United Way kicked off its year-long Centennial celebration at its Gathering of Heroes reception and dinner in April by honoring 100 heroes who have provided tremendous leadership and service to United Way over the past 70 of those 100 years.
Here’s a special look at a few of our longest-serving volunteers, representing many United Way volunteers who have provided many decades of service. Through the years, they’ve given of themselves to make this community a better place for all. They’ve helped deepen our engagement with the community, engaged in partnership work throughout our region, been champions of impact, and helped build and maintain a solid foundation for United Way’s work – leading the organization in attracting resources, managing effectively and ensuring accountability.
“These dedicated volunteer Heroes have played an incredible part in the work we all do together to make our community better,” says Rob Reifsnyder, United Way president.
Philip T. Cohen
From 1945, when he returned from World War II and began soliciting for the Community Chest Campaign, Philip T. Cohen has contributed more than 70 years of continuous leadership to United Way of Greater Cincinnati. His positions spanned from the Campaign Cabinet and Allocations Committee to human resources and the United Way Board. His membership on the original committee that established United Way's Volunteer Center set in motion his long-term advocacy for effective volunteer centers. He received the 1985 William A. Mitchell Award for his service to the Jewish Federation and the 2004 Ruth W. and Robert I. Westheimer Award for Continuous Leadership.
Charley Milton, Jr.
As a member of the Volunteer Connection Leadership Council, Charley Milton, Jr., helped United Way develop and improve volunteer initiatives and programs and, as chair of its Retiree Initiative, worked to increase the number of pre-retirees and retirees staying involved with United Way. He served on the United Way Board and was an Outcomes Committee member. He received the 2006 Ruth W. and Robert I. Westheimer Award for Continuous Leadership and the 2003 Community Service Award for Improving Our Accountability and Effectiveness. He also served as board chair of Cincinnati Union Bethel, a United Way agency partner.
Milton S. Schwartz
Milton S. Schwartz has provided many decades of dedicated leadership, serving in both Community Impact and Resource Development capacities. He has reviewed program investments as a member of the Program Monitoring Committee, and served on United Way committees that helped identify critical community needs to guide United Way strategies. His service has supported United Way's efforts to mobilize the caring power of the community through investments in direct services and lasting change efforts that measurably improve people’s lives. He received the 2011 Ruth W. and Robert I. Westheimer Award for Continuous Leadership.
Phyllis S. Sewell
A United Way Board member for more than 10 years, Phyllis S. Sewell has also served United Way in several leadership and fundraising roles, including the Volunteer Connection Leadership Council and multiple Campaign Cabinets. As the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s volunteer leader for planning and allocations, she was a strong voice for collaboration in response to challenges the agency faced. She exhibited focused leadership during times of scarce resources and increasing needs. She was awarded the 2002 Pearl S. Gantz Award for Community and Agency Service.