United for Our Communities
Medical Mutual, along with co-founding partner Smart Business, is proud to present the 10th annual Pillar Awards for Community Service. The Pillar Awards recognize organizations making a difference in their communities — organizations that give back in so many ways through volunteering, charitable giving, pro bono support and more. Our honorees prove that businesses can spark positive change.
At Medical Mutual, we believe we have a responsibility to support the local communities throughout Ohio where we live and work. We also believe in honoring the exceptional contributions businesses make, because we know that when it comes to improving the health and well-being of our state, a united business community is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Medical Mutual’s SHARE program is vital to our organization’s community giving effort. SHARE stands for serve, help, aid, reach and educate. Our employees did all those things and more through this year’s SHARE program, coordinating more than 50 events in support of nonprofits and community agencies and volunteering more than 6,000 hours. Given the program’s importance, one of the Pillar Awards that will be presented honors a company whose employees best reflect the values of Medical Mutual’s SHARE program.
We are privileged to be in the company of extraordinary organizations that uplift their communities. Together, we’re building a stronger, healthier and more vibrant Ohio.
On behalf of Medical Mutual and Smart Business, we congratulate all of our 2020 Pillar Award recipients. ●
Chairman, president and CEO, Medical Mutual of Ohio
Pillar Award honorees
Alice Frazier, CEO
AFA Associates supports projects and initiatives to make a positive impact on its community.
On the first day of each month, CEO Alice Frazier and her team engage in random acts of kindness. For example, in 2019, the AFA team spearheaded a tornado relief effort for the Dayton-Trotwood community, holding a water and healthy snack drive and partnering with a local pharmacy to be a drop-off point.
As a result, water was delivered to a senior citizens building, and a van and three carloads of food, water and supplies were dropped off at two area shelters, followed later in the month by tarps and cleaning supplies. The efforts resulted in Frazier being recognized at the 2019 Heroes Award of the Be the Change Foundation in San Diego in September.
In addition, each year, AFA celebrates community through its work with the It’s Commonly Jazz Seasongood summer series; this season, the festival showcased the power of HER, celebrating community and the empowerment of women. It also provides capacity building support and guidance to women-owned business through its work with WBEC-ORV, and in 2019, it was once again selected by LBrands and Procter and Gamble to enhance the abilities of the C-suite of a dozen women-owned businesses. Additionally, it has supported the development efforts of WBEs and MBEs for nearly a decade with programming through the Urban League of Southwest Ohio and by impacting the growth of more than 75 businesses. ●
BelFlex Staffing Network
Jason McCaw, CEO
Headquartered in Cincinnati, BelFlex is a vital part of many Greater Cincinnati communities, thanks to branches in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The company, under the leadership of CEO Jason McCaw, is committed to serving these communities and fulfilling its mission of “Succeeding Together,” which uses workforce solutions and volunteerism to help people, organizations and communities succeed.
The company helped introduce LIFT (Logistics, Inventory Management, Facilities Management and Transportation) the TriState. As unemployment rates drop, industries across the country are having a hard time finding skilled workers, while many individuals struggle to find work because they lack the skills needed for available jobs.
To help bridge this gap, BelFlex and the Freestore Foodbank created LIFT the TriState to establish a long-term workforce training program designed to help businesses fill open positions by training individuals in the skills needed for employment in the warehouse and transportation industries. It also provides adults with needed hard and soft skills.
BelFlex and the McCaw Family Charitable Fund provided financial investment for the start-up costs and helped develop the program design. They also make resources available to those struggling to find a stable and sustainable career. Two key figures in these efforts were BelFlex’s COO Robert Baer and Director of Business Development Casey Wagonfield.
Since it was introduced in 2017, LIFT the TriState has run seven sessions and graduated 95 individuals. For its work with LIFT, BelFlex received the Freestore Foodbank’s Partner of the Year Award and the American Staffing Association’s 2018 Elevate Award. ●
Braxton Brewing Co.
Jake Rouse, CEO
Braxton Brewing Co., recognized nationally as a leading brewery, was born from a garage and a dream. The Braxton family worked hard to build the brewery from the ground up, and as a result, Co-founder and CEO Jake Rouse — along with a team of passionate brewers — created something they were proud to share with their community. As a result, Braxton Brewing consistently seeks out ways to give back in a tangible way.
