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Meet the 2022 Philanthropy Award winners

We are pleased to congratulate Allie Watson, Kristin Aspin and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative of Ashland County Community Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Claudia Y.W. Herrold.

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The four Philanthropy Awards celebrate outstanding Ohio philanthropists who have made significant contributions to philanthropy in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; as an emerging leader; through innovation; or a lifetime of work. Awardees are nominated by their peers, nonprofit leaders and the public and the Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees selects the winners. We celebrated the 2022 winners at the Philanthropy Forward ’22 conference on October 25 and are pleased to congratulate Allie Watson, Kristin Aspin and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative of Ashland County Community Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Claudia Y.W. Herrold.

Emerging Philanthropist: Allie Watson

The Emerging Philanthropist award recognizes someone who demonstrates exemplary leadership in advancing philanthropy and has achieved significant accomplishment in a short period of time. The 2022 Emerging Ohio Philanthropist is Allie Watson, senior community investment officer for Richland County Foundation, who is invested in making her community better and improving the lives of people in Richland County.

Allie joined the foundation in 2012 and after only a short time in her position, the community foundation was able to make a significant pivot in its approach to grantmaking, from making only responsive grants to being proactive in seeking emerging opportunities to yield greater impact. In her current role, Allie oversees the community foundation’s $6 million in grants made locally and across the country through donor advised funds. She also developed a capacity-building series for nonprofits, helped revitalize Mansfield’s central business district and serves as a professional role model, advocating for more women in business and community leadership positions.

Allie Watson (center) won the 2022 Emerging Ohio Philanthropist Award.

Philanthropy Innovation: Kristin Aspin and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative

The Innovation Award recognizes a funder whose approach to problem-solving explores new and sometimes disruptive paths in their philanthropic work leading to positive change in how the sector operates, thinks or impacts communities. Kristin Aspin and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative of Ashland County Community Foundation received the 2022 Philanthropy Innovation Award for its public/private partnership to expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare in Ashland County.

With Kristin’s visionary leadership, the Women’s Fund Steering Committee of Ashland County Community Foundation has raised more than $3.5 million toward the creation of a new childcare center expected to open in 2023 with capacity to serve 150 children. The project is designed to help meet local families’ needs for infant and toddler care, childcare during non-traditional work hours and affordability, as well as to help businesses thrive and grow.

Kristin Aspin (right) and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative won the 2022 Philanthropy Innovation Award.

The Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in Philanthropy: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

The Michael G. Shinn Award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated a significant contribution to DEIB in philanthropy, and this year’s winner is Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC). Racial equity is embedded in CAC’s values and funding criteria as it strives to reflect and serve the racial and cultural diversity of Cuyahoga County; deliberately share power with people of color, recognizing that CAC is responsible for operating with an awareness of legacies of privilege and power; and include and engage historically excluded individuals and groups in its work.


In addition, CAC launched a Cultural Heritage grant program in 2021 to provide flexible funding for organizations with an arts and culture mission that represents culturally specific populations. Eleven organizations received more than $215,000 in funding this year. To date, 379 people representing 144 CAC-funded organizations have attended the Racial Equity Institute at no cost. Since declaring equity as an organizational value in 2016, the number of Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led and serving organizations receiving grants from CAC has tripled.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture won the 2022 Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in Philanthropy.

Ohio Philanthropy Award: Claudia Y.W. Herrold

Nominees for the Ohio Philanthropy Award should demonstrate three broad areas of achievement: long-standing leadership in advancing philanthropy, creativity in responding to problems and significant positive impact on philanthropy. Claudia Y.W. Herrold, Philanthropy Ohio executive-in-residence, is this year’s winner and a passionate advocate for the philanthropic sector as she has devoted her career to improving our communities. Her long-standing leadership has left a positive impact on many foundations, Philanthropy Ohio and the sector as a whole.

During her tenure, Claudia guided Philanthropy Ohio’s advocacy work, focusing on state education and health policy, lobbying with funder members to advance systems change through work with the General Assembly and four governors and continuing advocacy at the federal level to increase charitable giving and other measures to strengthen the philanthropic sector. In addition, Claudia approaches her work with an equity lens, supporting public policies that address disparities and are equitable for all Ohioans.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold (left) won the 2022 Ohio Philanthropy Award.

Her ability to make connections and build relationships has brought together policymakers, experts and decision-makers to engage directly with foundations, elevating Philanthropy Ohio as a recognized national leader in advocacy efforts. Claudia’s deep knowledge and strategic advocacy work in service of building stronger communities through innovation and creativity has inspired and strengthened philanthropy. Watch Claudia’s acceptance speech below.


Congratulations to this year’s philanthropy awardees! To learn more, visit

Jessica Howard
Director, Communications & Marketing
Philanthropy Ohio 

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October 10

Philanthropy Forward '23

Philanthropy Forward '23 will convene at the Hilton Columbus Downtown from October 10 – 12, 2023 for the largest statewide gathering of philanthropy!