Cincinnati nonprofit organizations

Cincinnati Area Donors Honored


It has been such a privilege to be working with the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council for the 7th year in promoting some of our region’s incredibly generous philanthropists through the Voices of Giving Awards. This year the organization honored donors on behalf of 25 nonprofit organizations whose important work is supported Jenny Berg with her father, Donald L. Neyer, and brother Dan Neyer at the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council Voices of Giving Awardsby their decision to give a planned gift (and much more in heart and time). Those Greater Cincinnati philanthropists are strengthening local neighborhoods, families and individual lives through their actions.

“Our Voices of Giving honorees have such diverse interests, often with deep rooted passion from personal experiences. They represent the true spirit of philanthropy and their gifts will touch thousands of lives directly and indirectly in our region, for generations to come. Their donations will help these important causes that are close to their hearts to be sustainable for future generations,” said Voices of Giving Co-Chair Molly Talbot, VP of Advancement at St. Ursula Academy.

Several hundred guests attended the Awards Event that was held at CET and emceed by Local 12’s John Lomax.

2016 Honorees included: (please note that honorees from two organizations asked to be left out of publicity and are not listed) Carson Smith (honored posthumously) on behalf of the American Cancer Society; Fran Cohen on behalf of CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation; Joe and Sandy Dominiak on behalf of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati; Thomas Ernst Huenefeld on behalf of Cincinnati Museum Center; Digi France Schueler on behalf of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Mary Rose J. Zink on behalf of Cincinnati Public Radio; Mace Justice on behalf of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Dr. Steve and Diane Dumbauld on behalf of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Patricia Armstrong on behalf of the CISE Foundation; Doug Spitler on behalf of Episcopal Retirement Services; Richard Hildbold (honored posthumously) on behalf of the Freestore Foodbank; Jerome and Suzanne Teller on behalf of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute and Isaac M. Wise Temple; Val Schube on behalf of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Rick and Julie Kantor on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; Rev. Dr. Joseph and Blanch Graham on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Towers; Donald L. Neyer on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Lakes; Lawrence Klosterkemper on behalf of Mount St. Joseph University and Roger Bacon High School; Jerry W. Warner, Ph.D. on behalf of Northern Kentucky University; Bill and Helene Sedwick on behalf of People Working Cooperatively; Margaret ‘Tuck’ Fraser (honored posthumously) on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati; Ursulines of Cincinnati on behalf of Saint Ursula Academy; Lisa O’Brien on behalf of United Way of Greater Cincinnati; and Dan and Julie Murphy on behalf of Xavier University.

Please click the link to read the honorees’ brief bios:  2016 Voices of Giving honoree bios

2016 Voices of Giving Awards

The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council is a professional association for people whose work includes developing, marketing, and administering charitable planned gifts for non-profit institutions and a variety of other legal and financial settings.

Susan Ingmire Ignites Philanthropy


It is the most wonderful gift when you find a way of mixing your skills with your passion into a career that gives your days purpose. Susan Ingmire has been doing that so well for many years. She is someone who I have admired for a long time, and had an opportunity to get to know more about her recently.

Susan Ingmire, president of Cincinnati based Ignite Philanthropy Advisors, shares where her inspiration comes fromSusan is president of an organization called Ignite Philanthropy Advisors, a philanthropic consulting firm that assists individuals, families, organizations and foundations in achieving their unique grantmaking goals. In 2015, Ignite facilitate 438 grant payments totaling more than $9 million; and 295 of the beneficiary organizations are in Ohio.

For her, it is more than a career. It is her calling. From a young girl it was instilled upon her the value in being there for others. Her parents taught her about humanity and responsibility. They encouraged her to reach for dreams and to pursue goals, always being kinds to others along the way.

Susan was the first in her family to graduate college. In fact, she also earned a master’s degree in speech pathology. And she was the first to travel overseas. The opportunity came when she was 30 years old and a practicing speech pathologist, and saw an announcement in the paper for Rotary Foundation Fellow applications. She interviewed, was accepted, sold her car, and flew to England where she spent the next 10 months as an ‘ambassador of peace’ studying at the University of London and speaking to Rotary Clubs.

“That experience rocked my world,” Susan told me. “It changed me in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the bigger world and gave me the confidence to travel on my own. It also made me realize that I wanted to do something bigger than speech pathology.”

Susan moved to Cincinnati in 1991 and worked for Fifth Third Bank, ArtsWave, and Interact for Health/InterAct for Change. She began Ignite Philanthropy Advisors in 2009.

Lisa: What does philanthropy mean to you?
Susan: For me, it is way to find meaning and bring family together. It is active engagement in making the world better and repairing it. Everyone can be a philanthropist. While money is an important piece, it is also about giving of your time and passion and talents. My job as an advisor is to help people activate their wealth in a way that makes the world better and makes them better.

