Simply Outstanding

Toyota Honors NKY Women Leaders


Ultimately, it’s about role models.

Since its inception in 1984, the Outstanding Women of Northern Kentucky Awards have honored more than 120 women for achievement, integrity, professional service and community leadership. Whether it’s for blazing trails in their communities or professions, Outstanding Women organizers say the awards send an important message to younger generations.“These women have various interests, but they have in common one quality: they represent role models for girls and young women who follow in their footsteps,” says Helen Carroll, manager of community relations of Toyota, Erlanger and a past Outstanding Women recipient.

Toyota Carries On

The awards were originally sponsored by the Kentucky Post. When the paper closed in 2008, Toyota became the major sponsor. “We felt it was our duty to step in and carry on,” says Carroll. “There is really nothing else in Northern Kentucky that recognizes what women accomplish every single day, many overcoming significant challenges.” NKY magazine is a media partner for the event. To qualify, nominees must live, work, or volunteer in Northern Kentucky. This year, four honorees were selected, along with a lifetime achievement recipient, an emerging leader and three scholarship winners.

Celebration Details

The Outstanding Women honorees

Lisa Cooney Henderson

WLWT-Channel 5 anchor/reporter


Honorable Judge Michelle M. Keller, J.D. R.N.

Kentucky Court of Appeals

Compassionate and tenacious. Those are words often used to describe Judge Michelle Keller. They are words that represent the two threads of her career as a nurse and a lawyer.

Rhonda Whitaker

Director, Government & Community RelationsDuke Energy Kentucky

One admirer calls Rhonda Whitaker “the face of Northern Kentucky.”

Shelli Wilson, Ed.D.

Associate Superintendent,
Campbell County Schools



Emerging Leader Award Recipient

Amber Decker, Ph.D.
Gateway Community and Technical College

Amber Decker is someone who makes ideas reality.



Judith Clabes Lifetime Achievement
Award Recipient

Charlotte Wethington
Transitions, Inc.



Scholarship Recipients