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The Devou Cup honors the generosity of Northern Kentuckians who make a profound difference in the quality of community life, now and into the future. Named for 19th century philanthropist William Devou, the Cup has been awarded to exemplary philanthropic leaders since 2004.
The list of Frank’s and Pat’s professional, civic, and philanthropic leadership roles in Northern Kentucky is as prestigious as it is long. Prior to being a business professor at Thomas More College, Pat consulted to organizations on mission development, strategic planning, job design, and program development. Frank was the first chair of Forward Quest (the predecessor to Vision 2015). He helped build a common agenda and road map for Northern Kentucky, leading it to become one of the first communities to embrace the value of regional vision. The Northern Kentucky Fund of GCF – an endowment created for the permanent philanthropic support of nonprofit organizations in Kenton, Campbell, and Boone counties – is proud to be a legacy of Forward Quest and was fortunate to count the Sommerkamps among its earliest supporters.
After graduating from Thomas More College, Pat began her career as a biology teacher at Covington Catholic High School. From that beginning, she obtained masters and doctorate degrees in education and helped shape many of the region’s education initiatives. Pat was elected the first President of the Kentucky Science Teachers Association, directed Institutional Advancement at Thomas More, and led several education and training programs at General Electric (GE) Aircraft Engines. At GE, she collaborated with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering to design and implement the nation’s first masters of engineering in manufacturing program, for which she earned a GE Management Award. Many awards followed, including Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky and YWCA Career Women of Achievement honors. The Enquirer named her Woman of the Year and Thomas More alumni presented her with the Lasting Influence Award. Pat served on the Northern Kentucky Chamber’s Education/Legislative Task Force and the Judges Panel for the Scripps Howard Foundation’s scholarship program. She now chairs the Northern Kentucky Water District Board of Commissioners.
Frank retired as Vice President of Government Affairs at Cincinnati Bell, working more than four decades with the company and with AT&T. He is as well known for his regional and philanthropic leadership as he is for his business talent. His past chairmanships span industries and decades, from Forward Quest to the Thomas More College Board of Trustees, the Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau, Covington Rotary Club, Kenton County Airport (board vice chair), and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Frank has served on the Crestview Hills City Council for 16 years and currently helps with fundraising efforts for Covington Catholic High School, Thomas More College, and the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation. He graduated from Xavier University, where he also earned a masters in business administration.
Frank and Pat have been married for 61 years and have three children: Daria Nantista, a workers compensation nurse at Parsec Inc. in Cincinnati; Tara Santry, a vice president at Staples in New Jersey; and Dr. Greg Sommerkamp, a hand surgeon in Crestview Hills. They also have ten grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Among the investments were three grants to Vision 2015, one of our “backbone” organizations that GCF supports through our five-year Collective Impact initiative. Serving as catalysts for change, these organizations work together across sectors and across the region to address resource gaps and fuel the implementation of strategies that work. Focused on growth in Northern Kentucky, Vision 2015 is a shared public plan that represents the region’s priorities and contains specific action steps to achieve the region’s goals and to measure the impact of those goals.
Three grants: $75,000 to support operating expenses; $15,000 to fund the Northern Kentucky One to One: Practicing Reading with Students; and $30,000 to advance the website development and innovation lab of the Uptech Business Accelerator in Northern Kentucky.
CINCINNATI (August 3, 2020) — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is boosting its long-standing support of the economic growth and vitality of our tri-state region with a $500,000 investment in the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky (Catalytic Fund).
GCF is making a $350,000, 10-year investment in the Catalytic Fund’s Equity Fund to provide access to additional capital for property acquisition to fuel strategic development. Additionally, GCF is renewing a three-year, $150,000 grant to fund operating support for the Catalytic Fund’s crucial work.
“We are thrilled to expand our support of the Catalytic Fund’s dynamic vision,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President and CEO. “The urban renaissance that they are fueling strengthens our entire region.”
The Catalytic Fund, a private sector, not-for-profit company, provides financing assistance and technical expertise for high-impact residential and commercial real estate projects throughout Northern Kentucky’s urban cities. The fund’s innovative record of community revitalization projects has fueled economic development and job creation through such signature projects as the transformation of the Hotel Covington and the Bradford Building in Covington, and Bellevue’s Kent Lofts project.
“GCF was a founding investor in the Catalytic Fund and has provided significant support for our investment, development services and vibrancy activities which have leveraged over $200 million in new investment in Northern Kentucky,” said Jeanne Schroer, President and CEO of the Catalytic Fund. “Without GCF, we would not have developed the organizational capacity or the investment resources to do this community development work. GCF thinks regionally and understands that an economically healthy metropolitan area needs to include all of its communities.”
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come.
Strategic collaboration strengthens results, as proven by a recent federal grant awarded to the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship Council (NKYEC).
Last month, NKYEC, in partnership with the Northern Kentucky University’s Institute of Health Innovation and St. Elizabeth Healthcare, was awarded a $731,250 grant to build the Northern Kentucky Health Innovation Initiative (NKY-HII). This grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s 2018 i6 Challenge is the first time i6 Challenge funds have been awarded in Kentucky.
The grant application required the commitment of a 100 percent match from other funders. Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) was among those supporters who expressed their belief in this program by committing matching funds, bringing the total benefit to more than $1.4 million.
A bit of history: In 2017, Northern Kentucky’s UpTech business accelerator, with support from GCF, applied for a federal i6 grant but was unsuccessful in receiving it. The takeaway, however, was a learning process that resulted in a coalition of existing and new regional entrepreneurship assets through the newly established NKYEC.
By taking inventory of the region’s assets, focusing on intense collaboration, seeking consolidation and efficiency opportunities, capitalizing on regional strengths and adopting a “30-year view” of the work, NKYEC was able to leverage its collective impact to successfully attain this grant in 2018 – and also a $750,000 grant from the KY Innovation’s RISE program through Kentucky’s Office of Entrepreneurship at the Cabinet for Economic Development.
These achievements speak to the power of community partnerships – an essential GCF priority – and affirms that by making sure everyone is at the table and no organization is working alone, a much greater impact can be accomplished.
“The power of the Initiative’s partnership will allow the region to build a world-class health innovation initiative and is the primary reason we were awarded these funds,” Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) Senior Vice President Casey Barach said in a news release. By aligning Northern Kentucky’s top economic development, healthcare, university and startup accelerator assets, NKY-HII will stimulate and commercialize health innovation, creating jobs and attracting companies and talent to the region.
The Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was delighted to name Joan and Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III as recipients of the 2018 Devou Cup during the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on September 20.
The Devou Cup honors the generosity of individuals who make a profound difference in the quality of community life in Northern Kentucky, now and into the future. Named for 19th century philanthropist William Devou, the Cup has been awarded to exemplary philanthropic leaders since 2004.
"Joan and Bill Robinson created a charitable legacy in our region that endures and inspires,” said Ellen Katz, president/CEO of GCF.
The long list of their civic and philanthropic leadership demonstrates the depth of their commitment to our community, and especially to children and adults with disabilities as reflected by five decades of partnership with Redwood School and Rehabilitation Center. In honor of his and Joan’s dedication to human services and the arts, Bill served on numerous charitable boards and committees including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Taft Museum of Art, Freestore Foodbank, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, United Way of Greater Cincinnati. And they ardently supported Thomas More College, where they first met.
The Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Northern Kentucky office until his passing in 2017, Bill gained national prominence as President of the American Bar Association (2011-12). He also championed economic development in Northern Kentucky.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation salutes their leadership and generosity in our region.
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