Charliese B. Lewis

Executive Director,  Louisville Literary Arts

Embracing a dedication to amplifying voices and empowering individuals, Charliese B. Lewis has made a significant impact through her extensive work in education and the literary arts. With degrees in English/Education, Journalism, and Higher Education, she has navigated a multifaceted career, thriving as an educator, author, editor, podcaster, and writing coach. Her passion for service is evident in every role she undertakes.

At Fayette County Public Schools, she serves as a Family and Community Engagement Liaison, advocating tirelessly for children and families. Her work in this capacity demonstrates her unwavering commitment to making a difference in the community. Completing her three-year tenure as the Executive Director of Louisville Literary Arts on June 30th, she brought much-needed attention and support to the literary scene, fostering a vibrant community of writers and readers. Recently, she has shifted her focus to youth literacy and literary arts programming, developing the next generation of writers and readers.

Charliese’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through her leadership at Robert and Charliese Lewis Ministries Inc., home of The ‘After Church’ Experience, which she co-founded with her husband. Through this platform, she has published books, produced a radio show and podcast, and expanded into assisting clients with self-publishing and media production. Her ability to juggle multiple responsibilities while excelling in each one is truly remarkable.

Her contributions extend to The Lextropolis Magazine, where she writes compelling pieces that explore the unique experiences of BIPOC women. Her work as a contributing writer not only highlights important voices but also enriches the literary landscape with diverse perspectives.

Described by her nominators as an excellent businesswoman, strong leader, and compassionate humanitarian, Charliese pours her heart into everything she does. Her tireless advocacy for children, her dedication to her community, and her passion for the literary arts make her a deserving recipient of this recognition.

Charliese B. Lewis’s inspiring journey and significant contributions to the arts and education underscore her well-deserved recognition in the Most Admired Woman Awards. Her relentless efforts and compassionate leadership continue to leave a lasting impact on all who have the privilege of working with her.


Erika Ganong

Vice President, National Parkinsons Institute

Erika Ganong’s journey into advocacy for neurological wellness is as personal as it is professional. Diagnosed with essential tremor disorder and cervical dystonia at a young age, she transformed her challenges into a mission of support and empowerment. Her expertise in nonprofit management and health and human performance drives her impactful initiatives at the National Parkinson’s Institute, where she serves as Vice President.

Her commitment to neurological wellness extends beyond the boardroom. As a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Coach, Erika leads fitness programs specifically designed for individuals with movement disorders. Her hands-on approach includes leading Rock Steady Boxing classes and organizing significant events like the Red Tulip Gala, reflecting her dedication to enhancing the quality of life for those affected by neurological conditions.

Erika’s volunteer work is equally impressive. She founded Shaking Up Awareness to raise awareness of essential tremors and has been instrumental in expanding support group offerings to cater to various demographics. Her initiative and leadership are evident in her efforts to provide free exercise classes, support groups, and other activities through the National Parkinson’s Institute.

Beyond her professional and volunteer roles, Erika’s dedication to health and fitness is showcased through her participation in four bodybuilding competitions. Her resilience and determination inspire others to pursue their goals despite the challenges posed by neurological disorders.

Erika’s nominators describe her as a compassionate humanitarian, a strong leader, and an excellent businesswoman. Her personal experiences with neurological conditions fuel her empathy and drive, making her an exceptional advocate for those she serves. Her unwavering dedication and visionary approach ensure that individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders receive the support and resources they need.

As she prepares for upcoming fundraising and awareness events, including a walk at Waterfront Park and the Red Tulip Gala, Erika Ganong continues to inspire and lead, making a profound impact on the lives of many. Her work embodies the spirit of the Most Admired Woman of the Year 2024 in the Athletics & Fitness category.


Carmellia Jackson-Hurley

Executive Director, Louisville Girls  Leadership

Inspiring and uplifting others to reach their fullest potential, Carmellia Jackson-Hurley leads Louisville Girls Leadership as its Executive Director and serves as a therapist and owner of Haus of Sol, a private mental health practice. Her multifaceted career reflects her deep commitment to social service and community building. With a wealth of experience in the political arena, she focuses on forging relationships and connecting individuals to foster a supportive community.

