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Philanthropy Award Recipients

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the vision and generosity of our donors. Every year since 1991, we have recognized the contributions of philanthropists whose giving has inspired others while strengthening the Greater Rochester-Finger Lakes region. If you would like to be on our guest list for future celebrations, click here.

On August 12, 2021, we hosted our annual philanthropy celebration outside at Frontier Field. Learn more about our wonderful honorees below.

Tom Riley and Barbara Kelley
Joe U. Posner Founders Award

For the 37 years Tom and Barbara have been married — and even before — they say living within a quarter-mile of the Genesee River constantly reminds them how important the quality of a community’s environment needs to be for living and working.

They focused their commitments of time and talent to make life better here for everyone, and used their philanthropic funds at the Community Foundation to support those passions.

Tom’s love for his hometown prompted his involvement in Rochester neighborhood groups, youth sports, and the City Planning Commission, along with board and leadership roles at Unity Health System and Rochester Regional Health, to name a few. Barbara volunteered on many boards and committees for such organizations as the Seneca Park Zoo, University of Rochester Eye Institute, United Way, and the Catholic Diocese’s Stewardship Council.

These two are the only married couple to serve on the Community Foundation Board at the same time.

Hanif Abdul-Wahid

Hanif believes in the power of neighborhoods and working together to achieve positive results and positive change.

A 27-year career as a community liaison for Monroe County allowed him to follow his passion. He collaborated with others to create block clubs, strengthen neighborhoods, get housing built, and keep youth busy during the summer. He worked with police to clean up red-light districts and drug houses and build trust with neighbors. His commitment to community was grounded in the example set by family members.

“The best way to serve the community is to do it in a way where you are really trying to not just make a difference, but sustain the difference that you make,” he says.

Mary Anne Palermo

For Mary Anne, philanthropy is simply about taking care of one another. As a nurse, that philosophy is instinctual and something she has embraced throughout her life.

Together with her late husband, Dick, they supported many initiatives and programs with grants from funds they established at the Community Foundation. Mary Anne has expanded her family’s philanthropy with two endowed funds — one to address the always-changing needs of the broader community and the other to support nonprofits that provide vital services to Livingston County individuals and families.

“It has been very joyful to see some of the changes take place because of our giving,” she says.

The Community Foundation’s work wouldn’t be possible without the vision and generosity of our donors. Every year since 1991, we have recognized the contributions of philanthropists whose giving has inspired others while strengthening the Greater Rochester-Finger Lakes region. 

While we usually host our Philanthropy Awards and Annual Report to the Community Luncheon at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, our 2020 celebration was the first virtual event of its kind. Our philanthropy award recipients embody the event theme: “Generosity Can’t Be Quarantined.” Here is the full recording of our livestream from September 23, 2020, and you can scroll further below for excerpts featuring our honorees.

José Coronas, Joe U. Posner Founders Award

Born in Cuba, José came to Rochester for a summer job at Kodak and returned after graduating from college for a full-time job there. When the division he led was sold to Johnson & Johnson Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, he became its president. After retiring, he and two others who spent their careers at Kodak started Trillium Group, to provide seed funding to help start new businesses.

José’s earliest connection to the Community Foundation was while he served on the board of Ibero-American Action League, which then established a scholarship fund at the Foundation to support Hispanic high school students going on to college. José and his wife, Karen, also created a scholarship at St. John Fisher College to support Hispanic students there. The Coronases split their time between Canandaigua and Florida.

Nancy Robbins

This native of Pennsylvania was recruited by a headhunter in 1961 to be a buyer at the former Sibley’s department store. Throughout her life, Nancy has volunteered on many boards, including serving as president of the now-defunct Women’s Education and Industrial Union. She chaired the downtown festival during Rochester’s sesquicentennial in 1984 and also WXXI’s auction. But Nancy is best known for being the lead volunteer and fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, which opened 30 years ago just a few streets away from the Golisano Children’s Hospital. She also served as that organization’s first board chair. Nancy, who lives in Pittsford, regularly engages her two daughters and five grandsons in recommending grants from the family’s charitable fund at the Foundation.

Mary-Frances Winters

Named by Forbes magazine as one of 10 trailblazers in diversity and inclusion in 2019, Mary-Frances got her start in this important work when she launched The Winters Group in 1984 after she left Kodak. A longtime Rochester resident who now lives in North Carolina, Mary-Frances served on the Community Foundation’s board of directors and established The Winters Group Fund to Promote Diversity & Inclusion in 1996. That fund has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to support innovative efforts at nonprofits across the country to improve diversity and inclusion. Mary-Frances is also a prolific author. Her latest book, Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit, was released in the fall of 2020.

