CINERGY A Cincinnati-based utility company that services regions of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, Cinergy Corp. not only provides communities with the energy they need to function, but offers the synergy they need to enhance community life. "The whole premise of our community involvement is based on the idea that you can't run a healthy company in an unhealthy community," says Joe Hale, president of the Cinergy Foundation, which funds the community-oriented corporate programs.

Hale says that corporate representatives meet regularly with various leaders of the 35 communities Cinergy serves to determine their needs. Once a year, Cinergy hosts a daylong seminar at which community and corporate leaders gather to exchange and discuss ideas and issues. "The help we provide may be something as simple as a grant," Hale says, "or it may be loaning the community one of our company helicopters to take aerial shots for an economic development project that's being planned."

The benefit of all this involvement for Cinergy is that customers perceive the company to be an active community participant. "It also makes our employees feel good," adds Hale. "We try to make this company a place where people are proud to work." --Bill Gillette