Her accolades speak volumes about her dedication and impact. Carmellia has received numerous awards, including a Kentucky Colonels designation, Master of Social Work Student of the Year in 2021, and a Congressional Leadership Award. She has also been recognized twice as a nominee for Today’s Woman Most Admired Awards and 40 Under 40. These honors highlight her relentless efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of those around her.

Carmellia’s passion for empowering young women in the Louisville community is evident through her work. She educates them on healthy lifestyles and self-empowerment while balancing her responsibilities as a licensed therapist and mother of two. Her influence extends beyond professional boundaries, touching the hearts and lives of many who regard her as a mentor and role model.

Her nominators describe her as the most inspiring and kind woman they have ever met. Many recall her as a second mother during their high school years, a testament to her nurturing and supportive nature. Carmellia’s ability to connect on a personal level and provide guidance has left an indelible mark on those she has mentored.

Carmellia Jackson-Hurley’s extraordinary dedication to community service, coupled with her professional achievements and compassionate spirit, makes her a shining example of leadership and sisterhood. Her work continues to inspire and empower, creating a ripple effect that benefits countless individuals. Recognized for her incredible hard work and commitment, she truly deserves the honor of being named Most Admired Woman in the Community & Sisterhood category for 2024.


Talley Russell

Director, Government Affairs, Humana

As the Director of Government Affairs for Humana, Talley Russell holds a unique position at the crossroads of business, health, government, and community. Her role is crucial in ensuring that Humana’s members and associates have a strong voice in Metro Hall and the Kentucky State Capitol. Talley’s expertise in nonprofit management and health policy, combined with her passion for equity and community building, drives her impactful initiatives across Kentucky and Indiana.

Her professional journey includes roles at NASCEND, where she improved outcomes for infants affected by maternal substance use, and at Norton Healthcare and Humana, where she advanced through various government relations positions. Talley’s dedication to public service is evident in her extensive board memberships, including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Family Scholar House, and the Kentucky Advisory Council for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She is also active in numerous health committees, such as GLI’s Policy and Health Committees and the KY Chamber’s Health Committee.

Talley’s leadership and advocacy have been recognized through several accolades, including being named a Louisville Business First Enterprising Woman and a Top 10 Director of Government Affairs by Government Contract Review Magazine. Her commitment to the Commonwealth’s health agenda and her ability to connect and support various organizations reflect her dedication to making a positive impact.

Her personal life is equally inspiring. As a lifelong Louisvillian, Talley is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Louisville, while balancing her professional responsibilities and community service. She is also deeply committed to her family, including her husband Clelland, owner of The Window Ninjas and author of “Roofing Tall Tales,” and their daughter Annica, a student at Meredith Dunn School.

Described by her nominators as a beacon of positivity and a champion for the community, Talley’s social media presence is filled with encouragement, connections, and celebrations of sisterhood. Her ability to juggle multiple commitments while maintaining a focus on empowering others is truly remarkable.

Talley Russell’s multifaceted contributions and unwavering dedication to her community, profession, and family make her an exemplary candidate for the Most Admired Woman of the Year 2024 in the Corporate Leadership category. Her work continues to inspire and create lasting impacts on those she serves.


Dr. Kara J. Ammerman

Echo Trail Middle School Principal

Dedicated to public education, Dr. Kara J. Ammerman has crafted a career focused on student achievement and creating a sense of belonging. Her innovative methods involve setting high behavior and academic standards, ensuring students feel valued. In addition, Dr. Ammerman emphasizes clear communication, consistent practices, and collaboration with parents and the community. Since joining JCPS in 2008, Dr. Ammerman has served in multiple roles, including teacher, assistant principal, assistant director in Student Relations, and head of the first Backpack League program

Her leadership was crucial in opening Echo Trail Middle School, a new addition to JCPS, this past fall. Known for her creative thinking, Dr. Ammerman builds environments where students excel. Her approach makes students active participants in shaping school culture and exploring their interests.

As a proud wife and mother of three children in Jefferson County Public Schools, Kara manages her professional and personal life with grace. Her children participate in various activities and sports, reflecting the active community she supports.

Dr. Ammerman’s tenure at Crosby Middle School since 2019 highlighted her commitment to racial equity and high standards for behavior and academics. Named JCPS Middle School Principal of the Year in 2021, she brings dedication and experience to her new role at Echo Trail.

