School of Business Advisory Council
The School of Business Advisory Council represents stakeholders - such as corporate executives, managers, and entrepreneurs - who are representatives of firms employing or potentially employing graduates and successful, outstanding alumni. The Council serves as a resource of guidance and support to the School of Business.
Ms. Laura S. Babbage
(Retired, Healthcare Management)
Eastern Kentucky University, ’81 BS Nursing
University of Kentucky, MA International Business
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 1992
Laura Babbage is a perpetual student with a passion for education. Laura earned her undergraduate degree in Nursing from EKU, her MA from the UK Patterson School in International Business and Diplomacy and her Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary. She currently works as a Chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Ky.
Previously Laura served as CEO of Urgent Treatment Centers in Lexington where she helped grow the business and sell the enterprise to the University of Kentucky. She worked as a consultant for a physician practice management company based in Nashville, Tennessee, and went on to do health care consulting work while pursuing her theology degree.
Laura has been an active member in her community since she arrived in Lexington in 1979. She is a past chair of the annual campaign for the United Way of the Bluegrass. She is a past chair of the Salvation Army board of directors where she continues to serve on the board. She is one of the seven co-founders of Leadership Kentucky which celebrated its 25th year. Laura chairs the Hospital Council at St. Joseph Hospital. Laura also serves on the EKUBusiness Advisory Council. She is the 2009 chairwoman of the American Heart Association “Go Red For Women” luncheon.
Laura is married to Bob Babbage and they have three children, Robert, Julie and Brian.
Mr. Nick Bertram
Vice President/Head of Store Operations
Eastern Kentucky University, ’02 BBA Marketing
University of Phoenix, '05 MBA Global Management
Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management, '10 Certificate, Finance for Executives
EKU Young Alumnus Award 2012
From his start as a first-generation student from rural Lincoln County, Ky., Nicholas (Nick) Bertram became, at 31, the youngest regional general manager in Walmart history. Just two years later he would be part of another retail first, joining Jewel-Osco as the youngest head of stores and first recruited externally in its 113 years. Today he manages 176 stores and leads 29,000 associates in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. He acknowledged, "Eastern gave me the confidence to take on challenges and risk, even leaving an amazing company where I experienced great success to help turn around a struggling company."
Bertram's mix of confidence and determination was apparent at Eastern. First a resident assistant, he was elected student senator, then president of the Student Government Association with a seat on Eastern's board of regents. "Motivating large groups of people to do things that benefit others is probably the most transferable experience to my career from the SGA. "Sitting on the board of regents, he learned to balance needs of multiple constituencies to find solutions that "pushed the university forward."
As a student working in Richmond's Walmart, he was stocking shelves on a busy Friday night shift when he noticed the store's second in-command working beside him. "I didn't think bosses did that." Impressed by this example of "servant leader," he interned at Walmart as a senior year marketing major. Graduating with three impressive job offers, "I chose the one that paid the least and had the least impressive title. I saw opportunity to learn and grow ... fast."
That counterintuitive choice paid off. Bertram rose quickly to supercenter manager, market human resources manager, regional operations support director, market manager, then regional general manager at Walmart.
Bertram considers it a privilege to help others, and puts his energy into fighting hunger, solving water poverty, and helping children thrive. He has served on non-profit boards in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and serves Purple America as an advisor. He volunteers in church with his wife, occupational therapist Jennifer Polete Bertram, '03. "I think it's important to find something you're passionate about and pour yourself into it," he says. In a career trajectory that has taken him from resident assistant to rising retail star, Nicholas Bertram has followed his passion.
Cynthia F. Bohn, Ed.D.