Clayton H. Osborne
Joe U. Posner Founders Award

Clay gives back to this community because growing up, he had a great deal of support after his mother passed away: “A lot of people gave back to me and so I always feel that the person I have become is because of lots and lots of people, so I feel a responsibility to give back to others.”

Born and raised in Panama, Clay and his siblings (a sister and brother) came to the United States to get an education. While working at the New York State Division for Youth and after receiving his master’s degree, he came to Rochester, serving in various roles and later becoming regional director for Upstate New York. Clay served as director of operations for Monroe County and then joined Bausch & Lomb, retiring as vice president for human resources after an 18-year career there.

Clay’s connection to the Community Foundation began with two different stints on the board of directors. He and his wife, Dorelis, have been frequent hosts and cohosts for the Foundation’s An Evening Out At Home gala. Clay has offered his expertise to many additional nonprofit boards. A founding member of the Foundation’s African American Giving Initiative, he also helped launch the Workforce Diversity Network and True Networking Thursdays for African American professionals.

But he is laser-focused on promoting community problem-solving through collective impact. This father of two sons, with a third grandchild due in December, is especially distressed at our community’s poverty rate. “It hurts me because that is not how I personally experience Rochester. … so my volunteer time and my passion is around how we can make a difference.”

Dr. Norman Loomis and Laura “Jinny” Loomis

When Jinny married Norm 63 years ago and they moved to Ontario, Wayne County, she was advised that as a doctor’s wife she could read books and play bridge but should never get involved in politics or religion or “go around making a statement.”

But the new Mrs. Loomis had other ideas. “Communities are made of people who contribute to the community. Good communities are people that get involved and make it a better community,” says Jinny, who got very involved in politics, historical preservation efforts, and in the schools when their three children started attending.

Jinny said yes when asked in the 1980s to join the advisory committee of the fledgling Wayne County Community Endowment and yes again when invited to be on the Community Foundation board. She rose to leadership positions with both.

While Norm was building his practice, he also got involved in the broader community, becoming one of the first family doctors to get privileges at Strong Hospital. He was chief of the Department of Family Practice at Rochester General Hospital for many years and served on the hospital board. He joined countless local, statewide and national medical organizations and committees, and was an on-site physician at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid in 1980.

The Loomises’ devotion to their community has not gone unnoticed. Norm was named Town of Ontario’s Citizen of the Year in 1973, and in 2015 he and Jinny received the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Harold Samloff

Growing up in the Rochester neighborhood of Hollenbeck Street and Avenue D, Harold watched as his parents became entrepreneurs. They bought a grocery store on Court Street that had an upstairs apartment and a two-room boarding house next door. A bustling downtown necessitated that the store be open from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day. The Samloff sons helped out when they weren’t in school.

That may be where Harold first caught the real estate bug and then found a love for it a few years into practicing law. Starting with a five-unit apartment, he and his partner and best friend, real estate developer Larry Glazer, built, redeveloped, and managed many small and large projects in Rochester under the name Buckingham Properties.

Harold retired about 15 years ago. After the tragic deaths of Larry and his wife, Jane, Harold got re-engaged with the company to help the new senior management.

Harold and his wife Judy, grandparents of four and married for 53 years, have been involved with the Community Foundation since 2004. They first opened a Charitable Checking AccountSM and later the Samloff Family Fund to facilitate their personal giving.

He explains his approach to philanthropy with this analogy: “In real estate there is a certain type of lease called a percentage lease, where you rent to somebody and they pay you based on how well they have done. What I have is sort of like a percentage lease, and to the extent I have done well, I owe a little bit of that percentage back to the community.”

Join us in congratulating the recipients of our Philanthropy Awards! Year in and year out, each recipient contributes to the promise of the greater Rochester region. The Community Foundation recognizes the many hours and consistent financial support these generous individuals and families share with countless nonprofit organizations dedicated to the improvement of our villages, towns, cities, and counties.

If not for this award, many of our honorees would remain behind the scenes, invisibly savoring the good works they have started, built on, or completed. We thank them for going public with their generosity in order to inspire others.

Here are the people and organizations that have been recognized with Philanthropy Awards by the Community Foundation since 1991. Those who have received the Joe U. Posner Founders Award, named for our founding chair, are marked with a plus symbol (+). Before 2001, this honor was simply the Founders Award.

