United Way Tocqueville Award Winners
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(Photo Credit: Easley Blessed Photography. )

Moira's Message: Celebrating 35 Years of the Tocqueville Society

On April 5th, 2022, we honored four of our members for their service over the years including Cynthia O. Booth, Kelly M. Dehan, Julia W. Poston and Steven J. Shifman.
April 6, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 6, 2022) —

Dear United Way friends,

We had a fantastic 35th anniversary celebration of our Alexis de Tocqueville Society last night!

Our Tocqueville members are some of the strongest supporters of United Way. They create a powerful force of good and have changed a lot of lives for the better over the past 35 years.

We honored four last night for their service over the years. These four have been amazing to United Way and to me:

Cynthia O. Booth
As a young banker in the 1980s, she served as a loaned executive to United Way. That kicked off a relationship that has seen her serve on our Board of Directors and become vice chair of our annual campaign in 2019 and 2020. “That experience was truly the highlight of my work at United Way,” she said. “I was able to share story after story of the impact this organization has on the lives of others. It’s not just about writing a big check, it’s about what that check does to change the lives of people.”

Kelly M. Dehan
After becoming a Tocqueville member in 2014, she quickly became involved in Tocqueville projects, as well as serving on the Tocqueville cabinet and the Women of Tocqueville stewardship committee. She participates in the Tocqueville Book Club and the Women of Tocqueville Compelling Conversations. She enjoyed being part of Women of Tocqueville’s Adopt-a-Family effort, which provided holiday gifts for families who needed extra support. “If we went back 35 years ago, we would see the progress we’ve made that would bring us to tears,” she said. “And I feel the next 35 will be that, and then some. I feel that with (United Way’s) advocacy and the caring community that Cincinnati is, you’re going to see some wonderful things.”  

Julia W. Poston
She and her husband Dan have been supporting United Way since 1982. Her United Way involvement is extensive, including serving on the Board of Directors for nine years and being board chair for two. In addition, her volunteer efforts include numerous committees and groups. Under her leadership as Office Managing Partner for Ernst & Young, she started EY Connect Days. Once a year, the EY office closes and employees volunteer in the community for a United Way agency. She supports United Way because it identifies key issues in the community, develops strategies to address those issues, and then monitors the effectiveness of its work. “That resonates with me, both as a business person and as someone who wants to see that the dollars and time we’ve committed to the organization were fruitful,” she said. “Part of it, too, is that I want Cincinnati to be a thriving community for everybody.” 

Steven J. Shifman
While members of the Tocqueville Society for years, he and his wife also founded the Centennial Society, made up of influential United Way supporters who make gifts of $25,000 and up. He served as board chair from 2019 to 2021. His company, Michelman Inc., appears annually on United Way’s Top 25 – the list of the largest corporate, employee and retiree campaigns. “So many great friendships have come through our United Way involvement,” he said. “I sometimes feel a little selfish, because I feel like I’ve gotten as much out of my engagement – maybe even more – than what I’ve put in. It’s certainly enriched my life by being actively engaged in United Way.”

United Way is so fortunate to have these four in our corner. Please check out more pictures – and a timeline of Tocqueville’s 35 years along with the awards presentation – from last night’s wonderful event below!


Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati

UWGC: Celebrating 35 Years of the Tocqueville Society

UWGC: 35th Annual Tocqueville Society Award Presentation

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