Under Rouse’s leadership, the Braxton Brewing team has always viewed beer as a platform from which to enrich the community. When they partnered with Double Dogs, this became apparent. In 2019, for each keg sold, Braxton and Double Dogs donated $20 to the Humane Societies of Kentucky and Tennessee.
In addition, spent grains from the lager were donated to Brewhaus Bakery Co. a not-for-profit dedicated to providing vocational training for young adults with disabilities. The bakery raises money by using leftover grain to produce Brewhouse Dog Bones, handcrafted small-batch, oven-baked dog treats.
As a result, Braxton Brewing presented local humane societies with a check exceeding $13,000.
In another major effort this year, Braxton helped his community when he learned a beloved festival might not happen. The Covington Oktoberfest lacked financial backing, but Braxton Brewing Co. helped to both sponsor the event and rally other organizations to make sure it went off as planned.
In addition, Braxton Brewing partners with Graeter’s Ice Cream to deepen trust and widen their respective networks of consumer relationships — and co-branded and co-marketed the one-of-a-kind Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Milk Stout. ●
Rob Cybulski, founder and CEO
Finit is focused on the service of others in order that they succeed.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, the consulting firm — which works with some of the world’s largest organizations to craft, deliver and sustain corporate performance management technology solutions that enable them to use their financial data to make better decisions — says serving others is not just something it does, it is, in essence, its raison d’etre. It lives this belief each day as it engages with its clients, colleagues and community.
When Rob Cybulski and Angie Apple founded the company, every decision they made stemmed from the principles of people before profit and service to others. They established a culture that makes it easy for the company’s partners and employees to embrace these principles and strives every day to help clients succeed while working to make a positive impact on the communities where they live, work and play.
Finit’s culture promotes individual expression, and while it promotes several organizations, it believes it is important to allow individuals to support what is important to each person. So even with a staff of just over 100 people, its employee-driven efforts have positively impacted organizations and communities in Cincinnati and more than 20 states, many of them small, lesser-known organizations.
To keep employees further engaged, it solicits suggestions for charitable contributions; in December 2018, Finit made donations to 40 unique charities, selected by employees, for $600 per charity, for a total of $24,000. ●
Bill DeVille, co-founder and CEO
Health Carousel’s higher purpose is to improve lives and make health care work better.
While the organization lives that purpose every day by staffing health care professionals where they are needed most, its employees improve lives in local communities. It aims to personalize the employee experience to each individual and encourages employees to give back in what they connect to and feel passionate about.
Health Carousel partners with the American Red Cross, and its employees donated more than $5,500 in 2019 to support local families after the tornadoes in the Dayton area. Its leaders also drive programs including Health Carousel’s Summer Olympics program, where a month of the competition is dedicated to #HCGivesBack, in which employees earn points by volunteering, or donating food/clothing/household items or money to local organizations of their choosing and by giving blood. This year, that added up to:
- 1,861 household items donated
- $523 in monetary donations
- 77 volunteer hours at 13 locations
- 50+ blood donations
Health Carousel’s employees are the true drivers of its community service impact, from participating in local charity races and walks, to using its two days of paid volunteer time off to create their own donation drives.
This year, Health Carousel employees have raised over $3,500 for the American Heart Association through the Cincinnati Heart Mini Marathon, $250 for the Running for Rylea Memorial walk and $2,000 for the Boys and Girls Club through various events. And 100 participants took part in the Light the Night Walk, raising over $15,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with a company match. ●
Karen Crone, Chief Human Resources Officer
At Paycor, one of the most meaningful parts of the job is the opportunity to give back, whether that is helping clients solve a complex business issue or serving others in the community.
The company believes in making a difference, not only for clients with the technology and expertise it provides but in the communities it serves.
Over the last 30 years, it has grown from a small Cincinnati start-up to one of the city’s largest tech companies, with more than 1,800 employees nationwide. And as Paycor continues to grow, its associates’ commitment to giving back remains steady.
In those 30 years, giving back has included supporting associates in times of devastation, organizing walk-a-thons, volunteering at local nonprofits and holiday drives.
Since 2010, its associates have given back through the company’s Community Partners in the following ways.
- 1,304 events
- 31,842 volunteers
- 40, 684 hours
- $1.5 million to community organizations
Paycor’s approach to employee choice started when it began receiving requests from employees to hold fundraisers with their colleagues for their favorite charities. Rather than restricting requests by building parameters around what type of fundraiser or nonprofit could be supported, Paycor built an internal platform to advertise all employees’ fundraising efforts to the company. ●
Alli Stevens, CEO
Powernet and its employees place community service at the forefront of everything they do. When the team brings a new product to market, it asks how it can use it to make a real difference in the community. And even when its products can’t make a difference, it uses financial donations to deliver valuable support to both community and national organizations that drive change in the areas it serves.
