2015 Pillar Awards honor greatness in the name of outstanding community service


Nonprofit Board Executives of the Year Awards


Feeding hungry minds

Jeffery E. Hastings and Children’s Hunger Alliance work to provide children a healthy and nutritious breakfast

col_pa_JeffHastingsJeffrey E. Hastings
Governing board chairman
Children’s Hunger Alliance

Jeffery E. Hastings has brought the Children’s Hunger Alliance to new heights of effectiveness and vision over the past seven years while serving on the organization’s governing board.

And as of Oct. 1, 2014, he was unanimously elected to serve as governing board chairman. By taking on this role, Hastings extends his board service two years beyond the typical six years.

Through his role at CHA, Hastings has become a pillar in the community by finding new and innovative ways to connect CHA to additional resources and opportunities throughout the state, while providing significant personal contributions of time, talent and treasure.

Through his role at U.S. Bank, Central Ohio, Hastings has helped to direct tens of thousands of dollars to CHA where 100 percent of the contributions go to support its programmatic work and its mission of feeding hungry minds and bodies of children throughout Ohio. This has helped CHA feed more than 10,000 children at more than 175 sites statewide.

Hastings’ leadership has enabled CHA to increase its school breakfast participation — more than 340,000 children are now participating. These kids now have access to a healthy and nutritious meal while also promoting best practice breakfast programs such as Grab N’ Go Breakfast and Breakfast in the Classroom.

Studies have shown that children who eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast score higher on school achievement tests. A hungry child cannot learn, and an uneducated adult cannot earn. Hastings’ efforts, and those of CHA, are working to change that.


Heart of gold

Drew McCartt has a lifelong connection to the American Heart Association

col_pa_DrewMcCarttDrew McCartt
Board executive
American Heart Association

Drew McCartt’s connection to the American Heart Association started early on in his life, as a heart disease survivor in his 20s. Since that time, he has been volunteering and speaking on behalf of the association and the impact the research it does had on his life and many others.

McCartt has served on the board of the American Heart Association for more than 20 years, and became chair in the early ’90s. He recently left his role as chair in July 2014 to become the chair of the Advisory Council. McCartt has continued to be a strong leader for the association, giving significant leadership, support and guidance over the years.

He helped to grow the association’s Heart Walk from 200 attendees to more than 30,000. He has been extremely supportive of the Heart Ball, chairing the event in 2010, and has since been the Open Your Heart chair.

In 2013, McCartt led a Strive For 25 initiative celebrating his 25 years of survivorship, raising $45,000 personally for the American Heart Association. He was also the first board member to join the association’s Cor Vitae Society in 2012.

McCartt lends his support and expertise to all of the American Heart Association staff and volunteers. He is often a mentor to new board members and encourages new staff in their fundraising efforts.

He also became a member of the association’s leadership development committee, recruiting the 2015 Heart Ball chair and several new Cor Vitae Society members. In McCartt’s own words he is a thrivor, not just a survivor.


Laughter and love

Carole Watkins helps Flying Horse Farms and its mission to success

col_pa_CarolWatkinsCarole Watkins
Board chair
Flying Horse Farms

Carole Watkins believes wholeheartedly in one simple, life-changing practice — begin each day by asking what you can do to make others successful. For Watkins, this is not just an internal mantra — it is a way of living, of treating people, of building a career and creating a culture of giving.

Flying Horse Farms has directly benefitted from Watkins’ ability to make others successful in her role as chair of the board. The relationship between Watkins and Flying Horse Farms began in 2010 when she was one of the initial donors to align with and financially support the mission of Flying Horse Farms, which is to provide magical camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and their families — free of charge.

With Watkins on the board of Flying Horse Farms, the organization gained strength of leadership, strategic planning and innovative thinking. By applying her expertise in human resources and business operations, Watkins offers guidance regarding governance, building a well-developed professional board, instituting effective leadership principles and encouraging inspired involvement from constituents.

As a cancer survivor herself, Watkins has intimate insight into some of the fears, thoughts and needs of the campers and families of Flying Horse Farms. Because of her own journey with cancer and the intrinsic generosity of her spirit, she has a deep recognition of the necessity of camp.

She gives her time, talent and treasure to Flying Horse Farms because she understands that, above all, campers and their families must have a place for respite, silliness, laughter and love on their path to wellness.