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Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky to Be Honored

The thirtieth Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky awards will be presented on Wednesday to women who have provided a “distinguished service to the community.” The 2014 awards luncheon happens at 11:30 a.m. at the Receptions Banquet Center on Donaldson Highway will include for the first time an Education Award.
Originally sponsored by the now-closed The Kentucky Post, the awards are sponsored by Toyota, which announced on Monday that it, too, would be closing its area operations.

The program has honored nearly 150 women since its beginning.
The new Education Award will be named in honor of Helen Carroll of Toyota, considered “a long-time champion of education and community volunteering in Northern Kentucky.”
This year’s award recipients are:
Cindy Carris, president of Mary Rose Mission, a nonprofit Catholic ministry and the first soup kitchen in suburban Boone County;
Jeanne-Marie Tapke, founder of Tapke Leadership Solutions and active volunteer for several nonprofit boards, including Thomas More College, the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation and the Women’s Crisis Center;
Jeanne H. Schroer, executive director of the Catalytic Development Funding Corp., for which she raised $10 million to help develop the area while moving the business climate forward;
Debbie Simpson, chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and president of Multi-Craft Litho Corp. She is co-founder of the Chamber’s Women’s Initiative and serves on the board of Gateway Community and Technical College and the Tri-County Economic Development Corp.
Special awards:
The Judith Clabes Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Bennie Doggett, a community volunteer, for lifetime achievement and tireless community service.
The Emerging Leader Award goes to Crystal Gibson, vice president of community and public affairs at Citi, for her work with the United Way, the Northern Kentucky Education Council and Boone County Success by 6.
The Helen Carroll Champion of Education Award goes to Polly Lusk-Page, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Education Council and former director of Community Engagement and Education initiatives with the Partnership for Successful Schools.
The Henrietta Cleveland Inspiring Women Award goes to Christina Rust, maternal child educator at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, for improving the lives of childbearing women and their newborns.

The awards are co-sponsored by Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College and Gateway Community and Technical College. Each year, Toyota and the three colleges fund one $2,000 scholarship for each school. These scholarships will be designated for a deserving female college student who exhibits the same qualities of the Outstanding Women honorees.
The 2014 scholarship honorees are Gateway Community and Technical College’s Betty Cordray, Northern Kentucky University’s Melissa Tatum, and Thomas More College’s Melisa Al Jamal.
Tickets to the luncheon are $30 per person or $300 for a table of 10. Advance reservations are required. For reservations, call 859-578-9720 or email [email protected].

Photo: The 2014 Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky awards recipients are, from left: Polly Lusk Page, Crystal Gibson, Bennie Doggett, Debbie Simpson, Jeanne Schroer, Cindy Carris, Jeanne-Marie Tapke and Christina Rust. (Photo provided)