Paycor contributes high-end technology, such as tablets and Wi-Fi, to low-income communities and nonprofits working to create better outcomes for less-fortunate members of the community, striving to erase the social barrier known as the digital divide.
Powernet not only gives back to organizations and communities but works to make an impact that will be felt for many years to come. Through community service, its employees gain an identity that is representative of the company’s core values that play an integral part in the company’s daily activities.
Among its contributions:
- Powernet contributes free Wi-Fi to the Lower Price Hill Community.
- It contributes to RESET, honoring those who have beaten addiction.
- Members of the team attended the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council Catch the Wave Council, which promotes women in business.
- It works with the American Heart Association and donated more than $8,000 to the organization.
- For Rosemary’s Babies’ largest fundraising event of the year, it donated a silent auction basket full of technology.
Powernet employees provide many contributions to the community, but none of that would be possible without its generous employees who spread its mission of providing high-quality community service. ●
ProLink Staffing Services, LLC
Tony Munafo, founder and CEO
ProLink Staffing Services has positively impacted dozens of charitable organizations since its founding in 2011 through a wide range of support of both volunteer and financial contributions. Led by CEO Tony Munafo, ProLink has contributed to The Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, United Way, Autism Speaks, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Susan G Komen Foundation, among others.
ProLink’s culture is built on giving back to the communities its employees live and work in, and the company’s vision is to be a vehicle of growth to further its teams personally, professionally and financially. To deliver on that vision, the company encourages well-rounded growth in all of its employees. And because it believes community service plays a key role in balanced growth, it provides a variety of options for team members to take active roles in the community. Options include:
- Attending events like Champion of Kids Breakfast, Light the Night and others.
- Volunteering directly with the organizations the company sponsors.
- Contributing to charitable organizations on a weekly basis for casual Fridays.
However, the most significant example of ProLink’s companywide community service is its annual Dash Bash, a 5K fundraiser that has been active since 2014. Each year, the company selects two or three charities to receive all proceeds from the event. Last year’s event raised $40,600, exceeding the goal by $5,600, to benefit The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the SCPA and The Dragonfly Foundation. Staff volunteer not just during the race itself but also throughout the planning process, including mini-fundraisers to generate excitement and internal awareness. ●
Neil Bortz, Partner
Towne Properties isn’t just about great places to live, work, shop and play. It’s about great places to give.
Over the past 20 years, employees have walked in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night to raise money for blood cancer research. Over those two decades, Towne Properties has been the area’s top corporate fundraiser nearly ever year. The funds are not from a corporate check; employees work tirelessly for months to meet and exceed their goal. In 2019, the company — as the top corporate fundraiser once again — raised more than $70,000, not including the corporate donation of $5,000.
Over the past 45 years, Towne Properties has held an annual campaign to support United Way’s mission. The 2018 campaign ended with $60,000 raised.
Town Properties also supports ArtsWave, formerly Fine Arts Fund, which funds and supports over 100 arts projects and organizations in Greater Cincinnati through impact-based grants. Since 2007, the company has raised more than $57,000.
Additionally, Towne Properties participates in Adopt-a-Class, where volunteers coordinate and administer classroom activities, holiday parties and a career day at the corporate office for local third-graders. Again, like other annual fundraisers, Towne Properties employees work together to solicit donations from vendors and contractors, coordinate fundraisers like picnics and raffle baskets, and give their time.
Partner Neil Bortz not only started these efforts, he encourages his employees to lead the charge through committees and campaigns. Bortz also supports the annual tradition of each office or property adopting a cause of its choosing during the holiday season. ●
Turner Construction Company
David Spaulding, Vice president and general manager
In addition to its ongoing outreach and service, Turner Construction Company, led locally by Vice President and General Manager David Spaulding, invests back in the community with two designated days each year. This is where all employees participate in a community-wide volunteer blitz for:
- Founder’s Day. In May, to celebrate and honor company founder Henry C. Turner, whose mission was to be known as a community builder, employees participate in community service projects like repairing homes, cleaning parks, delivering meals to the elderly, preparing food for veterans and the homeless, etc.
