NOVEMBER 18, 2022


Howard Koepka’s calling was to connect and mobilize people and organizations to serve. He did everything from organizing community service days in greater Atlanta to building a school, church and orphanage in Haiti to leading disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Fortunately for Cobb County, Howard joined Noonday Association of Churches and in late March of 2020, with Noonday’s blessing, he agreed to help Cobb Community Foundation with coordinated communication efforts during the pandemic. Howard hosted weekly calls open to all nonprofit, government and faith-based organizations that were distributing food in Cobb County. He would ask each one how “we” could help, making it clear that the organizations participating were a collective “we.” Resources were shared, but more importantly, relationships were created and deepened.

Howard served as the onsite coordinator for the Cobb Community Food Fleet, an initiative that brought together 90 nonprofit, for profit, faith-based and government organizations for nearly 16 months. Under his leadership, 168,000 of boxes of fresh produce, dairy and protein were distributed throughout the county as a result of all 90 partners working together to ensure that food was received, safely stored and efficiently distributed. 

Howard also saw it as his role to champion not what he was doing, but what the collective “we” were doing throughout social media, making the general community more aware of not only the needs, but also bringing attention to the organizations who were serving those needs. His posts are still available for all to see on Facebook by searching for #cobbcommunityfoodfleet.

In December of 2020, Howard was presented with Cobb Community Foundation’s James L. Rhoden, Jr. Award for Visionary Philanthropy. Characteristically, he said “I will accept this, but I’m going to accept it on behalf of hundreds of people who have worked tirelessly this entire year to make it happen.” It was never about him or even his organization. It was about the collective “we.”

We lost Howard on October 11, 2021. In his honor, Cobb Community Foundation has created the Howard Koepka Spirit of Collaboration Award that will recognize a nonprofit serving Cobb that has demonstrated the collaborative spirit Howard embodied. 


Nonprofit, faith-based and government organizations are encouraged to nominate one or more nonprofit organizations who embody the spirit of collaboration. While referring clients can be a step toward collaboration, true collaboration requires working together with others with a focus on what can be accomplished together that could not be accomplished alone and a fundamental belief that we are better together than apart.

Please note that nominations are for nonprofit organizations, not individuals. Organizations may not self-nominate.

Nominations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022. The recipient will be selected by a committee comprised of representatives from Cobb Community Foundation, the Cobb Collaborative, and the Northwest Region of United Way of Greater Atlanta. All nominees will be recognized and the recipient will be announced at the Cobb Collaborative's Fourth Quarter General Membership Meeting & Human Services Awards Luncheon co-presented with Cobb Community Foundation on December 7, 2022.

* Organization submitting nomination
* Contact person at nominating organization, including phone and email
* Name of organization being nominated
* Executive director of organization being nominated, including phone and email
* Why do you believe this organization embodies collaboration?

In the 3 fields below, please provide separate examples of how this organization works with others to further both its own mission and theirs. Others may include other nonprofits, faith-based organizations, government agencies and for profit organizations.

* Example 1
* Example 2
* Example 3
* How does this organization champion the work of others?

Thank you for submitting this nomination. Nominees will be recognized and the recipient of this award will be named at the Cobb Collaborative's Fourth Quarter General Meeting & 2022 Human Services Awards Luncheon co-presented with Cobb Community Foundation on December 7, 2022. Register to attend the luncheon here.