“Fortunate” is the word Jameson (Jim) Crane, and his sister-in-law, Loann Crane, agree best describes their family.
While collectively comprised of successful business leaders, passionate volunteers, and dedicated community activists, the most endearing part of the large Crane family is what it truly means to be part of it.
“There’s just a great caring for one another in the family, so sincere, so easy, and so natural,” Jim explained. “We don’t get together because we have to—we get together because we enjoy each other.”
Loann credits that closeness to the relationship Jim shared with his brother, Robert (Bob) Crane, Jr., her late husband.
“I think it started with Bob and Jim. They loved each other and worked together for years,” Loann said. “As far as Bob was concerned, the person he wanted to see walk in the room was Jim.”
Jim fondly recalls the special relationship he shared with his brother, who passed away in 1992. “He was my mentor, my coach, and my best buddy.”
For decades the brothers led Crane Plastics, a company that their father, Robert, Sr., founded as Taytec Corporation in 1947. Today, the Crane Group is a diversified network of local, regional, and global companies in the manufacturing, residential building, commercial construction, and service markets led by President and CEO Tanny Crane, Bob and Loann’s daughter.
The Crane family’s relationship with The Columbus Foundation started 40 years ago when Jim and his late wife, Ann, established the Mr. and Mrs. Jameson Crane Fund. In 1976, Bob and Loann established the Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Crane, Jr. Family Fund.
Since then, many of their children have established funds at the Foundation as well. Currently, there are five planned gifts and 15 active funds from which Crane individuals and families support a wide variety of organizations.
In 2009, Jim and Loann established the Crane Family Foundation, a Supporting Foundation, from which to oversee the family’s collective philanthropy. Through this giving vehicle, the family has provided valuable support to nonprofit organizations, including Community Shelter Board, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, United Way of Central Ohio, and Local Matters, just to name a few.
“Many of our family members are interested in so many causes and organizations in the community. It’s very gratifying for all of us to be able to give back,” Loann said.
Nearly every area of life in central Ohio has benefited from the generosity of the Crane family—from educational opportunities and the arts to basic needs. Grants to the community from the Crane funds at the Foundation exceed $20 million.
In 2013, three generations pledged a $13.5 million donation to The Ohio State University (OSU) to establish the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute, the largest and most comprehensive dedicated sports medicine facility in the country, according to OSU. The gift also funded the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, and the Loann Crane Advanced Language Institute.
In addition to financial support, the family has been extremely generous with their time, serving on nonprofit boards, including The Columbus Foundation, where Bob Crane served from 1980–1989 (vice chairman from 1982–1983 and chairman from 1984–1985), and daughter Tanny served from 2005–2011 (vice chairman from 2008–2011). Beyond the Foundation, family members have also served on boards including Planned Parenthood, the central Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross, Columbus School for Girls, Columbus College of Art & Design, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and ProMusica.
The Columbus Foundation is proud to honor the Crane family with this award, and recognizes how, through their remarkable multi-generational commitment, they continue to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of so many.