Leadership Kentucky Class of 2020 selects Councilwoman McCraney to receive this year’s Lisa Murrell Award

December 16, 2020

Louisville - Leadership Kentucky, a program that engages select individuals in exploring complex issues facing many communities, has graduated 40 civic and community leaders across the Commonwealth during a challenging year while dealing with COVID-19.

As part of its virtual graduation ceremony, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Paula McCraney (D-7) was presented with this year’s Lisa Murrell Award.

Lisa Murrell was a 2008 member of the Leadership Kentucky class. The award was created in her memory to be given to the person in the current class who most exemplifies her spirit: courage, compassion, selflessness, and inspiration over the course of the Leadership Kentucky experience.  Class members, by secret ballot during the sixth month of the program, nominate a classmate for the award. 

“There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers, and I am deeply grateful to the incredible civic-minded leaders in the class for considering me worthy of the Lisa Murrell Award,” said Councilwoman McCraney. “I share the accolades expressed during the award presentation with each of my classmates, because all of them are deserving of this award and are exemplary in what they do to move Kentucky forward.”    

This year’s Leadership Kentucky class was held from June through December and took the class across the state.  Among the stops along the way; virtually in June, Louisville in July, Paducah in August, Bowling Green in September, Pikeville in October, Lexington/Frankfort in November, and virtually, with a focus on Northern Kentucky, in December.

The sessions covered topics ranging from business and economic development, racial equity, arts and tourism, natural resources and the environment, education and healthcare, agriculture, and government.

“It was a great honor to be selected to participate in the 2020 class of Leadership Kentucky with proven leaders and change agents from every region of Kentucky.  The class of forty participants, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, were exposed to the finest Kentucky has to offer and explored some of the complex issues crippling our communities,” said the Councilwoman. “The statewide networking, collaborative conversations, and intriguing dialogue gained from my participation in this program will last far beyond the required seven-month sessions.  I am now more energized to take up new and challenging projects which would work in the benefit of my community and this great Commonwealth.”

“Leadership Kentucky is a great way for leaders to meet and discuss issues. Councilwoman McCraney is passionate about serving the people of Louisville and she brings to any discussion a dedication to listen and work to find answers,” says President David James (D-6). “I congratulate her for this honor, and I know the Metro Council looks forward to hearing about her experiences with others from this year’s class.”


Here are the graduating members of the 2020 Leadership Kentucky Class:


1.      Raelyn Adkins – Jefferson County - Beam Suntory Inc.

2.      Michelle Allen – Pulaski County - Somerset-Pulaski Convention Visitors Bureau

3.      Rhonda Blackburn – Pike County - Pikeville Medical Center, Inc.

4.      Ro Byrd - Jefferson County - Paducah Bank

5.      Tyler Campbell – Scott County - Kentucky Telecom Association, Inc.

6.      Brittany Carlson – Nelson County - Stites & Harbison, PLLC

7.      Ellen Cartmell - Mason County - Kentucky Department for Public Health

8.      Scott Dickens – Jefferson County - Fultz Maddox Dickens PLC

9.      Doug Draut – Jefferson County – Governor’s Scholars Program Foundation

10.   Fernando Figueroa – Boone County – KCTCS, Gateway Community College

11.   Neel Ford – Daviess County - EM Ford

12.   Betina Gardner - Madison County - Eastern Kentucky University

13.   Matt Gunn - Oldham County - Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP

14.   Emily Ho - Jefferson County - Authentically Social, LLC

15.   Jim Horn– Kenton County - St. Elizabeth Healthcare

16.   Michael Huffman - Pike County - East Kentucky Network, LLC

17.   David Hutchens - Pike County - University of Pikeville

18.   Jay Inman - Fayette County - Littler Mendelson PSC

19.   Barbara Lynne Jamison - Jefferson County - Kentucky Opera

20.   Ben Lewis - Jefferson County - Dentons Bingham Greenebaum LLP

21.   Kathy Love – Fayette County - CHI Saint Joseph Health

22.   Roy Lowdenback – McCracken County - Baptist Health

23.   Theresa Lundberg - McCracken County - Lundberg Medical Imaging

24.   Paige Mankovich - Jefferson County - Aetna Better Health of Kentucky

25.   Mark Martin - Daviess County - Atmos Energy Corporation

26.   Paula McCraney - Jefferson County - Louisville Metro Council

27.   Katie Moyer - Hopkins County - Kentucky Hemp Works

28.   Justin Otto – Campbell County - Newport on the Levee

29.   Andrew Owens – Fayette County - Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects

30.   Jason Payne – Boone County- Republic Bank

31.   Tammy Piper - Muhlenberg County - City of Central City Convention Center

32.   Jacqueline Pitts – Franklin County - Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

33.   Chris Poynter - Jefferson County - Brown-Forman

34.   Kaylee Price – Jefferson County - RunSwitch Public Relations

35.   Bud Ratliff - Woodford County - Solarity

36.   Adam Smith – Fayette County - Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E-KU)

37.   Stacie Strotman – Kenton County - Covington Independent Public Schools

38.   Richard Taylor – Pulaski County - The Center for Rural Development

39.   Shadd Walters – Pike County - US Bank

40.   Alissa Young - Christian County - KCTCS, Hopkinsville Community College



About Leadership Kentucky

Leadership Kentucky, created in 1984 as a non-profit educational organization, brings together a select group of people who possess a broad variety of leadership abilities, career accomplishments, and volunteer activities to gain insight into complex issues facing the state. Our goal is to prepare our participants to take an active role in advancing the state for the common good. By fostering understanding of how the state’s issues are interconnected, and by forging new relationships among community and regional leaders, Leadership Kentucky graduates bring a fresh and informed perspective to their communities and companies, serving as important participants in the unified effort to shape Kentucky’s future. 



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