Skip to content

Main Menu

Joe and Barbara Najmy Will Be Honored With the 2022 Lifetime Spirit Award on March 30

Each year, Manatee Community Foundation recognizes an individual or couple who demonstrate a lifetime record of exceptional generosity in the community. The Lifetime Spirit Award honors those whose philanthropic support exemplifies outstanding charitable and civic responsibility that has significantly advanced the mission of several charitable institutions within the community and whose leadership and example encourages and motivates others toward greater roles in philanthropy.

Joe and Barbara Najmy
Joe and Barbara Najmy, Lifetime Spirit Honorees

Joe and Barbara Najmy have been humble leaders in philanthropy in Manatee County for decades. The couple has given freely of their time, talent and treasure—always with a lens of joy, collaboration and gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference.

Embedded in professional and deep-rooted family commitments, Joe and Barbara are quick to offer their resources to support meaningful charitable missions, inspire inclusion and bring the community together.

They are known for sustaining their dedicated support for years.

Joe has been a volunteer and giver at Easterseals Happiness House for more than 25 years, helping to ensure that clients with disabilities live fuller, more enriched lives. His sage counsel as a long-time board member and legal advisor have supported the organization as it continues to grow. Barbara’s lead roles in impactful fundraising events have significantly increased philanthropic contributions.

Together, their influence at Easterseals has created better lives for the children, adults
and families impacted by its mission. Joe Najmy has provided pro bono legal counsel to Lakewood Ranch Community Fund since 2001. Najmy Thompson, P.L. was a major sponsor of the annual Lakewood Ranch Community Fund Gala, which Barbara chaired for many years, raising significant dollars to support charitable organizations serving the Lakewood Ranch area. Barbara
also established the Lake Club Giving Circle of Manatee Community Foundation to engage other women in giving.

Joe and Barbara have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment at the State College of Florida Foundation, supporting initiatives that raise money for student scholarships and capital improvements for facilities, equipment, technology, and endowed chairs for teaching.

The Najmys are “Pillars of the Community” at Manatee Community Foundation, where they made a significant contribution to the building that serves a nexus for philanthropic activity in Manatee County.

Special thanks to Easterseals Happiness House, State College of Florida Foundation and the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund for nominating the Najmys for this well-deserved honor. We will celebrate together with more than 500 people on March 30 at the 2022 Spirit of Manatee Awards. See you there.