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Governor's Service Awards

The Kentucky Governor's Service Awards program offers a rare glimpse into the lives and achievements of Kentuckians who serve without expectation of compensation, recognition or commendation.

The Governor's Office launched the program in 1975. Since 1995, the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service has managed the awards program. It’s been our distinct privilege over the years to recognize a few of the thousands whose volunteer service contributes immeasurably to a better Kentucky.

Awards Timeline

In the fall of 2017, nomination forms will be released for the 2018 Governor's Service Awards. The new timeline will be used for the awards programs in future years. For more information, please contact Emily Clark

  • October 2017: Nomination forms for 2018 Governor's Service Awards released
  • November 2017: Deadline for 2018 nominations
  • December 2017: Judging process, notification to winning nominators
  • January 2018: Notification for all nominees, ceremony planning
  • February 2018: 2018 Governor's Service Awards ceremony
22nd Annual Governor's Service Awards
21st Annual Governor's Service Awards

Gov. Bevin, Lt. Gov. Hampton Honor Exemplary Volunteers

Governor’s Service Awards presented at State Capitol ceremony

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jean West, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3465 or
Anya Armes Weber, ext. 3104

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Sec. Vickie Yates Brown Glisson today presented the Governor’s Service Awards at a ceremony in the State Capitol. They were joined by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and leads volunteer and service initiatives for the nation.

Sgt. Tony Hendrichs has helped veterans reacclimate to the workforce. Partnership Housing, Inc. has built and repaired homes for low-income families. John Duplessis has been actively involved in constructing all but one of the houses built by Hardin County Habitat for Humanity in the last 21 years. And 18-year-old Nick Carpenter, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 5, has advocated for himself and others like him through educational and legislative activities.

They are among the 21 individuals and groups honored today for their volunteer and service contributions at the Governor’s Service Awards ceremony in Frankfort. From Cadiz to Ashland, they have transformed their communities. This year’s award recipients have helped meet the state’s critical needs like feeding the hungry, tutoring and mentoring at-risk students and assisting vulnerable community members during public health emergencies.

Read the full press release.

Photos available on Facebook and Flickr. Video available on Governor Matt Bevin's Facebook page.

2016 Award Recipients

2016 Governor's Service Awards ceremony program

John DuPlessis, Lifetime Achievement Award, Elizabethtown. Nominated by Rep. Tim Moore

Tina Crase, Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous), Verona. Nominated by Katelyn Crase

Michael J. Buckman, Volunteer Service Award, Prospect.
Nominated by Kate Brackett

Shelley Elswick, Volunteer Service Award, Lexington.
Nominated by Amanda Fallin

Dr. Mike Conver, Senior Volunteer Service Award, Cadiz.
Nominated by Brenda Southwick

John and Emilie Ward, Senior Volunteer Service Award, Shepherdsville. 
Nominated by Donna English

Tony Hendrichs, Veteran Volunteer Service Award, Lexington. Nominated by Tim Turner

Anthony “Nick” Carpenter,  Youth Volunteer Service Award, Berea.
Nominated by Virginia Bland

Lydia Claire O'Nan, Youth Volunteer Service Award, Ashland. Nominated by Bernard O'Nan

AmeriCorps REACH Corps, National Service Program Award, Louisville.
Nominated by Jacob Eads

Anthony Criswell, National Service Alumni Award, Morehead. Nominated by Marilyn Smith

Leah Cann and Lori Shea Fuson, National Service AmeriCorps Member Award, Crittenden and Williamsburg.
Nominated by Summer Gortney and Megan Morris

Mary “Jessie” Hettinger,  National Service Senior Corps Member Award, Owensboro. 
Nominated by Vickie Poteat

Big Rivers Electric Corporation, Business Service Award, Henderson. 
Nominated by Megan Mortis

Independence Bank, Business Service Award, Owensboro.  Nominated by Mary R. Steely

Partners for Education at Berea College, Nonprofit Service Award, Berea.
Nominated by Sandi Curd

Partnership Housing, Inc., Nonprofit Service Award, Booneville, Nominated by Cassie Hudson

Generation Joshua Club, Paducah Chapter, Group Service Award, Paducah.
Nominated by Eve Silverstein

Maria Hardy, Debbie Miller, Kristy Bolen, Cassie Mace, Henry Sturgill, Ron Enders and Brian Elswick (Health Departments in Boyd, Greenup and Lawrence Counties), Group Service Award, Little Sandy District.
Nominated by John M. Hunt

A Place To Sleep, Faith-Based Group Service Award, Shelbyville. Nominated by Jackie Duvall

Farmington Church of Christ, Faith-based Group Award, Farmington. Nominated by Jennifer Morris

Award Categories and Criteria

Volunteer Service Award

Classifications: Youth, Adult, Senior, Veteran

Recognizes individuals who have met a community need in an innovative and/or effective manner. Nominees may have made an impact through changed lives and/or community conditions as a result of service efforts. Nominees should demonstrate an ethic of service, compassion and/or and a nature to inspire others to serve.

Business Service Award

Classifications: Small, Mid-size, Large, Entrepreneur/Partnership, Enterprise/Corporation

Recognizes businesses that have made an impact through innovation, volunteer hours, number of volunteers, monetary support, etc. It may recognize ongoing community involvement and/ or the historical record of supporting volunteerism through policies and practices.

Group Service Award

Classifications: Nonprofit, Faith-based, General

Recognizes nonprofits, faith-based and/or general groups that demonstrate significant volunteer outreach and efforts to positively impact their community. It may recognize successful collaborations and/or management of an exceptional volunteer program.

