Let’s face it. Most of what you know about marketing and advertising firms was formed by TV, most recently Mad Men–slick, esoteric men in suits telling their clients what to do and their customers who to be, trying anything and everything to get the next client in the door.
Sonnhalter, a company founded by John Sonnhalter and now owned and managed by Matt Sonnhalter, stands in direct contrast. Since it was founded, this firm (located in the historic Brownell School Building on Sumner Avenue), focuses solely on marketing and advertising for manufacturers looking to reach professional tradesmen, or what they like to call B2T, Business-to-Trade.
“It’s cost us clients,” says John Sonnhalter, who started the company in 1970 and is now retired. “But for us it was always more important to know what we excelled at and work with clients who needed that expertise, rather than run around trying to be everything to everyone.”
In business for more than 40 years, the firm has an extensive and diverse list of clients across the country and in multiple manufacturing disciplines, including plumbing and drain cleaning equipment, snow and ice removal equipment, welding, and precision manufacturing and contractor tools.
A decade ago, during a typical weekly production meeting, the idea of doing charitable work as a company was discussed. They wanted to align the initiative to focus on the firm’s niche, so the decision was made to support the Greater Cleveland Habitat For Humanity through a tool drive to benefit ongoing projects and its ReStore locations.
“It just made sense,” says Matt Sonnhalter, who returned to Cleveland from a successful career on the West Coast and now runs the firm. “We had clients who we knew would support the effort, and we thought we would tap the community to get a few local donations, as well.”
But what has truly surprised him over the years has been the level of local support: “It’s been amazing. We have drop boxes in churches, coffee shops, garages, rec centers, distributors, and other local businesses, and we get calls all month from people who are downsizing. We’ve picked up entire workshops and helped clean out and donate more than a few garages.”
Running for the entire month of August, the SonnhalterTool Drive is now in its tenth year and has helped raise more than $250,000 for Habitat for Humanity.
“Cleveland Habitat for Humanity eagerly awaits Sonnhalter’s annual Tool Drive,” says John Habat, executive director of the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. “It replenishes our inventory and generates revenues to support our affordable homeownership program. Sonnhalter has demonstrated again and again its commitment to affordable housing in Cleveland.”
Join the cause, and give your gently used tools, building materials, or other items a second life. Click here for a list of donation locations, or contact Rosemarie Ascherl-Lenhard at 216.242 0420 X130 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Put your old tools to work for new beginnings in Northeast Ohio!