Scott M. Niswonger (left) was named recipient of the 2014 Donald R. Myers Humanitarian Award. (Submitted photo)
Scott M. Niswonger (left) was named recipient of the 2014 Donald R. Myers Humanitarian Award. (Submitted photo)

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WASHINGTON — Tennessee business executive, philanthropist, and Van Wert native Scott M. Niswonger has been chosen by the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) to receive the 2014 Donald R. Myers Humanitarian Award.

Niswonger has actively promoted a philosophy of “learn, earn, and return” that has helped to empower the region’s young people and has received broad recognition in his state as well as Appalachia. In 1999, he was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and was chosen by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year for the southeastern United States. On a state level, Niswonger served as vice-chair of the Tennessee Board for Economic Growth and chairman of the Building and Finance Committee for the state of Tennessee.

The award was dedicated by the DDAA in 2009 in memory of Donald Myers, who was executive director of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association and president of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance (EODA). Known as a dedicated public servant and champion of the people of Appalachia, Myers exemplified the humanitarian spirit the award was created to recognize and honor.

Niswonger was cited the by the DDAA for his leadership and service in the cause of “numerous educational, community, and economic development endeavors.” The award also commended him for tireless efforts that had “greatly contributed to the growth and development of northeastern Tennessee and enhanced the quality of life for many of the region’s residents.”

The DDAA is a membership organization of the 73 local development districts (LDDs) in the Appalachian region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission’s federal-state-local partnership.