For the first time, Women Leading Kentucky plans to present multiple Martha Layne Collins Leadership Awards during its annual Women's Business & Leadership Conference.
The organization will honor former state Auditor Crit Luallen, former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller and education advocate Lois Combs Weinberg.
The organization offered one such award and also recognized two finalists each year since the honor's beginning in 1999.
"This year, we just said these women all deserve this award," said Janet Holloway, co-founder of the non-profit that seeks to create business and leadership opportunities for women. "Each of these three women represent the best of women leaders in Kentucky."
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Luallen has long been involved in state government, most recently serving two four-year terms as auditor during which she and her staff conducted a number of high-profile audits that resulted in charges against officials.
"She's just an extremely ethical and professional public servant," Holloway said.
Miller has also been a long-time public servant, including serving as Lexington's mayor from 1993 to 2003. Earlier this year, she became chair of the state Council on Postsecondary Education. Her other accomplishments include founding the Lexington Farmers Market in 1975.
"Her energy and enthusiasm just permeate everything she does," Holloway said.
Weinberg has long been considered one of the state's top education advocates. She founded the Hindman Settlement School's dyslexia program and has served with education organizations including the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Council on Postsecondary Education.
"Lois has an extraordinary commitment to education," Holloway said.
All three recipients will speak during the conference's luncheon. They will be joined by Kentucky State University President Mary Evans Sias, who received the 2010 award, and Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure, who won the organization's Pioneer Award in 2004.
The five will present a discussion similar to popular daytime talk show The View. Collins will also offer remarks prior to the awards being given.
"They've all done great things in their fields," the former governor said of this year's recipients. "They've obviously provided leadership and creativity and all those things that a good leader does.
"Women Leading Kentucky is a great organization, and I certainly hope anyone who can will attend the luncheon."