2017 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year Award Nomination Guidelines

Purpose: To honor an individual who has made a positive impact in our community through giving, and whose philanthropic leadership sets an inspiring example for us all.

Nomination Process: Complete the official nomination form and a letter explaining why your nominee should be selected as the Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year.

Please note that the cover form must be completed in its entirety in order for the nomination to be eligible.   The Awards Committee will not accept nominations which rely solely on resumes, newspaper articles, annual reports or the like in substitution for concise responses to the criteria outlined below. Pending review by the Philanthropist of the Year Selection Committee, The Community Foundation staff may contact you for additional information.

Eligibility Criteria:

All nominees must…
Be a resident of Montgomery County
Have a demonstrated track record of charitable giving to one or more nonprofit organizations based in and working in Montgomery County
Have made a positive impact in the lives of county residents through their giving
Encourage/motivate others to become philanthropic

Note: The level of charitable dollars given is secondary to its impact and potential to inspire others to follow suit. Creative approaches to philanthropy are welcome! Nominees may be of any age.

In exceptional circumstances, the Award Committee may consider a former resident, a family unit, or a philanthropist who is deceased.

Deadline: February 28, 2017.

The nomination form and letter must be postmarked or emailed by close of business on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 to:

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County
Attn: Bridget Hanagan
8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 202
Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County will contact the selected awardee and her/his nominator by March. All other nominations will remain confidential.

Questions: Contact Bridget Hanagan at bhanagan@cfncr.org or 301-495-3036 x169.

Past Honorees:

For inspiration, look no further than our past Philanthropist of the Year honorees.

The first Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year was the late Joshua M. Freeman, Chairman of the Carl M. Freeman Companies and Foundation. A dynamic business leader with a zest for life, Freeman carried forward his family’s longstanding tradition of supporting the communities in which he lived and worked through the Carl M. Freeman Foundation. His tragic death in December 2006 left a legacy of generous and creative support for Montgomery County nonprofit organizations in the arts, education, and community services.

In 2008, The Community Foundation saluted Craig Ruppert for his deep commitment to investing in our community. His Laytonsville-based Ruppert Companies contributes 5% of annual gross sales to charity, a corporate commitment that is a source of pride for both employees and customers. Ruppert and his family also give through their foundation to support many local nonprofits close to their hearts. 

Stewart Bainum was named the 2009 Philanthropist of the Year. In addition to building two successful local businesses, Manor Care Nursing Homes and Choice Hotels International, Bainum invests great personal energy and skill in his Commonweal Foundation’s philanthropy. With more than 40 years of thoughtful philanthropy, Bainum continues to provide educational opportunities for thousands of underserved youth in Montgomery County and beyond.

In 2010, The Community Foundation honored Carol Trawick. Together with her late husband Jim, who was her cherished partner in life, business and philanthropy, Carol founded the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation in 2007. Today, their foundation plays a pivotal role in our community through its strategic investments in health, human service and the arts nonprofit organizations in Montgomery County. 

Jeffrey Z. Slavin was saluted in 2011. As the second-generation leader of The Sanford and Doris Slavin Foundation, Jeffrey carries forward his parents’ wonderful legacy of generosity in our community. Jeffrey is the champion of dozens of arts, education, leadership, and human service nonprofits, both through his giving and by connecting every organization he supports with his friends and colleagues.

In 2012, The Community Foundation selected Patrice and Scott Brickman as the first couple to serve as the Montgomery County Philanthropists of the Year.   Through both personal and corporate philanthropy, they support positive youth development, safety net services, and long-term solutions to help adults who are struggling to break the cycle of poverty in their lives. 

In 2013, The Community Foundation honored Solomon Graham. While building his biotechnology company, Quality Biological, Inc., he invested the same thoughtful dedication into giving back to the community that fostered his own success. The impact of his leadership is most notably seen in local organizations that promote civic leadership development, services for people with disabilities, the arts, and education.

In 2014, we honored Tammy Darvish for embodying the spirit of local philanthropy by lending her time, energy, and financial support to many important causes in our community. For Tammy, giving back is more than simply writing a check. Specifically, she seeks opportunities to enhance her giving through volunteering, taking on leadership roles, and fundraising for organizations.

In 2015, we saluted Robert and Anna Trone, of Total Wine & More. The Trones are active members of the philanthropic community, volunteering their time and talents by serving on local nonprofit boards. Their leadership also steers the corporate giving of Total Wine & More which makes generous in-kind and monetary donations to organizations supporting the humanities, health services, and education.