By November 6, 2019 Read More →

Philanthropy West Virginia Leadership Summit brings national & leaders to Parkerburg, W.Va., today, Thursday

West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Awards luncheon, sponsored by Encova Insurance, is Thursday

Release from Philanthropy West Virginia:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Philanthropy West Virginia today opens its 2019 Annual Conference: Better Together WV.  This conference is the state’s largest professional conference of foundations, corporations, United Ways, and philanthropists. 

It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network, learn, and leverage philanthropy’s investments with the board members, CEOs, staff, and professional advisors of grant-making foundations and corporations from across West Virginia, the region, and country.  The conference is on today and Thursday, Nov. 6-7, in Parkersburg, W.Va.

“This remarkable conference brings together the decision makers from West Virginia’s small, medium, and large grantmaking foundations and corporations to showcase successful work underway and set the stage for continued community betterment,” shares Paul D. Daugherty, president and chief executive officer for Philanthropy WV.  He adds, “West Virginia has seen tremendous progress when philanthropy partners with nonprofits, businesses, and government from economic development to education to disaster recovery.” 

The two-day conference kicks off today at The Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg, WV.  This year’s agenda hosts national, state, and local leaders tackling some of West Virginia’s greatest opportunities and challenges. Keynote speakers include:

  • Diana Bucco, The Buhl Foundation of Pittsburgh, PA addressing collaborative leadership for community revitalization
  • Kathleen Enright, Council on Foundations of Washington, DC addressing the transformative role of philanthropy in creating stronger communities
  • Dr. Michelle Foster, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation addressing the important role of Championing Inclusion & Diversity in Grantmaking and Communities

The agenda is specifically created for attendees to enhance their expertise and leadership roles with in-depth skill building seminars, continuing legal and accounting education sessions, and networking with national and state leaders. 

Highlighting the summer, for the 13th year, Philanthropy West Virginia will be presenting the state’s most prestigious philanthropy awards, The West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Award on Thursday. The awards program is sponsored by Encova Insurance. 

2019 marks a record year for the number of honorees who are strengthening our communities and the Mountain State through their philanthropic giving, leadership, and partnerships from small towns to big cities.   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 Clark for 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: C.J. Kaiser is being honored for his longtime commitment to the Upper Ohio Valley community. Serving on the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley’s Board 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. 
  • 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 Ryder has 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.  

“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,” said Paul D. Daugherty, president and CEO of Philanthropy WV.

The WV Spirit of Philanthropy Awards are selected by an independent and objective judging panel.   This year’s awardees will be able to direct a mini-grant in their own to their favorite local charity.

The public can join Thursday’s Luncheon & 2019 Spirit of Philanthropy Awards Ceremony. Tickets are $55/person.  Proceeds from the luncheon and awards ceremony support the West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Endowment providing mini-grants to critical West Virginia organizations and community partners.  For details, call 304.517.1450, visit:, or email:

For more information on the conference, visit or call 304.517.1450.

Philanthropy West Virginia is the state’s philanthropic leadership association.  The organization serves as the state’s leading voice and premier resource for grantmaking foundations, corporate giving programs, individual philanthropists, and professional advisors.  For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn @PhilanthropyWV. ###

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