A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Eight accomplished women to be honored as 2016 Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky

Staff Report

Eight accomplished professionals and community activists will be honored Thursday with Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards.

The awards have been given annually since 1984 and are presented by Toyota.

These eight awards are presented in addition to the Special Nancy Janes Boothe Scholarships that go to three deserving female college students who exhibit the same leadership qualities exhibited by OWNK award winners. Those winners were featured in this story on the NKyTribune yesterday.

The event will be at 11:30 at Receptions, 1379 Donaldson Highway in Erlanger. Tickets are $30 and advanced reservations are required. Call Lisa Raterman at 859.578.9720 for reservations.

The 2016 Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky are:

Kim Halbauer, Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Kim Halbauer is Senior Vice President and Director of Private Banking for Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky for Fifth Third Bank. Over her 23-years with the bank, she has served in a variety of leadership roles in the Commercial, Retail and Investment Advisors divisions.


Kim Halbauer

“Kim is a ‘brilliant community leader,'” said nominator Brent Cooper of C-Forward. “She is a true professional, a community leader and a terrific parent . . . Everything she has done and continues to do exemplifies outstanding service to her profession and the community.”

Kim is immediate past chair of the TRI-ED Foundation board, and executive mentor at Xavier University, a member of the Gateway Foundation board and the Fort Thomas Education Foundation board, and past president of the Diocesan Board of Education.

She is active in numerous other community organizations. She was a member of both Leadership Cincinnati and Leadership Northern Kentucky.

Laurie Risch, Executive Director, Behringer Museum

Laurie Risch has been with Behringer Crawford Museum since 1986 and has been executive director since 1993.

She is a founding member of History Homes & Sites of Greater Cincinnati collaboration, a member of the NKY Chamber of Commerce, the American Association of State and Local History the Kentucky Humanities Council and many other community organizations.

Laurie Risch

Laurie Risch

She served on the Greater Cincinnati Regional Cultural Planning Commission, the Kenton County Community Education Board, the boards of the KY Historical Society, and the KY Museum and Heritage Alliance.

She received the Frank R. Levstik Professional Service Award in 2002 and the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance’s Firefighter Award in 2011.

Behringer Crawford Museum has received numerous local and state awards under her leadership.

“Laurie was among the first of a generation of women to lead an important local institution,” said nominator Mark Neikirk of the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement. “This new wave of women diversified Northern Kentucky’s civic and cultural leadership . . .Because of what they accomplished, the path was cleared for those who followed. . .She empowers. She encourages. She supports.”

Stacy Tapke, Kentucky County Attorney

Stacy Tapke began her legal career before law school when she served as a case worker for the Child Support Divison of the Kenton County Attorney’s Office. After her graduation from the University of Maryland College of Law she retired to the Commonwealth and began as an assistant Kenton County Attorney and in 2014 was elected the county’s first female County Attorney.

Stacy Tapke

Stacy Tapke

She has won numerous awards including the Young Visionary Award from Vision 2015, the Service to Community Award from the Kentucky Bar Association, a Rising Star award from the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and the LEGACY Legend Award in 2011.

She has served in leadership positions in many community organizations, including LeGACY, the Dorothy Wood Foundation for Redwood, the Northern Kentucky Forum, the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and the Kentucky Bar Association.

“Stacy has served her profession and her community with vigor and produced meaningful results while doing so,” said her nominator Jason V. Reed of Edmonson & Associates. “Through it all, she has demonstrated personal integrity, perseverance and leadership.”

Wonda Winkler, Executive Vice President, Brighton Center

Wonda Winkler has been executive vice president of Brighton Center since 2011.

An Erlanger native and graduate of Thomas More College, she also holds an MBA from Northern Kentucky University.

Wonda Winkler

Wonda Winkler

She is a member of the boards of the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, the NKY Chamber of Commerce, the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition and Partners for a Competitive Workforce.

She was the first recipient of the NKY Chamber’s Women’s Initiative Spirt of Achievement Award and was named Workforce Professional of the Year by the Workforce Investment Board of NKY.

“Not only is Wonda an exceptional professional, she is also an individual of great integrity,” said nominator Rhonda Whitaker of Duke Energy. “I have watched Wonda touch many organizations with her skills, dedication, innovation and action. She is an exceptional role model.”

