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Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky

Outstanding Women of NKY logo

The Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards were established in the fall of 1984, when the late Nancy Boothe, wife of then-NKU President Leon E. Boothe, invited several faculty and staff members to a luncheon for a discussion of ways to involve more women from the Northern Kentucky area in the University community.

In the spring of the following year, the first Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards luncheon was held with The Kentucky Post acting as co-sponsor.  Thomas More College later joined as an additional sponsor. After the newspaper closed in 2008, Toyota became the major sponsor, assumed responsibility for event production, and supported the scholarship program. With the 2014 announcement of Toyota’s headquarters consolidation and eventual relocation to Texas, the program was again in need of a champion to carry the torch.  The Women’s Initiative of the NKY Chamber of Commerce has adopted this program and will continue its remarkable legacy.

At the first award celebration, five women were honored. Since then, more than 200 women have been recognized for blazing trails, opening doors, or demonstrating leadership in their homes, their professions, their communities, or their state.



Outstanding Women – celebrates women who live, work, or volunteer in Northern Kentucky and represent the great diversity and extraordinary accomplishments of today’s women. All the honorees represent ideal role models for the young women who follow in their footsteps.

Emerging Leader – awarded to a woman who has made an impact on the NKY community and is under the age of 40

Judith Clabes Lifetime Achievement – awarded to the woman who has had a major impact on the NKY community over her lifetime

Helen Carroll Champion of Education – awarded to the woman who is a recognized leader for her impact and dedication to education in the NKY community

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