About Romich Foundation

Romich Foundation was established in 2005 as a 501c3 private foundation. IRS Letter of Determination.

In 1966 Edwin Prentke and Barry Romich formed a partnership that was a spin-off of a federally funded medical engineering research program at Case Institute of Technology (now part of Case Western Reserve University) and Highland View Hospital, the Cuyahoga County rehabilitation hospital. The work of the research program dealt with the needs of individuals with nearly total paralysis resulting from high level spinal cord injury.

Prentke Romich Company (PRC) grew over the years and today is a leading international manufacturer of assistive technology to address the communication needs of people with severe speech disability. Now PRC-Saltillo, the headquarters is in Wooster, OH and there are subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Canada. Products are distributed in many other countries worldwide.

In 2008, PRC completed the process of ownership transition to an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). ESOP ownership was attractive as offering the highest probability that the PRC mission will be maintained into the future and that PRC employees can expect their jobs to stay in the area. This process involved the purchase by PRC of company stock from owners and the gifting of that stock to a trust that operates for the retirement benefit of PRC employees. PRC employees received a significant benefit at no cost to them.

Romich Foundation was established as a vehicle to support responsible and perpetual charitable distribution of most of the value of the stock of PRC previously held by Barry Romich. A significant vehicle for that is Romich Foundation Makerspace as it has been found that making things for nonprofit organizations can provide more value than simply writing checks.


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