■ Donald Thompson, president of Epic Insurance Solutions, and Gov. Steve Beshear have been named in Insurance Business America magazine's Hot 100 list for 2015. This annual list recognizes 100 people who have made waves in the insurance industry over the past year.
Honorees are nominated by their peers and chosen by the magazine's editorial panel.
"The Hot 100 represents the best of the best the insurance industry has to offer. These are true thought leaders and influencers in our industry," said IBA senior journalist Caitlin Bronson. "This list is very much a 'who's-who' of power players and innovators in insurance."
■ The first class graduated from the Lexington Minority & Women Business Training Program late last year.
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The program was sponsored by Fifth Third Bank with help from the Kentucky Small Business Development Center. The six-week program covered topics ranging from finances to marketing and human resources.
The following graduates represented a diverse group of small business owners: Constance L. Bates, Take 5 Concierge; Betty Boyd, Cleaning to Please; Desmond Brown, B&J; Beverly Clemmons, CMI Consulting; Nettie Cohen, Cohen's Investigation; Jessica Cull, Design Link; Carolyn Dunn, Carolyn's Crown & Glory Beauty Salon; Ashley Lane; Lexington Family Eye Care; Angela Lewis, AF Creative Source Design; Shambra Mulder, Professional Life Coach; Peggy Overly, Opeg Fashions and Designs; Linda Sharpe, Sharpe Resources; Rosanna Shelton, Legal Shield; Marty Vaughn, College Hunks Hauling Junk; Andre Wilson, Andre's Lawn and House Washing Service.
■ State Human Rights Commissioner Timothy W. Thomas of Madisonville has been awarded the annual Martin Luther King Citizenship Award winner by the Kentucky Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
Thomas is serving his third term representing the First Supreme Court District on the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Board of Commissioners. He is also a commissioner of the African American Heritage Commission, where he is serving a second term. He is the president of the Hopkins County Joint Planning Commission on which he has served for 17 years and during four mayoral administrations. He is a state representative of the American Planning Association - Kentucky Chapter, APA-KY, and represents planning commissioners across the commonwealth of Kentucky. He serves on the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
He is president of the Kentucky State Crime Stoppers Association and oversees 19 organizations across the state. He is a member of the Madisonville-Hopkins County NAACP and is an associated member of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. He is the cofounder of the former African American Unity Committee and has helped bring back the former Rosenwald High School to the black community in Madisonville.
■ The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management have released the names of companies that have made the 11th Annual Best Places to Work in Kentucky list. The winner rankings will be announced at an awards dinner April 14 at Heritage Hall in the Lexington Convention Center.
Winners from across the state have been selected in three categories: small companies of 15-149 employees, medium companies of 150-499 employees and large companies consisting of more than 500 employees (categories based on number of U.S. employees, only Kentucky employees surveyed). The selection process, managed by Best Companies Group, is based on an assessment of the company's employee policies and procedures and the results of an internal employee survey.
For more details about Best Places to Work in Kentucky, or to register for the awards dinner, visit Bestplacestoworkky.com. To register for the awards dinner, go to Kychamber.com/node/1961.
Tickets for the event are $125 for Kentucky Chamber and/or KYSHRM members and $150 for non-member. Table The following is a list of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky for 2015 in alphabetical order by company name and the company's primary location. The rankings will be revealed at the April 14 awards dinner.