Colleagues and students alike attest to her inspiring and steadfast dedication. Dr. Kara J. Ammerman’s commitment to excellence makes her a standout in the Education category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024.


Vy Truong

Founder/CEO/Pharmacist-in-charge, Kentucky Pharmacy

Balancing the roles of motherhood, healthcare professional, and entrepreneur, Vy Truong exemplifies dedication and resilience. As a Vietnamese immigrant who came to America at 17, she carried a dream of making a difference through accessible healthcare. This journey led her to founding Kentucky Pharmacy, where she passionately advocates for health equity. Vy’s days are filled with the joys and challenges of raising three energetic boys while steering her business toward success.

At Kentucky Pharmacy, Vy is more than a CEO and founder; she is a visionary committed to ensuring every individual receives the care and attention they deserve. Her story is one of authenticity, where the raw, unfiltered truth of juggling bedtime stories with boardroom meetings, and pediatric check-ups with business strategy sessions, shines through. It’s messy and chaotic, yet incredibly rewarding.

Her tenure in the healthcare field spans over 15 years, transforming from a pharmacy technician to pharmacist, manager, and now a pioneering leader. Vy’s remarkable journey showcases her unwavering dedication to improving healthcare accessibility, particularly for underrepresented groups.

Beyond her professional achievements, Vy is a nurturing and multifaceted modern woman. As a mother of three young boys, she expertly balances her career demands with motherhood responsibilities. Vy ensures her children’s holistic development by involving them in various extracurricular activities, including church school, swimming, martial arts, soccer, Kumon, and Russian math.

Her commitment extends to her home, where she brings the warmth of her heritage into her family’s lives through cooking traditional Vietnamese cuisine. This not only nourishes her family but also enriches their cultural understanding. As a wife, she exemplifies care, support, and love, forming the backbone of her family with grace and dedication.

Vy Truong’s ability to lead with empathy, innovate in her field, and manage a thriving household while maintaining a deep connection to her roots and community sets her apart. Her inspiring journey of personal and professional dedication makes her a standout candidate for the Most Admired Woman of the Year 2024 in the Entrepreneurship category.


Ashley Duncan

Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, Republic Bank and Trust

A trailblazer in diversity and inclusion, Ashley N. Duncan has revolutionized the fields of transit, public education, and banking by championing many firsts. Her career began as the first Director of Diversity and Inclusion for TARC, setting the stage for her impactful journey. She then became the inaugural Diversity Hiring Specialist at Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), where she laid the groundwork for more inclusive hiring practices. Currently, as the Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at Republic Bank, Ashley has implemented groundbreaking initiatives such as the creation of the MasterCard True Name debit card, the introduction of the annual Juneteenth celebration, and the comprehensive inclusion and diversity training across the organization’s footprint.

Ashley’s innovative efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized as a Business First Forty Under 40 Honoree, a NFocus Magazine New Face of Philanthropy, a MASS Transit Forty Under 40 Honoree, and a 2024 YMCA Black Achiever of the Year. Her commitment to fostering a more inclusive community extends beyond her professional role. She is a founding member of the Western Kentucky University Alumni Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and currently serves as the Board Chair for Metro United Way. Additionally, Ashley contributes her expertise to the boards of Canopy, Parks Alliance, the University of Louisville Chief Diversity Officer Advisory Board, and the American Banking Association National DEI Council. She is also actively involved in her daughters’ Parent Teacher Association, emphasizing her dedication to inclusivity in education.

Ashley was bestowed the honor of Kentucky Colonel in 2015, recognizing her exceptional contributions to the state. She holds a Master of Science in Business Communication from Spalding University and attended Western Kentucky University. Her academic background and professional achievements highlight her dedication to continuous learning and growth.

Married to Desmond Duncan and a devoted mother to three children, Mckinley, Spencer, and Emery, Ashley seamlessly balances her family life with her professional commitments. Her journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication to driving positive change within her community and beyond, making her a deserving recipient of the Equity Champion Award.