Emerging Leader
Serena Owen, Kentucky State Board and Bowles Center for Diversity Outreach Instructor

Serena Owen is a graduate of NKY with a masters of Art in Teaching. She is active in Kentuckians for the Commonwealth from which she received the ‘Standing Up for Justice’ award in 2015 and the NAACP Connecting Communities Collaboration Award in 2015. She received the Governor’s Recognition Certificate for Community Volunteerism in both 2014 and 2015.

Serena Owen

Serena Owen

Nominator and Kentucky County Magistrate Stephen Hoffman said that Serena “has persevered and wholeheartedly advocated for our Tri-State community for public bus transportation to help tens-of-thousands of residents who need safe accessible transportation to work and medical care as well as out students without school buses to travel safely to and from school.”

“She lobbies and advocates for social justice, economic justice, clean air, fairness, and voting rights at the local, state and national levels.”

Julie Dusing, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Henrietta Cleveland Award

When it comes to offering the best health care to residents of Northern Kentucky, it has to be rooted in the people. That’s what inspired Julie Dusing to become a volunteer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare more than 15 years ago.
“A hospital touches so many people at different stages in their lives,” said Dusing. “It’s a place where you might experience the most dreaded or happiest moments of your life. I had my three children at St. Elizabeth, and the people I’ve met from being a patient and a volunteer are the best people.”

Julie Dusing

Julie Dusing

Julie Dusing is a financial advisor for Robert W. Baird & Co. and a lifelong Northern Kentuckian.
“Julie truly believes in making a difference for people in our community,” said Sarah Giolando, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “She embodies the same values as our founder, Henrietta Cleveland, and demonstrates the positive impact that strong women leaders can have on our community.”
Dusing started volunteering at St. Elizabeth as a recent college graduate in 1998. “I was approached by a family friend to join a new young professionals group,” said Dusing. “Since then, I’ve served on committees and managed events, but I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in the bigger picture of making our community a stronger, more vibrant and healthier place.”
Dusing was instrumental in launching St. Elizabeth’s women’s giving group, The Gift of Health, which involves women as philanthropic leaders and funds critical health care needs. She served as chair for five years and fought to build a program where members feel empowered and informed by choosing initiatives and programs to fund.
“Two words can help to describe Julie Dusing: a giver and an advocate,” said Larry Warkoczeski, vice president of the St. Elizabeth Foundation. “She has been a giving visionary and supporter for The Gift of Health and a strong advocate for diversity and engaging women in the community. Instead of accepting life as it is, Julie is one of those individuals who seeks to build a better tomorrow, a better community.”
Helen Carroll Champion of Education
Susan Sorrell, College and Career Readiness Liaison, Conner High School

Susan Sorrell retired as a full-time teacher at Conner High school after 30 years and is currently a part-time teacher and organization advisor there.

Susan Sorrell

Susan Sorrell

She is a member of the Boone County Education Foundation, chair of C.T.E. Career and Technical Education, coordinator for the Business Education Success Team, and is a member of the Boone County Superintendent’s Advisory Council. She has served on various Northern Kentucky Chamber committees.

“I often heard Susan Sorrell’s name mentioned as ‘the teacher in NKY who really understands business and how to prepare students for success,'” said nominator Janice Way of Leadership Kentucky. “She has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for her students. Her knowledge of the ‘real world’ had driven success for hundreds of students.”

Former students are glowing in their praise for her — “she is amazing,” she “treats all students with respect,” she “understands students and knows how to motivate.”

Susan Sorrell is a business teacher. She received her bachelor’s, master’s and Rank 1 from Northern Kentucky University.

Judith Clabes Lifetime Achievement Award
Molly Navin, retired Executive Director, Parish Kitchen

Molly Navin worked at Parish Kitchen for 40 years — and “never faltered in her dedication to ensure it survives and improves.”

She received the Leadership Northern Kentucky Leader of Distinction Award in 2004.

Molly Navin

Molly Navin

She called the people who came to Parish Kitchen “guests” and treated them with kindness and respect, said nominator Dale Silver of C-Forward.

“The Parish Kitchen was her personal kitchen,” Silver said. “She worked seven days a week and was always available if a guest wanted to bend her ear with a story.”

Molly is active in her church, engaged in her community and devoted to her children and grandchildren. “If people in Northern Kentucky have a better understanding of the hungry and the homeless,” wrote Daniel Burr in supporting her nomination, “it’s due in large part to Molly Navin.”

She has “given a lifetime of her time and talents to others,” wrote another supporter, Julie Geisen Scheper.

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