• This year’s televised Celebration of Leadership Award Ceremony shone a spotlight on 122 nominees for their examples of servant leadership and contributions to their community. 
  • Leadership Everyone presented 52 awards that recognized diverse people, projects and organizations leading and serving our region
  • Watch entire video here.


EVANSVILLE, IND., March 18, 2021 —Believing that servant leadership shines brightest in difficult times, Leadership Everyone celebrated the 26th Annual Celebration of Leadership Awards (COL) on WNIN for a second year. Leadership Everyone’s inspiring event, presented by title sponsor by Fifth Third Bank, recognized and thanked the innovative, collaborative and courageous accomplishments of 125 nominees.

Celebration of Leadership has highlighted servant leaders of every age, race, ethnicity, religion and background from within our region for the past 26 years, and this year was no exception.

“Throughout this challenging year, we have seen servant leadership at its finest—innovation, collaboration and perseverance across agencies and organizations have created amazing ways to serve our people through the pandemic,” said Lynn Miller Pease, Leadership Everyone’s Chief Executive Officer. “These results have led to new community partnerships and helped bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of our efforts. And broadcasting our event on WNIN has allowed us to better reach our region and make the celebrationavailable to thousands of people to watch, celebrate and embrace the LE mission – Diverse Servant Leaders Transforming Community.”

At this year’s televised 26th Annual Celebration of Leadership, 125 nominees demonstrating outstanding selfless community service were recognized, and 43 awards were presented to recipients. The nominations span across the following categories: Arts, Community & Neighborhood, Education, Government, Public Service & Environment, and Health & Social Service. In response to these challenging times, three special COVID-19 awards—COVID-19 Medical Awards, COVID-19 Community Awards, and COVID-19 Outstanding Innovation Awards—were presented, honoring the efforts of those who fought and are still fighting against the pandemic’s hardships.

The Celebration of Leadership awards ceremony will air again on WNIN on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at 5:30pm, and it can be streamed indefinitely from Leadership Everyone’s website or social media platforms.


Division Awards

Individual – Sheila Hauck

Project/Program – The Homeless Experience Project: 48 Hours in the Life

Business/Organization – Lyles Station Historic Schoolhouse & Museum


Special Awards

Spirit Award – Area Pet Rescue after 2021 Tornado

Epic Award – Jeff Purdue

Leader In Technology Award – #TechMe

Inspiration Award – Bushra Saqib

Latinx Leadership Award (Individual) – Guillermo Guevara

Latinx Leadership Award (Project Or Program) – LatinX Community Health ChangeLab

Civic Engagement Award – Trucks With Room to Spare Inc

Philanthropy Award – Bert Wheat, Tyna Wheat, & Monica Owens

Outstanding Innovation Award – UE / Harper Air Filter Changemaker Project

Transformational Inclusion Award – Jody Robinson

Raising The Bar Award – Deaconess Clinic Memorial

Regional Collaboration Award – Book N’ Cook

Regional Impact Award – READI Grant

Sportsmanship Award – Edward Nottle

Visionary Award – Timothy Weir

Darrell Ragland Award – Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protests – Emani Marks and Keshawn Young

Sam Featherstone Youth Award – Kylie Bedel, Lexi Smith, and TRACES

Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Gibson Award – Reconnecting Families by Military with PTSD Inc

Winternheimer/Lamar Public Service Award – Matt Karges

Sara B. Davies Award – Dr. Gina Huhnke

Willie Effie Thomas Diversity Award – Pastor Craig Duke

Shirley James “Greening The Community” Award – Toyota Trinity Stormwater Park ChangeLab

Susan Kelley Jordan Courage Award – Deaconess Intensive Care Units Staff

Bryce Jordan Servant Leader Award – Fr. Jay Davidson, Fr. Christopher Droste, and Fr. Gary Kaiser

Lifetime Achievement Award – Janie Chappell, Sondra Matthews, and Ken Wempe


Recognition for Individual Achievement

Arts – Nathan Jochum

Community & Neighborhood – Marietta Rodriguez

Education – Mendy Poole

Government, Public Service, & Environment – Laura Nordine

Health & Social Services – Kelly Paul


Recognition for Project or Program Achievement

Arts – Tepe Park Neighborhood – Basketball Court Mural

Community & Neighborhood – Coalition of Inner-City Neighborhoods (Fred Cook)

Education – EVSC/EVPL Free Tutoring Program

Government, Public Service, & Environment – Deaconess Aquatic Center

Health & Social Services – Deaconess Monoclonal Antibody Program


Recognition for Business or Organization Achievement

Arts – NoCo Park and Twymon Art Gallery

Community & Neighborhood – River City Pride

Education – AstraZeneca Inspire Program

Government, Public Service, & Environment – International Refugee Relief Center

Health & Social Services – Little Lambs of Evansville