2018 Alumni Awards

Congratulations to our 2018 honorees:

John Bridgeland      Distinguished Alumni
John Bridgeland, Class of 1978

Bridgeland is Founder & CEO of Civic Enterprises; Vice Chairman of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to end malaria deaths in Africa; Vice Chairman of the Service Year Alliance to make a year of national service a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds; Co-Convener of Grad Nation to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020, Co-Founder of the Aspen High Seas Initiative to protect 30 percent of the ocean as marine reserves by 2030, and Executive Producer of the 2017 National Geographic film, Sea of Hope.

Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions, and by President George W. Bush to serve as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States, and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps.  The Freedom Corps grew Peace Corps to the highest levels in 40 years, AmeriCorps by 50 percent, and created a new Citizen Corps to engage Americans in disaster preparedness and response after 9/11.  Bridgeland is author of the book, Heart of the Nation:  Volunteering and America’s Civic Spirit, and gave a TED talk in 2017 at TEDx Pennsylvania entitled, One Nation Indivisible.

Bridgeland graduated with honors from Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law.  He practiced law in the New York and Paris, France offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell, won the 2015 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and has given the commencement address at half a dozen colleges, where he has received honorary degrees.  He lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife and three children, and visits his father and sisters in Indian Hill every month.
Mike Wentz       Brave Service Award
Mike Wentz, Class of 1985

Wentz is the Principal and Founder of WentzDesign, an architectural design firm that specializes in development planning and full service design within the commercial markets as well as full service custom residential design. He founded the firm in 2004 after several years’ experience with other well-known firms. 

Within the IH community, Wentz may be best known for his commitment to IH Recreation League youth sports which depends on volunteer coaches season after season.  Wentz has coached (mostly as head coach) 47 separate sports seasons, including both girls’ and boys’ teams for youth soccer, basketball, lacrosse and boys’ football and baseball.  An accomplished athlete at IHHS, Wentz has turned his love of sports into a long-standing volunteer role that has benefitted the community by teaching not only sports skills, but also life skills, to youth players for over 15 years.

Beyond youth sports, Wentz  has used his talents to better his community in many capacities:  Board of Directors - St Aloysius (President, St. Aloysius Real Estate Services); Board of Directors – Indian Hill Boosters Club; Board of Directors – Indian Hill Winter Club (previous); Architectural Review Committee - Lake Lorelei, Fayetteville, Ohio;  House Corporation Board – Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and consistent parent volunteer support at IH Schools in various capacities.  Wentz is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors of Architecture (’91) and a member of the AIA. 
Andy Nielsen         Young Brave Award
Andy Nielsen, Class of 2003

Nielsen joined Everything But The House in 2012 to help lead the growth strategy for one of Cincinnati's most exciting companies and Ohio’s most well-funded tech startup. Over the past five years, he has helped guide EBTH's transformation from a local enterprise into a leading consumer brand. EBTH now operates in over 20 markets across the country, serves bidders located in more than 150 countries around the world, and employs a team of more than 1,000.  Nielsen was instrumental in raising $84.5 million in venture capital from Greycroft Partners, Spark Capital, and Greenspring Associates to support the vision of the leadership team - and as a result, the company has been able to produce more than 1,100% growth.  His leadership has also created hundreds of new jobs for local Cincinnati and Ohio residents and has boosted the local economy.

Nielsen was named a 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year (South Central Ohio and Kentucky) in the Consumer Services Category, and was recently named one of Greater Cincinnati's Next Generation of Leaders by Lead Cincinnati. He’s also a member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) among many other regional accolades.

He supports a variety of organizations, including the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCFA), the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati, the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, and ArtsWave. EBTH has also helped IH Schools with charity auctions as fundraisers to benefit the district.  He is a graduate of Miami University (’07) and holds an MBA from Xavier University (’13).