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Brandon Chrostowski receives community award from Scripps Howard Fund

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 19, 2024

We scheduled an interview with Brandon Chrostowski. That’s not unusual. As someone who gives back often to the community, he’s no stranger to our TV cameras. But this time, we had a surprise in store.

Chrostowski is the president and CEO of Edwins Leadership & Restaurant. He is most well-known for Edwins, his restaurant in Cleveland’s Shaker Square, launched in 2013, where men and women coming out of the criminal justice system train and work in fine dining.

His efforts to give help to those who need it most extend beyond the walls of the restaurant – to a bakery, a butcher shop, student housing, childcare and help for the homeless.

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“There’s lot of people who deserve a shot at a great life and unfortunately, because whatever it is – criminal past, skin color, religion – they don’t get this, and to me that’s inhumane and so in this sector of the world, we’re trying to make sure that is not the case,” says Chrostowski.

Good Morning Cleveland Anchor Tiffany Tarpley is sometimes accompanied by our promotions department on shoots, so Chrostowski was none the wiser when she rolled up to interview him with a larger-than-usual crew. He had no idea what was about to happen next.

“We would like to present you with $10,000 dollars from the Scripps Howard Fund for all of your incredible work in this community,” Tarpley said to a shocked Chrostowski. “This is a national award. You’ve won out of organizations across the country.”

Each year, the Scripps Howard Fund presents the S.J. Dilenschneider Community Award to an individual or group of individuals in a Scripps TV market who exemplifies the spirit of Dilenschneider and The E.W. Scripps Company. Civility, leadership, community spirit and mentorship are among the criteria used to select the winner. The award honors the late S.J. Dilenschneider, a longtime executive with Scripps-Howard newspapers.

A panel of judges selected Chrostowski from nominees recommended by Scripps’ local television stations across the country. In this case, News 5 Cleveland put forth the nomination.

Said Robert Dilenschneider, “My dad insisted that we all work in the community in some form or in some way and we all did and my two sisters and my other brother and he applauded it, but he would always say, ‘It's not good enough. You need to do more.’”

That sounded like Chrostowski to us.

We asked Chrostowski what’s next, and he talked about an ownership incubator.

“That’s the big thing,” he said. “We have this idea of getting men and women, not just in our program but throughout Northeast Ohio ownership in hospitality or restaurants or coffee shop.”

Applications for the ownership institute close on June 20.