Detail image of Alexis Mathews for June 2023 MAW stories.

Lela Rose dress, $495, at Glasscock/Glasscock Too.

Alexis Mathews: News Reporter, WLKY

Written by Dawn Anderson, Rocko Jerome and Taylor Riley | Photographed on location at the Frazier History Museum by Kylene White | Styled by Christine Fellingham and Melissa Gagliardi | Hair and makeup by Sarah Allen, Kassandra Cazares Aldana, Kayla Greenwell, Breanna Peters and Michaela Reeves

The field narrowed from over 400 nominations to 89 nominees and finally to the 16 award winners you will meet on the following pages. Representing each of their categories with distinction, your 2023 Most Admired Women bring humility, grace and a great capacity for change to their roles as leaders in our community. We asked each of them to reflect on how they got to this moment, what your votes and this award means to them and where their journeys might take them from here.

Creativity and storytelling has always come naturally to Alexis Mathews. Since joining WLKY in 2020, she has been utilizing her skill set and doing what she loves in the community that voted her Most Admired Woman in Media. “I’m just grateful,” she says. “It feels good to be recognized.” Alexis made her way to the commonwealth from her native Chicago when she studied broadcast journalism at the University of Kentucky. She always knew she would be in a career where there was “lights, camera, action” after a childhood in the spotlight as a competitive cheerleader. After hitting the biggest stage at the Cheerleading Worlds competition as a young teen, there was “no ceiling,” she recalls.

“Louisville has been hit with a lot, so I make sure I’m showing up for the community and showing up for myself.”

Now, as a general assignment reporter at the local CBS affiliate, Alexis says she is “grateful to be in a position that has an impact.” Since the pandemic, she has been reporting on hard-hitting and sensitive topics in the Louisville community. “In this field, there is a balance between the responsibility of reporting and taking care of my mental health,” she says. “Louisville has been hit with a lot, so I make sure I’m showing up for the community and showing up for myself.” The reporter gives all credit to God and her supportive WLKY family: “At the end of the day, if I’ve taken care of myself and taken care of the community, I’m winning the battle.”

Alexis says the achievement she is most proud of is her role as a daughter. Her mother was diagnosed twice with cancer in the past two years, which put life into perspective for Alexis–she “never thought” she would be a caretaker at 27 but she found herself traveling back and forth home to hold her mother’s hand through the process. “My greatest accomplishment was being able to be caring in that way and to lift her up as she always did for me,” she says. This year, Alexis’ mother is cancer-free after her battle with both breast and colon cancer.

Alexis’ goal after six years of reporting remains the same: being a role model for young African-American women in the industry. “When a woman looks at me and says ‘my daughter looks up to you,’ it keeps me going,” she says. “I have a bigger purpose and role.” For the first time in her career, Alexis says she is enjoying life and staying in the moment. She hopes to sit still and enjoy the fruits of her labor. “Louisville has given me so much,” she says. “My younger self could never have imagined.” — Dawn Anderson