Equus Run Vineyard
Eastern Kentucky University, ’80 BA Speech & Theater, AS Broadcast Engineering; ’81 MA Industrial Technology
University of Kentucky, ’96 EdD Educational Technology
EKU Dept. of Technology Distinguished Alum 2000
EKU CB&T Distinguished Speaker 2010
Dr. Cynthia Bohn, a native Kentuckian, grew up on a tobacco farm in Central Kentucky and retired after 30 years with IBM Corporation. She served in numerous roles within IBM, ranging from electrical engineering, international marketing, executive management, and teaching at the IBM Harvard Business Institute. The experience at IBM generated opportunities for worldwide travel and leadership development. She earned numerous business awards for marketing financial achievement, education programs, leadership and customer service.
Dr. Bohn pioneered the rebirth of the Kentucky wine industry by starting the Kentucky Grape and Wine Council in the early 1990s. She launched a new agri-tourism industry with the start of a vineyard and winery in 1998 in Midway, Kentucky -- thus her pre-planning for retirement back to Kentucky farmland!
An academic at heart, Dr. Bohn has earned four degrees in the sciences and arts, three of which are from Eastern Kentucky University, and was selected as the 2000 Distinguished Alum for the EKU Department of Applied Engineering and Technology. She is a published author in her doctoral field of education and is passionate about lifelong learning.
Service to community and giving back is a priority. Dr. Bohn is a Makenna Children's Foundation Member and also a Women Leading Kentucky Board Sponsor. Other accolades include Proctor & Gamble's Entrepreneur Community Award, the Lexington Herald-Leader Central Kentucky Leading Women Award, IBM's Women in Technology Honorary Award, and Harvard University's Kentuckians of Boston Honorary Award.
Equus Run Vineyards became her full-time job after her IBM Corporation retirement. The winery is open year round as a full-service winery and agri-tourism destination. Since founding the winery, Dr. Bohn desires to share the beautiful Bluegrass countryside with a flair of agri-tourism to promote Kentucky. The wines of Equus Run have won numerous awards at competitions across the nation. Equus Run has become a tourism destination and was voted one of the '16 Best Hidden Treasures of the United States' by CNN TV, Southern Living Magazine's 'must tour' location, Kentucky Tourism Council's 'Top 10 Summer Events for the Commonwealth', and Southeast Tourism Society's 'Top 20 Tourism' award.
Mr. Dennis D. Doggett
New Initiatives, LLC
Eastern Kentucky University, ’73 BBA Marketing
Morgan State University, MBA
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 2007
EKU CB&T Distinguished Speaker 2000
EKU Dept. of Management, Marketing & Administrative Communication Distinguished Alum 2001
Dennis Doggett brings 30 years of global leadership experience in the downstream oil industry with extensive successful senior roles in management, marketing and business development.
Dennis began his career with The Valvoline Company with a record of performance and increased responsibilities in key leadership roles over 25 years. He later ran a successful industrial growth and government business attraction consulting practice. He was recruited by Shell Lubricants in 2003 to serve in key marketing and business development responsibilities in the Americas where he led unique growth focused initiatives in difficult markets for over six years.
His success with their key distribution partners allowed him to see the other side of managing businesses and what is needed for building sustainable profitability in companies that are diverse in size and structure. Dennis' efforts are focused on the North American lubricants manufacturing and distribution businesses as well as industrial and manufacturing firms.
Dennis graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., and received an MBA from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. He is married with two children. He is also involved with numerous civic and community organizations in Central Kentucky. Dennis holds professional membership in Independent Lubricants Manufacturers Association (ILMA) as well the National Lubricating Grease Institute [NLGI].
Mr. Matthew A. Evans, Council Chair
President and CEO
Bankers Service Corporation
Eastern Kentucky University, ’91 BBA Finance
EKU Dept. of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems Distinguished Alum 2012
Matt is the successful owner of Bankers Service Corporation, a company he helped envision and form in 1997. “BSC” is a bank auditing and consulting firm, located in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the company, he is involved in all aspects of the company, including loan review, compliance audit, internal audit, training, and client consulting. Matt’s corporate philosophy is to maintain an efficient organization balanced with a life outside the office. He is sought after as a speaker by industry organizations and is a contributor for several trade publications.