Arabella Bowens, MD

Family Medicine Physician

Rooted in the vibrant west end of Louisville, Dr. Arabella Bowens has forged a path of perseverance and determination in the field of medicine. Her journey began with a calling to medicine at a young age, leading her to pursue undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Louisville. She further honed her skills during her Family Practice Residency at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

For over two decades, Dr. Bowens has served as a Family Medicine Physician for the federal government in Louisville, focusing on providing care for veterans. Her dedication to patient care is complemented by active membership in several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), Falls City Medical Society (FCMS), American Medical Association (AMA), and African American Women Physicians. As a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she exemplifies a commitment to service and community.

Dr. Bowens is passionate about making a meaningful impact in the lives of her patients and the broader community. She strives to uphold the highest standards of patient care and contribute positively to the field of medicine every day. Her colleagues and patients describe her as a doctor who genuinely cares, often helping others quietly and expecting nothing in return. She embodies humility and authenticity, always ready to lend a hand while remaining active in her sorority.

Her dedication extends beyond the clinic, as she balances her professional responsibilities with a commitment to community service. Dr. Arabella Bowens’ unwavering dedication to her patients, her profession, and her community makes her a standout candidate in the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story of resilience and service is an inspiration, showcasing the profound impact one individual can have on the lives of many.


Kimberly Greenwell

Owner and host, My Southern Home Television

Combining unmatched media savvy with a passion for bringing aspirational homes to life, Kimberly Greenwell has made a significant impact through her work. As the host of the TV show “My Southern Home,” Kimberly educates homebuyers on renovation and building from the ground up, introducing viewers to trusted professionals such as architects, contractors, realtors, and interior designers.

Her journey in media began in high school, competing nationally in marketing competitions. Her love for homes grew while working as a Southern Belle tour guide during college. Earning a degree in broadcasting led her to a job with local TV station WAVE 3, where she worked for seven years as an advertising account executive. Kimberly’s media expertise expanded as she joined Borrell Associates, working with newspapers and radio stations alongside her TV experience.

In 2009, Kimberly opened her media consulting firm, KAG Media Consulting, LLC. Her involvement in home building and remodeling deepened when she took on PR for the BIA of Greater Louisville’s Homearama event. This experience led to her hosting the TV show “Your Kentuckiana Home” and later creating her own show, “My Southern Home with Kimberly Greenwell,” in 2017. Through her show, podcast, and My Southern Home University, she educates viewers and prevents DIY renovation mishaps.

Kimberly’s dedication extends beyond media. She is an active member of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee and the BIA of Greater Louisville, where she received the Best New Concept in Marketing President’s Award. She also partners with charity organizations like Habitat for Humanity, working to make homeownership attainable for underprivileged families.

Kimberly’s passion for her work and her community shines through in every endeavor. As a savvy entrepreneur, she represents Southern grace and style, using her platform to amplify local businesses and support homeowners. Her commitment to excellence makes her a standout in the Home & Garden category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story of perseverance, innovation, and community impact is truly inspiring.


Elizabeth McCall

Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve,  Woodford Reserve/Brown-Forman

As the Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve, Elizabeth McCall represents the epitome of expertise and dedication in the world of bourbon. A Certified Specialist of Spirits, Elizabeth is the second generation of her family to work in the bourbon industry, following in the footsteps of her mother, who was a production manager for Seagrams Distillery Co. This deep-rooted connection to bourbon, combined with her extensive knowledge and passion, has allowed Elizabeth to carve out a distinguished career.

Elizabeth holds a master’s degree from the University of Louisville and has been a vital member of Brown-Forman’s Global Production Team for a decade. Her journey within Brown-Forman has been marked by her commitment to maintaining the high quality of Woodford Reserve while continuously pushing the envelope with innovation. As Master Distiller, she works closely with the distillery team to ensure that every bottle of Woodford Reserve embodies the excellence and tradition for which the brand is known.

Elizabeth’s role goes beyond the technical aspects of distillation. She is a visionary leader who inspires her team to explore new possibilities and create exceptional bourbon experiences. Her innovative approach and dedication to her craft have earned her respect and admiration within the industry. Under her guidance, Woodford Reserve continues to thrive, setting new standards in the world of bourbon.

