EVANSVILLE, Ind., June 30, 2020 — Leadership Everyone’s Celebration of Leadership Awards (COL) – title sponsored by Fifth Third Bank – held their annual event on WNIN this year to celebrate inspiring examples of servant leadership by individuals, projects and organizations.  The event, originally scheduled in March, was postponed due to the Covid-19 challenge. Leadership Everyone, partnering with WNIN, chose to adapt to the challenge by broadcasting the event.

Leadership Everyone’s Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Miller Pease, believes, “This year our celebration could not have been more important to lift the hopes and the spirits of our community. For 25 years, Celebration of Leadership has brought together servant leaders of every age, race, ethnicity, religion, and background. We have recognized and celebrated and felt inspired by the amazing work that our nominees have accomplished. Even though we could not meet in person, the ability to have our celebration on WNIN has brought our effort to a new and even more inclusive level. Rather than reaching just 1700 people in attendance, the celebration was available to thousands of people to watch, to celebrate and to embrace the LE mission-Diverse Servant Leaders Transforming Our Community.”

At this year’s televised 25th Annual Celebration of Leadership, hundreds of nominees were recognized and 44 awards were presented to recipients. All demonstrated outstanding selfless community service in the following categories: Arts; Community & Neighborhood; Environment; Government, Public Service, & Environment; and Health & Social Service.

The Celebration of Leadership will be reaired on WNIN on Sunday, 7/5 at 4:00pm and Wednesday, 7/8 at 11:00pm.  You can also watch the video now on YouTube or Facebook.

See program for list and description of all nominees.

25th Annual Celebration of Leadership Awards Recipients 

Division Awards

Individual – Division Recipient – Philip Smith

Project/Program – Division Recipient – BRIDGE

Business/Organization – Division Recipient – United Caring Services


Special Awards

The Spirit Award – Jana Green and Dexter

Sam Featherstone Youth Award – Individual – Xavier Davidson

Sam Featherstone Youth Award – Individual – Noah Nellis

Sam Featherstone Youth Award – Individual – Blake Podewils

Sam Featherstone Youth Award – Project/Program – Piggies for Presents

Sportsmanship Award – Evansville Junior Football League Colts

Sportsmanship Award – Reitz Memorial High School Football Team

Bryce Jordan Servant Leader Award – “Fresh Fruit Friday & Power Protein Peanutbutter”

Susan Kelley Jordan Courage Award – Summer El-Khodary

Lt. Col. Reginald Gibson Award – Steve Reffett

Willie Effie Thomas Diversity Award – cMoe’s Children’s March on Evansville

Shirley James “Greening the Community” Award – Morton Solar & Electric

Nancy Sieben Koehler Sustainability Award – Kirsten Wagmeister for HeartSaver

Sara B. Davies Award – Florintine Dawn

Darrell Ragland Award – DeAndre Wilson

Transformational Inclusion Award – Fifth Third Bank

Inspiration Award – Indiana Ambition Basketball

Regional Impact Award – Albion’s Primary Prevention Program

Civic Engagement Award – Delaware/Dream Center Partnership

Outstanding Innovation Award – DNA Lab

Philanthropy Award – High Score Saloon

Visionary Award – Southern Indiana Mentoring Academy (SIMA)

Community Collaboration Award – Aurora Homeless Outreach Team

Lifetime Award – Carol Abrams

Lifetime Award – Bettye Poole

Lifetime Award – Dave Schutte


Recognition for Individual Achievement

Individual – Community & Neighborhood – Jerry and Kimberly Lewis

Individual – Education – Jacque Barnette

Individual – Government, Public Service, & Environment – Tanisha Carothers

Individual – Health & Social Services – Tracey Titus

Individual – Arts – Brittany Samsil


Recognition for Project or Program Achievement

Project/Program – Arts – Rogue & Peasant Aces ChangeLab

Project/Program – Community & Neighborhood – Junior League of Evansville Lunch Program

Project/Program – Education – “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” Refugee Camp Simulation

Project/Program – Government, Public Service, & Environment – Victim Assistance Unit

Project/Program – Health & Social Services – Mobile Food Pantry


Recognition for Business or Organization Achievement

Business/Organization – Arts – ParksFest Music Festival

Business/Organization – Community & Neighborhood – Churches Embracing Offenders

Business/Organization – Education – Jacob Ball Wish Fund

Business/Organization – Government, Public Service, & Environment – Hangers

Business/Organization – Health & Social Services – Tribe


25 Years of Celebration

Begun in 1994 by Leadership Everyone (now Leadership Everyone), the annual Celebration of Leadership Awards has received more than 2700 nominations and celebrated thousands of nominees for their contributions to our community.  More than 12,000 people have attended COL since its inception.


About Leadership Everyone

Leadership Everyone was founded in 1976 by a group of future-thinking local leaders, whose original commitment to community-wide betterment remains unique and strong. Leadership Everyone brings together people with different talents, gifts and perspectives and transforms these individuals into leaders who embrace the concept of community trusteeship and the collaborative process.  They help develop in them an understanding of how today’s leaders function and teaches them the skills to apply this knowledge in provided real life opportunities through practice and performance. These attitudes, skills and processes are taught to adults, youth, organizations, not-for-profits, businesses, educational institutions, neighborhood associations, churches and other leadership programs.