Prior to joining BSC, Matt was a Commissioned Bank Examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the Lexington, Kentucky, field office. Matt served as Examiner-in-Charge on numerous bank examinations.
Matt is a 2004 graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He is also involved with civic and community organizations in Central Kentucky.
Matt earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance at EKU in 1991, Magna Cum Laude. Always a student advocate, Matt was the Vice President of the student body (1990-1991) and was active in his fraternity.
Matt is a proud third generation EKU graduate, following his grandmother (MA 1956), father (BS 1959, MA 1962), and mother (1959). His brother (1990) and sister (1987 and 2005) are also EKU grads. Matt had no choice but to be a Colonel!
When Matt is not busy running his company or spending time with family and friends, you’ll find him spinning and cycling the back roads of Central Kentucky.
Member, Baldwin CPAs, PLLC
Eastern Kentucky University, Accounting
Vice President, Commercial Banking
Eastern Kentucky University, ’76 BBA Finance
John Hamilton began his banking career in 1975 at State Bank & Trust Co. in Richmond. He spent over 24 years at that institution, wore many hats and was exposed to many facets of banking, Teller (Customer Service Rep), Installment Lender, Branch Manager, AVP/ Consumer Lending Manager, Mortgage Lender, VP/Commercial Lender, to Sr. V.P/Senior Lender. He left EKU in 1975 to take the job at State Bank, and in 1977 went back to finish. While at EKU, John worked as a Teller in Lexington at First Security Bank. In 1988, that same First Security bought State Bank, and John was made V.P./Senior Lender for the Madison County region. In 1990, First Security was purchased by Bank One. John remained with Bank One, as Commercial Lender until 1999, when he took a position in Commercial Lending and was charged with bringing Fifth Third Bank to Richmond, Ky., where he would be Market President. He maintained a $50 million commercial business portfolio, as well as, Madison County Market President duties.
In January 2011, John decided to go back to a community bank by accepting a position with Kentucky Bank, based in Paris, Ky. “It is great to be back with a bank that concentrates its efforts in the Central Kentucky market.” His office is currently in Winchester, Ky.; and John has grown his loan portfolio to level where Kentucky Bank has decided to open a Richmond, Ky., office in the next few months.
John has always been active in Richmond/Madison County community affairs. Along with being on the EKU Business Advisory Council, he is Treasurer of the McCready-Telford Foundation, Advisory Board Member for City of Richmond at Gibson Bay, was Board Chairman for 17 years at the Telford Community YMCA, and Finance Board Member of First United Methodist Church.
John has two children, Blake 28, and Kelsey 12.
Mr. Steven C. Hardy
Director, Human Resources
Eastern Kentucky University, ‘89 BBA Accounting
EKU CB&T Distinguished Speaker 2008
EKU Dept. of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems Distinguished Alum 2011
Steve Hardy is a human resources and risk management leader with significant experience in the financial services, professional services, and technology industries.
After receiving his Accounting degree from EKU in 1989, Steve began his career in the Risk Management group at Bank One Corporation (now JPMorganChase). Over the next nine years, Steve delivered internal audit and regulatory compliance services for the Retail Banking, Enterprise Operations, Human Resources, and Corporate Cash Management divisions.
Steve changed career direction in 1998 to focus on human resources. Over the past fourteen years, he has had a series of HR leadership roles with several of the world’s largest professional services firms, including KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and Arthur Andersen. In those roles, Steve was responsible for delivering the full range of human resources solutions, including talent acquisition, development, deployment, retention, and operations.
In 2012, Steve joined DealerTrack, Inc., a technology firm specializing in end-to-end platform solutions for the automotive industry, as the HR Director for the Inventory Solutions business unit. Steve is a member of the leadership team for Inventory Solutions and has responsibility for human resources, facilities/operations, and administration.
