Home » 2019-20 Leadership Lexington class endured pandemic, loss of class member

2019-20 Leadership Lexington class endured pandemic, loss of class member

Class member Anita Franklin posthumously recognized as distinguished leader
Anita Franklin
Anita Franklin died suddenly Feb. 24, 2020 of natural causes. Members of the 2019-20 Leadership Lexington class overwhelmingly selected Franklin to be honored posthumously with the Distinguished Leader Award.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Commerce Lexington Inc. celebrated the 40th anniversary of Leadership Lexington and recognized the graduating class of the 2019-20 program presented by McBrayer PLLC.

Since 1979, this nationally recognized leadership development program has been cultivating Lexington leaders, producing more than 1,600 graduates from this highly informative, educational and results-oriented leadership development program.

Each class of Leadership Lexington engages in difficult conversations, issues and topics as participants learn more about themselves and others, as well as the community. However, this year’s class not only had to evolve on the fly as the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon Kentucky, but also dealt with the sudden passing of fellow class member Anita Franklin (Office of Fayette Sheriff) on Feb. 24, 2020 of natural causes.

Leadership Lexington Program Director Amy Stout said, “The news of Anita Franklin’s passing shocked us all. She was a passionate leader, adored by her Leadership Lexington classmates. In addition to her tireless work in the community to stop gun violence, Anita wanted to provide education and tools for at-risk students through her proposed class project called Lex Bank Smart. The project aimed at benefitting middle and high school students by teaching financial literacy partnered with the Audrey Grievous Center to teach students good money habits early on and prepare for their financial success utilizing Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass curriculum. The loss of Anita was felt greatly in the community and by her Leadership Lexington classmates.”

First presented in 1998, the Leadership Lexington Distinguished Leader Award annually recognizes the class member who demonstrates strong principles and dedication to the concept of community service. Members of the 2019-20 class were invited to nominate a fellow class member for the award, and they overwhelmingly selected Anita Franklin to be honored posthumously with the Distinguished Leader Award.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Leadership Lexington class members have connected virtually on Zoom for four informal class check-ins and two virtual sessions. The final session for the 2019-20 program was held virtually on July 16 and included a workshop led by Jason Cummins entitled “Building a Learning Organization,” an after action review where participants provided feedback about the program, class project presentations, and a breakout group exercise. Gift baskets were delivered to each class member courtesy of the Leadership Lexington Alumni Association.

2019-20 Leadership Lexington graduating class:

Dara Allen

Marketing Strategy Manager

Keeneland Association


David Biroschik

Lieutenant Bureau of Patrol

Lexington Police Department


Allison Carter

Associate Director of Tax Services

Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC


Kyle Chafin

Staffing Manager

Robert Half


Elizabeth Combs

VP, Strategic Initiatives and Attorney

Wrigley Media Group


Richard Compton

Group Leader – Engineering

Kentucky Utilities Company


Tatum Dale

District Director

US House of Representatives, Office of Congressman Andy Barr


Brandi Doss

Marketing Director

YMCA of Central Kentucky


Afton Fairchild

Community Engagement Director

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass


Katherine Finnell


Bluegrass ElderLaw, PLLC


Charles Fox

AVP, Relationship Manager

City National Bank


Anita Franklin

Community Outreach Coordinator

Office of Fayette Sheriff


Cameron Hamilton

Director of Financial Planning

Ballast, Inc.


Tiffany Hayden

Athletic Academic Counselor

University of Kentucky – Athletics


Benjamin Haydon

Community Engagement Coordinator

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky


Jason Henninger


Kentucky Pro DJ


Katrina Howard

Compliance & Facilities Officer

Lexington-Fayette County Health Department


Dina Klimkina

Program Manager, Center for Innovation

The Council of State Governments


Sarah Lester

Enterprise Director of Nursing Professional Practice and Excellence

UK HealthCare


Stephanie Lyttle

Financial Advisor

Triple Crown Advisors/Ameriprise


Clare Magee

Director of Academic Programs

Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship/Transylvania


Mark Manczyk


Omni Architects


Nathan McConathy


Condensed Creativity


Karen McIntyre

Fiduciary Investment Advisor

Unified Trust Company


Emily Miller

Private Banking Officer V.P.

Republic Bank and Trust Co.


Sherita Miller

Minority Business Enterprise Liaison

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government


Joshua Nadzam

Co-Founder, Director

On The Move Art Studio


Lauren Nichols


Dentons Bingham Greenebaum


Trevor Nichols

Associate Attorney

McBrayer PLLC


ReShanda Oldham

Human Resources Business Partner



Amanda Olmsted

Senior Account Planner

Right Place Media


Les Olson


JRA Architects


Mia Pelham

Sales Manager

Lexington Marriott City Center Hotels


Teddy Ray

Director of Finances and Marketing

North Lime Coffee & Donuts


Yoshie Reid

Director, Global Compensation

Lexmark International Inc.


Samuel Reinhardt

Litigation Attorney

Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC


Laura Richard


Larland Beef LLC


Amy Sandlin

Tax Manager

Blue & Co., LLC


Michael Schachleiter

Senior Investment Advisor

PNC Bank


Michelle Sjogren

Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications

Bluegrass Community & Technical College


Maury Sparrow

Communications Director



Emily Startsman


Stites & Harbison PLLC


Scooter Stein

Director of Public Affairs

Office of the Fayette County Sheriff


Kristin Taylor

Business Development Manager

Commerce Lexington Inc.


Kristin Voskuhl

Executive Advisor

Commonwealth of Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet


Jason Wells

Assistant Chief

Lexington Fire Department


Ellen Williams

External Affairs Specialist

Kentucky American Water


Alex Wolf

AVP, Retail Banking Officer

Central Bank & Trust


Langdon Worley


Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC