(Pictured above, L-R) Joedy Hightower (President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation), Madalaine McDaniel, Jerry McDaniel (recipient of the 2018 Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropist Award), Richard Siemer (sponsor of the Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropist Award)
Jerry McDaniel was named the 2018 recipient of the Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropist Award at a donor appreciation reception hosted by Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation on Tuesday, November 13. McDaniel was nominated for his philanthropic work in Effingham and Jasper counties as well as his leadership to area nonprofits. Rick Siemer, the award’s namesake, presented McDaniel with the award.
“Jerry McDaniel lives his life by many principles,” remarked Siemer, the first recipient of the Community Foundation’s top philanthropy honor. “One of those principles is to always be early and don’t commit to anything unless you can do it well.” He has invested his time, talents and treasures over the last decade providing leadership and support to nonprofits throughout the region, including multiple roles within the Community Foundation. McDaniel also provided a lead gift to the $3 million fundraising campaign for the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex.
McDaniel served on the Effingham County Community Foundation Advisory Board from 2012-2014, served a three-year term on the Community Foundation’s Investment Committee and joined the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation in 2015 and currently serves as the board chair. He has worked behind the scenes with Community Foundation staff advocating for the Community Foundation and advancing new partnerships and opportunities.
“Jerry challenged staff and board to sharpen our focus toward a sustainable future, resulting in a plan to ensure that the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission,” explained Joedy Hightower, President and CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation. “Jerry leads by example and, under his leadership, he and the rest of the board actively sought five-year pledges of unrestricted gifts to support the operations of the Community Foundation. His belief in the work we are doing translated to more than 30 donors becoming Supporting Partners.”
McDaniel has been the president and owner of petroleum transportation and wholesale fuel companies for the past 28 years. As a successful entrepreneur himself, he serves on the Board of Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship, is an investor in both Effingham and Jasper County CEO programs and serves on the Effingham CEO Angel Investor Fund Advisory Committee.
Most recently, Jerry and his brother Jim McDaniel, donated 34 acres of their family’s farm ground to the Community Foundation for the long-term benefit of Jasper County. The gift was made through the Community Foundation’s farmland giving program, “Fields of Opportunity,” which allows the Community Foundation to receive gifts of farmland and maintain ownership of the land indefinitely. A sign will be displayed on the McDaniel Farm to honor Jim and Jerry’s parents and grandparents, Harold, Edith, Robert and Dorothy McDaniel.
McDaniel grew up in Jasper County before moving to Effingham County in more recent years where he currently resides with his wife, Madalaine. They have three children, Alexandria, Brianna and Carver.
Nominees for the Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropy Award may be individuals, families or organizations with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, demonstrate outstanding civic and charitable responsibility and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in a community, national and/or international level.
Other notable recognition during the event included the unveiling of the Supporting Partners donor wall in the Community Foundation office and the addition of Jim and Julie Hecht of Effingham and Robert and Marilyn McClean of Mattoon as the newest members of the Community Foundation’s Legacy Society. The Legacy Society honors individuals who have made plans through their estate to give back to their community through the Community Foundation.