Spirit of Philanthropy Award Recipients

The ASHFoundation Board of Trustees nominates Spirit of Philanthropy Award recipients. Awardees are chosen for sustained and significant philanthropic service that has a widespread impact.


Lesley B. Olswang, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA

Lesley Olswang

Lesley B. Olswang PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA has demonstrated a career-long commitment to the ASHFoundation as a donor of 35 years and a visionary leader whose work has promoted the ASHFoundation to a new generation of donors and created new pathways for engagement. As a long-time ASHFoundation volunteer, Dr. Olswang has held several leadership roles including for the 1989 Treatment Efficacy Conference, 1993 Research Mentoring Conference 2014 Implement Science Summit, 2018 launch of the Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Grant, and as a member of the ASHFoundation Board of Trustees and the Vice President for Programs and Awards (2012-2018).

Dr. Olswang’s commitment to the ASHFoundation is seen throughout her work. In her current role as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Washington Seattle, Dr. Olswang has nurtured their University Giving Program (UGP) through her own giving and by encouraging other UGP ambassadors who, in turn, influenced others to support the ASHFoundation’s mission through annual giving.

As an ASHA Fellow and ASHA Honors recipient, Dr. Olswang also uses her experience to support the ASHFoundation in effectively reaching a wide range of communities and bringing along the future generations as it seeks to spark innovation. She helped develop communication efforts to expand donor prospecting for the critical support that the ASHFoundation provides for the scientific bases of the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. She also helped to expand programmatic and stewardship alignment through personal letter-writing and individual connection making between students and past recipients of ASHFoundation funding. These are just a few of the outreach strategies she helped initiate that the ASHFoundation continues to benefit from today. The ASHFoundation is grateful for Dr. Olswang’s leadership and for living her philanthropic values every day.

As she writes, “Simply, the ASHFoundation has long served as a major player in moving the discipline forward in the most creative, interesting, and timely ways. I always knew that time spent on ASHFoundation activities would result in something tangible and important for our profession and the individuals it serves.”


Alex F. Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA

Alex Johnson

Alex F. Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA is a longtime supporter of the ASHFoundation, having supported its efforts to support innovators and spark innovation for more than 30 years. Throughout that time, Dr. Johnson has made significant impact at key points in the ASHFoundation’s history: including spearheading significant fundraising efforts around its 60th anniversary (2006), expanding the ASHFoundation’s partnership with ASHA (2015), and supporting the launch of the University Giving Program through MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, one of the early programs gaining 100% faculty participation in giving.

Dr. Johnson is a thought leader for change in advancing the ASHFoundation’s mission and goals, steadfastly advocating to make the ASHFoundation stronger. He has mentored countless individuals, including many ASHFoundation Board members who want to emulate his charitable spirit. He is noted by his peers as a kind and generous man who is humble regarding all his accomplishments, and there are many. Dr. Johnson served as president of ASHA (2006); was named a Fellow of ASHA and received the Honors of the Association (2013); and served on the ASHFoundation Board of Trustees (2010 – 2016), during which he served as the Organization Committee chair (2012-2013) and as the Board’s president (2014-2016).

While Dr. Johnson retired in July 2022 as Provost Emeritus from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, where he had served as provost since 2008, his impact continues to be felt throughout the ASHFoundation. As one colleague wrote, “If a ‘family tree’ of people who found their origins with the ASHFoundation was established, a major branch would come from Alex!” The ASHFoundation thanks Dr. Johnson for his decades of support for our mission and the importance of philanthropic practice.


Marvin Dickerson

Marvin Dickerson

Marvin (Marv) and Mary V. Dickerson have donated to the ASHFoundation for more than 3 decades, including a leading gift of $10,000 to the Dreams and Possibilities Campaign, annual donations at the Gold Founder and President's Circle levels, and a bequest agreement to establish a fund to support the New Century Scholars program. Since Mary's passing in 2017, Marv has continued significant, sustained annual giving to the ASHFoundation.

Marv served in a leadership role as the ASHFoundation's Vice President for Finance and was instrumental in establishing policies for long-term reserves and for endowments. Moreover, he generated messaging tools that led the ASHFoundation's ability to explain finances to donors and the general public in a transparent and clarifying manner. His work also led to a strong financial framework which placed the ASHFoundation in an excellent financial position for the future.

Marv has been a tireless advocate for the Board's efforts in planned giving. His development involvement increased awareness and fundraising among leaders in corporations/industry. Additionally, he served on the ASHFoundation's capital campaign sub-committee to establish guidelines for the Dreams and Possibilities funds, contributing to the conceptual development of the now well-established New Century Scholars program. He served in a volunteer capacity for several ASHFoundation golf benefits, helped to financially boost the ASHFoundation's financial outcomes, and succeeded in recruiting other volunteers to sustain this fundraising effort.

Marv's commitment to the ASHFoundation continues to this day. His warmth, professionalism, vision, and passion have helped shape the ASHFoundation over many years.


Fred Minifie

Fred Minifie

Fred Minifie has supported the ASHFoundation's fundraising and development activities for nearly 40 years. He has worked tirelessly to encourage support for the ASHFoundation, philosophically, financially and programmatically. His earliest efforts began in the early 1980's, when he first became a donor, a status he has sustained and grown ever since. From his initial service as liaison to the ASHFoundation Board of Trustees in 1982 when he was ASHA president, all the way to his role as an ASHFoundation Decades Competition Team Captain in 2016, Minifie's involvement is framed by his deep commitment. The ASHFoundation benefited greatly from his leadership as a trustee during 1987–1994, including time as president for 4 of those years.

