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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.

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.

2022: Jonathan Foster; Emerson Fullwood; Dr. Dawn Lipson; and Judy von Bucher+

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*

*Deceased