serves on the Board of Directors of Yum Brands, International Paper, and the Eaton Corporation, where he serves as lead director. His many civic and community board engagements include University Hospitals Health System, The Playhouse Square Foundation, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he serves as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Connor is a 1974 graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School and a 1978 graduate of The Ohio State University. He and his wife Sara have three adult children.
“Chris Connor’s accomplishments in business and his contributions as a philanthropist have been transformative. There is no better person to honor and celebrate,” said Mr. Dinner.