- Paint the Town Blue. This is a holiday volunteer project started by Turner’s Cincinnati office. Each year, projects are identified by local charitable organizations and Turner recruits employees for teams assigned to complete the tasks.
In addition, the 200-plus employees in the Cincinnati office have served the following organizations over the past year: Keep Ohio Beautiful, Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Diocese of Covington, Rosie’s Girls, various Cincinnati public schools, Freestore Foodbank, One Orlando Alliance, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, Kroger Honoring Our Heroes, New Life Furniture, Barrett Cancer Foundation, Crayons to Computers and more.
While it is difficult to assess the financial contributions the Turner employees donate throughout the year on an individual basis, the Turner Foundation donated over $190,000 last year to local charities and social service organizations.
Like all things, the company couldn’t give back alone. It also asks its clients and industry partners to contribute, as Turner seeks to build our communities together. ●
Ultimate Air Shuttle
Noel Ripley, Business Development Manager / Vice President of Marketing – Ultimate Magazine
Ultimate Air Shuttle is committed to serving the nonprofit and charity community throughout the markets it serves, including raising nearly $2 million in donations and sending a representative from the company when providing sponsorships.
The business also has been fortunate to be able to provide discounted and free flights to regional nonprofits and charities, while helping them raise significant funds for their causes. For example, it donated several round-trip tickets to Chicago and New York for the Ken Anderson Alliance to raffle off. This helped the alliance develop a family of live, work and play communities that empower adults with developmental disabilities to discover and sustain life-long relationships, experience independence and live their lives to the fullest as valued members of the Greater Cincinnati community.
Another cause Ultimate Air Shuttle gave back to was Rappel for a Reason, which benefits The Aubrey Rose Foundation. The event raises money for children battling life-threatening illnesses as people rappel from the rooftop of the 36 E. 7th St. Building downtown. The company raised funds for Kayla, a young girl who is very sick with a form of kidney cancer, whose family is struggling financially.
Ultimate Air Shuttle and Business Development Manager Noel Ripley also sponsor annual events in the Greater Cincinnati community to help raise money for Type 1 diabetes through Southwest JDRF, provide opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for The Point Arc and support the WAVE Foundation’s youth education programs, conservation initiatives and volunteer program. ●
Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year Awards
chairman of the board, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank partners with local social service agencies to provide free diapers to low-income families while raising awareness of the basic health need for diapers. The organization’s vision is to eliminate the existence of diaper need in the community so that all babies have a chance to be healthy, happy and safe.
Chairman of the Board Steve Brandstetter defines diaper need as the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry and healthy. In the Greater Cincinnati area, there are more than 16,000 diaper-wearing children experiencing diaper need each month. At an average rate of six diapers per day per child (and more than double that for newborns), diaper-wearing children in poverty in the United States require more than 5.8 billion diapers annually to keep them clean, dry and healthy.
Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, the only diaper bank serving the entire Greater Cincinnati area, was founded to fill the community’s diaper need gap. By assisting families, the organization is working to build a strong community.
Brandstetter first learned of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank while providing cost estimate services as part of his professional position at Turnbull-Wahlert Construction. The organization and its mission immediately drew his interest and he asked how he could do more to help this small but growing nonprofit. Since beginning his involvement, he has provided significant personal and professional connections to aid Sweet Cheeks, donated his time to support it and has increasingly guided its future through his time on the board of directors. ●
member, executive board, SPCA Cincinnati
Karen Martin is a valuable asset to the SPCA Cincinnati, and her dedication and enthusiasm toward animal welfare inspire others to strive for community changes and improvements.
She began her journey with the organization in January 2016 as a volunteer on its dog walking team. Her love of helping pets led to another love — her rescue dog, Stanley. She encouraged other volunteers to strive for a high level of passionate care for all of the shelter pets, and since her first adoption, she donates each year at a Major Donor level to commemorate her rescue pets, Stanley and Walter.
During her first month as a volunteer, she learned about the SPCA’s Fur Ball Gala. Now in its 18th year, it is the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser and brings animal lovers together for a common goal. Last year, the Fur Ball attracted more than 650 attendees and raised nearly $400,000. Martin was an active Fur Ball participant but wanted to do more and became the Fur Ball Gala chair. She has served as chair for three years and, under her leadership, the Fur Ball has grown in participation and fundraising success.
