Nelson Schwab Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes outstanding Leadership Cincinnati alumni whose contributions to the betterment of the Cincinnati region distinguishes them as a “Leader Among Leaders.”

In 2005, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP made a memorial gift to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber to honor the leadership and many civic contributions of firm partner, Nelson Schwab, Jr. Funds were used to establish the “The Nelson Schwab, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award,” an award previously known as the “Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award” recognizing outstanding contributions of Leadership Cincinnati Alumni. In addition to the re-naming of the award to honor Great Living Cincinnatian Nelson Schwab, Jr., the award fund also provides scholarship assistance for Leadership Cincinnati participants who otherwise may not be able to afford the program.


Past Distinguished Alumni Recipients

1985 James D Kiggen (Class 5)
1987 Oliver Waddell (Class 1)
1989 Freeman “Gus” Morgan (class 1)
1991 Christine Heekin (Class 7)
1995 Juanita Mills (Class 10)
1996 Nancy Heffner Donovan (Class 15)
1997 David O’Maley (Class 16)
1998 Robert “Chip” Harrod (Class 11), Edwin Rigaud (Class 13)
1999 Shannon Carter (Class 14), Mary Margaret Rochford (Class 6)
2000 Jim Scott (Class 9), David Klingshirn (Class 5)
2001 Joe Hale (Class 19), Melody Richardson (Class 20)
2002 Nick Vehr (Class 13), Janet Reid (Class 16)
2003 Mary Ivers (Class 12), Scott Robertson (Class 13)
2004 Kathye Lewis (Class 18)
2005 Michael Hawkins (Class 15), Kathy Wade Jenkins (Class 21)
2006 Peter Strange (Class 11), Kent Friel (Class 21)
2007 James "Rick" Reynolds (Class 22), Sister Francis Marie Thraikill (Class 11)
2015 Bob Castellini (Class 29), Shakila Ahmad (Class 31)
2016 George Vincent (Class 19), Sallie Westheimer (Class 6)
2017 Bill Keating Jr., 1953-2017, (Class 19), Candace McGraw (Class 34)
2018 Rob Reifsnyder (Class 8), Ed Rigaud (Class 13)
2019 Kay Geiger (Class 19),Roger Grein (Class 40)
2021 Michael Fisher (Honorary Leadership Cincinnati Graduate), Melvin J. Gravely II (Class 19) 
2022 Katie Blackburn (Class 20), Gwen Robinson (Class 20)

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