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Zepeda, Rider, Hammons to be recognized for service during Kentucky Summit on Philanthropy


Susan Zepeda of Louisville, Al Rider of Elizabethtown and Mike Hammons of Northern Kentucky will be recognized for extraordinary service at the eighth annual Kentucky Summit on Philanthropy next week in Lexington.

They will be presented with the prestigious Commonwealth Award during the Summit’s luncheon program on Sept. 1. The Summit convenes at the Griffin Gate Marriott on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

“The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative takes pride in recognizing special individuals and organizations who so selflessly give back in ways that improve the quality of life for our state,” said Joe Clabes, KPI president.

The awards luncheon, sponsored by Kosair Charities, will be held at noon on Thursday and includes the Summit’s keynote address from Dr. Loretta Mester, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative established the Commonwealth Award to honor individuals or organizations whose generosity has improved the lives of their fellow citizens and their communities. This year’s honorees join a distinguished group of past recipients that include Will Ziegler of the Durr Foundation, Kathy Merchant, now retired, of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Randy Coe, president of Kosair Charities, Jean Hale, president and CEO of Community Trust Bancorp, and Christy Brown of Louisville.

A list of past recipients and more information about the 2016 Summit on Philanthropy can be found at the KPI website.

Online registration is also available for the full Summit or for ticket to the Commonwealth Award luncheon only.

Mike Hammons

Hammons headed the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative in its infancy, leading it to prominence as an advocate for private, strategic philanthropic investment in Kentucky. He lead the process that resulted in the transformational 2010 Transfer of Wealth Kentucky report that showed how a game-changing $707 billion would move from one generation to another in the state over a 50 year period.

Mike Hammons

Mike Hammons

That report got attention across the state, and subsequently the state legislature unanimously passed the Endow Kentucky Commission and a tax credit that has resulted in multi-millions of new endowed funds established in certified community foundations across the state. It also caused the creation of new community foundations in the state and has leveraged millions of dollars for public-good projects in every county.

A life-long Northern Kentucky from a family of 10 children, Hammons joined Children, Inc. as Director of Advocacy in 2011. He leads efforts to increase public awareness of and support for young children. He also serves as director of Kentucky’s Voice for Early Childhood, the organization’s online advocacy network.

Hammons served as president of Vision 2015 (now Skyward) and its predecessor, Forward Quest, before joining KPI. In that position, he helped build broad-based support for regional strategic planning. The plans set ambitious goals to improve the economic vitality and quality of life of the region.

He served in the Brereton Jones administration from 1991-1996 initially making appointments to gubernatorial boards and commissions. He also worked on health care and insurance reform legislation and helped lead efforts to implement it.

From 1977-1991, Mike practiced law in Covington.

He currently serves as board chair for the Kentucky Historical Society.

Mike and his wife, Kit, have three children, the oldest is Katie Scheper, who previously taught at Treasure House and now is a busy mom of four. Daughter Tess is a communications analyst for the City of Cincinnati, and son John works in the Housing Department of the City of Covington.

Susan Zepeda

Susan Zepeda is President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a major influencer on health issues in the state. The Foundation was created in 2001 when Anthem acquired Blue Cross Blue Shield and the state required that some of the proceeds of the sale of the tax-exempt BCBS go to a foundation whose mission is to address the unmet healthcare needs of Kentuckians and the issues surrounding that — policy and systems, health disparities, health equity and more.

Susan Zepeda

Susan Zepeda

As CEO, Zepeda has successfully led the Foundation to accomplish this mission and has been the voice of authority on healthcare issues and policy in the state.

Before joining the Foundation in 2005, she was the first CEO of The HealthCare Foundation for Orange County (1999-2005), and prior to that served as Director of the San Luis Obispo County (CA) Health Agency and CEO of that County’s General Hospital. Earlier in her career she was Executive Director of a consortium of nonprofit healthcare providers in Tucson, Arizona.

Zepeda is a member of the Boards of the Kentucky Institute of Medicine and the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Prior Board and civic service has included the Boards of Grantmakers in Health (Chair, Terence Keenan Award; Member, Finance Committee), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (Chair, Environmental Health Task Force); County Health Executives Association (Vice President and Chair, Legislative Committee); Hospital Council of the Central Coast (Chair); Rotary Club (Club President, 2001, 2004); and service as a City Planning Commissioner. She holds degrees from Brown University, University of Arizona and International College, and is a graduate of the CDC-sponsored Public Health Leadership Institute and Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives.

She has impressively carried her passion for public health into the work of health philanthropy, changing the state’s health policy environment — from programs that focus on healthy diet to building sidewalks, parks and playgrounds that encourage physical activity to smoke-free advocacy and more.

Through her leadership, her passion and her commitment, she has established a legacy — and a very high bar for her successor as she moves into her retirement. Or is that “rewirement?”

Al Rider

Al Rider served with distinction as the first president and CEO of the Central Kentucky Community Foundation in Elizabethtown. He had already earned a stellar reputation as President/CEO of the North Central Education a position he held since 1992 but he expanded — and hit — his stride with the Community Foundation.

Al Rider

Al Rider

He actually still serves the Central Kentucky Community Foundation — providing help with fund development, continuing to work as a connector for his community and supporting his successor.

As CKCF’s first president, he led the way to greater resources and extraordinary impact.

In addition, he has served as president of Rotary, treasurer of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, on the Workforce Investment Board of Lincoln Trail Area Development District, on the Advisory Council for the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, and on the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Known as “Mr. Education” in Hardin county, Rider has facilitated numerous educational summits and conferences for this region and the state, spoken at state and national conferences and served as a resource for numerous civic organizations and businesses. He has assisted with numerous fundraising efforts for community initiatives. And he has grown new — and impactful — educational initiatives through the Foundation. He is regarded as a catalyst for the development and implementation of ideas for change that has led to greater educational access and attainment in Hardin County.

He was the 2008 recipient of the Joseph W. Kelly Award for leadership in education and was the 2011 Hardin County Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

Rider has served on the Endow Kentucky Commission, as education committee chairman for Hardin County United, and in too many ways to list.

His vision and passion for both his community and Central Kentucky Community Foundation are unmatched, say his nominators.

About the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative

KPI was founded in 2009 to advocate for private strategic philanthropic investment in Kentucky. In 2010, KPI commissioned a Transfer of Wealth study, which identified an intergenerational wealth transferring Kentucky of $707 billion over the next 50 years and was instrumental in the passage of the Endow Kentucky tax credit. As a result, KPI launched the Give Back Kentucky campaign, encouraging Kentuckians to count our communities among their heirs. The campaign has a goal of capturing 5 percent of this wealth in the commonwealth’s certified community foundations for long-term economic development and quality of life of our communities. KPI is developing programs to reach young people to develop a lifelong culture of giving back and grow a viable statewide network of advocates. More information about KPI can be found at www.kyphilanthropy.com or “Like” the Kentucky Philanthropy Facebook page to stay connected.


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