Celebrating the best hearts and minds in our Bluegrass, every year!
Our annual Awards and Party Night started back in 2011, with the first Most Encouraging Kentuckian Award presented to Lexington's Mr. Ernie Peel, famed in Central Kentucky for transforming dozens (maybe hundreds) of lives through the sport of distance running. Since then, our Awards and Party have grown considerably, and for 2017-18, we're going to honor six different amazing Kentuckians!
Most Admired Entrepreneur
Nate Brown, Old World Timber
Most Inspirational Social Advocate
Devine Carama, Community Organizer
Most Impactful Artist
Bryce Oquaye, Illustrator
Most Encouraging Kentuckian
Brian Hall, Kentucky High School Basketball Coach
Favorite Local Restaurateur
Ilias Pappas, Athenian Grill
Most Admired Kentucky-Bred
Erin Childress (Connecticut)
Kristofer Fegenbush (Florida)
"I was really humbled and surprised to win this award from the community and from everybody that supports Lexington Pasta and Pasta Garage Italian Cafe. I looked at it as “We are a Team,” “We are a Family,” for what we have created in Central Kentucky. We are bringing something new, something fresh and I can't take all the credit. It’s the team that we have built - they believe in what we do.
The passion that I have, I carry that on with my employees. We value what we do and we value our customers. I think it shows in our business. And being involved with the Bluegrass shows that we’re in a community that cares about local businesses. Being local, supporting local. That’s huge for us. Being Kentucky Proud, being a local company that cares for other businesses. That’s what it’s all about."
- Lesme Romero, 2015's Most Admired Entrepreneur
Most Admired Entrepreneur: Jill Bakehorn and Kelly King Bakehorn, The Grand Reserve
Most Inspirational Social Advocate: Analisa Wagoner, Dress for Success
Most Impactful Artist: Gerry James
Most Admired Kentucky-Bred: Green Cawood
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Debbie Miles
Most Admired Entrepreneur: Lesme Romero, Lexington Pasta Garage and Italian Cafe
Most Inspirational Social Advocate: Darlene Thomas, Greenhouse 17
Most Impactful Artist: Enrique Gonzalez
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Bob Baney, Race Rise
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Liz Davenport, A Running Start
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Chris Ortiz and Salvador Sanchez, Cup of Common Wealth Coffee
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Russell County, Kentucky's Sarah Roberts Hart Family
Most Encouraging Kentuckian: Ernie Peel, John's Striders