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Leadership Lex class graduates, Johnson gets Leader honor

June 29, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Commerce Lexington Inc. is celebrating the latest class of graduates from the 2020-21 Leadership Lexington program presented by McBrayer PLLC.

Since 1979, this nationally recognized leadership development program has been cultivating Lexington leaders, producing more than 1,600 graduates from this highly informative, educational, and results-oriented leadership development program.

Each class of Leadership Lexington engages in difficult conversations, issues and topics as participants learn more about themselves and others, as well as the community.

However, this year’s class also had to face the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-evolving safety protocols, and constant changes between in-person sessions when allowed and virtual sessions when required.

Phillip Sisk, the 2020-21 Leadership Lexington Steering Committee Chair, said, “Given the pandemic, we recognized the challenge this year would be, but also the importance of bringing leaders in our community together now as much as ever. I have heard it stated that adversity does not build character, it reveals it. This class withstood the challenges and adversity, because they are a class of the highest character.”

Leadership Lexington Program Director Amy Stout said, “During our presentations about leadership traits, we emphasized that a good leader should be able to adapt and adjust where needed, and that’s exactly what each of these individuals did throughout the 2020-21 program.

Despite the difficult circumstances of navigating life and family during the pandemic, they never wavered in their commitment and attention to this program. I appreciated their flexibility at every turn.”

First presented in 1998, the Leadership Lexington Distinguished Leader Award annually recognizes the class member who demonstrates strong principles and dedication to the concept of community service.

This year’s award recipient was Timothy Johnson, president and CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass. He was a co-project leader for the Lexington Forward project, which worked to improve nonprofit success by providing their leadership with the tools necessary to address unique challenges.

Leadership Lexington class members closed out the 2020-21 program with Reflection and Graduation Day Session on June 10, featuring a workshop led by Jason Cummins entitled “Building a Learning Organization,” an after-action review where participants provided feedback about the program, class projects, and a graduation ceremony held later at Lexington Children’s Theatre. To end the day, the new program graduates were invited to attend the Leadership Lexington Alumni Association’s Annual Celebration at Limestone Hall.


Leidy Borges-Gonzalez, Community Action Council; Alice Bowen, Lexmark International; Cynae Carter, Fayette County Public Schools; Lindsey Cheatham, Kismet Marketing; Trisha Clement-Montgomery, University of Kentucky; Sarah Fink, Keeneland Association; Megan George, Stites & Harbison; Timothy Johnson, United Way of the Bluegrass; Kendriana Price, UK CAFÉ Office of Diversity; Clayton Roberts, Lexington Police; Andrea Schroeder, Delta Gas; Brittany Scordo, Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office; Judy Simpson, Blue & Co.; Leslie Smart, CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations; Maxwell Smith, Ward, Hocker & Thornton, PLLC; Paige Halpin-Smith, Lexington Public Library; Erin Soard, Traditional Bank; Veda Stewart, Kentucky Department of Education; Tamika Tompoulidis, University of Kentucky; Chad Traylor, Lexington Fire Department; Shawn Umbrell, University of Kentucky; Eliza van Dissel, The Cloudveil; Michael Vatti, Lexmark International, Inc.; Kyle Virgin, Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP; Melody Westerfield, Fayette County Public Schools.



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