In 2012, the Board of Directors of First Tee – Cleveland established the “Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement,” which is awarded annually to an outstanding member of the Greater Cleveland community at First Tee – Cleveland’s Grit, Gratitude & You Breakfast each Fall. The recipient exemplifies the values and spirit of community service and civic engagement that Mr. de Windt represented throughout his life.

Mr. de Windt was Eaton Corporation’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer from 1969 to 1986. He was elected Eaton’s sixth chairman and CEO in 1969 with his retirement in April 1986 culminating a 45-year association with the company. Over the course of his career, Mr. de Windt was also a director of 15 major corporations and was active in numerous industry bodies, such as the Business Council and the Business Roundtable. Importantly, his legacy transcends well beyond his career in business to his many contributions to the Northeast Ohio community through an unwavering commitment to and leadership of many important civic initiatives. Mr. de Windt received numerous local, state, national and international awards for both his professional and community leadership. In addition, Mr. de Windt was an avid and excellent golfer and served as chairman of the Tour Policy Board, the governing body of The PGA Tour, for 12 years. Through his love of the game of golf as well as his son Mike’s involvement with First Tee – Cleveland, Mr. de Windt became a strong supporter of First Tee – Cleveland.

Recipients of the Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement:

  • 2023:  Marc Stefanski
  • 2022:  David Gilbert
  • 2021:  The Coaches of First Tee - Cleveland
  • 2019:  Rick Buoncore
  • 2018:  Dr. Jerry Sue & Walter Thornton
  • 2017:  Jim Boland
  • 2016:  Governor George Voinovich*
  • 2015:  Steve Minter* & Robin Minter Smyers
  • 2014:  Richard Pogue
  • 2013:  Bill & Mary* Conway
  • 2012:  Iris Wolstein
* deceased