Celebrating philanthropy in 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

In Cincinnati last month for Philanthropy Forward ’19, we were thrilled to announce and applaud the 2019 Philanthropy Award winners. The annual awards celebrate the contributions of outstanding Ohio philanthropists, specifically those in the sector who have made significant contributions to philanthropy in diversity, equity and inclusion; as an emerging leader; through innovation; or a lifetime of work. This year, we played videos that captured the winners’ accomplishments as well as statements from the nominators.

Geoffrey Gund, president and treasurer of The George Gund Foundation Board of Trustees, is the Ohio Philanthropy Award winner. Presented annually since 2004, the award recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in philanthropy by an individual or organization.

“Mr. Gund is receiving this year’s award in recognition of his lifetime dedication to philanthropy, having served on The George Gund Foundation’s board for 43 years and as its president for 25. His life exemplifies the meaning of philanthropy, as seen through his teaching career, civic leadership and philanthropic engagement and we are so pleased to honor him with this year’s award,” said Deborah Aubert Thomas, president and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio.

Under Gund’s leadership, the foundation maintained its commitment to funding in Cleveland even as the Gund family members dispersed to other parts of the country – a commitment evidenced recently by early, significant contributions to Cleveland’s Say Yes to Education, public funding for the arts and juvenile justice reform.


John E. Moore, Sr., received the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy. The award recognizes an individual or organization demonstrating a deep and strong commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion principles in philanthropy. Philanthropy Ohio’s Board of Trustees created the award in 2015 to honor Michael G. Shinn. Shinn was a board member and Cleveland-area resident who died that year while chairing the board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Among the accomplishments for which Moore is being honored are his creation, in 1992, of the African-American Community Fund at the Dayton Foundation, which is now recognized as the first national model for promoting philanthropy in the African American community. In 1972, he became the first African American to serve on the Dayton Foundation’s Governing Board, where he later served as chair; he also served as president of the United Way of Greater Dayton.


Rachel Goodspeed, director of veterans affairs and outreach at CareSource, received the Emerging Ohio Philanthropist Award. The award recognizes an individual who exhibits exemplary leadership in advancing philanthropy, engagement beyond a single community, creativity in a philanthropic endeavor or project and significant accomplishment in a short period of time.

“In her five years working in corporate philanthropy at Vectren, Rachel has demonstrated leadership qualities in so many ways in the Dayton area as well as statewide,” said Deborah Aubert Thomas. Her leadership roles include serving on Philanthropy Ohio’s Education Initiative Steering Committee and on its Public Policy committee as well as the Dayton Art Institute and Air Camp boards.


bi3 received the Ohio Philanthropy Innovation Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization whose approach to problem-solving explores a new and sometimes disruptive path in their philanthropic work. Such innovations often involve public-private partnerships, leveraging resources, new collaborations and new grantmaking strategies. bi3 received this year’s award for its three-year, $3.2 million pilot project to reduce pre-term births and improve health outcomes for pregnant women and infants.

The Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees (who are not eligible for nomination) review and vote on the winners each year, and the nomination process is open to any philanthropic organization or individual in Ohio. To see previous winners, visit philanthropyohio.org/awards.

Jessica Howard
Manager, Communications & Membership

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