2024 Annual Celebration

Elizabeth Andrews said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time. They just have the heart.” 

All year long we celebrate donors, volunteers, community members, past award recipients, and all of you who may have shared your hearts, assets, skills, or time to build a better Lenawee community.

The annual celebration brings together local individuals, organizations, and businesses while recognizing award recipients and the work of donors, volunteers, and community partners. On Thursday, April 4th, we will celebrate three individuals, and a business that excel beyond community expectation.

The Lenawee Leadership Award honors a person or couple, who exemplify the underlying principle that the future of our county will be determined by the quality of its leadership. Formerly known as the Maple Leaf Award, previous recipients continue to be recognized and are listed on the Foundation’s website. The prestigious award has a county-wide focus that mirrors the Lenawee Community Foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life in Lenawee and increase health, happiness, and hope for us all.

Harry “Dusty” Steele was selected to receive the 2024 Lenawee Leadership Award. Steele is active in many areas of advocacy throughout Lenawee County. He has shown exemplary community leadership and volunteerism through his participation in city government and nonprofit organizations. In addition to running his business, HB Steele Interactive Financial Planning, Steele gives of his time, talents, and treasures. Steele’s Board of Director seats include Siena Heights University where he currently serves as the board chairman, City of Adrian Downtown Development Authority (Adrian Main Street), Kiwanis Club of Adrian (also the Finance Committee), Lenawee Development Finance Authority of the City of Adrian and Tecumseh, and Kiwanis Regional Trail Authority, where Steele was a prime mover and leader of the effort to connect the County’s leadership on the completion of the Kiwanis Trail, connecting Adrian and Tecumseh. Steele’s leadership has helped the growth of Siena Heights University’s campus and student body, the YMCA of Lenawee County’s capital campaign success, adding bike lanes to the Downton streets, the establishment of Launch Lenawee and so much more. Steele has an innate ability to help businesses and organizations realize their vision as an organization and, in many ways, becomes a part of that vision and work. Steele has a passion for our community, the heart for our community and the tenacity to make good things happen.

Katie Mattison is the 2024 recipient of the Stubnitz Award. The Stubnitz Award is presented annually to a person or couple demonstrating exemplary commitment to Lenawee Cares, our community, and volunteerism in Lenawee. The award is named in memory of Lenawee’s philanthropist and businessman, Maurice Stubniz. Giving Back should not be a phrase you hear but a lifestyle you live! Mattison has strived over the years to instill this, not only into her lifestyle, but also in how her and her husband Josh have raised their family. In 2006 Mattison and her family moved to Lenawee County. From the beginning Mattison’s family were involved with her volunteer activities, spending numerous hours learning how important our communities are. Mattison feels extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of Lenawee organizations like Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Community Learning Connection, Tecumseh Public Schools, Hospice of Lenawee, Tecumseh and Adrian Chambers, ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital, St. Elizabeth Church, City of Tecumseh Bicentennial Committee, and the Lenawee Community Foundations Lenawee Cares Advisory Board. Whether she is serving on a board, or boots on the ground with an organization’s project Mattison enjoys giving her time, talents, and treasures to each of these organizations and is honored to be a part of them. Lenawee County is a better place with her in it! Kemner Iott Benz is the 2024 recipient of the Community Pillar Award, which is presented to an individual, couple, or business to recognize outstanding impact on our community through Lenawee Cares. The Pillar Award is a testament to Kemner Iott Benz unwavering commitment to making a positive impact through Lenawee Cares. As an innovative insurance agency with a remarkable 35-year legacy in serving the Michigan area, Kemner Iott Benz has consistently demonstrated a profound dedication to community welfare. Generosity and community support are ingrained in the agency’s ethos, propelled by a dynamic team that actively engages with local organizations. Numerous employees of Kemner Iott Benz contribute to various boards, embodying a culture that goes beyond business to prioritize collective well-being. Since the inception of Lenawee Cares in 2016, Kemner Iott Benz has consistently ranked in the Top 10 for campaigns, with several team members contributing at the prestigious Pillars Club Level. Moreover, their involvement extends to key roles within the Lenawee Community Foundation’s Lenawee Cares Advisory Board, highlighting a commitment to shaping a better tomorrow through initiatives like the Tomorrow’s Pillars program. Kemner Iott Benz stands as a beacon of community service, epitomizing the essence of the Community Pillar Award.

The 2024 Incito Award recipient is Jacob Cooper. The Incito Award was established in 2011 to recognize a young person, age 40 or under, who has emerged as a community leader and demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership with Lenawee Cares and other organizations in our community. Since 2018, Cooper has been a part of the Lenawee Community Foundations Lenawee Cares Advisory Board, assuming roles of Secretary, Campaign Co-Chair, and presently, the position of Advisory Board Chair. In addition to his contributions to Lenawee Cares, Cooper serves as Treasurer for the City of Adrian Downtown Development Authority (Adrian Main Street) and as a Board Member and Public Relations Chair for the Adrian Noon Rotary Club. Cooper is a young leader who illuminates the path to positive change, inspiring the community with passion, vision, and a relentless drive to make a difference right here at home.

So, you can see there is much to celebrate in Lenawee County and at the Lenawee Community Foundation’s Annual Celebration Breakfast. Would you like to join in the celebration? If so, do not miss our annual meeting breakfast on April 4th, from 7:45-9:15 a.m. at Adrian Armory Events Center. Tickets are just $20 and include breakfast. Reservations and payment are due by March 26th, by contacting the Foundation at 517.263.4696.

Thank you for helping to celebrate our community, its members, and businesses. Your collaborative spirit in working with us exemplifies a shared commitment to construct a brighter today and tomorrow for the residents of Lenawee County.

The Lenawee Community Foundation works to assist people in creating legacies and investing in Lenawee. You can donate $30 to send Imagination Library books to a preschool child for a year; volunteer; leave 10% in your will or trust to benefit Lenawee; endow annual gifts to your favorite nonprofits or make gifts or bequests for your hometown. Contact the Foundation for help in creating your legacy. Gifts and legacies work for Lenawee County. Now and forever.

To learn more about the Lenawee Community Foundation or any of its programs or services please contact us at 517.263.4696.


Cynthia Heady is the Director of Development & External Engagement of the Lenawee Community Foundation. Your Community Foundation assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community. For information on how to get involved with the Lenawee Community Foundation and help to build a better community, call 517.263.4696 or contact cynthia@lenaweecf.com. We look forward to collaborating with you.