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Hannon Armstrong, Corporate Philanthropist of the Year

John Rodenhausen knows that when a need comes up, Hannon Armstrong will be there, asking what they can do to help. “They step right up, are part of the process, and are able to help us achieve our goals. We work together hand-in-glove,” said John, Maryland Director of Major Giving, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), who nominated the company.

“Hannon Armstrong’s tag line ‘Investing in Climate Solutions’ perfectly captures the mission alignment between our organizations,” said John. “We are fortunate to have the first U.S. publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange whose mission is solely dedicated to investments in climate solutions, located here, in Anne Arundel County.”

That mission led Hannon Armstrong to be the successful company it is and a notable partner in improving the county’s environment. The company has dedicated generous funding and volunteers to CBF’s mission to Save the Bay since 2005. Hannon Armstrong’s local impact goes beyond improving the environment. When they heard the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County's plan to weather the pandemic, the company contributed more than $50K to the YWCA, with the trust and faith that the organization would direct those funds where most needed, said YWCA CEO Molly Knipe. As a result, the YWCA never closed its doors; it expanded its services.

“Hannon Armstrong’s aid to both CBF and the YWCA of Anne Arundel County is impressive, but what really sets them apart,” said John, “was their willingness to significantly increase their support, when we needed them most – during the pandemic.” When CBF’s big fundraiser “Bands in the Sand,” had to be canceled because of the pandemic, Hannon Armstrong stepped up to be the title sponsor for a new virtual event; “Walk the Watershed.” The company’s financial support helped CBF generate more than $175k in donations.

The YWCA ran into similar problems during the pandemic when its fundraising events also had to be canceled. “When Covid hit, Jeff Eckel, Hannon Armstrong Chairman and CEO, was one of the first calls I received to say, ‘What do you need?’” said Molly, adding that through the years, Hannon Armstrong senior team members —including Dan McMahon and Nate Rose — have been involved with the YWCA. “Mr. Eckel has made philanthropy part of the culture at Hannon Armstrong.”

As the pandemic eased in 2021, Hannon Armstrong continued to support CBF’s Maryland-based events while also adding a new partnership component. The firm is now the first corporate sponsor of CBF’s organic and regenerative Clagett Farm through which CBF is providing essential nutrition to Community Supported Agriculture members while donating more than 30,000 pounds of fresh vegetables annually to the Capital Area Food Bank.

“By reinforcing effective local partnerships through sponsorships and volunteering, Hannon Armstrong demonstrates that it is led by kind, conscientious, and generous people who are helping to ensure relationships like this can continue to benefit our community,” said John.

Molly echoed this sentiment. “The team at Hannon Armstrong is just kind. They are more than a corporate partner; they are friends,” she said. “They completely embody the term ‘partnership.’”


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