Martin has made a significant impact on the SPCA Cincinnati, resulting in the board of trustees nominating her for a position on the board. She is a committed professional, with a recent promotion to the role of associate brand director at Procter and Gamble Gillette. Even with her full work schedule, her more than 260 volunteer hours highlight her true commitment to excellence in animal care and adoptions. ●
Medical Mutual SHARE Award
KDM POP Solutions Group
Robert Kissel, President
KDM POP, a second-generation family-owned, privately held company, has a strong history of exceptional corporate citizenship and a culture of giving that is woven into the fabric of what it is as a company. It believes in taking care of its 300-plus team members internally, so that they are empowered to serve others externally.
Led by President Robert Kissel, the organization has supported the local community by hosting events and fundraisers, volunteering and through financial contributions. Organizations that benefited from these efforts last year include:
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Special Olympics
- Ronald McDonald House
- Salvation Army
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Freestore Foodbank
- Hoxworth Blood Center
- Sisters of Notre Dame
- Xavier University
- ALS Association
- De Paul Cristo Rey High School
- Princeton City School District
- CKE Stars for Heroes Campaign
- Gorman Heritage Farm
- Mount Notre Dame High School
- The Cure Starts Now
- Matthew 25 Ministries
- Adopt-a-Class Foundation — Parker Woods Montessori School
KDM employees came together last year to volunteer in De Paul Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program that makes high-quality, college-prep education possible for students with economic need. It has also contributed to:
- Princeton City Schools, where it has taken an active role in the district’s Workforce Ethics Certification Program. KDM’s HR team sits on the advisory board to help Princeton form a program that will help students learn the skills and ethics they need to be successful after high school. Students that successfully complete the program are guaranteed an interview with KDM.
- Adopt-A-Class Foundation, a group mentoring program that connects businesses with students, inspiring a corporate culture of teamwork, hope and a future vision of what is possible for the youth in the community. A team of seven to 10 employees visited a class of 40 children in grades four to six at Parker Woods Elementary School for an hour each month to interact through STEM activities and a field trip to a Cincinnati Reds game.
- The Cure Starts Now and Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraisers. Employees held three events, including a March Madness Basketball themed event, that raised $2,700 in funds for its annual Once in a Lifetime Gala.
- The Princeton School District, where KDM provided Christmas gifts to 15 less-fortunate students
- A blood drive to benefit Hoxworth Blood Center. ●
Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year Awards
executive director, Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
Jim Hudson, executive director of Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, is nationally recognized for his leadership, his empathetic approach to maintaining a cohesive staff and for achieving major milestones.
In six years, he has had an immense impact in Greater Cincinnati, making significant changes in the Down Syndrome Association that have benefited the entire community. Under his direction, the association has passed the $1 million mark threshold in income for the first time in its history, allowing the organization to serve individuals with Down syndrome in more meaningful ways, add more specialized programs for a variety of age groups, hire more staff and focus on employment for adults with Down syndrome.
Hudson has been at the forefront of the association’s Employment Initiative, encouraging local employers to hire those with Down syndrome, whom he strongly believes bring value to the workplace. Backing that up, the association annually hires two adults with Down syndrome for a one-year paid internship, allowing them to learn skills to help with future employment ventures.
Hudson envisions a future in which communities embrace, support and inspire individuals with Down syndrome to live healthy, self-determined, fulfilling lives. His passion, determination and trustworthiness influence those around him to be better. The local Down syndrome community is in a positive place because of Hudson, who is making a difference in so many lives. ●
founder and CEO, Rosemary’s Babies Co.
Rosemary Oglesby-Henry founded Rosemary’s Babies Co. in 2016 with a vision, scarce resources and a plan. Her lifelong goal was to create an organization that would support teen parents holistically and teach life skills they would not otherwise gain. Her organization serves three generations — parent, grandparent and child.
She works to eradicate generational pregnancy and poverty and inspire hope for the community.
Oglesby-Henry built the program while enrolled as a master’s student at Mount St. Joseph University. In just two years, she has created relationships with some of the top leaders and organizations in Cincinnati. Through her leadership, Rosemary’s Babies was the first organization in the history of United Way to be funded as a new black-led nonprofit. Oglesby-Henry currently partners with UC Health, Tri-Health, PowerNet and United Way, strategic partnerships that help teen parents not only survive but thrive while changing their outcomes.
