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NKY Chamber Announces Award Winners Ahead of Annual Dinner

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of its awards to be presented at its annual dinner on Thursday, December 16 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.

It is the largest event of the year for the Chamber.

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper says the event’s “Raising Our Spirits” theme aims to bring the region together to toast the achievements of the business community with a nod to Kentucky’s rich bourbon tradition.

“We all know that Kentucky is the birthplace for Bourbon and this year’s Annual Dinner will certainly pay homage to the Bluegrass State’s native spirit. We’re encouraging our vibrant community to finally raise a glass together and celebrate the accomplishments that our business and community leaders have achieved despite the challenges we’ve all experienced over the past 20 months,” said Cooper. “We have an outstanding list of leaders and businesses who are making a profound difference in the Northern Kentucky community.”

The following awards will be presented:

The Walter R. Dunlevy/Frontiersman Award

This year’s recipient is Bob Hoffer, DBL Law.

Established in 1968, the Walter R. Dunlevy Frontiersman 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

This year’s recipient is John Hawkins, Management Performance International dba MPI Consulting.

Named in memory of the NKY Chamber's first volunteer leader, the award recognizes an individual 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.

The Northern Kentucky Unity Award

This year’s recipient is the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

Presented to an individual or organizations who have shown leadership in bringing Northern Kentuckians together to address and solve common challenges and issues and has shown leadership in seeking regional solutions to Northern Kentucky challenges.

The Northern Kentucky ImageMaker Award

This year’s recipient is Newport on the Levee.

Presented on special occasions to an individual or organizations who have brought national or international attention to the Northern Kentucky community through their achievements.

The Devou Cup

This year’s recipients are Edwin T. (Ted) and Marlene Robinson.

The Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation created the Devou Cup 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.

The Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Northern Kentucky Economic Development Award

This year’s recipient is Ralph Drees (awarded posthumously).

The Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Northern Kentucky Economic Development Award is presented annually to the individual, entity, company, or organization demonstrating significant advancement of economic development efforts in Northern Kentucky.

The Northern Kentucky Horizon Award

This year’s recipient is Chuck Session, Duke Energy.

The Horizon 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.

In addition to the awards being presented, the evening also marks the recent transition in leadership for the NKY Chamber’s Board of Directors from Dan Cahill, CEO of HSD Metrics to St. Elizabeth Healthcare President and CEO Garren Colvin.

“I’m honored and incredibly excited to accept the gavel from Dan and lead this next chapter in the NKY Chamber’s history,” Colvin said. “He is a remarkable leader, and we will look to build on all of the accomplishments he spearheaded during his tenure as Board Chair. The Annual Dinner is a great time to kickstart the future of the NKY Chamber by saluting the businesses and community leaders who make this region such a special place to live, work, play and study. These organizations and individuals will surely guide us as we move forward to unite the region, improve the economy, grow, attract and retain talent, and build an inclusive business community in Northern Kentucky.”  

The NKY Chamber Annual Dinner takes place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 16, 2021, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center (1 West RiverCenter Blvd.). The event will begin with a networking cocktail reception followed by dinner and awards program at 6:30 p.m.

Individual registrations are $100 and a table of 10 is $1,000 until December 9, 2021. Registration is available for the cocktail reception only, for $65 ($55 for NKYP Event Pass). Registration is available online at

-Staff report