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Businesswoman, Philanthropist Alice Sparks Celebrated in Her Own Words

This article appears at RCN courtesy of partner KY Forward.

Alice Sparks has been a Kentucky trailblazer in many ways. A resident of Ft. Mitchell in Northern Kentucky, she was recently recognized as one of 100 Women of Distinction on the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts by the Wilderness Road Council and by KET for long-time volunteer service and dedication.

Her list of honors is nearly interminable – Devou Cup from the Northern Kentucky Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation; Lincoln Award from NKU; recognitions from WCET, the NKy Chamber, and many, many more.

She is a long-time community volunteer and philanthropist. A savvy businesswoman and mover-and-shaker in education and politics, she served as legislative chair of the state PTA and was an effective and enthusiastic advocate for KERA.

She was the first woman in Kentucky to chair a public university board when she was a trustee of Northern Kentucky University in 1994. She has also served on the boards of the University of Kentucky and Thomas More College.

The widow of D. Joseph Sparks, owner of The Harper Company, a highway construction firm, she is a successful businesswoman in her own right, as founder and president of SSK Co., a real estate company specializing in manufactured home communities. She has two grown children, John and Sally.

She first embarked on a community service path and whetted her appetite for politics as an intern to Kentucky’s First lady Mildred Chandler in the mid-1950s.

Service runs in the family. The Kentucky Blood Center’s Community Room was recently renamed in honor of her brother and Lexingtonian, Dr. David B. Stevens, a long-time board member and volunteer.

Sparks discusses with KY Forward if she ever felt that she was treated differently in business as a woman, her biggest pet peeve (it involves men), and offers some advice for women. Read the full article: KY Forward

PHOTO: Alice Sparks