LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2012) — For 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA has inspired girls to find the leader within.
To celebrate the centennial, the Wilderness Road Council of Girl Scouts of Kentucky honored 100 Kentucky women who are positive role models for young ladies across the commonwealth and who have made a significant contribution to the lives of Kentuckians in northern, central and eastern Kentucky.
The 100 Kentucky Women of Distinction have distinguished themselves in politics, public service, medicine, the creative and performing arts, literature, science, communications, social service, agriculture and equine, civil rights, philanthropy and more. Thirty-three historic women were included on the list.
Among the living honorees were First Lady Jane Beshear; Ellen Calipari, wife of and UK basketball coach John Calipari; Mary Lynne Capilouto, wife of UK President Eli Capilouto; Nina Clooney; former Gov. Martha Layne Collins, the state’s first and only female governor; country music singers Crystal Gayle, Patty Loveless and Loretta Lynn; Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000; the Judds — Naomi, Wynonna and Ashley; former state auditor Crit Luallen; and Leslie Phillips, wife of Joker Phillips and assistant professor of kinesiology at Georgetown College.
Other living honorees include:
Josephine Abercrombine founded Pin Oak Stud in Versailles with her father, Texas oilman Jamie S. Abercrombie, in 1952. Under her leadership, it has bred and campaigned more than 100 stakes winners.
Helen Alexander established Middlebrook Farm in 1984 with her mother and sisters. She is the only woman on the Breeders’ Cup Ltd. board of directors.
Ann Stewart Anderson is a feminist artist and executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Mira Snider Ball is CFO for Ball Homes LLC, which she founded with her husband in 1959. She was the first female president of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, and the first chairwoman of both the Midway College Board and the UK Board of Trustees.
Nelda Barton-Collings is a diversified businesswoman and five-time Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Committee. She was the first Kentucky woman to address the RNC.
Sallie Bingham, is a feminist activist, author and philanthropist. She founded the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University.
Linda Boileau created her first political cartoon in 1984 for the Frankfort State Journal and has been creating them ever since. She is recognized as one of the country’s leading cartoonists.
Helen Carroll is manager of community relations with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.
Virginia Carter is executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. She developed the Kentucky Chautauqua program.
Alice Headley Chandler is the daughter of Hal Price Headley, who owned Beaumont Farm and was a founder/president of Keeneland. She has a thoroughbred farm and served as president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Judith G. Clabes was the first woman editor in the E.W. Scripps Company, becoming editor of The Kentucky Post in 1982. She was also president/CEO of Scripps Howard Foundation and conceived and saw to fruition the building of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism.
Jane Burch Cochran is a quilter who pushes the boundaries of the traditional art of quilting. Her work is in many collections including the Smithsonian Museum and the National Quilt Museum in Paducah.
Sara W. Combs was the first woman and the first judge from the Eastern Kentucky counties of the 7th Appellate District to serve as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She also was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Patricia “PJ” Cooksey had 2,137 wins as a jockey since beginning her career in 1979. She is retired from racing and works for the Kentucky Racing Commission.
Diane Crump became the first female jockey to compete in a pari-mutuel race in the United States, and in 1970, she became the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
Linda Scott DeRosier served for five years as director of the Center for Research in Education and Psychology at Kentucky State University and she was director of The Institute for Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University.
Bennie Doggett was as a social worker for the William Martin Northern Kentucky Community Center in Covington. She was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2010.
Sharon B. Fields is an educator, politician and a minister, as well as the first African American woman to become a city commissioner in Paris.
Nikky Finney is a poet who received the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artists Fellowship Award and just recently the National Book Award for Poetry.
Virginia Fox served as secretary of the Kentucky Education Cabinet and as executive director and CEO of both Kentucky Educational Television and the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
Laura Freeman took over the family business in Clark County in 1985 and built it into a brand everyone knows: Laura’s Lean Beef.
