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Governor's Service Awards

21st Annual Awards

Awards Program Update

The nomination form is currently being revised by the Awards Committee to simplify the process. The updated information should be released by March 2016. For more information, sign up for our email list.

General Information

The 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 (KCCVS) 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.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

  • 2015-16: Nominations to be accepted soon!
  • 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

Questions about the awards program should be directed to Shannon Ramsey, 502-564-7420, ext. 3841, or 859-474-2617

20th Annual Awards

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

Gov. and Mrs. Beshear's About Kentucky commentary on the awards program.

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

20th Annual Governor's Service Awards - general information, category criteria, nomination form, narrative questions (page 4) and submission instructions

Nominations Sought for Governor’s Service Awards - press release (PDF version), Jan. 16, 2015

Governor's Service Awards Judging Worksheet

Past Governor's Service Award Winners

19th Annual Awards

Gov. Steve Beshear honored 14 groups and individuals from across the state for their volunteer and service contributions at a ceremony in Frankfort on July 22, 2014.

Gov. Beshear and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Deputy Secretary Eric Friedlander presented the Governor’s Service Awards at the Governor’s Mansion.

Gov. Beshear said the event was a chance to honor the state’s leaders and innovators – volunteers and national service members – and the example they set for others.

“It’s been said that a lot of people doing a little bit can make a big difference,” he said. “You have shown that one person doing a lot, can cause a wave of change.”

Read more


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

Survey Results - Gov. Awards 2013

What's so great about the Governor's Awards? article from the KCCVS Newsletter, January 2013

More of us are just helping out article from, January 2013


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


Last Updated 2/8/2016