We're celebrating philanthropy

Monday, November 5, 2018

With National Philanthropy day coming up next week, I’m excited to recognize a number of individuals and organizations receiving awards – including our own annual awards that we presented recently – for the contributions they make every day to improve communities and lives in Ohio.

Ohio Philanthropy Award

We’ve presented our Ohio Philanthropy Award every year since 2004 and this year’s recipient is the very embodiment of a lifetime achievement in philanthropy: Richard W. Pogue, senior advisor at Jones Day and board chair of the Kulas Foundation. The award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding achievements over a long time period, demonstrating three criteria:

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

Richard Pogue has dedicated his life to civic leadership, philanthropic engagement and the advancement and betterment of his beloved community – Cleveland. He has served on numerous philanthropic and professional boards, including The Cleveland Foundation, The City Club, Business Volunteers Unlimited, Case Western Reserve University and Philanthropy Ohio. With his wife, Patricia, he established the Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue Fund that supports nonprofits in the Cleveland area.

Robert Jaquay, associate director for The George Gund Foundation; Suzanne Allen, president & CEO for Philanthropy Ohio; and Mary Sobecki, executive director for Needmor Fund; award Richard Pogue, senior advisor at Jones Day and board chair of the Kulas Foundation, the Ohio Philanthropy Award.













Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy

The Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees created the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy after Mike’s death in March 2015. He was the founder of the Shinn Family Foundation and served as secretary of Philanthropy Ohio’s Board of Trustees; he also chaired the board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, taking on primary responsibility for guiding Philanthropy Ohio’s efforts in that arena. In addition to the philanthropy he did through the Shinn Family Foundation, Mike was an active and respected community volunteer who gave generously of his time, talent and treasure.

Award nominees should have made outstanding contributions to philanthropy by demonstrating that he or she:

  • Builds bridges, connecting people dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Champions the acceptance, respect and inclusion of all
  • Promotes justice and fairness
  • Forges genuine partnerships with diverse communities
  • Implements diversity, equity and inclusion practices in organizational operations, grantmaking and other areas

This year’s recipients are Central Ohio natives Donna and Larry James, who meet all of these criteria and so much more. To say that Donna and Larry James are two of the most generous and engaged leaders in Central Ohio does not begin to tell the story of what they mean to our community. They are a dynamic philanthropic power couple, said one nominator, who together have made enormous investments of time and money to help found, fund, develop and grow opportunities and supports for young people, teenage moms, African Americans and the arts. A stellar example of their work – and just one of many such examples – is their creation and leadership of the African American Leadership Academy, a community-based leadership development program with an eight-month curriculum to build strength, efficacy, leadership agility and civic involvement.

Donna and Larry James, Central Ohio philanthropists and community advocates, won the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy. Left to right:
Cinnamon Pelly, Adrienne Shinn, Larry James, Donna James, Joyce Shinn and Deborah Aubert Thomas.














Philanthropy Innovation Award

Our third award is one that honors innovation in philanthropy, recognizing a philanthropic catalyst – someone who has moved philanthropy forward from an original idea through implementation to results. This year’s winner is Gary Cates, the chief philanthropy officer for ProMedica Health System, the country’s 15th largest health care system in the country and headquartered in Toledo. His innovative approach to philanthropy and health care is evidenced by their neighborhood promise initiative, a collaborative partnership in the Toledo community that ProMedica will fund with $50 million over the next 10 years. Its focus on a comprehensive approach to addressing the social determinants of health together with its focus on community leadership and partnerships is an innovation that we applaud and will be watching for its long-term results.


Robert Jaquay, associate director for The George Gund Foundation; and Suzanne Allen, president & CEO for Philanthropy Ohio; present the Philanthropy Innovation Award to Gary Cates, chief philanthropy officer for ProMedica Health System.













Emerging Philanthropist Award

Holley Martens, trustee, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation; nominated Dan Cohn, vice president, strategy, The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation; for the Emerging Philanthropist Award. They are pictured with Mitchell Balk, president, The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation.The award for an Emerging Philanthropist honors someone who, regardless of age, has engaged in philanthropy for the first time in the last few years, either as a volunteer or as staff. Nominees should demonstrate:     

  • Exemplary leadership in advancing philanthropy
  • Engagement beyond a single community
  • Creativity in a philanthropic endeavor or project
  • Significant accomplishment over a short period of time

This year’s winner is Dan Cohn, who his nominators described as a thoughtful, compassionate and informed grantmaker who in three short years at the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation has become a community leader in advancing philanthropy, engaging in the broader community and strengthening creative, strategic grantmaking.

Dan recently received a promotion from program officer to the vice president of strategy at the foundation – in itself an acknowledgement of his leadership in the field. Here at Philanthropy Ohio, Dan has served on the Health Initiative Steering Committee and recently joined the Public Policy Committee as well.







National Philanthropy Day

Several members are being recognized this month by their local chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), as part of National Philanthropy Day celebratory events. The Central Ohio chapter has chosen the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations as the recipient of its Outstanding Foundation Award and PNC will receive its Large Corporation philanthropy award.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter of AFP recognized ArcelorMittal Cleveland and the Abington Foundation at an event last week. And, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter will recognize Dr. Neal and Dr. Donna Mayerson with the Philanthropist of the Year Award and bi3 as Innovator of the Year.

As we applaud the philanthropic achievements and dedication of all these awardees we also know that Ohio has thousands of everyday philanthropists who go unnamed and unrecognized: for these, we are also grateful – for their uncounted hours of volunteering, donations to food banks and clothing drives, financial donations to nonprofits and so many other acts of kindness and compassion.


Claudia Y.W. Herrold
Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Policy


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