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Commerce Lexington recognizes community leaders and volunteers

Lexington, Ky. – A group of Commerce Lexington’s most involved members, volunteers and community leaders were presented with awards during the organization’s annual dinner on Jan. 28 at the Lexington Center.

Ambassador of the Year Award: Angie Dennis, Lexington Rescue Mission

Working at Lexington Rescue Mission, Angie Dennis helps individuals develop employment goals while building business relationships with employers for the purpose of placing individuals into the workforce.  Angie has been a member of the Ambassador Committee since 2009, working hard on Commerce Lexington’s behalf, and giving great attention to the members.

Stephanie Hong

Volunteer of the Year Award: Stephanie Hong, LFUCG Director of Youth Services

A 2011 Leadership Lexington graduate, Stephanie Hong was part of a class project group that helped revive the Leadership Lexington Alumni Association and is now a lifetime member.  She currently chairs the Leadership Lexington Steering Committee, and has been a tremendous leader in that role and a great example of giving back no matter what needs to be done.

Public Policy Advocate of the Year Award: Daryl Smith, Kentucky Utilities Co.

Daryl Smith has been a great supporter of both our economic development and workforce development efforts for a number of years. He currently serves on the board of the Business and Education Network, and has been a past member of the Commerce Lexington Board of Directors. He has been a strong advocate for regional workforce development efforts, and his knowledge and expertise on the subject have been instrumental to our organization. 

Megan Moore
Megan Moore

Leadership Lexington Distinguished Leader Award: Megan Moore, KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky

Megan Moore led a class project group that took on a community hunger relief initiative entitled Nourish Your Neighborhood, which partners with local restaurants to create options for patrons to donate, turning money into meals in the form of gift cards to family resource centers and neighborhood schools.  Nourish Your Neighborhood successfully created a program through which residents and restaurants can make unique and meaningful contributions to fight hunger in Lexington.

Leadership Lexington Youth Program Distinguished Leader Award: Erin Disponett, Lafayette High School

The Leadership Lexington Youth Distinguished Leader Award recognizes the class member who demonstrates strong principles and dedication to the concept of community service. Class members and steering committee members alike had great things to say about this year’s recipient, Erin Disponett, including things like “natural leader, compassionate, respectful, energetic, and enthusiastic.”  Erin actually graduated early from Lafayette High School, and is currently a freshman at the University of Kentucky.

Nearly 950 business professionals, community and regional leaders, and elected officials were in attendance at the 2016 Commerce Lexington Inc. Annual Dinner presented by Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance. 

Commerce Lexington Inc.’s 2016 Board Chair Alan Stein, president of SteinGroup, told the crowd, “When we thought about a theme for tonight’s dinner, we talked about the common bond that exists throughout our community.  No matter what job you have or industry you work in, our goals are the same – we strive to make the Bluegrass the finest place on Earth. Education, workforce and economic development are three pillars that are all connected to each other.”
“We must not only provide our students with the opportunity and resources to learn and grow, but must do all that we can to provide them with the necessary skills that will translate to the workplace,” added Mr. Stein.  “In workforce development, employers need skilled workers, people need good jobs, and when the two are working – our community and region prosper. Finally, if we’re able to recruit businesses and help existing companies expand, our kids will one day have the opportunity to find a great job, support a family, and give back to the community.”