Philanthropy Ohio presents 5 with awards

October 3, 2016 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

headshot of claudia smilingAt our recent Learning Institute, we took time out from learning and networking to honor outstanding achievements in philanthropic practice, presenting our annual awards on September 21. The Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees reviewed the nominations submitted over the summer and made their selections; Board Chair Melissa Kleptz and President & CEO Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D., announced the winners and presented each with a handcrafted, glass award. We congratulate all on their selection and thank them for their dedication and commitment.

George B. Milbourn, chair and president of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland, received our Ohio Philanthropy Award, which we have given annually since its creation in 2004. George joins a lengthy list of accomplished philanthropists who, like him exemplify the award’s criteria:

  • Long-standing leadership in advancing philanthropy;
  • Creativity in responding to societal problems; and
  • Significant, positive impact on philanthropy.

George B. Milbourn, chair and president of the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation received the 2016 Ohio Philanthropy Award.

George has presided over the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for the last 18 years of his quarter century of service on the board, a significant accomplishment in and of itself, but only one of many demonstrations of his commitment to philanthropy. He has been a donor, volunteer and board member for scores of nonprofit organizations and each is better as a result of his service. As one letter supporting his nomination said, “He chose to dedicate his life to philanthropic work, making it his mission to challenge the ordinary and inspire others to be big-hearted.”

mike shinn headshot

Michael G. Shinn

This is the second year that we’ve presented the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy, which we established after Mr. Shinn’s passing in 2015. He was a member of the Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees, where he chaired the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. He was also the founder of the Shinn Family Foundation with his wife, Joyce, and was an active and respected community volunteer who gave generously of his time, talent and treasure.

The Community Foundation of Lorain County is this year’s winner, recognizing the board and staff who have focused on diversity, equity and inclusion for the past 30 years. Recent activities demonstrating the organization’s commitment include spending two years assessing every aspect of the foundation – from governance structures and practices to vendors and investment policies – that is resulting in a culture shift that embraces the principles and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion.


The Community Foundation of Lorain County board won the 2016 Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The board selected two individuals for the Emerging Philanthropist Award, which honors someone who, regardless of age, has engaged in philanthropy for the first time in the last few years either as staff or a volunteer. Patrick Westerlund, education and impact investment consultant at the Tony R. Wells Foundation in Columbus, received the award for his efforts to promote social enterprise and impact investing.


Patrick Westerlund, education and investment consultant for the Tony R. Wells Foundation won the 2016 Emerging Philanthropist Award.

The second awardee, Meredith Wood, is a native of Springfield who founded Obed’s House Ministries, a 24-hour care facility in General Santos City, Philippines, where she lives and works.


Victoria Richards, director of development and marketing for the Springfield Foundation accepted the Emerging Philanthropist Award on behalf of Meredith Wood, founder of Obed’s House Ministries.

Our fourth annual award, for Innovation in Philanthropy, went to the Ashtabula Foundation for their successful efforts to engage youth in philanthropy. With 10 high schools in the county – in every school system – the foundation has involved nearly 250 students in youth philanthropy boards that assess needs and award grants to their local nonprofits.


The Ashtabula Foundation won the 2016 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.

Congratulations to all the awardees!


Claudia Y.W. Herrold

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