Michael P. Daly, local businessman and entrepreneur is the Founder of the Character Council. As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we honor him as one of our Heroes of Character and look forward to his Keynote.
Michael Daly is the founder of the Cincinnati Character Council 20 years ago. His partners in the founding were original board members Susan Bell, Mike Ellison, Roger Griggs and John Pierce amongst others.
He has spent much of the past several decades developing the Flash Baseball Complex and Organization in Hamersville, OH where hundreds of young men have played select baseball on the 10 diamonds and in the all-season indoor baseball gymnasium (https://www.flashbaseball.org). Recently, Michael and his family created a major feature film about the true story of one of his players that grew up in the Flash Organization before tragically taking his own life at the age of 16 (https://www.chancethemovie.org/). The film is set to be released on Apple TV and other digital outlets on opening day April 1 of the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
Michael and his wife Pamela live in the midst of the Flash Complex surrounded by young men on most days. Pamela is an accomplished actress and acting coach. The Dalys have three adult sons.
Professionally, Michael has had a long association with New York Life in the life insurance industry.
Anthony Muñoz, Football Hall of Famer and “Greatest Lineman of All Time” (GLOAT) served as the Character Council’s spokesperson in its formative years. We are excited to honor him this year as one of our Heroes of Character and to hear from him during his Keynote.
Anthony Muñoz is one of Cincinnati’s true sports icons. Considered by many as the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history, Muñoz has a record of excellence that is unrivaled in Professional Football. An eleven-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, Muñoz is the only Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in Cincinnati Bengals history. Since retiring, Anthony and his family have remained in Cincinnati, where Muñoz has served as one of the community’s most accessible and involved advocates.
In 2002, Anthony established the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, a non-profit organization that engages the Tri-State region to impact area youth mentally, physically and spiritually. Since its inception, the foundation has impacted over 40,000 thousand children and raised more than $13,000,000 for its eight impact programs and continues to grow.
Besides devoting a great deal of time and energy to his Foundation, Anthony continues to be involved with several community initiatives including serving on the board of country artist, Garth Brook’s non-profit, Teammates for Kids. Anthony is still active in the NFL as a pre- season game day announcer for the Cincinnati Bengals, selection committee member for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, and currently travels throughout the country hosting NFL Play 60 Character Camps.
Anthony spends countless hours reaching out to other communities. He has spoken to Military units all over our country and participated in several Military events, like the US Army All American Bowl. In March 2011 he was able to travel to Afghanistan and visit America Soldiers on a week- long USO tour.
A devoted husband of 42 years and father, Anthony and his wife, Dede, are the proud parents of Michael and Michelle as well as the grandparents of nine.
Diane Adkins is a hospice nurse whose compassionate care encompasses her patients, and their loved ones. Her Sensitivity and Empathy make her an ideal candidate for end of life care. She has been a nurse all of her adult life, with the last 17 years in hospice care. You would think that working in hospice, she would be able to check all of the good deed boxes a lifetime should have but Diane gives even more. She volunteered with her church and her children’s schools and sports. She also volunteers with several community organizations such as Friends of the Library and Matthew 25 ministries. Through all of her life experiences, her Resilience is her strongest character quality. She has managed career, family, and volunteer work, all the while fighting her own mental health issues. She has always been open about those struggles so that others who face it will not hesitate to admit it and seek help. I have always admired her Courage and her Strength. She has been a Loyal friend for over 25 years. When she graduated, I gave her a small diamond necklace. I chose the diamond to explain how I saw her. A diamond is one of the hardest minerals and Diane toughness is the strength of her Character. Diamonds are beautiful and reflect light. Diane’s beautiful life reflects light and warmth to all those around her. Diamonds are multi-faceted as is Diane. No matter what she is involved in, her Character shines through.
– Nominated by Jill Tomey
Rodney Christian’s profound faith in God has been his motivation to guide and mentor youth for over 20 years at Third Presbyterian Church in East Westwood where he serves as an elder. His leadership of the East Westwood Community Council in more recent years is rooted in a commitment to providing opportunities for all neighbors, especially for young people, and in ensuring that the voices of the voiceless are heard. He exhibits determination and enthusiasm in being a neighborhood leader, and a strong commitment to justice, education, and equity for black children and youth. Rodney was heavily involved in the 2017 NEP (Neighborhood Enhancement Program) in East Westwood and Westwood which brought together a leadership team charged with identifying projects and improvement opportunities in both neighborhoods. Thanks to his advocacy, a new playground, community garden and basketball court/recreation area were among the projects pursued and funded in East Westwood. When a group of black and white leaders in Westwood and East Westwood began working together in 2018, Rodney was one of the founding members. He brought his Faith, Persuasiveness, and Wisdom to bear in constantly saying that the work must be part of a movement, not a moment. His Courage and Perseverance has made possible uncomfortable but vital conversations to bridge the racial divide in Westwood and East Westwood. Rodney’s Compassion shines through whether he is helping a young child to learn the history of their elders or standing alongside colleagues speaking out for justice and peace in the neighborhood.
