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Philanthropy Awards

CMF is committed to cultivating and celebrating the leadership of all those who power our sector, across the entire continuum of their engagement in philanthropy including youth, emerging practitioners, mid-career staff and trustees and the most tenured leaders in our field. One way that CMF demonstrates this commitment is by honoring the service, efforts and contributions of those involved in Michigan philanthropy through our annual philanthropy awards.

Call for nominations

Our 2022 call for nominations closed on June 30. Award recipients and nominators will be notified in August. The award recipients will be honored during main stage events at CMF’s 50th Annual Conference taking place in Grand Rapids on November 14-16. 



The Community Foundation Philanthropy Award was established by CMF and the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) in 2006 to honor a living individual and/or family for their exceptional service and commitment to growing community philanthropy in Michigan on behalf of one or more community foundations. This award recognizes generosity of time, talent and treasure, specifically the individual or family's leadership, impact, creativity and collaboration. Nominations will be accepted for a living individual or family. Public officials, foundation staff and CMF trustees are not eligible for nomination. 

2021 Award Recipient: William H. Piper

William H. Piper

The Piper family of Flint, under the leadership of William H. "Bill" Piper, has demonstrated extraordinary service, commitment and generosity in furthering the mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF). Bill's commitment started with the founding of CFGF in 1988 as a "member" of the inaugural board. In community, the Pipers contribute their time, talent, and treasure to a variety of causes that advance health, education, and arts and culture and basic human needs. He has served on the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation board of directors for 36 years.


ALL Recipients

2021: William H. Piper
2019: Georgia and Travis Fojtasek
2018: Charles Janssen and The Honorable Carlene Walz Lefere
2017: Doug & Margaret DeCamp
2016: Mary Little Tyler & Dr. Samuel Shaheen and the Shaheen family
2015: Donna Niester
2014: Lawrence E. Moon
2013: Dick Hoffius
2012: Barbara VanDusen
2011: David Donovan
2010: Richard (Dick) Groos and Lucas Pfeiffenberger
2009: Edward and Nancy Hanenburg
2008: Walter North
2007: Molly Dobson
2006: Raymond H. Dresser, Jr.


The Dr. Gerald K. Smith Award for Philanthropy was established in 2013 to honor the work and philosophy of Dr. Smith, who was a strong advocate and mentor, a bold and charismatic leader, and a pioneer in the field. Dr. Smith was also one of the original co-chairs of the Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy (MFAAP), a CMF affinity group. He dedicated his entire career to making the Detroit community better for children and their families. The award honors the legacy and leadership of Dr. Smith, recognizing significant efforts and contributions of individuals in the field whose work and grantmaking activities promote effective and responsive social change in African American communities and who have demonstrated leadership, impact, creativity and collaboration. Nominations are accepted for individuals with at least four years of experience in the field. The current co-chairs of MFAAP are not eligible for this award.

2021 Award Recipient: PamELA Lewis

Pamela Lewis

As the former executive director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), Pamela Lewis has been a leading advocate of inclusive entrepreneurship locally and among other entrepreneurial support leaders. With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, her impact extends far beyond grantmaking and is felt broadly in the Detroit community.



All Previous Recipients

2021: Pamela Lewis
2019: Lynne Ferrell
2018: Wendy Lewis Jackson
2017: Robert Thornton
2016: Vivian Pickard
2015: Laura Trudeau
2014: Johngerlyn “Jonse” Young
2013: Rod Gillum


The Dr. Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy was established by CMF and the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) in 1995 upon the retirement of Dr. Mawby as chairman and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The late Dr. Mawby was a founder and former chair of both CMF and MNA and led the creation of the Michigan Community Service Commission. This award honors an individual or family who has encouraged private action for the public good through philanthropy and demonstrated leadership in championing collaborative solutions for communities. Nominations will be accepted for a living individual or family with at least five years of philanthropy experience or active engagement. CMF trustees are not eligible for nomination. 

2021 Award Recipients: Becky Ewing and Mariam Noland 

Becky Ewing retired in 2021 from her role as executive director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City after a decade of service. Prior to serving as executive director, Becky served as a program officer and associate director. During her tenure she inspired and supported private action for public good, leading the organization through a strategic re-direction that resulted in a courageous new focus on systems change as a strategy to make impact on complex, entrenched community problems.

mawby 2021 award winners

Mariam Noland became the founding president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) in 1985. For over three decades, Mariam has led the community foundation to create and support countless transformational projects and programs to improve lives and unlock new opportunities for all in Southeast Michigan. Her leadership has been instrumental to Southeast Michigan, the state and our entire sector as we collectively seek to advance equitable, thriving communities.

All Previous Recipients:

2021: Becky Ewing and Mariam Noland 
2019: John Erb
2018: John M. Frey, David G. Frey and Edward J. Frey, Jr. (Ted)
2017: Joe Hudson
2016: James A. Kelly
2015: Bill Smith
2014: David and Lynne Robinson
2013: Larry & Earlene Baum
2012: Bill and Madge Berman
2011: Jim and Donna Brooks
2010: Manal and Ghassan Saab
2009: Lauraine Hoensheid
2008: Bill Johnston and Ronda Stryker
2007: Hugo E. (Ted) Braun, Jr.
2006: Peter M. Wege
2005: Margaret Ann Riecker
2004: James C. Acheson
2003: Chuck and Stella Royce
2002: Larry Bratschie
2001: Charles E. Anderson
2000: Maggie Allessee
1999: Arthur W. Angood
1998: Hugh and Eileen Starks
1997: Hiland W. Hall
1996: Elizabeth Upjohn Mason
1995: Russell G. Mawby


The Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award was established by CMF and the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) Michigan Chapter in 2021. The award honors an emerging practitioner in the field for their demonstrated leadership, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and advocacy for social justice in their work. The award celebrates emerging leaders working in Michigan who have advanced connections in the field and have shown support for peers in the emerging leader space. Emerging leaders include individuals from all career pathways, positions and ages with experience levels under 10 years. Nominees need to be CMF members or CMF partners to qualify.

Erika VanDyke
Erika VanDyke

2021 Award Recipient: Erika VanDyke

As a program officer at Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Erika VanDyke facilitates grantmaking for the foundation's restricted and identity-based funds, including the African-American Heritage Fund, Latinx Advisory Committee, LGBTQ Fund and Youth Grant Committee. Erika is celebrated for her passion for forging new partnerships with those who have historically been left out of traditional philanthropy.

All Previous Recipients

2021: Erika VanDyke


2021 Philanthropy Awards Ceremony