ToolBank USA held its annual National Awards on Thursday, November 17 at the Cincinnati ToolBank. The National Awards program recognizes ToolBank affiliates, board members, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters who help the network thrive and fulfill its mission. Staff from ToolBank USA and the Cincinnati ToolBank along with local radio personality, Amanda Orlando from Warm 98.5, hosted an in-person event along with a live broadcast of the program to the eight ToolBanks across the US. Watch parties were hosted at a number of the affiliates’ locations, and during the program they were remoted into to recognize winners that were not able to the join in-person event. 

The Cincinnati ToolBank took home the night’s most coveted award, the Golden Hammer for ToolBank of the Year and a $2,500 grant from ToolBank USA. This award was created to recognize outstanding performance and/or accomplishments of an affiliate who exemplified the mission of the ToolBank by supporting their member agencies and partners. In a coordinated effort, the board, staff and volunteers worked together to fulfill a need in their community to provide the right tools, training, and/or conduit to get it done. One of the determining factors for winning this award comes in the form of testimonials from the winner’s member agencies. 

Jerome Wright, Director of the Reds Youth Academy, explained the Cincinnati ToolBank’s integral part in the Reds Community Makeover, “The Makeover couldn’t happen without extraordinary support from local corporate and community leaders, and Cincinnati Toolbank is at the forefront of getting this process organized. Over 500 volunteers use Toolbank tools to plant 168 trees, 1,714 shrubs, 6,753 perennials, and 3,000 annuals, which make up roughly 600 plant varieties in the garden. We are so thankful for the organization and preparation of the Cincinnati Toolbank over the last eight years. Their support has streamlined our volunteer process to ensure that corporate staff can get to work rather than worrying about the logistics of tool management.”

Cincinnati ToolBank’s Executive Director, Kat Pepmeyer, was joined on stage by her staff, Karen D’Agostino, Development Director and Taylor Brown, Program Director to accept the Golden Hammer. Kat graciously thanked her board and staff for their part in winning this award during a very tumultuous year. It was a welldeserved effort from this year’s Golden Hammer recipient.

ToolBank USA handed out eight additional awards throughout the evening that included:

  • The Rupert Barkoff Exemplary Affiliate Director Award Winner: Dan Stewart from the Charlotte ToolBank
  • Wilkinson Millenary Volunteer Award Winners: Rick Dove (ToolBank USA), Paul Hendrix (Phoenix ToolBank), and Dave Peterson (Charlotte ToolBank)
  • Bobby Mason Award for Technology Innovation Award Winner: Atlanta ToolBank
  • Dan Webber ToolBank Brand Ambassador Award Winners: Ashley Van Stone (Baltimore ToolBank) and Iain Hemp (Phoenix ToolBank)
  • ToolBanker for Life Award Winner: Chad Pickett from ToolBank USA

Along with all of the awards that were handed out, each ToolBank affiliate submitted a video that highlighted “Our Tools at Work.” These videos gave our affiliates the chance to showcase one of their member agency’s projects that exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and serving their local community. ToolBank USA compiled a number of overview videos for ToolBank Disaster Services and the week long Project Puerto Rico event that took place this summer.

For those supporters who were not able to join the live broadcast, you are able to watch the 2022 National Awards at: or on the ToolBank USA YouTube page –

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