Philanthropy WV recognizes WV’s Top Philanthropists & Awards Mini-Grants

Contact: Paul D. Daugherty, President & CEO, 304.692.9883 (M) or 304.517.1450 (O) or

[Photo Caption: 2019 Spirit of Philanthropy Award Winners (l-r) – CJ Kaiser, Sheri Ryder, Huntington ABC Collaborative – Janell Ray, Dominion Energy’s Christine Mitchell, Jean Ray, and Tamara Mullins.]

For the thirteenth year, Philanthropy West Virginia presented the Mountain State’s most prestigious philanthropy awards, The West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Award this week. The awards were presented at Philanthropy West Virginia’s 26thAnnual Members Meeting & Conference in Parkersburg, WV at The Blennerhassett Hotel. The awards program was sponsored by Encova Insurance.

2019 marks a record year for the number of honorees as their generosity is strengthening local communities and the Mountain State. The awards are based in four categories with two lifetime achievement awards this year for their philanthropic giving, leadership, and partnerships coming from small towns to big cities.

“Great energy, humble service, and generous support represent WV’s true spirit of philanthropy. We’re honored to recognize six deserving leaders and organizations this year.  Our thanks to our independent judging panel and Encova Insurance for making the awards possible,” says Paul D. Daugherty, president and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia.  The six 2019 West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Honorees include:

  • Critical Impact Award: For transforming the vision and focus of Huntington, WV’s future, the Foundation for the Tri-State Community & the Huntington America’s Best Communities Collaborative Team. FSTC and Huntington has used their passion, drive, and results-oriented work ethic to win the national America’s Best Communities Award and use it to launch new vision and action around Huntington’s future.
  • Volunteer Leadership Award: The 2019 honoree is Jean Clarkfor her personal philanthropic giving and leadership in community philanthropy and numerous causes in Preston and Monongalia Counties. Jean is a dynamo of energy, ideas, and action to grow North Central WV’s greatest opportunity which is the growth of Your Community Foundation of North Central WV.
  • Lifetime Volunteer Leadership Award:J. Kaiseris being honored for his longtime commitment to the Upper Ohio Valley community. Serving on the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley’sBoard of Directors for 28 years, Mr. Kaiser is a driving force behind the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley’s growth from a $1.4 Million organization in 1991 to over $60 Million in 2019. Mr. Kaiser is both a donor and advisor to many individuals who engage in personal philanthropy through the community foundation. Kaiser’s vision, dedication, and commitment has built a better CFOV as well as a stronger future for the Upper Ohio Valley.
  • Inaugural Corporate Responsibility Leader Award:Philanthropy WV created the Corporate Responsibility Leader Award in 2019 to inspire, encourage, and recognize companies of all sizes who are partners in West Virginia’s communities through giving, volunteering, and in-kind investments. The Corporate Responsibility Leader Award recognizes those companies who personify best community engagement practices for a stronger West Virginia.  Dominion Energy and Dominion Energy Charitable Foundationreceived the inaugural award.
  • Staff Leadership Award: Making the amazing things happen is just one of the accomplishments of the 2019 Staff Leadership Award recipient, Tamara Mullins. Ms. Mullins gives a full-time heart and work-ethic to a part-time role as Executive Director of the Nicholas County Community Foundation.  Mullins has worked on numerous projects and community education initiatives to bring together partners to grow the local philanthropy assets for Nicholas County’s future.
  • Lifetime Staff Leadership Award:For nearly twenty years, Sheri Ryderhas strengthened, supported, and humbly served The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the Kanawha Valley Community as the Senior Program Officer of the foundation.  Her leadership, impact, and creativity has fostered greater nonprofit partnerships, enhanced grantmaking, and implemented new strategies for the benefit of her community.

Daugherty added, “The Mountain State’s continuous spirit of philanthropy is ever growing. These six honorees exemplify the best of West Virginia and inspire others to achieve greater philanthropic impact in our communities.”  The gorgeous awards are handcrafted by Lewis County based Appalachian Glass.

2019 marks the first year that the Susan S. Landis Spirit of Philanthropy Endowment at the Beckley Area Foundation will be making mini-grants ($250) in honor of the award recipients to their favorite local charities.  Some of the groups to be receiving mini-grants include: Nicholas County Youth Soccer League, Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley’s Unrestricted Community Enhancement Fund, West Virginia Child Advocacy Network, Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, and others

Proceeds from the luncheon and awards ceremony support the West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Endowment providing future mini-grants to critical West Virginia organizations and community partners.  For details, call 304.517.1450, visit:, or email:

Philanthropy WV is West Virginia’s and central Appalachia’s philanthropic leadership association representing private, family, corporate, community and public grantmaking foundations; corporate giving programs; private philanthropists; and professional advisors. Philanthropy WV is committed to advancing our mission of“Strengthening Philanthropy in the Mountain State”. For more information about Philanthropy WV, visit: www.philanthropywv.orgor follow on Twitter and Facebook: @PhilanthropyWV