Our Mission:

To provide grants to deserving non-profit organizations, primarily in Northeast Ohio.

Our Story

The Callahan Foundation is a family foundation based in Cleveland, Ohio that provides support for worthy non-profits to add value to our entire region. Started in 1968 by Francis Joseph (“Joe”) Callahan and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Callahan, The Callahan Foundation is primarily focused on art and higher education grants, as well as the funding of numerous social service endeavors.

F. Joseph Callahan Biography

Honesty. Integrity. Unbiased Leadership. These words describe the values that led Francis Joseph “Joe” Callahan Jr., from his modest boyhood in Lima, Ohio to his position as Chairman Emeritus of a global, $1.3 billion dollar company.

These values grew over a lifetime of defining experiences. They were honed as Joe took on roles that included distinguished Navy officer, self-made businessman, prolific inventor, nationally-respected entrepreneur, influential philanthropist, and dedicated family man.

Born in 1923, Joe was one of six children. A leader from a young age, he was a multi-sport athlete and president of his high school class. He attended the University of Dayton on a basketball scholarship, and then applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, which he credits with serving as the foundation for his leadership values. He graduated from the Academy in 1945, and while in the U.S. Submarine Service, went on to earn a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his years in the U.S. Submarine Service, he became a Project Officer for the U.S.S. Nautilus and the U.S.S. Seawolf, the world’s first two nuclear submarines. In 1958 Joe joined the U.S. Navy Reserves and retired as a Captain in 1983.

During his time serving in the reserves, Joe also began his accomplished business career. He put into practice the Navy values of honesty, organization, preparation, respect and fair treatment – now in a business setting. Fred Lennon hired him at the organization that was to become Swagelok, where he quickly rose to the top. At Swagelok, Joe instituted employee training, submarine-style organization in plants, and a culture that valued being the best – doing everything first-class. Most importantly, Joe instilled his overall corporate philosophy of respect, service and excellence. During Joe’s 42-year tenure at Swagelok, in roles that spanned salesman, President, CEO and Chairman, the company grew from $2 million in sales to more than $1 billion.

Joe Callahan’s generosity of spirit extended into the Northeast Ohio community and in 1968 he established the Callahan Foundation. Since then, the Callahan Foundation has awarded more than $15 million in grants to non-profit organizations throughout the area that demonstrate superior entrepreneurial leadership and a track record of value creation.

1923

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1923:

Born July 8, 1923 in Lima, Ohio.

1941

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1941:

Graduated from St. Rose High School

1945

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1945:

Graduated from the United States Naval Academy.

1945

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1945:

U.S. Submarine Service.

1945

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1945:

Project Officer for the U.S.S. Nautilus and
U.S.S. Seawolf (the first two nuclear submarines).

1948

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1948:

Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1954

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1954:

Master of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1958

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1958:

Receives Honorable Discharge from US Navy; joins US Navy Reserves.

1958

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1958:

Managing Director of Kenmore Research Company.

1958

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1958:

President of Nupro Corp.

1959

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1959:

Executive Vice President of Swagelok.

1967

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1967:

Participant in the investor group that started and funded the Midwest Bank and Trust Co.

1979

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1979:

Joined an investment group to acquire Invacare.

1980

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1980:

President of Crawford Fitting Co.

1980

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1980:

Director of Invacare.

1980

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1980:

President of Swagelok.

1982

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1991:

With Mal Mixon, acquired a controlling interest in Royal Appliance Manufacturing. Served on Royal’s Board of Directors until it went public in August 1991.

1983

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1983:

Retired as Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve.

1995

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1995:

E&Y’s Entrepreneur Of The Year.

1999

 

Timeline

Explore the interactive timeline to learn more
about the life of Joe Callahan.

1999:

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swagelok. Authored Swagelok Tube Fitting and Installation Manual.

Directors and Trustees

The directors of The Callahan Foundation are dedicated to promoting the philanthropic ideals of the foundation’s founder, Joe Callahan. With extensive knowledge of the Northeast Ohio non-profit community and the public they serve, these individuals work to identify, support and nurture the growth of high performance leadership in the organizations the foundation awards.

Tim J. Callahan, President and Executive Director

Tim Callahan serves on two Cleveland area non-profit boards, Case Western Reserve University and University Circle Incorporated. Past board affiliations include the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Music School Settlement, MOCA Cleveland, Citizen’s Academy and Hawken School. He received a BS degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Nancy S. Callahan, Treasurer

Nancy S. Callahan, R.N., M.P.H., is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she served as accreditation consultant to the Master of Public Health Program. She has also administered grants in the fields of teen substance abuse prevention and memory disorders.

Connie Richards, Secretary

Connie Richards is an honorary trustee of the Lab School of Washington after serving as a member of the board for six years. She was president of the Takoma Foundation and served on the board of two schools, where, as director of two endowment drives, she raised $4.5 million. Past board affiliations include the board of Women in Cable, a cable television industry organization. She is a graduate of Hollins University where she majored in English.

Foundation 990 Filings