Home » One Southern Indiana announces 2018 ACE Award winners

One Southern Indiana announces 2018 ACE Award winners

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Approximately 250 One Southern Indiana members and friends gathered Nov. 29 at Kye’s to celebrate the four winners of the 2018 ACE Awards.

The 1si Awards are given annually to individuals who have used their skills and talents to not only enhanced their organizations, but also make their community a better place to live, work and grow.  The ACE Awards are aptly named as the purpose of the ceremony is to Appreciate and Celebrate Excellence.

The finalists in each category were:

Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, James W. Robinson Young Professional of the Year

  • Jessica Carroll, The New Washington State Bank (Winner)
  • Chuck Summers, MCM CPAs & Advisors
  • Jesika Young, Cimtech, Inc.

Kightlinger & Gray, LLP Sam Day Professional of the Year

  • Cynthia Collier, Mister “P” Express, Inc.
  • Stephen Lukinovich, MCM CPAs & Advisors (Winner)
  • Alan Muncy, arc

Duke Energy Kevin Hammersmith Community Leader

  • Dr. Travis Haire, Ivy Tech Community College (Winner)
  • Diane Medley, MCM CPAs & Advisors
  • Scott Olinger, Harding, Shymanski & Company, P.S.C.

The Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, James W. Robinson Young Professional of the Year ACE Award is given to young professionals (under the age of 40) in our business community for their career achievements, community service and the promise they have shown for being the next generation of successful business leaders. This year’s winner was Clark County native and Hanover College graduate, Jessica Carroll, CEO of The New Washington State Bank, a locally owned bank with eight locations in Southern Indiana.

Carroll has been a member of The Center for Women and Families Southern Indiana Partnership Council, a member of the New Washington Schools’ Mustang Advisory Council, a committee member of 1si’s B2B eXperience committee and worked on 1si’s Economic Development Council.  She is a board member of the Greater Clark Educational Foundation, the Clark County Purdue Extension Board as well as a member of the Academies of Greater Clark Steering Committee. In 2017, she also joined the Future Leadership Division Advisory Board of the Indiana Bankers Association.

Carroll was named the first ever Greater Clark Educational Foundation Distinguished Alumni for New Washington High School and served on a committee that was awarded an ICBA National Community Bank Service Award for their work providing disaster relief in 2012 for tornado victims.

The Kightlinger & Gray LLP Sam Day Professional of the Year ACE Award is given to a professional who has exemplified a commitment to success in his/her company and/or community.  Stephen Lukinovich, CPA, CVA, PFS, Partner in MCM CPAs & Advisors, was named the 2018 recipient.

Stephen M. Lukinovich serves as MCM CPAs & Advisors’ Real Estate and Transportation-Logistics Services Team Leader as well as being a member of the Tax Services Department and the partner-in-charge of the Jeffersonville, Ind., office.  Stephen is an active speaker and lecturer on topics related to the construction and real estate industries.  Stephen also served as the president of the Kentucky Society of CPAs from 2011 – 2012.

Lukinovich helped to create and lead several local organizations, with the most recent being the Midwest Opportunity Zone Forum, a group whose goal is to educate the regional community about development opportunities provided by the recent changes in federal tax legislation.  He also co-created REVE (the Real Estate Venture Exchange) to provide a way to link real estate developers with people who want to invest in real estate projects.

Lukinovich is proud to be the 2018 chairman of the local Metro United Way campaign of Southern Indiana. He is also a board member of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, Ind., and a member of the Indiana Society of CPAs, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and One Southern Indiana Economic Development Council.  In the past, Stephen has served as a Trustee for the Kentucky Institute on Federal Taxation, Inc., and the KYCPA Education Foundation.  He is an alumnus of Leadership Southern Indiana and has served in various leadership positions for the Venture Connectors of Louisville, Inc., the Real Estate Venture Exchange (REVE), the GLI Bi‐State Committee, Conexus Indiana Logistics Southeast Regional Council and the Urban Land Institute, Ky.


The Duke Energy Kevin Hammersmith Community Leader ACE Award honors an individual whose volunteer involvement has been significant and impactful, resulting in measurable improvements in the lives of individuals within his/her community.  Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Sellersburg, Dr. Travis Haire, was the ACE Award winner in the category.

Dr. Travis Haire, a Southern Indiana native who attended Hanover College, Indiana University Southeast and Indiana State University, is the chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Ind.  Since receiving his degree from Hanover, Dr. Haire has focused on educating the students of Clark and Floyd counties, spending the past 25 years as a teacher, coach and an administrator.  This life-long commitment to Southern Indiana has instilled a strong belief in and love for this community.

