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OneJax Institute

Humanitarian Awards Event


Each year, OneJax hosts a Humanitarian Awards Event to honor outstanding humanitarians and raise funds to support our programs. This notable event includes a formal ceremony to recognize a new group of honorees each year.

OneJax Humanitarian Awards began in 1970 and has honored individuals who have made a significant humanitarian contribution to their communities.

2023 Humanitarian Awards Event

Date and Location: May 4th, 2023 at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts

2023 Event Chairs: David Miller & Brian Wolfburg

OneJax Humanitarian Awards Event sponsors gain exposure in a large group of community leaders along with inspirational words from our Honorees. As an event sponsor, your leadership sends a powerful message in support of the mission of OneJax and of the honorees' good works in support of our city. The impact of your sponsorship is equally powerful - enabling OneJax to create opportunities for diverse groups of individuals to learn about themselves and one another thereby reducing stereotypes and bias, and developing community awareness and understanding about critical social issues facing our city.

Become a 2023 Humanitarian Awards Event Sponsor!

2023 Honorees

2023 Gold Medallion for Lifetime Achievement

The Gold Medallion for Lifetime Achievement recognizes those who have had an extraordinary impact on and have given back generously to their communities over their lifetime. This award is given to an individual who has been a past recipient of the Silver Medallion and who has distinguished herself/himself not only through outstanding dedication and community service but also through her/his exceptional commitment to the OneJax mission of promoting the dignity and respect of all people. This award is not necessarily given every year.


Nina Waters – CEO, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

Nina Waters has served as President of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Inc. since 2005, after serving as Executive Vice President for three years. She is currently in her final months in her role, with a planned retirement date no later than fall of 2023. The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida is Florida’s oldest – and largest – community foundation. Under Nina’s leadership, Foundation assets have quadrupled, growing from less than $60 million in 2002 to more than $630 million in 2022, and annual grants to the community have grown from $9 million in 2002 to approximately $640 million in total grants since they began making grants.

Nina’s wisdom and experience will be greatly missed in the community. Her reach has been broad and her impact incalculable. Some of her accomplishments include launching the Foundation’s Quality Education for All initiative in 2005, which led to the creation of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, and culminated in the announcement of a $38 million fund for local education investment. Nina also assisted in the development of the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Foundation’s first giving circle, in 2001. In 2014, she was instrumental in launching the LGBT Community Fund, which focuses on philanthropy that will enhance the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Northeast Florida.

Prior to joining the staff of the Foundation, Nina served as Executive Director for the PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville program for twelve years. Prior to leaving PACE in 2001, Nina completed a $2.5 million capital campaign for the PACE Jacksonville program.  

Nina currently serves on the Jacksonville Civic Council, Jacksonville University’s Board of Trustees and Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute’s Board of Advisors. She has chaired the boards of both the Southeastern Council of Foundations (now Philanthropy Southeast) and Community Foundations of Florida. She also serves as the Convener for the OneJax Advisory Council and serves on or leads many other local Jacksonville councils, task forces and initiatives. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including making the Florida Trend list of the 500 most influential business leaders in Florida five years in a row since 2018, the Florida Times-Union EVE Award for Employment, the OneJax President’s Citation Humanitarian Award and Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award, among others.

Nina is a native of Pittsburgh and moved to Jacksonville in 1976 to attend Jacksonville University.

2023 Silver Medallions

The Silver Medallion is awarded each year to men and women in recognition of the individual's outstanding dedication and community service. Recipients of this award have exhibited an extensive record of involvement in civic, charitable, volunteer and professional organizations; dedication to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in our city; impeccable personal and professional integrity; sustained commitment to humanitarian ideals; history of placing humanitarian concerns above self-interest; and realistic humility about his/her importance in the world.


Lowry A. “Lad” Daniels, Jr.—Silver Medallion

A native of Virginia, Lad Daniels arrived in Jacksonville in 1972 when he took a position with the Charter Companies. From the time he and his wife arrived, they both committed to becoming involved and engaged with their new community. While Lad can cite an impressive and very successful resume, it’s his dedication to service and giving back to the community that has always energized him.

With a degree and experience in manufacturing, Lad always had a great interest in real estate development. For the next 20 years he worked in the field, owning several different companies and partnering in several others. In 1992, he became the president of the First Coast Manufacturer’s Association (FCMA). FCMA is a regional association of Northeast Florida manufacturers who emphasize workforce education, environmental protection, and economic development. Lad is credited for growing the size and influence of the organization, gaining recognition for their innovative programs and community service projects.