In the early 1980's, the ASHFoundation planned a series of ground-breaking technology conferences that were successfully facilitated by corporate funding. Minifie's guidance on corporate partners to support these conferences helped to establish the broader vision of companies as annual donors to the ASHFoundation, as well as to serve as trustees on the ASHFoundation Board.

Minifie's receptivity to clinical researcher requests about the need to bring greater attention to the topic of treatment efficacy and its value to practice was instrumental at a time when this was lacking. During his term as president in 1989, the ASHFoundation convened a landmark national efficacy conference, which was followed by another milestone event on Research Mentorship, in collaboration with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

His visionary leadership exemplifies Minifie's significant role to accelerate a scholarly, discipline-wide trajectory that advances the evidence sustaining our discipline's basic science and intervention efficacy. His inspirational public messages about the need to support this path as part of the ASHFoundation's mission elevated awareness among his peers, resulting in action to financially contribute. Enormous strides toward meeting the ASHFoundation's goals have been made as a direct result of Minifie's financial support, stewardship and leadership. 


Dennis Hampton

Dennis Hampton

Dennis Hampton is recognized for his persistent work, frequently behind the scenes, to increase ASHFoundation awareness and raise funds for our mission. His earliest days go back to 1983, when he first became a donor, a status he has sustained ever since. He stepped forward as a significant contributor in 2000 to support the ASHFoundation's first ever capital campaign.

Beyond his personal philanthropy, Hampton ensured support from his company, Hearing Healthcare News, first making a major gift to this Dreams and Possibilities Campaign, and then supporting the ASHFoundation's numerous golf benefits, also at major gift levels. Hampton also served for many years as a member of the Golf Benefit Sponsorship Committee and was influential in generating support from hearing-related companies such as Phonak, Oticon, Widex, and others.

He became an ASHFoundation trustee in 2001 and served as Board president from 2006–2008. During that time, he developed relationships with potential donors and spread the vision of the ASHFoundation to ASHA members. He took special interest in the ASHFoundation's legacy society and encouraged every trustee to become a member by making a planned gift, and then set out to do the same with other donors. Due to his commitment and encouragement, the Wendell Johnson Society grew by 36% during his tenure as President!

His professionalism was matched by vision, inspiration, and passion for the ASHFoundation's mission and set the path to shape our future.


Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson's earliest days with the ASHFoundation go back to 1982 when she first became a donor, a status she has sustained continuously ever since, with her company following the same pattern from 1986 onward.

Wilson was a founding participant of the original ASHFoundation Corporate Advisory Group, launched in 1985 with the objective to involve corporate representatives in its mission and activities, ultimately securing support philosophically, programmatically, and financially.

One of the earliest champions of the ASHFoundation's first ever Dreams and Possibilities capital campaign, Wilson advocated for support of teacher–investigator careers and innovative research, by pledging and donating a $100,000 corporate gift. Additionally, Wilson's company, Laureate Learning Systems, supported Golf Benefit sponsorships over the years, despite the fact she is a non-golfer!

As an ASHFoundation trustee (2002–2007), Wilson provided a role model for increased giving, moving from President's Circle to Patron to Pacesetter donor levels. Not stopping there, she continued her philanthropy and example long after her Board service, moving to the Leadership Circle of giving in 2013...and even initiated a surprise $25,000 gift in 2016 in celebration of the ASHFoundation's 70th anniversary.

Not content with only personal giving, she worked persistently with staff to identify individual colleagues and corporate prospects who might be persuaded to charitable generosity and made selected approaches. She could always be counted on to set the bar higher and challenge others, mostly by her own generous example, but primarily by her love of the ASHFoundation mission and her love of the professions.


Angie Singh

Angie Singh

For two decades, Angie Singh, along with her late husband, Sadanand, in the earlier years and individually after his death, has demonstrated extraordinary personal financial support to the ASHFoundation. Singh's philanthropic enthusiasm for the ASHFoundation extends well beyond her own personal generosity as she ensures Plural Publishing's corporate investment through her role as its co-founder and president.

Singh is a dedicated volunteer and servant to the ASHFoundation as demonstrated by her service on the Board of Trustees, as host for ASHFoundation stewardship and fundraising events in her home, and in particular, through her crucial leadership for the Foundation Fabulous Fundraiser (FFF) events.

Her generosity has been a model for others to follow, and has resulted in significant gifts from her community of friends and associates. As noted, Singh's contributions to the ASHFoundation have come from several different perspectives. All, however, have been extraordinary with positive impacts both now and likely to be seen in the future.


Doreen Oyadomari

Doreen Oyadomari

Doreen Oyadomari is recognized for exemplary philanthropic commitment and stewardship for the ASHFoundation. She first became a donor in 1998, rising to the Patron giving level in 2006, and sustaining such significant annual contributions ever since. Additionally, she has planned a legacy gift to the ASHFoundation and supported Golf Benefit sponsorships, despite the fact that she is not a golfer.

Oyadomari has worked tirelessly to increase ASHFoundation awareness and funds, particularly among ASHA's Advisory Councils (and earlier the Legislative Councils) as well as within her own state of Alabama at its annual convention. She is persistent in her efforts to persuade her colleagues to charitable giving, both in speaking about the ASHFoundation to groups as well as letter writing campaigns.

Oyadomari served on the ASHFoundation Board of Trustees from 2003–2007, during which time she approached her fundraising responsibilities enthusiasm and clarity of purpose. She initiates and follows through on all tasks, and she has been instrumental in broadening the fundraising outreach of the ASHFoundation. She is generous with her personal resources. Most significantly, her results have increased the overall fundraising outcomes for the ASHFoundation.