-Nominated by Pastor Mary Carson
Attorney Delmar (Del) Weldon is an outstanding example of a “Hero of Character” representing the 36 Character Qualities on a daily basis in his personal as well as his professional life. His availability, honesty, humility, and compassion for others in his community are exemplified in his commitment to a number of professional organizations including his partnership in the Pillar Law Group in Lawrenceburg, IN, City Attorney to Lawrenceburg, and many others on his resume. His extensive volunteer and pro-bono commitments include Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati, Kiwanis International, the Lawrenceburg School Board, and the Redevelopment Association of Indiana to name a few. Del has experienced many hardships and obstacles in his personal life including the loss of a brother to suicide and close friends issues resulting from drug addiction, etc. As a result of these hardships, Del is involved in various non-profit recovery programs including CASA (Citizens Against Substance Abuse) and JCAP (Jail Chemical Addiction Program) originating in Lawrenceburg and the surrounding area to include the Tri-State. I am proud to nominate Attorney Del Weldon as an outstanding example of true character as he continues to benefit on a daily basis in his professional and personal life the Tri-State Area.
-Nominated by Nancy Ray
Marie Ausdenmoore exemplifies so many qualities of a hero of character, that this nomination was an easy one. Marie is one of the most selfless, kind, and loving women I know. She shares her gifts and time with those in her family and outside of it. Anyone that meets her instantly becomes a friend. Marie has offered so much patience, compassion, and resilience when it comes to accepting children into her family from another country. Something like this can be extremely difficult and requires so much love and strength. She has given her kids a safe place for them to be themselves, and learn and grow into the people God intended for them to be. She also takes these qualities and offers them to those around her who have also adopted internationally. She offers positivity and patience to them as they share their hearts and their struggles, and then unselfishly shares her wisdom and walks alongside of them. While Marie has battled some health concerns, she has never let them stop her from being generous to those around her. Any time that anyone needs something, she is the first to step up and offer her help. She is loyal and dependable and offers such a strong character to look up to. I believe Marie deserves this award so much. She is so humble and loving, and I would love to see her honored for all she does!
-Nominated by Ali Kinzi
Michelle Moody demonstrates upstanding character through her unwavering commitment to improving our community. Her personal mission state of living her life “to reflect God’s love and light through my words and actions” is seen through her daily actions. Five years ago, Michelle left a lucrative career in corporate American to follow her heart and God-directed calling, to help improve our community. She started the community magazine, West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle with a mission to connect our community, be a voice for non-profits, and help our local businesses prosper and grow. This mission is carried out in the pages of her magazine each month. She creatively and enthusiastically works to find beautiful stories to share of amazing local people so she can give these unsung heroes the recognition they deserve. During the challenging time of this pandemic, she remained positive and tried to be a voice of hope and inspiration for her readers and advertisers. She launched the West Chester & Liberty Strong initiative, to show our community strength and unity while also raising money for the Community Health Fund at the Community Foundation of West Chester Liberty. She canceled all the stories originally planned for her June issue and instead made it the “Rebuilding Together” issue, with stories focused on helping our community rebuild in the midst of the coronavirus. Her positive attitude is one of the things I admire most about her. Anyone who knows Michelle will tell you about her infectious smile and how she is always trying to lift other people’s spirits, especially in difficult times like these when they need it the most. During her free time, Michelle generously gives back to many causes. She sings in the praise band at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, where she has also served on the council and stewardship team and volunteers regularly. She tries to help as many non-profits as possible, and as such has served on the board of directors of many nonprofits, as well as helping with marketing and event planning for many others. Michelle does all this while also helping to raise our two sons, ages 15 and 12, and teaching them the importance of love, good character, and living generously by including them in many charitable acts around the area.