Lisa: Do you remember your first volunteer experience?
Susan: My first experience beyond church was when I was a big sister in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. That was a fantastic experience. I helped someone from a high risk family. I learned a lot about compassion, empathy and poverty; and what it meant to live in a multi-generational poverty home and the barriers those families face. I also learned about patience and to give of yourself – the more you give, the more you receive. I received a lot of love from my mentee. I think I helped change the trajectory of her life and that means a lot to me.

Lisa: What life lessons did you learn from your parents?
Susan: The number one thing I learned from my mother is unconditional love, how important it is to be open with people you care about, and to stand by them through thick and thin. She turns 85 in June. From my dad, I learned to always try hard and never give up. My parents sacrificed and at the time I didn’t realize it. Now I appreciate all they did to help me go to college. To do that, I had two jobs and a work study job. I am forever grateful that I had the drive and determination to pursue higher education and had parents who did what they could for me.



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Jenny Berg Fulfills Her Passion


I have always loved this quote from Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

It is a question Jenny Berg asked herself; and the answer she came up with has lead her on a journey of empowering those whose work and missions are enhancing communities and lives throughout our region.

Jenny is the executive director of the Leadership Council, an organization that helps human services executives of non-profit organizations to strengthen their leaders, their relationships, their impact and ultimately the greater community.

Prior to her current position, she served a two-year role as president of the Board for Impact 100, a women’s grant making organization founded in Cincinnati in 2001 which has awarded over $3.2 M back into our community through grants of at least $100,000.  She returned as a board member this year after serving on the board 2006-2012.  She is also treasurer of the National Board of the Women’s Collective Giving Network, an association which supports the creation, development, and expansion of women’s collective giving nationwide.

Jenny Berg is executive director of the Leadership Council in CincinnatiJenny also currently serves as treasurer of the board of Women Helping Women; and on the Advisory Board of Flywheel Cincinnati, the Advisory Council for Xavier Universities MBA Private Interests & the Public Good Program, and the Pastoral Council Advisory Board of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  In the past she served on the board, and as board chair of Tender Mercies & Ursuline Academy, and she is an alumni of the Leadership Cincinnati Class #35, serving as co-chair of the Securing the Future Conference.

Please learn more about Jenny below.

Lisa:  You have accomplished so much with your drive to enhance our local charities. Where does that passion come from?
Jenny: I had early exposure to philanthropy and giving back from my parents. My father served on a number of boards, and was always helping out with his time, talent and treasure. Even though I didn’t really understand what it was all about, I knew that he was helping people. And my mother always supported him in his work and was involved in quiet ways.

As an adult, I have always looked for opportunities to give back. During my term serving on the board of Tender Mercies, going through the grant process with Impact 100 (Tender Mercies received a $184,000 grant from the organization) opened my eyes to what other nonprofits are doing. I wanted to lend my expertise there, and as I became more and more involved, it was becoming clearn that this is where I wanted to be spending my time.

Lisa: What is some of the best advice your parents’ gave you?
Jenny: They instilled in me the philosophy, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ philosophy. They taught me that it is our job to give back to our community and leave it a better place than we found it.

Lisa:  Have any of your children followed in your path?
Jenny: My middle daughter, Emily Schmidt, is also a member of Impact 100 and volunteers in helping to share their message through social media.

Lisa: What is some advice that you give others?
Jenny: I encourage people that it is never too late or too early to pursue your dreams. There is always an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Sometimes it is good to take a break from what you are doing and reassess to see if there are other opportunities for you. Oh yes, and always give back.

Greater Cincinnati Foundation Has Far Reaching Impact


How fortunEllen M Katz, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundationate we are in our region to have an organization like the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. With assets of more than $540 million, its impact is so far reaching as to touch lives in probably just about every neighborhood within its eight county region of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Just in this year alone, more than $88 million has been awarded from the Foundation. That is A LOT of good!

Its grants and leadership are provided in six key areas: arts and culture, community and economic development, education, the environment, health, and human services.

These are some highlights from the Foundation’s fourth quarter.

The Kennedy Heights Arts Center was awarded $35,000 in Cultural Vibrancy. This will support expenses at its new Annex space, including a full-time events and marketing manager.

To foster Economic Opportunity, the Ohio Justice and Policy Center received $80,000 for its Second Chance Legal Clinics, which provides employer education and expungements for victims of human tKennedy Heights Arts Center received a grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundationrafficking.

To support Educational Success, the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati received $50,000. The grant will support adult and children’s literacy services programs that provide literacy assistance.

Environmental Stewardship was supported with a two year grant of $100,000 to the Land Conservancy of Hamilton County. It will support the merger of three land conservancies working to significantly expand permanent land preservation in Hamilton, Clermont and Warren counties.

