United Way Announces 2016 Award Winners



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

270-843-3205     mhicks@uwsk.org

Bowling Green, Kentucky  (February 2, 2017) – More than 230 Southern Kentucky residents joined United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) for the LIVE UNITED Awards and Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 2nd 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 2016.  Forty awards were presented during the celebration to individuals and organizations representing Allen, Barren, Butler, Hart, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties.

Steve Thurmond 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 2016:


Volunteer Investment Awards

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

                        English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley

                        Logan Aluminum

                        U.S. Bank - Area Wide

                        Warren, Butler & Simpson County Water Districts

                        Western Kentucky University



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

                        Trace Die Cast


Greatest Giving Increases (employee and corporate giving combined)

Increase of $5,000 - $9,999

                  Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake

                  Hill’s Pet Nutrition

                  Fruit of the Loom

                  Kentucky Chrome Works

                  Kroger – Riverside Center

                  Ventra Plastics

Increase of $10,000 - $14,999

                        LORD Corporation

      Increase of $15,000 - $15,999

                        Berry Plastics

                        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   


      Top 10 campaigns for overall corporate and employee giving in 2016:

            10. Georgia Pacific – Dixie

             9. Warren RECC

             8. J.M. Smucker Company

             7. Hill’s Pet Nutrition    

 6. Western Kentucky University

             5. U.S. Bank – Area Wide

             4. Trace Die Cast

             3. Logan Aluminum

             2. UAW – General Motors Corvette Assembly

             1. Fruit of the Loom

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 third 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:

                  Nnamdi Igwe (Submitting Agency: Housing Authority of Bowling Green)

For the second year, Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to organizations who have excelled in moving the needle on United Way’s Community Impact work through their partnership. Each has been instrumental with their impact in the areas of Education, Income, Health, and/or Safety Net. The Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to:

The City of Bowling Green

Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation

Warren County Fiscal Government

Fruit of the Loom


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. Special consideration was given to those organizations with specific support to United Way’s work in Education, Income, Health, and/or Safety Net.

The top 3 finalists for the LIVE UNITED Award included:  BKD LLP, Fruit of the Loom, and the Warren, Butler & Simpson County Water Districts.

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

Warren, Butler & Simpson County Water Districts

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

  • Tommy Adams, Charles M. Moore Insurance
  • Lindsey McClain, WOW Ventures
  • Milli McIntosh, Simpson County Schools
  • Tad Pardue, Bell Orr Ayers & Moore
  • Heather Rogers, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

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

  • Rob Clayton, Warren County Public Schools
  • Mike Grubbs, City of Bowling Green
  • Mike Sherrod, Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital
  • Brad Odil, WBKO
  • Ann Puckett, BKD LLP
  • Steve Thurmond, Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce
  • Darren Woodruff, U.S. Bank

In addition, the following slate of officers were approved by the membership for 2017:

  • Steve Thurmond, Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce – Chairman
  • Donna Harmon, Trace Die Cast – Chair Elect
  • Mike O’Kelly, PBI Bank – Treasurer

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

  • Kenly Ames, English Lucas Priest & Owsley
  • Mark Cornwell, Canteen
  • Nickie Jones, Family Enrichment Center
  • Clinton Mills, Hitcents

Finally, Brad Odil was recognized for his service and inspiration as the 2016 Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Debbie Hills, President and CEO for United Way of Southern Kentucky, said, “Tonight is a wonderful celebration of the great successes attained by our partners.  Their accomplishments are foundational to all that we will be able to achieve this year to further our Education, Income, Health and Safety Net community impact platform, thus strengthening the foundation for long-term community change. Most important are the thousands of lives that will be impacted through that work which is made possible by the combined generosity of those honored tonight, as well as hundreds of other organizations that support our efforts”.

For more information on how you can LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating, and volunteering with United Way of Southern Kentucky, visit www.LIVEUNITEDToday.com 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.  ###