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2020 Jenco Awards Recognize Devoted Service and Leadership of Appalachian Ohioans

Six Awardees Honored for Service to Others

Nelsonville, OHIn the face of the COVID-19 crisis we are all hearing stories of incredible acts of kindness and dedication to community. And the Jenco Awards have long existed to recognize those who rise to the occasion time after time to serve their local community. Whether responding to the pandemic or committing themselves to service in other ways, six individuals received recognition through the 2020 Jenco Awards.

This year’s Jenco Awardees include Roberta “Bobbi” Bishop of Hocking County, Crystal Cole of Athens County, Lillian Ford of Belmont County, Karen Kumpf of Washington County, Josh Montgomery of Highland and Ross counties, and Clinton Nowicke of Gallia County.

“We are pleased that the Jenco Awards are here to celebrate the stories of those who are engaged in service to respond to the pandemic or continuing to serve their communities in other ways,” said Sharon Hatfield, fund representative for the Jenco Foundation Fund. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its many social, economic, and health ramifications have made it more important than ever to lift up the work of those who are so selflessly giving back to their communities and serving others.”

Each 2020 awardee was recognized for their service to the region.

Roberta “Bobbi” Bishop was recognized for her lifetime of service addressing needs in Hocking County. Through the creation of Bishop Educational Gardens, Bishop has dedicated herself to environmental preservation and education. Bishop has taken a leadership role in the organization’s annual arts and music festival, Lilyfest, supporting local artists and musicians.

Crystal Cole of Athens County was recognized for her work to meet community needs during a time of crisis and unknown risk through service with the Salvation Army, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lillian Ford, a high school student in Belmont County, was recognized for her dedication to address community needs and inspire the service of other youth through the creation of Kindness U: Lillian’s Leaders for Tomorrow. The nonprofit club engages kids of all ages in volunteering and fundraising to give back to their communities.

Karen Kumpf was recognized for her visionary and inclusive leadership in creating Washington County Harvest of Hope to address food insecurity in her community. Kumpf created the organization after seeing students and families struggling with food insecurity while working as an educator. Harvest of Hope has now rescued and delivered over 1,200,000 pounds of food to people who need it.

Josh Montgomery of Highland and Ross counties was recognized for the quick mobilization and creation of the Southern Ohio Makers Against COVID Coalition. The organization has worked to create protective face shields with 3D printers and distribute the face shields to medical personnel, first responders, and others at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Clinton Nowicke was recognized for going above and beyond in his service with Hopewell Health Centers during a time of need in the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowicke worked to support mental and behavioral health for the youth of Gallia County by creating engaging videos and learning materials, including resources for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Nominated by fellow community members who witness their visionary leadership in the service of others, Jenco Awardees are selected through a formal committee process and review. Jenco Awardees receive an individual cash award to use in the manner most appropriate to their leadership.

Founded in 2001 by journalist Terry Anderson, the Jenco Awards are named after Father Lawrence Martin Jenco. A Catholic priest who was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while serving as a director of Catholic Relief Services, Father Jenco was an inspiration to many, including fellow captive Anderson, because of his compassion and service to others.

The Jenco Foundation joined the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) in 2011 as an endowment to ensure that it can forever honor Father Jenco’s legacy by recognizing unsung heroes throughout Appalachian Ohio who have devoted themselves to direct, caring action in the service of others. Jenco Award nominations are encouraged across areas essential to quality of life, including arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environmental stewardship, and health and human services.

If you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty in service of others, please nominate that individual for the 2021 Jenco Awards. The nomination window opens annually in the spring. In the meantime, sign up for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s e-newsletter at or follow FAO on Facebook or Instagram to hear when the call for 2021 nominations is released.

Gifts to the Jenco Foundation Fund are tax deductible and can be made in a number of ways, including cash, gifts in wills, and life insurance. To make a gift today or learn more, visit

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit, follow FAO on Facebook at, or follow FAO on Instagram @FDNforAppalachianOhio.