Past Spirit of Philanthropy Honorees

West Virginia is fortunate to have a state of individuals, organizations, and staff who contribute their time, talent and travel to spread the Spirit of Philanthropy. In 2007, Philanthropy West Virginia founded the Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Program to recognize outstanding philanthropic leaders for their generosity in support of their communities, regions, and state. The Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Program has three awards (Volunteer Leadership, Staff Leadership, and Critical Impact) that are announced at the Annual Conference each year.

Staff Leadership Award

The Staff Leadership Award honors an individual exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to philanthropy in the state of West Virginia. This staff member (volunteer or paid) excels in his or her role by demonstrating exceptional commitment and leadership in the field. Creativity is a significant component of the individual’s efforts and the impact of his or her work has been clearly demonstrated. 

Critical Impact Award

Philanthropy West Virginia believes that extraordinary efforts deserve widespread recognition., celebrating local grantmaking that has changed lives and communities for the better. Recipients may include one grant project under $5,000 and one grant project over $5,000. The projects will serve as a model for others in philanthropy and will demonstrate creativity, innovation and sustainability.

Volunteer Leadership Award

The Volunteer Leadership Award honors an individual exhibiting an extraordinary commitment to philanthropy. They excel in their role as an individual philanthropist through their personal giving, their company’s philanthropy, engaging others to give, and/or serving as a board member of a philanthropic organization. This person served as a catalyst in philanthropy in their community, exhibited creativity, leadership and made a significant impact. 


2018 Honorees

  • The Critical Impact Award goes to the crowd-funding collaboration between Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley for raising a combined $1.4 million over the past two years, most of which was granted out to strengthen 149 organizations, civic groups, schools, and nonprofits in their communities. Accepting the award for PACF was Board Member Curtis Miller and Development & Communication Officer Julie Posey. Accepting on behalf of CFOV was Susie Nelson, executive director.

  • The Volunteer Leadership Award goes to someone give advocates for those without a strong voice, Mimi Wilson of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network’s Board of Directors. Mimi’s work to bring care providers, expertise, and awareness surrounding the issue of child abuse is truly inspiring. She dedicates hours, personal funds, and her heart to the WVCAN. Mimi refuses to let the mission of child advocacy centers to be lost and always finds a way to make people pay attention. Pictured below is Mimi Wilson and her nominator Stacey Deel, Awareness & Development Specialist of WVCAN.

  • The Lifetime Volunteer Leadership Award goes to Dr. Usha Vasan for her long-time commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley community. Serving on the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) Board of Directors for 16 years, Dr. Vasan demonstrates her dedication to bettering the lives of her community through her personal giving in scholarships, co-founding the Vasan Family Center for Philanthropy, quadrupling the PACF’s assets and reaching members of the community to which the philanthropic community had not previously been well exposed. Thanks to Dr. Vasan’s generosity, the Mid-Ohio Valley community is prospering. Dr. Vasan (center) is pictured below with fellow board members Linda Gerrard and Donna Smith.

  • The Staff Leadership Award goes to Kim Barber Tieman of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, with whom every kids counts. Kim is known for her dedication to getting to know the real needs of West Virginia communities. This year, some of her focus shone on WV KIDS COUNT, a child advocacy organization struggling to survive. The Benedum Foundation has helped support KIDS COUNT for a number of years, but KIDS COUNT was at risk of losing funding from another large supports and of losing their national network status. Due to Kim’s time and work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT was saved and put back on solid ground. Pictured below is Kim Tieman with her nominator Tricia Kingery of WV KIDS COUNT.

  • The Lifetime Staff Leadership Award goes to William “Pat” Getty, retiring president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. For the last 19 years, Pat’s leadership of the Benedum Foundation and generous soul have helped countless people who call West Virginia home. Picture below is Pat Getty with Philanthropy WV 2018 Board Chair Susie Nelson and President & CEO Paul Daugherty. Partnering with Pat and the Benedum Foundation has been an honor and we thank you for your many years of friendship.

2017 Honorees


2017 WV Spirit of Philanthropy honorees pictured (l-r) Volunteer Leader-Adult: Conrad Cooper; Critical Impact Award: Rob Vass, Maggie Hutchinson of Homes for White Sulphur Springs; Staff Leader: Erin Hurst; Critical Impact: Tom Crabtree – Homes for White Sulphur Springs; and Volunteer Leader – Youth: Roark Sizemore.

2017 SOP Media Release

2016 Honorees








Beckley Area Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee – Critical Impact Award








Diane Hinkle – Staff Leadership Award








William “Bill” Hogan – Volunteer Leadership Award

2016 SOP Award Media Release

2015 Honorees

Dr. Chip Pickering – Volunteer Leadership Award

Try this Mini-Grant Collaborative – Critical Impact Award

Erin Clemens – Staff Leadership Award

2014 Honorees

Michael Cavendish – Volunteer Leadership Award

W. Randy Smith Center – Critical Impact Award

Becky Ceperley –  Staff Leadership Award

2013 Honorees

Mary Lou Haley – Volunteer Leadership Award

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation – Critical Impact Award

Susie Nelson – Staff Leadership

David Ziegler – Lifetime Achievement Award

2012 Honorees

2011 Honorees

Arlene Kuryla – Volunteer Leadership Award

Tucker Community Foundation – Critical Impact Award

Mary Witten Wiseman – Staff Leadership Award

2010 Honorees

Sarah Minear – Volunteer Leadership Award

J.B. Chambers Charitable Foundation – Critical Impact Award

Judy Sjostedt – Staff Leadership

2009 Honorees

Patty Bright – Volunteer Leadership Award

Mullens Project – Critical Impact Award

Amy Owen – Staff Leadership

2008 Honorees

Mariwyn Smith – Volunteer Leadership Award

Foundation for the Tri-State Community – Critical Impact Award

Susan Landis – Staff Leadership Award

2007 Honorees

Warren A. Thornhill – Volunteer Leadership Award

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation – Critical Impact Award