Lad has been involved with or served as board president of many community organizations and charitable groups, including The Players Championship; CISV, an organization involving 60 countries, that offers an opportunity for children, beginning at age eleven, to explore the world through summer camps, known as Villages, and family exchanges; the World Affairs Council (which he helped establish locally); St. Johns River Water Management District, and Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., to name a few. In 1999, Lad was elected as an at-large member of the City Council, where he served for eight years, including one as council president.

Lad earned a B.S. in Engineering from North Carolina State University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School, with a concentration in manufacturing and international business.


Cynthia (Cindy) Smith-Funkhouser, MSW – President and CEO, Sulzbacher

Cindy is the President and CEO of Sulzbacher, the largest homeless resource provider in Northeast FL, which she has led and expanded with distinction.  Previously, she served as Sulzbacher’s Vice President of Health Services and as the Chief Program Officer. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry in Jacksonville Beach, a faith-based organization that provides emergency assistance for beaches families in crisis. Cindy graduated from Florida State University with a master’s degree in clinical social work in 2003. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from George Mason University. Cindy spent the first 20 years of her career as a sales and marketing professional for a Fortune 500 company. She was involved with public schools for over 10 years through PTA, SAC and Coaching. Cindy was also the co-founder of a non-profit organization, Positive Kids, Inc. that addressed bullying and violence in schools.

Cindy currently sits on the boards of UNF Brooks College of Health Dean’s Council and the Duval County Medical Society Foundation.  In 2014, she received the Jacksonville Business Journal Ultimate CEO Award and was a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2014.  In 2018 she was honored with the Times-Union EVE Award and in 2019, the Florida Medical Association Distinguished Layperson of the Year award.



Stacey Goldring – Founder, Searching for Identity Foundation, Inc.

Stacey Goldring is a woman of many talents and interests and is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization, Searching for Identity. The organization ensures Holocaust survivors’ children and grandchildren have a platform to educate, document and share their families’ stories with the world.

Searching for Identity produces documentary films, educational videos, panel discussions, public readings, stage productions, art exhibitions, publishing projects, educational materials and remembrance programs.

Stacey began documenting Holocaust survivorship in the early 2000s, recounting the experience of Holocaust survivor Carla Nathans Schipper. Her book, On Wooden Wheels, was published in 2006. Both Carla and Stacey worked extensively with schools throughout Duval and St. Johns Counties.

In 2013, Stacey developed a one-of-a kind workshop for children of Holocaust survivors. The Searching for Identity Workshop focused on documenting family survival stories and examining how the Holocaust shaped their own lives. Immediately recognizing that the Holocaust’s generational impact needed to be shared with the public, she embarked on producing a film. Her documentary, Traces, Voices of the Second Generation, will premiere in January 2023 and will be seen on PBS. Today, the workshop program continues to grow, including both children and grandchildren of survivors, throughout North America and Great Britain. The film’s outreach includes educational materials and translations in many languages.

Stacey moved to Jacksonville in 1996 after working as a journalist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Boca Raton News.  Before establishing her nonprofit, Stacey worked as an environmental educator at Tree Hill Nature Center in Arlington.  She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the Ohio State University.

Acosta-Rua Young Professionals Award

Young professionals, aged 40 and under who are already making a significant impact in their community through their time, talent and treasure, are recognized for their contributions to society for promoting understanding and awareness, furthering the cause of social justice issues and for providing leadership that encourages responsible action to others throughout the community.  This award is not necessarily given each year.


Kimberly Allen, Ph.D. — CEO, 904WARD

Dr. Kimberly Allen, a Jacksonville native, became the inaugural CEO of 904WARD in 2021 after volunteering for two years and serving as the board chair of the all-volunteer organization for two and a half years.

During that time, the organization has engaged thousands of Jacksonville community members, created and sold over 2,000 decks of the Race Cards as a tool to invite meaningful dialogue; partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative to create the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project to memorialize victims of terror lynching; created a traveling mixed-medium art exhibit; raised more than $2 million dollars in individual, corporate and grant funding; and fostered countless partnerships all in the name of ending racism so that everyone thrives.

Kimberly hope is to work the organization out of business so that her children, grandchildren and future generations can actually see the beauty in our community rather than just its potential.

We Appreciate Our 2022 Sponsors!

OneJax is immensely grateful to our 2022 Humanitarian Awards Event sponsors. Your sponsorship affords us the tools we need to make our vision of being the catalyst that creates an inclusive community where difference is welcomed and celebrated a reality in Jacksonville.

THANK YOU for your generous support!

View our full list of supporters.