Foundation Awards

Each year, the Wayne County Foundation honors two individuals or organizations with the Charles A. Rodefeld and the Ruth J. Wickemeyer Awards. Read below for more details on each award.

Charles A. Rodefeld Award

Ruth J. Wickemeyer Award

The Charles A. Rodefeld Award for Community Leadership and Philanthropy honors a man who was not widely known as a philanthropist or employed in a non-profit organization.  He was, instead, a person who moved quietly but steadily to help meet community needs. 

Named for the Foundation’s first Executive Director, this award recognizes paid or volunteer non-profit leaders who personify exceptional service to others in the name of community progress.

The Rodefeld Award seeks to recognize Wayne County individuals and/or companies who have been there when agencies or organizations needed them most, who served faithfully and well, without fanfare, and who have provided leadership and significant financial support over the years.

To qualify for the Charles A. Rodefeld Award, an individual or organization must have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to addressing a community concern, and dedication to improving the effectiveness of an existing charitable institution while maintaining an attitude of humility.  Evidence of achievement must be demonstrated by gifts of volunteer leadership and personal resources.

Ruth is perhaps best remembered for maintaining the highest ethical standards and expressing true appreciation for even the smallest contributions. She is fondly remembered for her diligent leadership in our community through this award.

Candidates for the award must demonstrate a history of significant service in the Wayne County non-profit community, an unwavering commitment to the highest ethical standards, and evidence of articulating a vision for community improvement through their leadership and significant accomplishments.

2023 Award Winners

Tom and Chris Hilkert

2023 Charles A. Rodefeld Award Winners

Sam Witherby

2023 Charles A. Rodefeld Award Winner

Tom Alberts

2023 Ruth J. Wickemeyer Award Winner

Jenie Lahmann

2023 Ruth J. Wickemeyer Award Winner

Previous Rodefeld Award Winners
Winners 1994-Present
1994 – Charles A. Rodefeld
1995 – Robert W. Rosa
1996 – J. Ross and Natalie Harrington
1997 – Kathleen Postle
1998 – Becky Rosa
1999 – John M. Harlan
2000 – Jim and Helen Cope
2001 – William R. Niersbach
2002 – Victor R. Jose
2003 – Donald C. McCullough
2004 – Tom and Claire Ann Milligan
2005 – Inezetta Stiver
2006 – Paul Lingle
2007 – Andy Cecere
2008 – Albert Gentry
2009 – Jon Ford
2010 – David and Carla Stidham
2011 – Richard ‘Jeff’ Jeffers
2012 – Cheri Jetmore
2013 – Father John Luerman
2014 – Frank and Mary Alice Adney
2015 – Jack and Debra Edelman
2016 – Ray Ontko
2017 – Ginger Gray
2018 – George Schmid
2019 – Rick Ahaus
2020 – Monica Koechlein
2021 – Roy Ridge*
2022 – Dave Rogers

*Awarded Posthumously

Previous Wickemeyer Award Winners
Winners 2006-Present
2006 – Pat Bowers
2007 – Wilbur Rodenberg
2008 – Dr. James Daggy
2009 – Betty Mark
2010 – Alan Spears
2011 – David Nixon
2012 – Jill King
2013 – Penn Ansorg
2014 – Aileen Wickett-Harris
2015 – Karole Passmore
2016 – Mark W. Harris
2017 – June Miller
2018 – Margurite Clark
2019 – Bill and Marilyn Martus
2020 – Aileen Githens
2022 – Robin Henry