After being named Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Sellersburg in January of 2018, Dr. Haire has been focused on the success of the students at Ivy Tech – not only seeing them graduate but also working to make the transition from college to the workforce as seamless as possible.  Dr. Haire is or has served as a member of the board for: Leadership Southern Indiana, the Southern Indiana YMCA, Communities In Schools, Clark County Youth Coalition and Regional Youth Services, where he also served as president.

Dr. Haire has been honored as Employee of the Year for Administration Building, GCCS, and Business First’s Forty Under 40 List.   During his career in K12 education, he was also named an Indiana School Safety Specialist and Assistant Principal of the Year for District 12, as well as being a member of Indiana Principal’s Leadership Academy Group 42.  Since becoming Chancellor, Dr. Haire has been named as one of 20 People to Know in Education by Business First and was invited to be the keynote speaker for the NAACP Freedom Banquet.

Finally, the Nu-Yale Chairman’s Legacy Award is given to an individual selected by 1si’s President and CEO and current board chairman. This is not an annual award but only given when a person has made a significant impact on the organization and is considered a leader during their times of involvement.

This year’s recipient was Indiana State Representative Steven R. Stemler, president and owner The Stemler Corporation, who in his twelve years in office has advocated ideas and policies that have carried Southern Indiana forward to become one of the most desirable locations for new companies to locate in the Midwest.  Specifically, Representative Stemler worked towards legislation that allowed for public-private partnerships in Indiana, which helped close the funding gap and pave the way for the Ohio River Bridges Project. In addition, Stemler authored HR 1211, establishing the Transborder Water Resources Authority, which is to monitor ownership rights of water resources, such as an aquifer, that are shared by Indiana and other states. A seven-year effort that provides for best practices between Indiana and Kentucky in managing water resources, the Authority will protect the Ohio River aquifer and look at whether interstate compacts should be set up.  The legislation received unanimous support in the House and Senate.

A Jeffersonville, Ind., native, Steve Stemler was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives District 71 in 2006. In the 90s, the Southern Indiana native served on the Jeffersonville City Council, including as council president in 1994.  Outside of being a public servant, Stemler is president and owner of the Stemler Corp., which provides commercial and residential plumbing and irrigation services in Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky.  He has served on many Southern Indiana Boards, including, but not limited to: WesBanco Corporation (KSI) Regional Advisory Board, Community Bankshares Holding Corporation, Indiana Port Commission, the Paul Ogle Foundation, the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, River Ridge Commerce Center, Southern Indiana Economic Development Council, Clark County Solid Waste Management District and Your Community Bank of Southern Indiana.

The ACE Awards are judged by a panel of independent judges with only 1si representative.  This score accounts for 90 percent of the final score and public online voting is the final 10 percent.  This year’s judges were:

  • Lisa Brooking, One Southern Indiana
  • Jillian Cantu, Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana
  • Jim Epperson, SoIN Tourism
  • Chris Garten, Signature Countertops, Inc.
  • Dr. Andrew McCart, Purdue Polytechnic
  • Leslie Lewis-Sheets, LL&A Interior Design
  • Dr. Rita Hudson Shourds, Align Southern Indiana

The 1si ACE Awards are an annual signature event organized by the Business Resource team with help from the ACE Awards Task Force.  The members of that task force were:

  • Chair, Vern Eswine, The Marketing Company
  • Brandie Burks, Sounds Unlimited Productions
  • Amy Dixon, Dixon Wardlaw Team at Keller Williams Realty Consultants
  • Kim Friend, MCM CPAs & Advisors
  • Bob Kleehammer, retired
  • Heather Luckett, Michaelis Events
  • Kim Martin-Dawkins, PNC Bank
  • Bruce Morris, Morris Images, LLC
  • Brent Rogers, Sounds Unlimited Productions
  • Heather Trueblood, Develop New Albany

Sponsors of the event were:

Platinum Event Sponsors

  • Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
  • Duke Energy
  • Kightlinger and Gray, LLP
  • Nu-Yale

Gold Sponsors

  • Louisville Business First
  • Extol Magazine
  • First Savings Bank
  • L&D Mail Masters
  • Sounds Unlimited Productions

Silver Sponsors

  • Clark Memorial Health
  • Elk Run Golf Course
  • LL&A Interior Design