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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.

21st Annual Awards

Governor's Service Awards

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations. Nominators will be notified of the results of their nominee by May 31, 2016.

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)

For more information, contact Shannon Ramsey at (800) 239-7404, ext. 3841 or (859) 474-2617.

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.

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:
  • 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.

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

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


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


Last Updated 5/5/2016