2024 Spencer Awards

Cincinnatus to Honor Five Organizations for
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
Nonprofits and Businesses Will Be
Recognized with the Prestigious Spencer Awards

The Cincinnatus Association presented the Ninth Annual Donald and Marian Spencer Spirit of America Awards Dinner, honoring five Cincinnati area nonprofits and businesses promoting diversity and inclusion.

The awards dinner was held on May 21, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, 151 Fifth St. W, Cincinnati. WLWT5 anchor/reporter Courtis Fuller served as emcee of the event again this year.

5:30 p.m. — Registration & Reception

6:30 p.m. — Dinner & Program

Named after Cincinnati’s “First Couple of Civil Rights,” the Spencer Awards celebrate the couple’s achievements and honors nonprofits and businesses who exhibit conspicuous and enduring contributions to promoting greater inclusion and diversity in the community. Mr. Spencer died in 2010, before the inception of the awards. Ms. Spencer participated in the dinner each year until her death in 2019.

Marian Spencer was known for fighting to integrate Coney Island amusement park so her children could swim in the pool. She also was the first African American president of the Woman’s City Club of Cincinnati and the first African American member of Cincinnati City Council. Donald Spencer was the first African American on the Cincinnati Park Board, the first African American broker on the Cincinnati Board of Realtors and the first African American trustee at Ohio University.

“When reading the nominations, we receive each year for the Spencer Awards, the outstanding work being done by so many organizations in our community to improve the lives of our citizens is an inspiration to us all. Cincinnatus has this unique opportunity to recognize and share with you the efforts of our honorees to help those in need achieve their ‘Cincinnati Dream’ through their services, education, and inclusion of all citizens” says Susan Noonan, Chair of Spencer Dinner Committee.

The 2024 Spencer Awards were presented to:

Non-Profit Winners:

Beech Acres Parenting Center

Findlay Market Corporation

Good Sam Free Health Center



For-Profit Winner:

First Financial Bank

Founded in 1920 Cincinnatus Association has a long legacy of working to improve the quality of life for Greater Cincinnatians. The Association’s current focus is making the Cincinnati Dream a reality. “We envision a just and equitable city; one where the benefits of our region are not the privilege of some but accessible to all”

The 2024 Non-Profit Winners

Beech Acres Parenting Center (BAPC): For 175 years, BAPC has combined science and compassion to deliver innovative solutions that equip adults to meet children’s needs and cultivate their strengths. Beech Acres is the first agency of its kind in the region to hire a Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and it has made a significant investment in this work for the next 3-5 years. Beech Acres serves almost 29,000 individuals each year and believes in expanding impact by supporting a community-wide movement towards strength-based social and emotional well-being for all children in our region.

Findlay Market: As Ohio’s oldest continually operating market, Findlay Market is not only an historic and economic asset to our region, but it also exemplifies commitment to diversity and inclusion by prioritizing women and minority-owned businesses when considering vendor applications and food business accelerator applications. The Market’s programs, Findlay Kitchen and Findlay Launch, support food entrepreneurs with an emphasis on members of underserved communities. Welcoming over one million visitors per year, Findlay Market also partners with assistance programs and organizations to provide a variety of affordable, accessible, and healthy foods for all shoppers.

Good Samaritan Free Health Center (FHC): Located in Price Hill, the Free Health Center was founded in 2011 after a community health assessment revealed that an increasing percentage of the area’s population was not receiving proper healthcare. FHC is a patient-centered medical home for uninsured adults in Hamilton County, fostering ownership of wellness and minimizing emergency room use as primary care. FHC educates and empowers patients to achieve a higher quality of life. Its services include primary, specialty, nutrition, dental, and mental health care that is coordinated into a plan tailored for each patient. Along with its small core staff, in 2023, its network of more than 130 providers and community members gave over 6,601 volunteer hours of service for a total estimated $3.1 million in care donated to the community.

SuperSeeds: SuperSeeds’ mission is to disrupt the pipeline to prison for youth aged 13-17. Hamilton County Juvenile Court often refers youth to SuperSeeds, where they are treated with a reformative approach to address criminal behavior. Seventy-two percent of youth who have attended SuperSeeds Transformation Camp surveyed one year post Camp have stayed out of legal trouble. Parents of youth participants in SuperSeeds report academic improvement, increased school attendance, and no additional behavior issues in school or in the court system. From its inception, SuperSeeds has demonstrated its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, justice, and basic human rights in the population served. The enduring contribution to the community is giving hope, building skills, and empowering justice involved youth to see a different path forward rather than justice involved behavior.

The 2024 For-Profit Winners

First Financial Bank: First Financial Bank works to eliminate bias and build equality as an employer, attracting, developing, and engaging exceptional people. As a financial institution, First Financial delivers financial services and opportunities equally to all members of the community. It is also committed to investing in products and services specifically designed to help build and repair those who are struggling financially. As a community partner, First Financial works to eliminate bias by supporting organizations and causes that work to serve and uplift under-served people

More information: please contact us at admin@cincinnatusassoc.org or call 513-939-2652.

Media contacts:
Susan Noonan, Chair, Spencer Committee; 513.378.4122, snoonan@fuse.net
Rhonda Holyfield-Mangieri, President Cincinnatus Association; 513.673.1297, holyfieldmangieri@gmail.com

Anyone interested in joining the committee is should contact Susan Noonan at snoonan@fuse.net