Over the years, Steve has been involved in several community service groups, including the Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, Habitat for Humanity, Music For All, and Canine Assistants. He and his wife, Tracie, currently reside in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Dick Kelly
The Lane Report
University of Notre Dame, '65 BA; Penn State University, '67 MA
Mr. Kelly is the Associate Publisher of The Lane Report, Kentucky’s economic and business news publication serving the region for the past 25 years. His media career began at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago working on major brands like Kellogg and Vick Cold Products. After five years he moved to the television business with Peters, Griffin & Woodward representing local broadcasting stations to national advertisers both in Chicago and later as General Manager of the firm’s Detroit office. After a decade with PGW, he moved to Gannett’s broadcast division and held management positions with company owned television stations in Oklahoma City, OK and Greensboro, NC. Ten years later in 1992, Mr. Kelly changed companies and relocated to Lexington, KY with the local ABC Television affiliate, WTVQ-TV and in 1999 assumed his current position withThe Lane Report’s family of publications.
Mr. Kelly is a graduate of both the University of Notre Dame and Penn State University having studied journalism and communications. He has been married for 42 years to Ann Kelly who works for Fayette County Schools as a teacher. They have two grown children living in Lexington and Chapel Hill, NC.
Senior Account Executive
SmartIT Staffing & Solutions
EKU, '85 BA Organizational Communication
Colleen McGrady is a business development leader and finds fulfillment in working with companies that are customer focused with high ethical values.
She is currently a Senior Account Executive with SmartIT Staffing & Solutions focusing on expanding the customer base in the Ohio Valley region and Northern Kentucky. Her focus in technology began with Whittman-Hart, an international business consulting firm, where she worked with accounts such as Proctor & Gamble (P&G), Children’s Medical Center, Western & Southern, GE Aircraft Engines, NCR and University of Dayton. Whittman-Hart completely transformed businesses through technology.
While at EKU, she was a member of the Student Senate, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, and Vice President of Kappa Alpha Theta Greek Society. After graduating from Eastern, Colleen began her career by joining the Marriott Hotel Corporation. There she was part of the sales team working at the Lexington Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel and Marriott Austin, Texas. Colleen then joined the DoubleTree Hotel in Dallas where she was promoted to Sales Manager. After deciding to move back to the Cincinnati area, Colleen worked as the Vice President of Employee Services and a key executive member which took Employers Trust from a startup company to a regional leader. The company was sold to a national industry leader after only five years. This led Colleen to begin her career in the business technology field, where she works today.
Outside of work Colleen is a member of Life Success, a non-profit organization that promotes leadership and fostering individual greatness. She has been a mentor to two mentees for fifteen years through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborate. One of her mentees is beginning his sophomore year at the University of Cincinnati and plans to become a teacher. She is also a member of ToastMasters International.
Will McIntosh, Ph.D.
Global Head of Research
USAA Real Estate Company
Eastern Kentucky University, ’77 BBA Business Education;
’79 MBA University of North Texas, ’87 PhD Finance & Real Estate
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 2003
EKU CB&T Distinguished Speaker 2002
Prior to joining USAA, he was Head of Real Estate Global Research for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to the move, he was Chief Investment Officer of Fund Evaluation Group (FEG), an employee owned firm that provides consulting, investment management, and investment research services to pension funds, endowments, foundations, and high net worth investors with over $29 billion in assets. In his role as CIO, Dr. McIntosh was responsible for investment strategy and manager analysis designed to enhance client performance. In addition, he served on the Investment Policy Committee and oversaw a team of twenty investment analysts that researched investment opportunities and managers across all asset classes. Will was responsible for developing new investment funds to meet the needs of the firm’s clients. He served as Co-Portfolio Manager on a new private opportunity fund that he helped to develop.
Prior to joining FEG, Dr. McIntosh was Professor of Finance and Dean of the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, responsible for overseeing the education of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students, a faculty and staff of 150, and managing a budget of approximately $12 million. While serving as Dean, Dr. McIntosh raised over $30 million in private capital, grew the enrollments of the College over 30 percent, and significantly increased the College’s US News & World Report and BusinessWeek rankings. He also served on the Investment Committee for the University’s $1.1 billion endowment, the 17th largest public university endowment in the U.S.
