Women who are making a difference in the commercial life of Kentucky
Our new occasional feature Top Women In Business will highlight some of the women around Kentucky who are making an impact in business, the professions, politics and economic development. The intent is to recognize not the household names but those in key roles whose work ethic and body of work are making important contributions to commerce in the commonwealth.
The four in this issue are among the many such women The Lane Report
editorial board has identified. We welcome your suggestions for others around
Kentucky who also are deserving of recognition for their efforts to boost Kentucky’s economy. Send your recommendations to [email protected]
Current: Executive vice president, World Trade Center Kentucky, 11 years
Previous: Trade Specialist, World Trade San Diego; trade analyst, U.S. Foreign Commercial Services China.
Education: University of Kentucky, master’s, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce; International Studies, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences- Po), Paris, France; International Law studies, Beijing Foreign Affairs University and La Facult? de Droit, Paris, France. College studies on French literature and arts, Wuhan University. Export compliance and control program, Bureau of Industry and Security; Six Sigma lean system.
Native/resident of: I am a native of China. I now reside in Lexington.
Biggest influence/mentor: Condoleezza Rice has influenced me most. Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins, who heads the World Trade Center Kentucky, has mentored me.
Hobby/interests/volunteer work: I enjoy ballroom dance, music and arts, and bicycling. I teach Chinese at Saturday school.
Currently reading: “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” by Muriel Spark, “A La Recherche du Temps Perdu”, Marcel Proust.
Recent movie/play/concert: “Midnight in Paris” (movie); “Chinglish” (play); “Front Page” (play), “Magic Flute” (opera)
Current: Executive director, Office of Research and Public Affairs, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, since May
Previous: Director of marketing and communications, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Education: University of Kentucky, bachelors in marketing and management,
Native/resident of: I am a native of and currently reside in Frankfort
Biggest influence/mentor: It would be difficult to name just one person. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with many professionals, both in the private and public sector, throughout my career. Each of these individuals has enabled me to grow professionally and shape my career goals.
What inspires/drives me: What drives me the most is knowing that there is always more to accomplish. As a part of the state’s economic development team, our work is never done. I take the Cabinet’s mission to create jobs and investment for Kentuckians personally and strive to always give my best.
Hobby/interests/volunteer work: As the mother of two young children, most of my free time is devoted to school and sports activities.
Kimberly M. “Kim” Huston
Current: President/COO, Nelson County Economic Development Agency, 10 years; author of “Small Town Sexy, The Allure Of Living In Small Town America,” published 2009
Other positions: Chair-elect, Kentucky Association for Economic Development; St. Catharine College Board of Trustees; Bernheim Forest Board of Trustees; Regional Leadership Coalition Board of Directors; Co-chair, Wired-65; Kentucky Workforce Investment Board member; LTADD Workforce Investment Board member.
Previous: Executive Director, Bardstown-Nelson County Chamber of Commerce; Mainstreet Director; radio and television broadcasting, Lexington and Bardstown
Top Accomplishment: Personally, watching my daughters graduate college and become business women. Professionally, I quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Education: University of Kentucky, bachelor’s in communications; Kentucky Institute for Economic Development graduate
Native/resident of: I am a native of Bloomfield, Ky., population 900, and now reside 13 miles away in Bardstown, population 12,000
Biggest influence/mentor: The late former Bardstown Mayor Gus Wilson taught me the art of leadership and consensus building by talking less and listening more.
What drives me: My competitive spirit drives me to tell everyone who will listen why Bardstown and Nelson County is a perfect place to live, work and do business. I am inspired to keep developing this community so the next generation, including my daughters ages 26 and 22, will want to return and build their futures here.
Interests: My real love is the outdoors. I look forward to retreating to the woods.
Current reading: I’m a news junkie; newspapers and CNN are daily must-haves. I have a diverse selection of XM radio favorite channels, including Headline News, NPR, Classic Rock and Country Hits. Book reading is on hold as I research a possible second book to spotlight America’s greatest small towns.
Current: Entrepreneur-in-residence, University of Louisville, four years; founder, Sunflower Business Ventures Inc., seven years
Other: Director of National Training, Admissions Liaison Officer Force, Air Force Reserves (rank of Colonel), 21 years; president-elect, Venture Connectors (formerly Venture Club of Louisville); volunteer, Sage Place Services (free 24/7 help for teens)
Previous: Associate, Chrysalis Ventures; associate, Blue Chip Venture Co.; analyst, Fort Washington Investment Advisors; avionics flight test engineer
Education: Rutgers University, bachelor’s in electrical engineering; California State University, master’s in electrical engineering; Cornell University, MBA, finance
Native/resident of: I am a native of Pennsylvania and have lived in Maryland; New Jersey; California; Washington, D.C.; New York and Ohio. I now reside in the St. Mathews area of Louisville.
Biggest influence/mentor: My father most influenced me. People who have mentored me are USAF Col. Rick Couch, the first B-2 bomber pilot; and Bob Saunders of Chrysalis Ventures.
What inspires/drives me: To be a role model for my son, the need for independence, and to make a difference in the world.
Hobbies/interests: Running, reading, crocheting, watching football and hockey games
Currently reading: “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul” by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks; “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.
Recent movie/play/concert recent: “Inception” (movie); “What About Bob” and “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” (Actors Theater)