2021: Hanif Abdul-Wahid; Mary Anne Palermo; and Tom Riley and Barbara Kelley+

2020: José Coronas+; Nancy Robbins; and Mary-Frances Winters

2019: Laura “Jinny” Loomis and Norman Loomis, MD; Harold Samloff; and Clayton H. Osborne+

2018: Bud and Peggy* Frame family; Randy and Marion Henderson; and Kathy Nixon+

2017: Mike Buckley+; Anne Morris Farnham and Sherman Farnham Jr.; Mimi Hwang; and Chuck Lundeen* and John Williams
Special Recognition: Irene Weinberg, one of the Foundations’ first donors, and Rochester Women’s Giving Circle for its 10th year and surpassing $1 million in grantmaking

2016: Mary F. Fisher and Deborah Lattime+; Dr. Sidney and Barbara Sobel; and Dilip Vellodi

2015: Leo and Charlotte Landhuis; Pin-Seng and Shirley Tschang; and Nathan “Nick” Robfogel+
Special Recognition: Bob Silver* and 20 years of leading Community Sponsors annual campaign

2014: Tom Argust+; Dr. Matthew Augustine; Linda Wells Davey; and Robert Sykes* and family
Special Recognition: Feinbloom Supporting Foundation 25-year partnership.

2013: Dr. Walter Cooper+; the family of Robert* and Jane* Stevens; and Eric Zeller 
Special Recognition: Muriel H. Marshall Fund 15-year partnership

2012: Ronald Fielding; Janet Buchanan Smith; and Margaret Sánchez+
Special Recognition: Community Foundation Founders and Longest-Serving Volunteers for An Evening Out At Home, Diana Lauria and Esel Rasor*

2011: Edward P. “Ted” Curtis Jr.*; the family of Lou and Betty* Iacona; Ruth I. Morton; and Ruth H. Scott+

2010: Mark and Kathy Cleary; Mark* and Bobbie* (Barbara) Hargrave Jr.; TC Lewis+; and Nannette Nocon 

2009: Bruce B. Bates+*; Suzanne Gouvernet; Adrienne* and Bertha Simpkins; and Justin L. Vigdor

2008: Joe Brown*; Dr. Marvin and Nancy* Yanes Hoffman: Robert D. “Bob” Hursh+*; and Frank* and Norma* Riedman 

2007: Vee* and George* Angle; Tom and Barbara Clark; Paul Rubery, Esq.+; and V.J. Stanley*

2006: Catherine Carlson*/Dorris and Chester Carlson Foundation; Ray and Erika Hutch; and Harris “Bud” Rusitzky+

2005: Harry* and Nancy Beilfuss; Robert W. “Bob” Kessler, Esq.+; and John M. “Dutch” Summers

2004: George and Mary* Bauer; Marjorie Brenneman*; Jerome L. Huff*; and Richard A. Schwartz+

2003: Armored Motor Service of Rochester; Jacqueline P. Cady*; Alfred L. Davis*; C. Benn* and Sally Forsyth+; and Halcyon Hill Foundation 

2002: Joanna Card*; ESL Federal Credit Union; James and Janis Gleason and the Gleason Foundation; Elliott H. Press*; and Janet Welch+

2001: Ames-Amzalak Memorial Trust; Ione “Grandma” Collins*; B. Thomas Golisano; and Robert C. Silver+*
Special Recognition: Horses on Parade Project of High Falls Brewing Company

2000: Davenport-Hatch Foundation; Lance Drummond; Greece Rotary Club; Cricket Luellen*; and Linda Weinstein+

1999: Joseph* and Nancy Briggs+; Caldwell Manufacturing; Princeton Club of Rochester; and Robert Schmidhammer

1998: Arunas Chesonis; Ronald Fielding; James Littwitz+*; Richard Palermo*; and The Rochester Garden Club

1997: The Brush Family+; Hattie Harris*; Rosa Wims; Louis S. & Molly Wolk Foundation; and Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church 

1996: Frontier Corporation; Junior League of Rochester; Joe U. Posner+*; and Robert Strasenburgh* 

1995: Brighton Twelve Corners Middle School 8th Grade Community Service Program; Diane Doniger; Ruby Lockhart; Merrill Lynch and Co., Bruce Taub – Resident Vice President; and I.C. Shah+*

1994: Dr. Donald Eldredge*; Harold* and Joan Feinbloom+; Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation; and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church  

1993: Nicholas Ferreri; Philip* and Dolores* Neivert; Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.; and Wyman-Potter Foundation

1992: Borders Book Shop; Eastman Kodak Company; Elliot Landsman*; and the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation

1991: Richard F. Brush*