Outside of her professional achievements, Elizabeth leads a fulfilling personal life. She enjoys riding horses, a passion that offers her a sense of freedom and connection to nature. Spending quality time with her husband, Matt McCall, their two children, Winnie and Ferris, and their dog, Beasley, is a priority for her. This balance between her professional and personal life showcases her ability to excel in all areas, making her a true role model.

Elizabeth McCall’s story is one of dedication, innovation, and leadership. Her contributions to Woodford Reserve and the broader bourbon industry are significant, and her influence continues to grow. In recognition of her outstanding achievements and her role in elevating the hospitality category, Elizabeth is honored for her remarkable work as Master Distiller. Her journey is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance, inspiring others to pursue excellence in their own endeavors.


Maggie Menderski

Features Columnist, The Courier Journal

Exploring the unique, wonderful, and occasionally quirky aspects of Kentucky, Louisville, and Southern Indiana, Maggie Menderski has been a vital part of The Courier Journal since March 2018. Her stories bring a bright spot to the increasingly chaotic news cycle, taking readers on adventures like searching for a town called “Love,” tracking down the last surviving daughter of Secretariat, or finding the little-known Eastern Kentucky church camp where a Backstreet Boy grew up.

Maggie is an incredibly flexible news reporter, adept at bringing a narrative approach to major breaking news situations. Over her six years at The Courier Journal, she has covered significant events, including the Western Kentucky tornadoes in 2021, historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky in 2022, and the Old National Bank mass shooting in 2023. Her ability to handle diverse stories with depth and compassion has made her an invaluable asset to the publication.

A St. Louis native, Maggie earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May 2011. Her career is decorated with national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Society for Features Journalism, alongside more than 40 state and regional honors. Maggie and her husband own a house in Louisville’s Germantown neighborhood, proudly calling Louisville their adopted home.

Maggie’s nominators describe her as a serious journalist who genuinely cares about the people she interviews and the stories she tells. Her award-winning work is often syndicated throughout Gannett’s network of newspapers nationwide, highlighting her exceptional talent and dedication. Maggie Menderski’s commitment to her craft and her community makes her an outstanding candidate in the Media category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her storytelling brings joy, insight, and a deeper understanding of the region’s unique culture.


Ashley M. Parrott

Program Officer,  James Graham Brown Foundation

Ashley Parrott has dedicated over 15 years to public policy, philanthropy, communications, and community engagement, making significant contributions to each field. As the current Program Officer at the James Graham Brown Foundation, she oversees a grantmaking that supports nonprofits focused on community and economic prosperity in West Louisville and across Kentucky. Her impactful career includes serving as policy director to Mayor Greg Fischer, where she managed policy initiatives, grants, and nonprofit/philanthropic partnerships for Louisville Metro Government. She also led critical fundraising strategies for education, health, economic development, public safety, and equity initiatives.

Ashley’s leadership extends to her previous roles as legislative director at the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and deputy policy advisor to Governor Steve Beshear. Her dedication to improving community life is evident through her involvement as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, a former commissioner on the Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission, and co-founder of the New Leaders Council Kentucky Chapter. Her exceptional work has earned her numerous accolades, including the 2016 Louisville Business First 40 under 40 award and selection for Leadership Louisville’s Bingham Fellows program.

Ashley’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Xavier University and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Louisville. Her nominators describe her as one of the kindest people they have met, consistently working to make a difference in her community. She is passionate about youth programs and fostering a safe environment where everyone can thrive.

Her colleagues praise her for being an intelligent, compassionate, and hardworking leader who brings joy to all she works with. Ashley is an invaluable connector between nonprofits and monetary resources, particularly through her work with the James Graham Brown Foundation. She also plays a critical role in the Donors Forum of Kentuckiana, a consortium of foundations with over $3 billion in assets, where she is a thought leader and great partner.

In summary, Ashley Parrott’s unwavering commitment to community improvement, her strong work ethic, and her ability to bring people together make her an outstanding candidate for the Most Admired Woman Award.


Dr. Paula McCraney

Councilwoman, Louisville Metro Council

Elected in 2018 to the Louisville Metro Council for District 7, Paula McCraney became the first African American and first Democrat elected in her district, earning re-election in 2023. Her extensive background in banking, human resources, public relations, and government brings over 40 years of combined experience to her role.

