OMA Award Spotlight - Sharon Hershey

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2019 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2019 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2019 award for Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year.

Sharon Hershey - Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens


Since 2004, Sharon Hershey has been a dedicated, determined, and devoted volunteer at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, embodying the estate’s motto, “non nobis solum” – “not for us alone.”

Last year, Sharon became the first Stan Hywet volunteer to reach the astounding feat of 20,000 hours of service. That same year, Sharon was responsible for more than 36 rental events at the museum. While the events Sharon headed in 2019 brought in an impressive $400,000 in revenue for the organization, it’s all “in a day’s work” for a team member that has personally generated cumulative revenue of more than $2.1 million for her museum in the past nine years.

A retired educator, Sharon has volunteered for several seasons with the Education Department, supporting standards-based curriculum and conducting school tours. But Sharon is also a skilled event planner – a talent that shone when she led the Stan Hywet team was responsible for an 800 guest corporate reception last year, one of the largest of that type of event ever held at the museum.

Whether it’s as an “Adopt-A-Plotter” in the Great Garden, assisting with education programs and Manor House tours, being an active member of the Auxiliary board and Ohio Mart Decorating Committee, showcasing her acting talents during “Murder in the Mansion,” arranging and overseeing weddings, receptions, corporate events, photography sessions and more, Sharon has demonstrated creativity and versatility – proving herself a true team player and beloved friend of many staff and fellow Volunteers.

As one colleague wrote, “Sharon is distinguished for her warmth and dedication, as well as for the time, talent and treasure she has given to the Estate. Her genuine, good-hearted nature shines as brightly as the assortment of colorful animal, insect and flower, pins she often wears. Her contributions truly set her apart.”

Do you know a museum volunteer that embodies the mission of their museum, and goes "above and beyond" to serve their organization and community?  Be sure to nominate them for the 2020 award for Betty Bryan Volunteer of the Year! Learn more here.


Sharon Hershey Accepts the Award from Sean Joyce, President and Executive Director at Stan Hywet, During the OMA 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony

One of the fun features of OMA's 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony was being able to recognize our honorees "accepting" their award via video message. See below for Sharon Hershey's award acceptance video.

Sharon Hershey – OMA 2019 Award Acceptance Video