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.

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. 

Corporate Responsibility Leader Award

The Corporate Responsibility Leader Award recognizes outstanding companies, of any size, who are actively donating, volunteering, and making a difference in local communities and the state of West Virginia.

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. 

2020 Honorees:

  • Critical Impact Award: Beckley Area Foundation COVID-19 Relief Efforts
  • Staff Leadership Award: Marian Clowes, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation
  • Volunteer Leadership Award: Billy Atkins
  • Corporate Responsibility Award: Star Plastics

2019 Honorees:

  • Critical Impact Award:  Foundation for the Tri-State (FTSC) & America’s Best Communities Huntington Collaborative (stand in for FTSC is Philanthropy WV board member Janell Ray)
  • Volunteer Leader:  Jean Clark, Preston County, WV and Board Member of Your Community Foundation of North Central WV
  • Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Leader: C.J. Kaiser, Wheeling, WV and long-time board member of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley
  • Corporate Responsibility Leader: Dominion Energy and Inaugural Award recipient
  • Staff Leader:  Tamara Mullins, Nicholas County Community Foundation
  • Lifetime Achievement Staff Leader: Sheri Ryder, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

2018 Honorees:

  • The Lifetime Volunteer Leadership Award goes to Dr. Usha Vasan for her long-time commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley community. 

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

Dr. James “Jim” Denova – Lifetime Achievement – Staff Leadership

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