The Center for Respite Care was awarded $50,000 in the area of Health & Wellness. Funds will be used for a 24-our medical recovery service for single, homeless adults in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky. Clients will receive support when they are discharged from hospital settings.

MORTAR received $35,000 in the area of Job Creation. MORTAR offers entrepreneurial training to individuals who could not normally afford this support. The program was created to address the displacement of low-income families in Over-the-Rhine.

To encourage Strong Communities, the Cincinnati Community ToolBank was awarded $30,000 to support the tool lending services it offers nonprofits. Since 2012, it has saved nonprofits $1.3 million.


Voices Of Giving Awards Honor Greater Cincinnati Philanthropists


In our region, we are fortunate to have so very many diverse causes that are each enriching neighborhoods and lives in unique ways. Their important work would not be possible without a team of dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors.

For the past five years, it has been such a privilege to work with the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council committee helping to spread awareness of very generous people who are helping to ensure our community’s valuable nonprofit organizations can be sustainable in the future. They recently honored 27 philanthropists including Jim Huizenga, as a professional advisor, with Voices of Giving Awards. (You’ll be seeing more information in local news print over the next few months.) All philanthropists honored have made a bequest or planned gift to their favorite charity.

Mike and Marilyn Kremzar are examples of our humanitarian leaders who have committed years to empowering people who have been down on their luck

Mike Van Oflen, Tony Lavatori, Tonya Lavatori, Mike Kremzar, Marilyn Kremzar, Kurt Reiber and Mindy Hammer

Mike Van Oflen, Tony Lavatori, Tonya Lavatori, Mike Kremzar, Marilyn Kremzar, Kurt Reiber and Mindy Hammer photo credit: Paula Norton

through the Freestore Foodbank. Since joining its Board in 1984, Mike helped create the hugely successful Cincinnati COOKS!, a culinary job training program that not only provides nutritious afterschool meals to children at risk of hunger but also has seen more than 1,200 adult graduates move on to gainful employment. The Kremzars named the Freestore Foodbank as a beneficiary of their IRA.

There are so many wonderful stories like theirs of why charitable giving is such an important part of their lives. Please click the link to read more about all of the honorees. 2015 Voices of Giving Honoree backgrounds


Other honorees include:

Deacon David A. Klingshirn on behalf of The Athenaeum of Ohio;
Alan and Dianne Thomas on behalf of the Brighton Center;
Marjorie and Roger Santor (posthumously) on behalf of CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation;
Robert Buechner on behalf of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati;
John H. White, Jr. on behalf of Cincinnati Museum Center;
Albert W. Vontz III on behalf of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park;
Barb and Mort Nicholson on behalf of Cincinnati Public Radio;
Norita Aplin and Stanley Ragle on behalf of Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra;
Jack Kirby on behalf of Episcopal Retirement Homes;
Mike and Marilyn Kremzar on behalf of Freestore Foodbank;
John Isidor and Sandy Kaltman on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati;
Burke Neville on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation;
Peggy Kite on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Lakes;
Dr. George Rieveschl, Jr. (posthumously) on behalf of the Lloyd Library and Museum;
Mona Morrow on behalf of The Salvation Army;
Emily Pan on behalf of Saint Joseph Home;
Mary Kay Pastura Hauser on behalf of St. Ursula Academy;
The Calonge Family on behalf of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
Note: one of the honorees did not want to be recognized in Event promotion.

Jim Huizenga, senior program officer at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation,
honored as a professional advisor, was nominated by Saint Joseph Home

Platinum Presenting Sponsors of the 17th annual Voices of Giving Awards are The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank Trustee, and The Salvation Army.  Silver Sponsors include Graydon, Head and Ritchey LLP, the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund, Life Enriching Communities, Smith Beers Yunker & Company, Inc., and Xavier University.  The Event was hosted by CET and emceed by Local 12’s John Lomax.

“Our Voices of Giving honorees represent the true spirit of philanthropy and their gifts are enhancing the quality of life for our community, now and in the future,” said Sue Ellen Stuebing, vice president of the board of The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council. “We thank them not only for their generosity but also for allowing us to recognize them.  By doing so, they are inspiring others in our community to demonstrate that everyone can make a lasting impact by leaving a legacy.

Voices of Giving honorees photo credit: Paula Norton

Voices of Giving honorees
photo credit: Paula Norton

The 2015 event was co-chaired by Telly McGaha and Molly Talbot. Committee members included Lori Asmus, Carol Derkson, Bruce Favret, Misty Griesinger, Doug Heeston, Anna Hehman, Bill Hitch, Mary Alice Koch, Michelle Mancini, Tracy Monroe, Carol Serrone, Carol Stevie, Sue Ellen Stuebing and Dan Virzi.

The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council is a professional association for people whose work includes developing, marketing, and administering charitable planned gifts for non-profit institutions and a variety of other legal and financial settings.




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