A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Hammons, Cox-Cruey, Schroeder, Butlers named BCM’s Two-Headed Calf award winners

Michael J. Hammons, director of advocacy for Children, Inc., Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey,superintendent of the Kenton County School District, and Dave Schroeder, executive director of the Kenton County Public Library, are the winners of the seventh annual Two-Headed Calf Awards, presented by Behringer-Crawford Museum.
The awards committee also gave special Community recognition to Matt and Rebekah Gensler Butler of Covington and special Education recognition to The Hills of Kentucky Dulcimer Club.
The awards, which honor Northern Kentuckians for significant accomplishments in the areas of history, education and community service, are named for the museum’s most notorious and fun exhibit: a preserved, two-headed calf.  The calf, which celebrates its 101st anniversary at the museum this year, symbolizes that, very often, true excellence rests with those who demonstrate achievement beyond a single contribution.  Just as two heads are better than one, so, too, is the service of the people these awards honor.
The 2016 Two-Headed Calf award recipients will be honored at an awards dinner and gala at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 30 at Northern Kentucky University’s Votruba Student Union Ballroom.  The event, which will be emceed by Local 12 newscaster John Lomax, will include dinner, cocktails, free valet service and parking, live music, a silent auction and raffles, in addition to the fun awards celebration.  All-inclusive tickets are $100 per person or $800 for a table of eight.

For reservations, call 859-491-4003 or email Executive Director Laurie Risch at lrisch@bcmuseum.org by March 24.
This year’s winners and their award categories are:
• Michael J. Hammons, Director of Advocacy for Children, Inc. – Service to the Community: Generosity and Vision

Mike Hammons

Michael Hammons has been director of advocacy for Children, Inc. since November 2011, leading efforts to increase public awareness of and support for young children.  He also serves as director of Kentucky’s Voice for Early Childhood, a state-wide online children’s advocacy network, and as president of the governing board of the Kentucky Historical Society.  From 2009-2011, Hammons was executive director of the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative, which promotes philanthropy and strategic grant making in Kentucky through research, advocacy and collaborative partnerships. Previously, he was founding president of Forward Quest, a non-profit organization formed to implement Quest: A Vision for Northern Kentucky and later, Vision 2015 (now known as Skyward).  Hammons holds a B.A. in history and a Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Kentucky College Of Law.  He practiced law in Covington for 14 years.  Hammons has served on more than 70 local boards, committees and other community service positions during his career and is the recipient of numerous awards.
• Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, Superintendent of the Kenton County School District – Service to Learning: Academic Excellence and Innovation

Terri Cox-Cruey

Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, superintendent of the Kenton County School District, has served the district for 11 years as deputy superintendent and executive director of elementary education and special education, propelling it into a national model in instructional practices.  Dr. Cox-Cruey earned her doctorate from the University of Kentucky in administration and supervision.  Her research, presentations and publications have focused on differentiating instruction, establishing alternative programs, diversity, and technology for students with special learning needs, and leadership.  Under her leadership, the Kenton County School District was rated distinguished in the 2014-15 school report card and was also ranked 34th in the state of Kentucky.  She is the winner of numerous awards, including the Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky award, the Kentucky Teacher Leader of the Month, the Robert J. Storer Business-Education Collaboration award, the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) Outstanding Leader award and the Kentucky Association of Pupil Transportation (KAPT) Superintendent of the Year award.

• Dave Schroeder, Executive Director, Kenton County Library – Service to History: Scholarship and Public Service

Dave Schroeder

Dave Schroeder began his career at the Kenton County Public Library in 1986 as a shelver and later worked in the local history department indexing historic newspapers.  He held the position of archivist for Thomas More College and the Diocese of Covington from 1996 to 2000, and then returned to the Kenton County library in 2000 as the Kentucky history librarian.  He was named executive director of the library in 2007.  He serves as board president of the Friends of the Kentucky Public Archives and is a member of the Kentucky Archives and Records Commission.  He is the past chair of the Kentucky Public Library Association and currently serves as president of the Kentucky Library Association and chair of the Kentucky Public Library Association Advocacy Committee.  Schroeder earned a B.A. degree from Thomas More College, a M.A. degree in history from the University of Cincinnati and a M.S. in library science from the University of Kentucky.  He is a graduate of the Leadership Northern Kentucky Class of 2008.  He is the author of Life Along the Ohio: A Sesquicentennial History of Ludlow, Kentucky and co-editor of Gateway City: Covington, Kentucky, 1815-2015.

• Matt and Rebekah Gensler Butler – Special Recognition: Community

Matt and Rebekah Butler

Rebekah Gensler is the founder and president of the Devou Good Project, Inc., which collaborates with other nonprofits to help bring projects to life.  Current and upcoming collaborations include NaturePlay@BCM, DevouGrass on October 7, 2017 and work with Mortar Cincinnati.  Rebekah is a subject matter expert for the Board of Trustees of Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, a board member of Renaissance Covington and part board member of Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky.  She has worked with nonprofits in the arts, education, and religion, including serving as music director at St. Pius X in Edgewood, and the University of Cincinnati Foundation.  She took a few years off from the nonprofit world to raise four children and help grow the family business, Signature Hardware.
Matt Butler is the founder and president of Signature Hardware in Erlanger, which he started with Rebekah in the late 1990s selling on eBay out of their apartment.  Signature Hardware has grown to a company with 60,000 products, 400,000 square feet and 210 employees.  Matt is leading the company during a transition of ownership to Ferguson Enterprises while keeping the core company values of customer, employee, and community. He is a past board member of Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky.
• The Hills of Kentucky Dulcimer Club – Special Recognition: Education

The mission of The Hills of Kentucky Dulcimer Club, formed in 1992 with just 10 members, is to entertain and educate the people of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati with the beautiful music of the Appalachian, or mountain, dulcimer (the Kentucky state instrument since 2002) and other traditional mountain instruments. Now with membership of more than 150 musicians ranging in age from the mid-20s to mid-80s, the volunteer group regularly performs at schools, nursing homes, community centers and special events.  Their performances include information about the history, construction and culture of the dulcimer.  The club has an educational focus, offering dulcimer classes and workshops, establishing dulcimer clubs and awarding grants and scholarships to local schools, furthering its goals of inspiring youth about the value of music in their lives and teaching about the role the dulcimer has played in the development of the Appalachian culture.
Past Two-Headed Calf Award recipients are:
Community Service – for extraordinary stewardship and generosity.
2011      Alice Sparks
2012      Mary Middleton (posthumously – received by Clyde Middleton and family)
2013      Oakley and Eva G. Farris
2014      Ralph Drees
2015      Daniel R. Groneck
2016      Normand and Lisa Demarais
History – for contributing to the preservation and understanding of our regional and state history.
2011      Dr. James C. Claypool
2012      Dr. James A. Ramage
2013      John Boh
2014      Jim Reis
2015      Dr. Paul A. Tenkotte
2016      Theodore H.H. Harris
Education – for demonstrating academic excellence and innovative approaches in history, the arts or archaeology.
2011      Judy Sanders, Baker Hunt Foundation
2012      Debbie Brown, Kenton County Schools
2013      T. W. Loring, Ockerman Elementary School
2014      Rick Hulefeld, Children Inc.
2015      Jim R. Hicks, Dixie Heights High School
2016      Raymond G. Hebert, Thomas More College
Special Recognition – for excellence in all three award categories.
2016      Joe Brennan, Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

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