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Award Recipient
David and Mo Meuse

About the Award
The Harrison M. Sayre Award, given in honor of the Foundation’s founder and 25-year volunteer director, recognizes leadership in philanthropy in central Ohio.
Year
2017

2017 Harrison M. Sayre Award Winners

  David and Mo Meuse

David and Mo Meuse are a tremendous example of a couple that lead with their hearts. Together, they have built a life centered around faith, family, love, and helping others.

Married 48 years, with three children and seven grandchildren, David and Mo have called Columbus home since 1974. Throughout David’s successful business career, philanthropy has always been an important piece of the puzzle.

“I think philanthropy is a learned talent, David said. “It may be ingrained in your DNA when you are young, but you have to work at it and learn how to serve people, how to listen, and how to go to the edges to help bring people together.”

 “Kindness is love made visible.”

—Mo Meuse

When they first moved to Columbus, David set his sights on making an impact and giving back. David and his business partners blazed a giving trail when they agreed to set aside a portion of the profits of their young business for charity. Over the years, inspired in part by his work as Chairman of the Board with the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), he set his sights on creating spaces for people to better themselves.

“It’s spaces where the soft things do matter—where relationships matter, where you are trying to help someone create self-worth and confidence,” David explained. “Today, I think about the values we had in the firm that we started—entrepreneurship and partnership amongst each other, as well as our clients, suppliers, and the community. The more we could give back, the better the firm and the people progressed.”

Mo’s giving nature started at a young age, and throughout her life she has served many roles in helping others.

“For me, time is my greatest resource,” she said. “My time is what I can give.”

Mo has volunteered her time on numerous nonprofit boards. She was Chair of The Childhood League, the Franklin Park Conservatory; and served on the board of the Spirituality Network which holds a special place in her heart because of her training in spiritual companionship. “Seeing us all as one family is important; that’s what brings us together.”

The couple established their first Donor Advised Fund at The Columbus Foundation in 1986. In 2002, they established the Meuse Family Foundation, a Supporting Foundation, to guide their family’s philanthropy. Over the years, the family has invested in a number of areas, from education and conservation to healthcare and basic needs.

“We like to support things that bring people together—it could be the arts or nature, but then life gives us direction, too, in terms of where we give,” Mo said.

David served on The Columbus Foundation’s Governing Committee from 2002–2011 as a member, Vice Chairman, and Chairman. He currently serves as Chairman of REV1 Ventures; board member and lead director for State Auto Financial Corp; board member at Kenyon College and The Kenyon Review; and board member of The Columbus Partnership. In the past, he has served on numerous nonprofit boards and in 2003 he served as Chairman of the United Way Campaign in Central Ohio.

Both David and Mo feel kindness is an essential part of their everyday lives and something that truly sets Columbus apart.

“Tenderness and kindness creates solidarity because you think about people and honor them,” David said. “When you meet someone, no matter who they are, if you can just take a moment to be present, that’s kindness to me. Columbus is an amazing place to see people who do good things.”