Her educational journey is impressive, culminating in a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Spalding University in 2023. Along the way, she earned a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Paula’s commitment to lifelong learning includes participation in programs like Focus Louisville, Leadership Louisville, the Bingham Fellows Program, and the Courier-Journal Newspaper Forum Fellowship. In 2020, she graduated from Leadership Kentucky, receiving the prestigious Lisa Murrell Award.

Legislative achievements are a hallmark of her tenure. Paula co-sponsored the ban on ‘No-Knock’ Search Warrants, helped create the Commission for Persons with Disabilities, and architected the Civilian Review and Accountability Board ordinance. She also introduced the first Link law in Kentucky, addressing the connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse.

Her dedication extends beyond her legislative work. Paula has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Community Investment Team of the Metro United Way, the Executive Team of Simmons College of Kentucky, and the Executive Institute for the Center for Women and Families. Her leadership roles include presidencies of the Business and Professional Women/River City organization, the Windhurst Acres Homeowners Association, and the National Council of Negro Women/Louisville Section.

Recognized for her contributions, Paula has received numerous accolades, including the Woman of the Year Award from the Business and Professional Women/River City, the Business and Professional Award from the Louisville Defender Newspaper, and the Black History Month Community Service Award from the Louisville Metro Council. She is also a recipient of the Kentucky Colonel and an Honorary Captain of the Belle of Louisville.

Married for 37 years to Billy McCraney, they have two adult sons. Paula enjoys reading, writing, and arithmetic, reflecting her love for lifelong learning and community service. Her strategic thinking, resilience, and commitment to her community make her an exceptional candidate in the Non-Profit Leadership category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story is one of overcoming challenges and making impactful contributions to her community.


Yamilca Rodriguez

CEO & Founder, Bespoke Branding

In the world of branding, few are as celebrated as Yamilca Rodriguez, known for her expertise as a Brand Therapist. With a remarkable career that includes being a Former Brand Leader at Procter & Gamble, she has shaped successful billion-dollar brands like Olay, Always, and Crest. Her corporate achievements are impressive, but Yamilca’s influence extends far beyond the boardroom.

A captivating speaker, Yamilca has graced the stage of TEDx and the Amazon Prime Speak-Up series, sharing her insights and expertise with diverse audiences. As an author, her book “Brand Therapist” delves into the creation of compelling and impactful personal brands for clients, products, services, and organizations. Her work has garnered attention from notable publications such as Forbes Magazine, The Voice-Tribune, The Courier-Journal, Today’s Woman, and Style Blueprint.

Yamilca is the CEO and Founder of Louisville Bespoke, where she creates and executes personal brands cohesively and professionally. Her boutique agency empowers women to discover their authentic selves, develop personal brands, and amplify their businesses. Through her work, Yamilca has helped numerous individuals and organizations achieve their branding goals, making a significant impact in the field.

Recognized for her innovative approach and dedication to helping others, Yamilca’s influence as a brand strategist and mentor continues to grow. Her unique ability to blend creativity with strategic thinking has made her a sought-after expert in the industry. By empowering women and businesses to achieve their full potential, Yamilca Rodriguez is not just shaping brands but also inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.

Her commitment to excellence and passion for branding make Yamilca Rodriguez a standout candidate in the Social Influencers category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story is one of innovation, empowerment, and remarkable achievement in the world of branding.


Kaitlyn Hubert

Owner, Pelo West

A multi-time entrepreneur, passionate creator, and inspiring educator in the hair care, beauty, and spa industries, Kaitlyn Hubert is making waves with her innovative approach. She is the owner of Pelo West, an urban luxury spa set to open in December 2023 on the 17th floor of the historic Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. This new venture marks Kaitlyn’s third spa and salon location in Kentucky, with Pelo Beauty Collective already established in Middletown and Lexington.

ObAs a master cosmetologist, Kaitlyn gained invaluable experience working in high-end salons in New York City and Los Angeles. This experience shaped her vision, enabling her to bring fresh perspectives to her spas and salons in Kentucky. In 2021, she returned to her hometown to open Pelo Middletown, demonstrating her commitment to elevating the local beauty industry. Additionally, Kaitlyn co-owns Golden Aesthetic Atelier, a respected aesthetics practice with locations in Louisville and Lexington.

