Most awards come in the form of plaques or pieces of paper.
When Columbus residents Dave and Jo McKinney’s received the Cornerstone Award from Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, they got something a little different — an actual piece of Turning Point.
The couple’s Cornerstone Award is an old, removed portion of the group’s domestic violence shelter — almost 2 feet long and 7 inches wide, rising as a swirl of wood from a flat base.
Several cornice pieces were removed from the building during a renovation of the shelter. The Cornerstone award is made up of one of these design elements, professionally cleaned and restored.
Story continues below gallery
Just as the cornice once held up the roof, Dave and Jo McKinney support the organization — and the award reflects that, Turning Point president Lisa Shafran said.
It was presented at a holiday party for Turning Point staff hosted at the McKinney’s home. Only three other individuals in the group’s 46-year history have been granted this honor.
Dave McKinney, 60, is a certified public accountant and president of Reams Asset Management, which handles more than $21 billion in institutional investments.“I’d join a board. Almost immediately they’d say, ‘You’re a CPA, why not be treasurer?’” he said.His connection with Turning Point 17 years ago began in similar fashion. The organization’s previous president, Patrick Smith, invited the McKinneys to a board meeting in 1998.
A few months later, Dave McKinney was serving as a member of the financial committee, charged with overseeing budgets and planning long-term financial goals.
But Dave McKinney’s passion for Turning Point goes beyond that, said Amy Kaiser, another Turning Point board member and vice president of treasury management services at First Financial Bank.
“I can’t think of a Turning Point event he hasn’t attended,” Kaiser said. “He does a lot of things for the group, and he never says a lot about it.”
McKinney also frequently takes time out of his schedule to travel to state and national conferences and meetings, representing the organization.
She added Dave McKinney’s passion for the organization inspires other members of the organization.
“It means a lot to him,” Kaiser said. “He’s compelled to do a lot, and that compels a lot of the newer board members.”
Over the years, Dave McKinney has served in almost every volunteer leadership position available with Turning Point.
Member of finance committee, 1998-2016.
Member of Turning Point board of directors, 2006-16.
Turning Point board treasurer, 2008-10.
Turning Point board vice chairman, 2011-12.
Turning Point board chairman, 2013-14.
He took over leadership of the board just as 14-year veteran director Patrick Smith left in 2013, Shafran said. She points to McKinney’s leadership in keeping the group organized and running during the transition.
Wife works in trenches
While McKinney is in board meetings and handling the organization’s finances, his wife Jo is in the fundraising and organizing trenches.“Jo does a lot of work down in the weeds,” McKinney said of his wife. “That’s not in my comfort zone. I’m good with financials. That’s where I can help.”Each of the past 15 years, the group has hosted the Dance Marathon, organized by Columbus area high school students and volunteers. The fundraiser involves 12 straight hours of nearly uninterrupted dancing and food provided each year for its hundreds of participants.
But until Jo McKinney stepped in as adviser, it was not particularly well organized, Dave McKinney said.
“They (students) needed to decide on a menu, how to get those items, how to best serve everything,” Jo McKinney said. “During the first meeting with the food committee, kids started throwing out ideas of foods they liked. Then someone said ‘Maybe we should take notes.’ Then someone asked, ‘Does anyone have a pencil?’”
As adviser to the committee, Jo McKinney has since molded the food committee into a streamlined and professional organization, Shafran said. On occasion, she has even taken on the challenge of cooking huge quantities of food herself.
Her husband isn’t afraid to occasionally get his hands dirty — outside of the kitchen, anyway.
On several occasions in recent summers, he has pulled an old mower out of a shed in the shelter’s backyard to trim the lawn.
That makes McKinney a cut above in Shafran’s eyes.
“Having a board member you can call on like that is such a benefit,” she said.
Turning Point Domestic Violence Services began in 1975 as the Columbus Women’s Shelter. At the time, the group provided temporary motel rooms to victims of domestic violence. Five years later, the organization incorporated as Turning Point Domestic Violence Services and opened the first full-time, live-in domestic violence shelter in Indiana. The group has since expanded from its core mission into a wide range of programs designed to prevent domestic and date-related abuse. The group now provides ongoing educational programs at all of the schools and many area workplaces.
When Lisa Shafran took over as president in 2013, the group hosted two presentations a year at each of the schools. The group now provides more than 1,000 presentations per year to a wide variety of employers, educators and service providers, Shafran said.
These presentations are designed to provide specific education on identifying and responding to domestic violence. Programs are tailored to groups of students and those likely to encounter these problems in their regular line of work, whether that be teachers in the classroom or paramedics responding to an injury.
Crisis hotline: 1-800-221-6311
Service area: The 25-bed Turning Point emergency shelter serves a seven-county area including Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson and Shelby counties.
Dave and Jo McKinney moved to Columbus in 1989 and have four sons — Vincent, Cameron, Alex and Kevin McKinney.
Alongside his business projects as president of Reams Asset Management, Dave McKinney serves in a leadership role at seven different community organizations besides Turning Point Domestic Violence Services.
Jo McKinney spends much of her time volunteering with a St. Vincent de Paul group based out of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, where she provides direct assistance to low-income Columbus residents.