National Service Award

Classifications: Individual, Program, Alumni

Recognizes an individual member and/or group of members of a national service program (AmeriCorps State/National; AmeriCorps VISTA, NCCC; or Senior Corps FGP, SCP, RSVP) who have demonstrated service beyond standard expectations of the designated program, an extraordinary example of the National Service spirit. It may recognize an alumni whose commitment to embody service beyond their service term continues to bring about positive community change.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Classifications: Active, Posthumous

Recognizes a lifelong commitment to volunteerism and community service at a variety of levels, resulting in a substantial and/or sustained impact. It may recognize outstanding service of an individual who has enhanced the delivery of social services in Kentucky. Nominees should demonstrate a minimum of 15 years of serving and engaging others in service.

2016 Resources

2016 GSA Narrative Scoring Criteria

Past Governor's Service Award Winners

Call for Nominations press release (PDF)

2016 GSA Nomination Form (PDF) 

2016 GSA Nomination Form (online)

Questions about the awards program should be directed to Shannon Ramsey, 502-564-7420, x3841 or 859-474-2617.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
  • 2015-16: John DuPlessis and Tina Crase
  • 2014-15: Virginia Braswell
  • 2013-14: Ginny Ramsey
  • 2012-13: Dr. Paula Maionchi
  • 2011-12: George B. Merrifield Jr. and Jeanette Elder
  • 2010-11: Bill Burch
  • 2009-10: Charles Stiles
  • 2008-09: Dr. Merrill A. Winchester
  • 2007-08: Robley H. Rex and Garnett Fairchild
20th Annual Awards

2015 Governor's Service Award winners

Press Release: Lt. Gov. Honors Exemplary Volunteers; Service from 2014 recognized during ceremony at Governor’s Mansion (July 29, 2015)


  • John Salyers, Kentucky Ambassador Award
    Independence/Kenton County
  • Melissa Phelps, Challenge Award
    Warsaw/Gallatin County
  • The Fuller Center, Faith-Based Group Award
    Louisville/Jefferson County
  • Lesley Nord, First Lady's Award
    Shepherdsville/Bullitt County
  • Rotary Club of Cadiz, Group Volunteer Service Award
    Cadiz/Trigg County
  • Virginia Braswell, Lifetime Achievement Award
    Owensboro/Daviess County
  • Kentucky College Coaches, National Service Group Award
  • Wanda Hipps, National Service Individual Award
    Owensboro/Daviess County
  • Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK), Nonprofit Organization Award
    Covington/Kenton County
  • Adrian D. Wallace, Veteran Volunteer Service Award
    Lexington/Fayette County
  • Susan Guess, Volunteer Service Award
    Paducah/McCracken County
  • Catherine Mitchell, Volunteer Coordinator Award
    Lexington/Fayette County
  • Hailey Simpson, Youth Volunteer Service Award
    Goshen/Oldham County
  • Hannah Irvine, Youth Volunteer Service Award
    Ashland/Boyd County

Photos, News and Media

Ceremony photos on the KCCVS Facebook page.

Article by Rep. Mike Denham: Volunteers and nonprofit organizations should be recognized for service

19th Annual Awards

Awards Press Release


Photos, News and Media

Ceremony photos on Facebook

ALL event photos on Flickr (To download, click on the desired photo, then the arrow to download photo and then choose the size.)

Event Program (Winner Narratives)

CHFS Press release July 22, 2014 article July 23, 2014

18th Annual Awards

Fourteen groups and individuals from across the state were honored for their volunteer and service contributions at a ceremony in Frankfort on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and CHFS Sec. Audrey Tayse Haynes, presented the Governor’s Service Awards for at the Governor’s Mansion. The awards honored for service completed in 2012.


  • Dr. Paula Maionchi, Lifetime Achievement Award, Richmond/Madison County
  • Benjamin Brown Otten, Challenge Award, Louisville/Jefferson County
  • PNC Bank, Corporate Award, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
  • HOTEL INC Homeless Outreach Program, Faith-Based Group Award, Bowling Green/Warren County
  • Alicia McClurg and Kim Standafer, Group Volunteer Service Award, West Liberty/Morgan County
  • Carolyn R. Belmar, National Service Award, Louisville/Jefferson County
  • The Kentucky Center Arts in Healing program, Nonprofit Organization Award, Louisville/Jefferson County
  • James Terrell, Senior Volunteer Service Award, Cadiz/Trigg County
  • Marian V. Gosling, Volunteer Coordinator Award, Louisville/Jefferson County
  • Laura Jo “Jodie” Baker, Volunteer Service Award, Lexington/Fayette County
  • Morgan Guess, Youth Volunteer Service Award, Paducah/McCracken County
  • Mary Ruth Hawkins, First Lady's Award, Shepherdsville/Bullitt County
  • MSUCorps, AmeriCorps Program award*
  • Southern Bluegrass Service Region, DCBS Region award*

*Special traveling award for Make A Difference Day.

Photos, News and Media

Awards Ceremony and Reception Video, 6-25-13

Ceremony Photos, KCCVS Facebook page 6-25-13

Ceremony Program, online version 6-25-13

Gena Bigler: Kentucky is lucky to have many good people standing up and saying ‘why not’, 6-26-13

Governor’s Service Awards given to 14 in Frankfort ceremony, 6-26-13

HOTEL INC Wins Kentucky Governor’s Service Award For Service To Homeless, 6-25-13 

Lt. Gov. Abramson Honors Exemplary Volunteers; Service from 2012 Recognized, CHFS Newsroom 6-25-13


For information about past award programs and/or winners, contact Shannon Ramsey.


Last Updated 9/26/2017