Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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Previous Honorees

The honorees’ stories serve as examples of what Appalachian Ohioans can achieve while emphasizing pride in our region.


Greg Adams:

A New Concord native, Greg has spent his life serving his community and family. Greg’s commitment to his community has been an inspiration to those who are close to him. As a full-time volunteer director for the Ohio Appalachian Business Council, Greg Adams supported the Foundation in leading the incubation of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, a regional economic development organization. A successful entrepreneur, Greg launched and built Resource Systems, which was recently acquired by Cerner, with his business partner Larry Triplett. In addition to service on a variety of boards, church, and civic groups, Greg is the CEO of TDPI Ventures and has served as the Mayor of New Concord in Muskingum County since 1986.


Bill Morgan:

Bill Morgan started his career as a deputy sheriff in Perry County, where he also served as the Mayor of Shawnee. From there he went on to spend 25 years working with the Ohio Bankers Association, serving as a strong champion for the region’s and state’s competitiveness. Morgan has also provided leadership to numerous agricultural advancement initiatives, educational and economic development networks, and is currently the longest serving member of the Ohio Ballot Board.

2010 – 2011

David Scholl:

Dr. David Scholl served as President and CEO of Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc. (DHI) in Athens, Ohio from 1995 to 2009. One of DHI’s early technology founders, Scholl joined the company as Director of Research in 1983. Under his leadership, DHI grew from a four-person startup to the Inc. 500 list, emerging as a world leader in cell- and MAb-based diagnostics. This dynamic growth led to its sale in February 2010 to Quidel Corporation. In 2003, Scholl was the recipient of the Central Ohio Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Life Sciences, and in 2006 was awarded BioOhio’s Bioscience Leadership Award.


Ora E. Anderson:

The legacy of Ora Eaton Anderson, a well-loved naturalist and writer, who passed away in 2006, continues to live large in Appalachian Ohio. Throughout his life, Anderson used the perspective and passion he gained as a young reporter, documenting the development of Appalachian Ohio’s forests, to create environmental education experiences for those around him.

Ambassador John and Mary Lee Ong:

Ambassador and Mrs. Ong have leveraged the assets of their Appalachian Ohio upbringing to create a wealth of cultural and educational opportunities for people around the world. After a successful career as CEO of the BF Goodrich Company, John Ong served our nation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Norway. Mrs. Ong continues to share her passion and expertise through service to both education and medical communities.


Governor Ted Strickland and Frances Strickland:

Ted and Frances Strickland share a passion for education and a commitment to Ohio. Frances is an educational psychologist and author of a widely-used screening test for kindergarten-aged children. Ted, the son of a Scioto County steelworker, has served Ohio as a minister, psychologist, professor, and Member of Congress. In 2007, Ted and Frances Strickland began serving Ohio as Governor and First Lady and continue to ensure the state’s future prosperity by growing Ohio’s educational system.


Senator John and Annie Glenn:

The Glenns are natives of Muskingum County and graduates of Muskingum College. Mrs. Glenn, who once struggled with a severe stutter, is an inspiring model of success in overcoming challenges and has been a dedicated and effective advocate for those who struggle with communicative disorders. Senator Glenn, who was a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean conflict, became the first astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962. He later served four terms as a U.S. Senator for Ohio and, at the age of 77, became the oldest person to venture into space.


Leona Hughes:

Leona Hughes’s generosity made her a renowned figure in regional and educational philanthropy. Hughes supported higher education for students from her Oak Hill High School alma mater through several scholarship initiatives, including Ohio University’s Cutler Scholars program.

Wayne F. White:

The founder and former executive director of the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE), Wayne White passed away in 2004 and was honored posthumously. During his life, White dedicated himself to helping others. An educator for more than four decades, White worked to change the landscape of education in Appalachian Ohio, fighting for equal funding for rural schools and encouraging young people and adults to pursue higher education.

David Wilhelm:

An Athens High School, Ohio University, and Harvard University graduate, Wilhelm is a founding partner of New Harvest Ventures, as well as a founding member of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council. He previously served as president of Woodland Venture Management, a $140-million company that focuses on creating and supporting business and economic opportunities in rural areas.


Mike Brooks:

Mike Brooks grew up one block from his father’s shoe factory in Nelsonville, Ohio. He graduated from a footwear design and pattern engineering school in Milan, Italy, and then returned to the family business in 1975. With annual net sales of nearly $300 million, Nelsonville-based Rocky Brands, Inc. is internationally recognized.

Robert L. “Bob” Evans:

Bob Evans used his secondary and college education to fuel his entrepreneurial spirit. The 12-stool diner he established in Gallipolis, Ohio to market his own sausage has grown to the Bob Evans Restaurants we know today with 560 restaurants in 19 states.

Dr. Nancy Lusk Zimpher:

Access to education enabled Nancy Zimpher, born in Gallipolis, Ohio, to follow her dream to become an educator herself. Zimpher was honored as the first woman President of the University of Cincinnati and has since become the Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) system.