Small companies: AMR Management Services, Lexington; ARGI Financial Group, Louisville/Bowling Green; Associations International, Lexington/Louisville; Benefit Insurance Marketing, Lexington; Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Jackson, Jackson/Beattyville; Dean Dorton, Lexington/Louisville; Delta Dental of Kentucky, Louisville; Epic Insurance Solutions, Louisville/Lexington; Fitness Consulting Group, Elizabethtown; Integrity IT, Lexington; KESA, The Kentucky Workers' Compensation Fund, Louisville; Leachman Buick GMC Cadillac, Bowling Green; Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisville; Luckett & Farley Architects, Engineers and Construction Managers, Louisville; McGregor & Associates, Lexington; NetGain Technologies, Lexington/Louisville; People Plus, Madisonville/Lexington; Peoples Exchange Bank, multiple cities; River Road Asset Management, Louisville; SIS, Lexington/Louisville; Strategic Communications, Louisville; Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, Lexington; Symbiotix, Lexington/Danville; Tenmast Software, Lexington; The Heritage Nursing & Rehabilitation Facility, Corbin; Three Rivers District Health Department, multiple cities; Unified Trust Co., Lexington/Louisville; Veterinary Data Services, Nicholasville
Medium companies: Air Hydro Power, Louisville; Balluff, Florence; Blue & Co., Louisville/Lexington; Bluegrass Cellular, Elizabethtown; Creative Lodging Solutions, Lexington; Derby Fabricating Solutions, Louisville/Cadiz; Fischer Homes, Erlanger; Forcht Bank, Lexington; Garrard County Schools, Lancaster; Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana; Harshaw Trane, multiple cities; Heritage Bank, Hopkinsville/Murray; Homecare Homebase, Prospect; Hosparus, Louisville; ISCO Industries, Louisville; Kentucky Bank, multiple cities; KORT, Louisville/Lexington; MCM, Louisville/Lexington; ORR Corp., Louisville; Park Community Credit Union, Louisville/Lexington; PBI Bank, Louisville; Plumbers Supply Co., Louisville/Lexington; Signature HealthCARE Consulting Services, Louisville; Somerset Community College, Somerset/London; Somerset Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, Somerset; Southcentral KY Community & Technical College, Bowling Green/Glasgow; Stites & Harbison, Louisville/Lexington; The Learning House, Louisville; Traditional Bank, Mt. Sterling/Lexington; Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, Leitchfield; University of Pikeville, Pikeville; Van Meter Insurance Group, Bowling Green; V-Soft Consulting Group, Louisville; WDRB/WMYO Television, Louisville; Winterwood, Lexington; Your Community Bank, Louisville/Lexington
Large companies: Aerotek, Louisville/Lexington; Allconnect, Lexington; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Louisville/Lexington; Assured Neace Lukens, Louisville/Lexington; Baptist Health, multiple cities; Big Ass Fans, Lexington; Booz Allen Hamilton, Radcliff/Fort Campbell; Corning Inc., Harrodsburg; Crowe Horwath, Louisville/Lexington; CSI, multiple cities; Edward Jones, Winchester/Paducah; Farm Credit Mid-America, multiple cities; Frankfort Regional Medical Center, Frankfort; Genentech, Louisville; Hilliard Lyons, Louisville/Lexington; iPay Solutions, Elizabethtown/Louisville; Kentucky American Water, Lexington/Owenton; Neustar, Louisville; NPAS; Parallon Business Solutions, Louisville; Papa John's Corporate, Louisville; Sazerac Co., Louisville; Stantec, Lexington/Louisville; Stock Yards Bank and Trust Co., multiple cities; The Sullivan University System, Louisville/Lexington; Total Quality Logistics, Lexington/Louisville; Trilogy Health Services, Louisville/Lexington
■ The Carnegie Center has announced the six inductees for 2015 into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, including the Hall's first living writer, Wendell Berry. In addition to Berry, this year's class includes Guy Davenport, Elizabeth Hardwick, Jim Wayne Miller, Effie Waller Smith and Hunter S. Thompson.
"This year's Hall of Fame inductees are eloquent, inspirational, and sometimes downright outrageous," said Neil Chethik, executive director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, which created the Hall of Fame in 2013. "All of them have had a profound impact on American Literature."
The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of our commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about our state's rich literary heritage. For a writer to have been eligible this year, he/she must be deceased (excluding one living writer); published; someone whose writing is of enduring stature; and someone connected in a significant way to the commonwealth of Kentucky.
The six winners will be officially inducted at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Carnegie Center. The event is free.
Compiled by Dorothea Wingo