Oglesby-Henry has more than doubled revenue since Rosemary’s Babies’ inception, and in 2019 moved the organization from a 200-square-foot office to a 1,200-square-foot space to expand programming and build a hub that teen families can call home.
Since 2016, Oglesby-Henry has served more than 100 families in person and hundreds virtually. Rosemary’s Babies Co. has been featured in the Business Courier, Mover’s and Makers, Women of Cincy and numerous news channels. And in 2019, in collaboration with the Cincinnati City Council and the office of City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, she advocated for May to have a day focused on teen families during Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. This day is now officially the day after Mother’s Day. ●
executive director, MindPeace
MindPeace works to ensure there is a seamless system of mental health care for children and adolescents that meets specific characteristics of quality, provides a continuum of care, has system connections and is affordable. It focuses on the improvement and expansion of school-based mental health services.
Led by Executive Director Susan Shelton, MindPeace partners with Cincinnati Public Schools to increase student access to quality mental health supports, especially for families experiencing barriers to accessing treatment. It unites the right teams so that youth, young adults and their families get the mental health care they need.
MindPeace collaborates with community partners including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, the Community Learning Center Institute, school systems, government agencies and providers to advocate for customized mental health solutions. It began as a project of the Junior League of Cincinnati (JLC) in 2002. Hundreds of volunteers devoted thousands of hours to develop a seamless system of children’s mental health and wellness with the help of community partners. In 2007, the JLC launched MindPeace as its own nonprofit.
Shelton works to ensure every student has access to quality mental health services, regardless of ability to pay. All partnerships are financially self-sustaining and include 18 community mental health agencies, each with teams of therapists co-located full time in every Cincinnati public school and 23 contiguous public school districts.
The model connects 71 percent of the area’s children to access to mental health care without any impact on public school budgets. ●
President and CEO, Women Helping Women
Women Helping Women serves survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in Southwestern Ohio. For 46 years, the organization has heeded a call to serve the community with expertise and compassion.
President and CEO Kristin Shrimplin joined the agency in June 2015. Her priorities have been increasing services to clients, increasing staff engagement and retention, and building solid agency finances through sustainable resources.
In the time since, staffing has increased from 24 to 61, revenue grew 99 percent and 126 percent more in government grants was awarded. She also introduced the concept of a three- to six-month operating reserve, increasing cash and equivalents.
Under Shrimplin’s leadership, WHW introduced two new programs. The On US Bar training certification program is a sexual violence prevention program targeting bars, while DVERT (Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team) works in partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department. The organization has also expanded its current programs, including adding seven specialized advocates to serve populations such as rural, LGBTQ, LatinX and college students.
In August 2018, Shrimplin piloted a new program targeting workplace training around gender-based violence, which officially launched in October 2019. To date, the agency has provided WorkStrong training to six corporations, including the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts and the city of Cincinnati. Shrimplin also negotiated a licensing agreement, which provides an opportunity to expand knowledge of the program and generate additional revenue.
Shrimplin is an entrepreneur at heart and a trailblazer in spirit. Under her leadership, there is no doubt WHW is on a trajectory to operate for another 46 years. ●
Philanthropist of the Year
Matt, Meghan, Greg and Cindy Olson
William S. Olson Foundation
Over the past 16 years, the William S. Olson Foundation has raised more than $1.75 million for Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, enough to grant 175 life-changing wishes for children in the Cincinnati area who are living with critical illnesses.
The foundation was created in memory of William S. Olson, who lost his battle with thyroid cancer in 2002. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, and the organization’s mission is to celebrate his life while giving hope and happiness to children in the community who are living with illness.
William S. Olson Foundation Founders Matt, Meghan, Greg and Cindy Olson are committed to raising crucial funds for Make-A-Wish by planning and hosting premiere galas — the 2020 is Feb. 1 — and golf outings each year. They are also dedicated wish granters, giving selflessly of their time to meet with local children and families to help determine their one true wish and to go above and beyond as wish granters to ensure that every child’s wish experience is truly unique, memorable and transformational.
Through their dedication and positive example as generous philanthropists, the founders have inspired the next generation to make philanthropy an integral part of their lives. New this year, Meghan and Matt’s son, Will, a junior in high school, planned and hosted his own golf fundraiser — the 100-hole father-son golf challenge sponsored by Cincinnati Bell — to benefit Make-A-Wish. His golf tournament was a successful cultivation effort, raising thousands of additional dollars for Make-A-Wish and exposing dozens of young people to the organization’s mission for the first time.