United Way of Greater Cincinnati Honors Volunteers


The United Way of Greater Cincinnati recently honored local volunteers whose caring, compassion and energy are making our community a better place for all of us.

Leadership Award Honorees

From left, (bottom) Dr. James Votruba, President, Northern Kentucky University; Alfonso Cornejo, President & a Founding Member, Hispanic Chamber, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber; (top) Donald Bush, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Victoria Buyniski Gluckman, Founder & Retired CEO, United Medical Resources, Inc.; Michael Grabel, Senior, Walnut Hills High School; Milton Schwartz, Retired, Director of Big Ticket Selling Services, Macy’s


Community Service Award Honorees

From left, (bottom) Jamie Cecil, Vice President, Sibcy Cline Insurance Services; Tonya Matthews, Vice President, Museums, Cincinnati Museum Center; (top) Mike Holmes, Senior, Starfire U; Cheryl Thomas, Engineering Section Head, P&G; Robert Shaffer, Executive Vice President & Director of Audit, Fifth Third Bank; Brenda Kloos, Partner, Frost Brown Todd, LLC


Below are the write-ups on each of the honorees:

Leadership Awards

The Geier Family Award for United Way Leadership
Victoria Buyniski Gluckman, Founder and Retired CEO of United Medical Resources, Inc.

Gluckman, a community volunteer, has served on numerous area nonprofit boards, including the Strive Partnership and United Way Success By 6. She helps ensure that early childhood is well-integrated in the cradle to career education continuum and has been a consistent voice in making the case for kindergarten readiness. Through her philanthropic and hands-on support, she has enhanced the quality of life for our community’s youngest children and, in turn, improving the quality of our future workforce.

Ruth W. and Robert I. Westheimer Award for Continuous Leadership
Milton S. Schwartz, Retired, Director of Big Ticket Selling Services, Macy’s

Schwartz, a community volunteer, has been a dedicated United Way volunteer for more than 30 years, serving in both Community Impact and Resource Development. He is currently on the Program Monitoring Committee, reviewing program investments, and has served on United Way committees that helped identify critical community needs to guide United Way strategies. He has also contributed for nearly 40 years to improving lives through the Isaac M. Wise Temple, United Jewish Cemeteries, Jewish Community Relations Council, and Jewish Federation, and as a founder of the Ronald McDonald House.

Neil H. McElroy Award for United Way Resource Development Leadership
Donald B. Bush, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Bush has chaired United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Tocqueville Society (for donors of $10,000 or more annually) for two years. During that time, 259 new members joined this nationally-recognized Society. His strategic thinking has led to the development of the Tocqueville Advisory Council, a group thinking long-term about scope and growth. Constantly challenging the status quo, he was the force behind two recent engagement efforts — Tocqueville Riders cycling event and Beyond the Check to help new and veteran members connect.

Joseph A. Hall Award for Promoting Diversity
Alfonso Cornejo, President and a Founding Member, Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA

Cornejo has been building collaboratives to promote diversity and inclusion during his 22 years in Cincinnati. This includes founding the group that organizes the Cincy-Cinco Festival celebrating Cinco de Mayo and which has generated more than $170,000 over the past seven years for support of area Hispanic causes. He also facilitated publication of Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants, a history curriculum distributed in local schools and churches, and adapted into a play produced by ArtsWave.

Impact Leadership Award
Dr. James C. Votruba, President, Northern Kentucky University

Dr. Votruba has shown a special dedication to United Way of Greater Cincinnati, indicated by his service as a member of its Board of Directors and through his leadership of United Way’s Research Council. As Research Council chair, Dr. Votruba has been responsible for three editions of United Way’s regional indicators report, The State of the Community. The report and its associated online data portal have become the “go-to” data resources for United Way as it makes its program investment decisions and for additional agencies, foundations and government offices.

Youth Leadership Award
Michael Grabel, Senior, Walnut Hills High School, Volunteer with United Way Youth Engaged in Service (YES)

Grabel makes it a point to serve diverse organizations to help students open their horizons to their communities and the social issues around them. As a Youth Ambassador for the national Tourette Syndrome Association, he joins youth from all over the country in educating peers and encouraging understanding, tolerance and the prevention of bullying. He demonstrates how youth with courage can turn challenges into opportunity.

Community Service Awards

Improving Our Community
Tonya Matthews, Vice president, Museums, Cincinnati Museum Center

For the last three years, Matthews has been an active member of United Way’s Youth Achieve Success in School & Life Impact Council, helping others achieve their potential. Aligning with United Way’s efforts to engage our community around Bold Goals, her efforts are helping children, youth and young adults succeed in school and life.

Developing Resources
Robert P. Shaffer, Executive Vice President and Director of Audit, Fifth Third Bank

Shaffer took an already successful employee campaign to a new level of success in 2011, both in new dollars raised and in the number of committed donors who gave generously because they were inspired by Bob’s leadership and example and believed in the important work of United Way.

Jamie Cecil, Vice President, Sibcy Cline Insurance Services

Cecil is a donor, a volunteer and an advocate for United Way. She been instrumental in raising nearly $100,000 in both 2010 and 2011 as chair of the Sibcy Cline United Way employee campaign. She is also a United Way Emerging Leader and participant in Volunteer 1000.

Strengthening our Region
Cheryl Thomas, Engineering Section Head, The Procter & Gamble Company

Thomas is a United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Women Investing in the Next Generation (WINGs) member and chair of its Advocacy Committee. Under her leadership, the Committee is growing and energized, having recently returned from a third visit to Washington, D.C., to advocate for early childhood issues.

Communicating Our Message
Mike Holmes, Senior, Starfire U

Holmes is a senior in Starfire U, a four-year program for teens and adults with disabilities. As a speaker for Starfire, he shares the United Way message. He has helped others understand what is it like to live with a disability and demonstrated how much he and others have to offer as we work together to improve our community. He completed an internship at United Way of Greater Cincinnati and is now employed full-time at GBBN Architects.

Improving Our Accountability and Effectiveness
Brenda M. Kloos, Partner, Frost Brown Todd, LLC

Kloos has been a member of the Accountability and Services Cabinet and Building Committee since 2003, chairing the committee over the last six years. Significant projects have included negotiating the sale of the Middletown and Eastern Area buildings and leading the five-year process that resulted in the total renovation of the Regional Center Building.


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