NKY Chamber announces annual award recipients

Michael Monks
Michael Monks
Michael is the chief content officer at LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce announced those to be honored at its annual dinner next month.

The event, themed as “Destination: NKY” this year, is scheduled for Sept. 15.

“The NKY Metro region, as part of both Greater Cincinnati and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a unique destination to live, work, play, learn and give back,” said Brent Cooper, NKY Chamber president & CEO. “We are a special place that offers both rural and urban living, a wide array of sports and the arts, some of the best schools and universities in the country, and a growing economy with an engaged and thriving business community. We’re a fun, dynamic place where horses and bourbon meet chili and a Superbowl team. It’s a great time to be living and working in the NKY Metro region, and we invite everyone to join us in celebration of both the past year’s successes and the coming year’s opportunities.”

The following people and organizations will be honored at the event:

The Walter R. Dunlevy/Frontiersman Award, Sponsored by Duke Energy2022 recipient: Paul Verst, Chairman and CEO of Verst Group Logistics

Established in 1968, this award recognizes an individual who has a lifelong history of outstanding service to the Northern Kentucky community, exhibits outstanding service to their profession or industry and exemplifies the highest standards of personal integrity and family responsibility.

The Walter L. Pieschel (MVP) Award, Sponsored by Humana2022 recipient: Kristen Smitherman-Voltaire, Community & Citizenship Manager for Turner Construction

This award is named in memory of the NKY Chamber’s first volunteer leader and recognizes an individual NKY Chamber member who has provided outstanding volunteer service to the NKY Chamber as a committee member, committee chair or in any other special capacity during the past 12 months.

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The Northern Kentucky Unity Award, Sponsored by PNC Bank2022 recipient: The Cincy Region Collaboration by meetNKY & Visit Cincy

This award is presented to individuals or a company that has shown leadership in bringing Northern Kentuckians together to address and solve common challenges and issues, and who has shown leadership in seeking regional solutions to Northern Kentucky’s challenges.

The Northern Kentucky ImageMaker Award, Sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare2022 recipients: NKY’s World Champion Robotics TeamsThis award is presented on special occasions to an individual or company bringing national or international attention to the Northern Kentucky community through their achievements.

Devou Cup, Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation2022 recipients: Bob and Dell Ann Sathe

The Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation created this award to honor the generosity of individuals who make a profound difference in the quality of community life in Northern Kentucky, now and into the future.

Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Northern Kentucky Economic Development Award, Presented by Northern Kentucky Tri-ED2022 recipient: Rep. Sal Santoro with the Commonwealth of Kentucky

This award is presented annually to the individual, entity, company, or organization demonstrating significant advancement of economic development efforts in Northern Kentucky.

The Horizon Award, Presented by Horizon Community Funds2022 recipient: Leo Calderón, Founder & President of Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky

This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of an individual who exemplifies dedication, integrity, and honorable service to Northern Kentucky through community leadership. Recipients are individuals who have devoted their time, talents, and expertise to serve the public good, and who have made significant, demonstrable, and direct contributions to our community’s well-being.

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In addition to the presentation of awards, the evening marks the transition in chairmanship for the NKY Chamber’s Board of Directors from Garren Colvin, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, to John Hawkins, president and CEO of MPI Consulting.

“I want to thank Garren for his leadership and guidance as the NKY Chamber Board Chair over the past year. He did an amazing job,” said Hawkins. “As I accept the gavel and responsibility of Board Chair, I look forward to continuing the critical work the NKY Chamber has done under Garren’s tenure; including making the NKY Metro region a more attractive and inclusive place for world-class talent and a better environment for businesses to grow and succeed.”

The NKY Chamber Annual Dinner will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center (One West RiverCenter Blvd., Covington, KY 41011). The event will begin with a networking cocktail reception followed by a buffet dinner and the awards program at 6:30 p.m.

Individual registration is $120 and a table of 10 is $1,200 through September 8. Registration is available for the cocktail reception only for $70 ($60 with an NKYP Event Pass). Registration is available online at NKYChamber.com/AnnualDinner.

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