-Nominated by Mark Moody
Duane Moore is a longtime social studies teacher at Hamilton High School. Duane holds a special place in Hamilton High School not only for our students but for our faculty as well. Mr. Moore is often the faculty member who others are drawn to not only for his perspective, but also because he is mutually supportive, respected, and engaging. For years, Mr. Moore has chaperoned trips to Italy for the Wilks Foundation so it made sense for him to lead our students for off-campus college tours. As a building principal, it is always a concern when students overnight for various reasons. With Mr. Moore in charge, I know that he will keep our students safe while ensuring that all students have a successful trip. I couldn’t ask for a better leader and guide for students. Additionally, Duane is our Master of Ceremonies for all Pep Assemblies and other special events like our socially distant diploma pick up ceremony. Our students respect Mr. Moore a great deal because he is authentic not only in his approach to instruction but also in relationships. More so, Duane has a unique ability to reach students at their level while maintaining high standards and expectations. In the classroom, Mr. Moore’s topics of instruction are based on many of the societal issues that continue to impact our nation. His candor, perspective, and knowledge serve our students well as he helps them understand and prepare for graduation and adulthood.
-Nominated by Principal John Wilhelm
Samantha Fish is warm, funny, hard-working, honest, and brave. I served as Samantha’s 11th grade English teacher for American Literature. After having taught over one thousand students, I can say, without hesitation, I have never met someone like Samantha. Samantha is a born leader, and I have no doubt that she will change the world. Sammie has a rare disorder called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. It is a very rare disease that can be terminal in young patients leaving Sammie incapable of moving some days. Sammie was constantly in and out of the doctor’s office, but never missed an assignment for my class. She was always caught up on work even when she felt too weak to move. I can list Samantha’s accolades, but it still won’t do her justice. As a student, Samantha is the girl I could always rely on. She would answer questions when everyone was silent; she would ask questions when her peers would feel nervous. She became a voice for our class and is a voice for her peers in our school. She is also incredibly kind and helpful to her peers. Samantha would go out of her way to work with students who were struggling. There wasn’t a day that passed where Samantha would not seek out help and ask questions if she needed to, or a day that she neglected her responsibilities. She started a group at school to raise funds and awareness for her disorder. Samantha is someone who can handle the difficult load that will come with college-level work. She proves this by handling the daily burden of her disease and life. She will also be an enriching part of the community you have created. Samantha’s drive and dedication, balanced with her maturity will surely be an asset anywhere she goes. She is a person who knows what she wants and will get there through dedication, intelligence, and the kindness that she innately possesses. She truly tries to support everyone she meets and does the best for all people.
-Nominated by Annemarie Clevidence Swingle
Lillian French is one of the most compassionate students I have ever worked with. I had the pleasure of getting to know her as her school counselor in middle school and as the moderator for the student council. Our relationship has continued as Lily has taken the initiative to stay active in my life by supporting my personal kids and coming back to middle school community service events to serve as a high school leader. She has a true zest for life and everything she does, she does with enthusiasm and 100%! This can be exemplified by her ability to join pretty much any sport or club. She is involved with swimming, diving, gymnastics, cheer-leading, track, Young Life, and student council. She also babysits the teacher’s own children at no cost during school events so they can be more present with their students. At Turpin High School, as a freshman, she was named the “8 Days of Greatness” Chair which is a week-long celebration of the beauty of life. Her leadership skills are unmatched and her ability to be accepting and tolerant of anyone is obvious with her work with helping students with special needs in clubs at school. She takes the initiatives such as when she single-handedly organized a charity event that raised $1500 and sent 3 local veterans on an Honor Flight. She maintains an A average in her school work while remaining positive during even the hardest of times. There is not one single student I have ever met who is more deserving of an award like this.
-Nominated by Carolyn Heller
Luke Bresser is a student I have had the privilege of knowing for the last 5 years. What I most admire about Luke’s character is how it relates to the relationships he forms. You can always tell that there is a genuine connection between Luke and those around him, whether it’s friends, family, or others. When talking to adults and authorities Luke has always been very respectful. He always gives a good handshake, keeps eye contact, and holds good conversation while being very polite. More importantly, though, is the qualities he shows with those he’s close to. He has extreme loyalty to those he cares about. We have had countless conversations over the 5 years I have known him. Yet I can barely recount any conversations in which he didn’t bring up a family member or friend. He is so proud of others that he can’t wait to tell you about things they have accomplished while almost never talking about his own accomplishments. He is also truly grateful for the things around him. He often talks about his parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and past teachers that have helped him get to where he is now. He recognized all that has helped him and he truly is appreciative of it all. The way Luke looks at and cares about those around him make him the kind of positive influence every community needs.
– Nominated by James Tenhundfeld