2019 Celebration of Learning Host Committee

  • John Behal 
  • DeeDee Glimcher
Committee Members:  
  • Lauren Bonfield
  • Barbara Brandt
  • Darci Congrove
  • Sue Cooper
  • Melanie DeAscentis
  • Barbara Derrow
  • Sandy Doyle-Ahern
  • Marjorie Duffy
  • Diane Garland
  • Mary Jo Green
  • Charlotte Kessler
  • Gale V. King
  • Patrick King
  • Wayne Lawson
  • Trip Lazarus
  • Vicki Linville
  • Victoria Losinski
  • Jennifer McNally
  • Antoinette Mongillo
  • Shannon Morgan
  • Cindy Rasmussen
  • Lynne Redgrave
  • Corde Westwater Robinson
  • Renée Shumate
  • Barbara Siemer
  • Sheila Smith
  • Benita Smoot
  • Catherine Strauss
  • Hope Wolman
  • Ed Yen
  • Ellen Yen
Honorary Chairs:  
Jeni Britton Bauer and Charly Bauer

Jeni Britton Bauer and Charly Bauer share a deep and decades-long connection with libraries. One of Jeni’s first jobs was youth programming at the Upper Arlington Public Library—this is also where she wrote the business plan for what would become Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. With a Master’s in Library and Information Science, Charly previously worked for OhioLINK and OCLC for nine years.

Jeni remains the beating heart of the company and is in charge of all creative output. She is also a trustee of the Wexner Center Foundation and the Columbus College of Art & Design, as well as a 2017 Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. Charly is Director of Stewardship at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, where he oversees the company’s philanthropic giving program that focuses on the arts and human rights. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Leadership Columbus and the Executive Advisory Board of BuddyUp Tennis.


Celebration of Learning is Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year and one of the most anticipated evenings on the city’s cultural calendar.

Book-ended by cocktails and seated dinner in the Nationwide Foundation Grand Atrium, this year’s program featured award-winning author Candice Millard, writer of three New York Times bestsellers including The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey and Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President. The program also featured the presentation of the Julian Sinclair Smith Award for Lifelong Learning to Jack and Suzi Hanna and the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Award to Cindy Hilsheimer.

Julian Sinclair Smith Award Honorees

Jack and Suzi Hanna

Jack and Suzi Hanna never anticipated the adventures ahead after meeting at Muskingum College and marrying in 1968. Ten years later when Jack became the director of the Columbus Zoo, the Hannas were perfectly positioned to lead the Zoo and the entire zoological world into the 21st century.

Over their last 40+ years in Columbus, Jack and Suzi have brought wildlife and conservation education to audiences around the world through Jack’s countless TV appearances, speeches, and their three award-winning TV series: Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown. Having the privilege of traveling to Africa more than forty times, the country that has truly captured their heart is Rwanda. They are longtime supporters of Rwandan wildlife and humanitarian organizations, including Partners In Conservation and Gorilla Doctors.

The Hannas love to hike and treasure time with friends and family. They have three daughters, six grandchildren, and a new golden retriever puppy.


Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Award Honoree

Cindy Hilsheimer

Cindy Hilsheimer considers her service to the Columbus Metropolitan Library a most treasured privilege. “The honor of serving an internationally recognized and visionary entity supported by an innovative and mission-aligned team is a volunteer’s dream,” Cindy shares. She firmly believes Andrew Carnegie’s proclamation, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”

Cindy is passionate about community service as a complement to leadership of BeecherHill, a Midwest retained executive search practice. Cindy serves on the boards of COSI, Pelotonia and the Columbus Symphony. As an ardent Buckeye alumnus, she serves on the boards of Ohio State’s Foundation, Wexner Medical Center and James/CCC Foundation. Deepening her commitment to and knowledge of libraries, Cindy has served as a director OCLC since 2011.

Cindy credits her supportive family, dedicated colleagues and amazing leaders with whom she has been privileged to serve with this recognition.


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