Her 15 years as a stylist have equipped Kaitlyn with the knowledge to create two hair care product lines, Tomboy Hair Care launched in 2018 and Urban Wild Hair in 2023. These salon-quality products are sold online and through select salons, including all Pelo Beauty Collective locations. Kaitlyn’s dedication to quality and innovation has positioned her as a trend-setting face of style and beauty, with her robust @kaitlyn_hubert social media account boasting over 140,000 followers.

Kaitlyn’s vast experience and international influence continue to inspire and shape the hair care and beauty industry in Kentucky. Her entrepreneurial spirit, combined with her passion for education and creativity, makes her a standout in the Style category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story of success and innovation is a testament to her impact and dedication to the field.


Marva J Savage

Board Member & Mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana

With over five years of nursing experience, a dedicated healthcare professional at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital also channels her passion into volunteering and mentorship. Marva Savage, a member of the IV Team, truly enjoys her profession but finds her deepest fulfillment in shaping the next generation. Witnessing firsthand the positive impact Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has had on her two youngest children, Marva seized the opportunity to join the board at BBBS to influence the lives of children on a larger scale. Guided by the philosophy that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” Marva dedicates herself to making a difference in her community.

Marva’s journey to nursing is inspiring. A single mother of three, including a recent graduate from Northern Kentucky University and another full-time college student, she initially excelled in a career in pharmaceutical sales before deciding to reinvent herself. Returning to school to earn her nursing degree, she discovered a new passion and fulfilling career. Her dedication to continuous learning and improvement in her field is evident as she constantly seeks ways to enhance her skills and knowledge.

Beyond her professional life, Marva’s commitment to her community is unwavering. As a board member and mentor for BBBS, she actively volunteers and engages in various nonprofit activities, demonstrating her dedication to helping others. She also plays a significant role in caring for her elderly parents, ensuring their health and well-being.

Marva’s impact extends beyond her immediate family and professional circles, touching the lives of many in her community. Her selflessness and dedication to helping others make her a standout candidate in the Volunteer category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story of reinvention, service, and unwavering commitment to her community is truly inspiring.



Megan Porter

Employee Engagement & Retention Manager, UofL Health

Driven by a passion for continuous learning and community impact, a dedicated professional has made remarkable strides in the healthcare field. Megan Porter started her journey at Spalding University, earning a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2010. By 2012, she was promoted to Director of Rehab. Her commitment to personal and professional growth led her to obtain a Master’s in Health Care Administration from Grand Canyon University in 2017.

During the pandemic, Megan’s career took a pivotal turn as she engaged in full-time PRN work at UofL Health, contributing significantly at the Mary & Elizabeth COVID Vaccine Clinic. Her exemplary work in process improvement and community outreach opened doors for her to join the Patient Experience team at UofL Health, eventually becoming the Patient Experience Manager. Her dedication to enhancing patient and employee experiences led to her current role on the Organizational Development, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) Team as one of the Learning & Development Program Managers.

Megan’s professional journey is complemented by her lifelong commitment to community service. From raising funds for Crusade for Children as a child to advocating for the un-housed population in Louisville, she has always sought to make a difference. Her advocacy work inspired the creation of Men of Faith, LLC, a non-profit supporting the un-housed.

Her influence extends to supporting her daughter’s non-profit, Kalia’s Kloset, which provides activities and support to children in hospitals, raising over $30,000 and partnering with organizations like Blessings in a Backpack. Megan’s dedication to mental health advocacy led her to start the “Stronger Together” Facebook group, offering support and resources to families facing similar challenges.

Megan’s commitment to service is also reflected in her volunteer work, from photography fundraisers to providing mentorship and support to children in need. Recognized with the Extraordinary Treasure in Our Community Award in 2018, and as a Kentucky Colonel, Megan’s belief in investing in the community is evident in all she does. She states, “Helping someone who cannot help you back is one of the most rewarding things you can do.”

Her relentless dedication to improving patient and employee experiences, combined with her extensive volunteer work and advocacy, makes Megan Porter a deserving candidate in the Young Executives category for the Most Admired Woman Awards 2024. Her story of perseverance, service, and impact on the community is truly inspiring.