Akiko Gothard has been a thoroughbred bloodstock agent, insurance agent, owner and trainer. A native of Tokyo, she moved to the United States in 1957.
Sandy Hatfield is stallion manager for Three Chimneys Farm and received the 2011 Farm Manager of the Year Award from the Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club.
Eula Hall has been a lifelong health activist and community organizer in eastern Kentucky. She founded the Mud Creek Clinic in Grethel.
Debra Hensley is owner of Hensley Agency of State Farm Insurance Companies. She serves on numerous boards and was a LFUCG council member.
Nancy Holliday, who grew up in Lexington, is the general manager of Microsoft. She runs sales for U.S. Services, a $1.3 billion business.
Elizabeth L. (Libby) Jones is the wife of former Gov. Brereton Jones. She is co-owner and partner in operations at Airdrie Farm in Woodford County.
Sheila Kavanaugh is vice president of TKT and Associates, Inc. She serves on the Danville-Boyle County Planning & Zoning Adjustment Board.
Micki King, former UK assistant athletic director, is a two time Olympic diver. She put Lexington on the map by introducing WORLD FIT – Olympians for Worldwide Fitness into 11 Lexington middle schools.
Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She wrote “The Poisonwood Bible.” Since 1993, all of her books have been on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Reese Koffler Stanfield, a United States Dressage Federation medalist, is advisor to the UK Equine Initiative and the Georgetown College Equine Scholars.
George Ella Lyon is the author of several adult titles and 25 picture books.
Bobbie Ann Mason’s first short stories were published in The New Yorker in the 1980s. Her first book of fiction won the PEN/Hemingway Award; her memoir was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Pam Miller served as mayor of Lexington from 1993 until 2003, the first woman to hold the office.
Penny Miller (Harris) was director of undergraduate studies in political science at UK. She serves as a board member of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center.
Pamela Mullins became the first African-American woman elected to the Covington City Commission (1997). She introduced the ordinance that created the Covington Human Rights Commission.
Jacqueline Noonan discovered the Noonan Heart Syndrome and helped to establish the Kentucky Children’s Hospital during her 40 years of service with UK.
Nicki Patton is chairwoman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and chairwoman of the Governor’s Early Childhood Task Force.
Susan Pfeifferis is a wood artist and public school teacher in Radcliffe.
Georgia Davis Powers became the first African American elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1968. During her 21 years there, she introduced fair housing legislation and sponsored civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination.
Lillian Press played a critical role in the organization and development of Kentucky’s first Regional Mental Health Board and the establishment of the first two Comprehensive Care Centers in Kentucky.
Charlotte Richardson teaches Native American history and legends. She served on the Native American Heritage Commission.
Julia Link Roberts is the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University and executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies and the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science. She led the campaign that resulted in establishing the Gatton Academy.
Kristin Ropp is vice president and general manager of the Cincinnati Cyclones, the East Coast Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadians and Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.
Diane Snow is professor of neuroscience in the UK College of Medicine and faculty associate with the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky.
Alice Stevens Sparks, a UK trustee, is president and chief executive officer of SSK Company Communities.
Jane Stephenson founded the Berea’s New Opportunity School for Women, which aims to improve the educational, financial and personal circumstances of low-income, middle-aged women in Appalachia.
Patsy Todd served as UK’s first lady from 2001 until 2011, working alongside her husband to improve academics, the arts and athletics.
Debbie Wagner has served for more than 30 years as an officer with the Lexington Division of Police. She educates the public with Citizens Police Academy classes and crime prevention programs.
Gloria Jean Watkins, a.k.a. bell hooks, is an American author, feminist and social activist.
Beverly L. Watts was the first executive director of the National Fair Housing Training Academy. She also served as director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Ellen Williams chaired the Kentucky Republican Party and was vice chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission. She owns a government affairs and lobbying firm.
Isabel Yates is heading the campaign to restore the historic Kentucky Theater. She is active on several boards, and served the LFUCG city council for 11 years.