(Lexington, KY) – About 1,000 business professionals, community and regional leaders, and elected officials attended the 2012 Commerce Lexington Inc. Annual Dinner presented by Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance at Lexington Center on Thursday, February 9. This event gave a look back at 2011, highlighted some of the key goals of the organization, and recognized Commerce Lexington’s most involved members, volunteers, and community leaders.
Outgoing Board Chair Harry Richart of PNC said, “In the same way that our region’s success depends on collaboration, Commerce Lexington’s efforts require collaboration for maximum effectiveness — from its advocacy efforts to its many small business programs to events like the Kentucky Regional Tour and D.C. Fly-In to its leadership development programs, to the implementation of its strategic plan and more.
Jeri Isbell of Lexmark International, who took the helm as 2012 Board Chair, is the fifth woman to lead the Commerce Lexington Inc. board. She said, “Commerce is one of the few organizations that can CONNECT, ENGAGE, and ACTIVATE our business community. Much of our community’s success in recent years is due in large part to a variety of public-private partnerships, and that’s a common trend among top cities throughout the United States.”
During the Annual Dinner, several awards were presented to recognize outstanding community leaders and volunteers, such as the Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Leadership Lexington Adult and Youth Distinguished Leaders, and the Public Policy Advocate of the Year. A list of award recipients follows.
2011 Ambassador of the Year
Brandy Veillion, ARC Central
Representatives of the highly selective Ambassadors Committee meet on a monthly basis, assist at events, are visible at ribbon cuttings and grand openings, and call on existing member companies to ensure that they are getting the most out of their membership.
2011 Volunteer of the Year
Warren Rogers, W. Rogers Co.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to the person who best demonstrates the volunteer spirit, in both their participation and the effectiveness and outcome of their effort.
Leadership Lexington 2011 Distinguished Leader Award
Kim Sweazy, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
This honor recognizes the class member who demonstrates strong principles and dedication to the concept of community service and embodies the spirit of Leadership Lexington and has a keen understanding of community dynamics and public issues.
Leadership Lexington Youth Program 2011 Distinguished Leader Award
Nate White, Bryan Station High School
Using the same criteria used for the adult program, the Leadership Lexington Youth Distinguished Leader Award is nominated by class members and selected by the Leadership Lexington Youth Steering Committee members.
2011 Public Policy Advocate of the Year
Darby Turner, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
The Commerce Lexington Inc. Public Policy Award honors those individuals and organizations that have made a lasting impact on Commerce Lexington and its member companies in the public policy area.