A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Newsmaker Awards go to these notable headliners: Boehne, Finan, Flora, Spaulding, Whitaker

Staff report

Five prominent Northern Kentuckians have been named Northern Kentucky Tribune Newsmakers and will be honored at an annual event on October 30.

The NKyTribune’s annual community celebration will be held at Receptions in Erlanger, starting at 11:30 a.m. for the celebration and luncheon that will conclude by 1:45 p.m.

The honorees are:


Rich Boehne

Rich Boehne

Boehne, who lives in Newport, is retired CEO of the E.W. Scripps Company and currently chair of the board. He grew up in NKY, graduated from Highlands High School, is a graduate and major supporter of Northern Kentucky University, and is a distinguished philanthropist to NKY causes. He started with Scripps as a reporter (or in high school, selling subscriptions to the Cincinnati Post) and worked his way up and into corporate leadership. He was named president and CEO in 2008 and chairman of the board in 2013. He has served with distinction on the board of NKU, is a director of Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank, served as vice-chair of Associated Press, and has been inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. He is a trustee of the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky. Among his most recent philanthropic gestures was a $1 million commitment made with his wife, Lisa, to the LIFT scholarships to benefit NKU students. The Boehne family already has the Boehne Family First Generation Scholarship at NKU. He and Lisa also own a farm in Morning View.


Karen Finan

Finan is President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance, a new initiative to mobilize energy and resources around health, education, job growth and community vibrancy in NKY. The Alliance is exploring a new model to align the regional community, business leaders and resources. It is an evolution from Forward Quest, Vision 2015 and Skyward and from tactical management to strategic leadership and influence. In addition, Finan took on an interim role this past year as president of the NKY Tri-ED during the search for a new president. She has a reputation for getting things done. Finan has been responsible for national marketing and business development for Duke Realty Corporation, senior vice president for Tri-ED, and a partner at Gilman Partners where she built a talent recruiting practice in real estate and economic development. She currently chairs the Northern Kentucky Education Council and Aviatra Accelerators. She is past chair at Redwood and a board member of Notre Dame Academy.


Dr. Doug Flora

Dr. Doug Flora

Flora is a dedicated physician and the region’s #1 enemy of cancer, a leading cause of deaths in NKY. He is bringing his dedication to eradicating cancer to heading the development of St. Elizabeth’s new cancer center. Popular as a patient-focused physician, Flora is learning the other side of medicine as he embraces the fundraising and community development skills it takes to build a state-of-the-art, $130 million, 250,000 square foot facility. He was born and grew up in Cincinnati, knowing early on that he wanted to be a doctor. He graduated from Ohio State University medical school in 1999 and joined St. Elizabeth as an oncologist in 2005. He became Executive Medical Director of Oncology Services and is a former member of the board of trustees. He is on the boards of Cancer FamilyCare and the Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation. He and his wife have three children and enjoy international travel. These days he is laser-focused on planning and implementation of high-quality cancer care, clinical trials, and research at St. Elizabeth’s new cancer center which will open next year.


David Spaulding

As the Vice President and General Manager for Turner Construction, David is a leader of the nation’s top general contracting company. His teams have built and are actively building some of the most significant and transformative projects in the region, including the St. Elizabeth Cancer Care Center, Northern Kentucky University’s Health Innovation Center and College for Informatics, Kenton County’s new Administration campus, and FC Cincinnati just to name a few. He is a devoted community leader and builder, motivated by the positive change that is magnified through relationships and partnerships. He is known for going the extra mile. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law, Spaulding serves on the NKY Chamber’s executive board, as a commissioner at the NKY Water District, as a trustee of the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation, the Chase Foundation, the Minority Business Accelerator, the Cincinnati Art Museum and others. He and his wife Kelly are lifelong Northern Kentucky residents and have three children.


Rhonda Whitaker

Rhonda Whitaker

Whitaker is vice president, community relations, for Duke Energy and is past chair of the NKY Chamber of Commerce. Active in the NKY Chamber for more than 15 years, she was instrumental in developing GROW NKY, a strategic initiative designed to grow, attract and retain a globally competitive workforce. She grew up in Franklin, Ohio, and had many family reunions in Pendleton Country, and is making NKY her home. A graduate of Miami University, she has a passion for community service, networking, and collaboration, considering herself a “connector” for solving problems. She was the first woman to head the NKY United Way Campaign in 2011, co-chaired the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition, started Duke Energy’s Urban Revitalization Initiative and chaired ti for five years, earned the Outstanding Woman of NKY Award, the A.D. Albright Outstanding Business Leader Award, graduated from Leadership Kentucky and Leadership Northern Kentucky. Driven to give back, Whitaker is always a willing volunteer to a good cause.

“The NKyTribune’s Newsmaker awards are going to incredible individuals who have dominated our headlines this past year,” said Judy Clabes, editor and publisher. “They are at the tops of their fields, are people of character and values, love the community – and find myriad ways to give back and make the community a better place.

“We hope you’ll join us as we honor them – and for a good time at our annual community celebration luncheon. This is the Trib’s public fundraising event of the year and helps us sustain our continued public service to Northern Kentucky.”

The event will include a NonProfit showcase and a new twist on a silent auction.

Individual tickets are $65 and table sponsorships are $1000 – $10,000. Click here to make your reservations.

Reservations can also be mailed to: NKyTribune, 644 Braddock Ct., Edgewood, KY. 41017 Checks payable to NKyTribune.

Early sponsors are St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Turner Construction, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Northern Kentucky University.

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