LIVE UNITED Awards & Annual Meeting






Media Contact: Mandy Hicks, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications


Bowling Green, Kentucky  (February 4, 2016) – More than 250 Southern Kentucky residents joined United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) for the LIVE UNITED Awards and Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 4th at the Knicely West Conference Center in Bowling Green.

The evening served to recognize the triumphs of organizations that excelled in furthering the mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky in 2015.  Thirty-four awards were presented during the celebration to organizations representing Allen, Barren, Hart, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties.

Joe Tinius of the United Way of Southern Kentucky Board of Directors emceed the event as United Way of Southern Kentucky presented the following awards to organizations for their support in 2015:


Greatest Giving Increases (employee and corporate giving combined)

Increase of $5,000 - $9,999

                  BKD LLP

                  Logan County Schools

Increase of $10,000 - $14,999

                        Meritor, Inc.

      Increase of $20,000 - $24,999

                        Fruit of the Loom

                        Trace Die Cast

     Increase of $80,000 - $84,999

                        UAW – General Motors Corvette Assembly

Leadership Investment Awards (employee giving)

Most leadership dollars (gifts of $1,000 or more) from organizations employing:

Less than 200 employees


More than 250 employees

                        Fruit of the Loom

New Campaign Partner of the Year

Highest giving, per capita and participation

Kentucky Chrome Works

     $100,000 Milestone Award

     In recognition of the first time reaching $100,000 in giving from a company

                 Trace Die Cast

    $300,000 Milestone Award

     In recognition of the first company to ever raise more than $300,000 in one campaign year

                 Fruit of the Loom


      Top 10 campaigns for overall corporate and employee giving in 2015:

            10. Warren RECC ($40,902)

             9. Georgia Pacific – Dixie ($41,696)

             8. J.M. Smucker Company ($43,139)

             7. Hill’s Pet Nutrition ($49,663)

             6. Western Kentucky University ($54,986)

             5. U.S. Bank – Area Wide ($81,647)

             4. Trace Die Cast ($100,528)

             3. Logan Aluminum ($208,888)

             2. UAW – General Motors Corvette Assembly ($221,870)

             1. Fruit of the Loom ($309,307)


Volunteer Investment Awards

Top Organizations with the largest % of employees volunteering in multiple United Way functions


                        RR Donnelley

                        U.S. Bank - Area Wide

                        Warren County Public Schools

                        Western Kentucky University


Organization that embodies the Live United spirit through year round support and enthusiasm for United Way

U.S. Bank – Area Wide

Honorable Mentions:

                        ELPO Law

                        Trace Die Cast

Also recognized during the evening were two student organizations that are working to support and promote United Way’s efforts. Student United Ways are campus based student led organizations that work in partnership with local United Ways. Currently there are more than 80 Student United Ways around the world spanning 5 countries. Here in Southern Kentucky, two organizations were recognized:

                  Western Kentucky University Student United Way

                  Bowling Green High School Student United Way

For the second year, United Way of Southern Kentucky presented the Shooting Star Award. The Shooting Star Award winner was chosen from applications submitted by United Way partner agencies on behalf of clients who had exemplified courage and tenacity in overcoming obstacles and has used United Way services to build a better life. This year’s Shooting Star Award was awarded to:

                  Leticia Becerril (Submitting Agency: BRASS)

New to the United Way of Southern Kentucky awards this year were the Community Impact Partnership Awards. These awards were created to honor those individuals and organizations that have excelled in development, implementation and support for United Way’s new Community Impact platform. Their partnership has been instrumental in forming the foundation on which United Way’s work will be built moving forward. The Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to:

Leadership Strategies: Excellence in planning and implementing Community Impact research and platform development

RBG Foundation: Investments in increasing Kindergarten Readiness through expansion of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program

WBKO: Outstanding broadcast support and advocacy for every phase of United Way’s Community Impact work

Finalists for the premier award of the year, the LIVE UNITED Award, were presented via video throughout the evening.  This award was presented to the company that exemplifies United Way’s core Give, Advocate and Volunteer goals through outstanding campaign support including increased giving, high participation and per capita, advocating internally and externally on behalf of United Way throughout the year, and exceptional volunteer participation from a large base of employees. 

The top 3 finalists for the LIVE UNITED Award included:  Fruit of the Loom, Trace Die Cast and UAW- General Motors Corvette Assembly.

Following the recognition of the three finalists, the Live United Award was presented to:

Fruit of the Loom

During the Annual Meeting, two new incoming members of the United Way of Southern Kentucky Board of Directors were approved including:

  • Gary Fields, Bowling Green Independent Schools
  • Darren Woodruff, U.S. Bank

As well, the following members were approved for an additional term on the board:

  • Kenly Ames, ELPO Law
  • Ken Campbell, Ventra Plastics
  • Chad Cooper, Allen County Schools
  • Stacey Hughes, Logan Aluminum
  • Mike O’ Kelly, First Security Bank
  • Steve Sinclair, Graves Gilbert Clinic
  • Nora Roper, Bowling Green Corvette Assembly
  • Thad Connally, First Choice Home Medical

In addition, the following slate of officers were approved by the membership for 2016:

  • Brad Odil, WBKO – Chairman
  • Steve Thurmond, Franklin Simpson Chamber of Commerce – Chair Elect
  • Donna Harmon, Trace Die Cast – Treasurer

Six board members were recognized for their long term commitment to United Way of Southern Kentucky as they retire from their service on the board:

  • Ron Barbe
  • Craig Browning, U.S. Bank
  • Mark Langevin, U.S. Bank
  • Tad Pardue, Bell Orr Ayres & Moore
  • Scott Taylor, Western Kentucky University
  • Joe Tinius

Finally, Ann Puckett was recognized for her service and inspiration as the 2015 Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Debbie Hills, Interim President and CEO for United Way of Southern Kentucky, said, “Tonight’s celebration is the culmination of a year of outstanding efforts by many partners in the community.  What a momentous milestone to recognize Fruit of the Loom as the first ever organization to raise more than $300,000 in one year.  Thousands and thousands of lives will be impacted in the coming year due to their generous spirit.  Also of significant importance is, the inaugural year of our Community Impact Partnership Awards honoring achievement in supporting UWSK’s new Education, Income, Health, & Safety Net Community Impact platform.  The initial accomplishments by the three organizations recognized tonight serve as the foundation for achieving long-term community change in our priority focus areas.  We look forward to honoring even more organizations as we expand platform implementation in the coming year.”

For more information on how you can LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating, and volunteering with United Way of Southern Kentucky, visit or call 270-843-3205.

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.

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