Prior to joining the University of Cincinnati, Will McIntosh was Managing Director and Global Head of Research & Strategy for ING Real Estate, a $64 billion real estate investment management, finance, and development organization. He was responsible for leading a team of over forty researchers based in offices around the world and serving on the ING Real Estate Global Management Team. Prior to joining ING Real Estate, Will was a Managing Director for AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp. where he worked with the real estate investment management team.
Dr. McIntosh has held the position of Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) International with a focus on Latin America. He also served as Managing Director of Investment Research for PREI overseeing real estate research activities for over $13 billion in international and domestic real estate investments and serving on the Investment and Management Committees.
Prior to joining Prudential, he held the position of Senior Vice President and Director of Research for MIG Realty Advisors where he directed the Research Department and served on the Investment and Management Committees. Additional responsibilities included serving as Vice President of MIG Residential REIT.
Prior to joining MIG Realty Advisors, Dr. McIntosh was a member of Arthur Rubloff & Company of Ohio, a subsidiary of Arthur Rubloff (Chicago), where he worked on transactions with the Investment Properties Group and focused on many large commercial properties in the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Area.
Dr. McIntosh has also served as Associate Professor of Finance and Real Estate and Director of the Center for Real Estate Studies in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. Dr. McIntosh received his Ph.D. in Finance and Real Estate from the University of North Texas, his MBA in Real Estate from Eastern Kentucky University, and his BS in Business Education for the same institution. He graduated from the School of Mortgage Banking of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and served as a Faculty Fellow. He is also a graduate of the Management and Leadership in Education Program, Harvard Institute for Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, May 2006.
Additionally, he has served as President of the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) and on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and the International Real Estate Society (IRES). He has served on the Investor Council of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and on the Advisory Boards of several university real estate centers. Dr. McIntosh is a past President of the American Real Estate Society and is a Fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute. He has served as a Co-Editor of the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management and has published numerous articles in leading real estate academic and professional journals.
McNay Settlement Group Inc.
Eastern Kentucky University, ’81 BA Journalism and Policital Science; Masters in Political Science, Vanderbilt University; Masters of Financial Services, The Amercian College
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 1998
Don McNay is the author of three books, two which have been bestsellers. He is an award winning, syndicated, financial columnist and Huffington Post contributor.
McNay, who lives in Richmond Kentucky, has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs including: CBS Morning News, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, ABC News Radio, BBC News, Al Jazeera-English, CBC Television (Canada), CTV (Canada), and Radio Live (New Zealand). He has been featured or quoted in thousands of print publications including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Forbes. McNay is one of the world's leading authorities on how lottery winners handle their money.
He has served as a board member and Treasurer for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and on the Board of Directors for the National Structured Settlement Trade Association.
McNay is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where he was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1998. He has a Master's Degree from Vanderbilt University, along with a second Master’s Degree from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He also has four professional designations in the financial services field. McNay is a lifetime member and Quarter Century Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Chief Executive Officer
University of Kentucky
John McPhearson is CEO of Lectrodryer LLC. Mr. McPhearson and his partner acquired control of Lectrodryer in 2001 after working for Lectrodryer for twelve years. Prior to joining Lectrodryer Mr. McPhearson worked for Avon Products, Tandy and American Electric Power.
Mr. McPhearson is a native of Kentucky and a graduate of The University of Kentucky. John served four years on the Board of the Richmond Chamber Of Commerce and served one year as Vice President for the Colonel Club at Eastern Kentucky University.
During his tenure as Partner, Lectrodryer has been widely recognized for its success including, a 2005 World Trade Center Export Success Award, and awards in 2006 from the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers as Small Manufacturer of The Year and Industry of The Year by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, Lectrodryer exported 71.6 percent of its products outside the United States.
In addition to the EKU Business Advisory Council, John currently serves on the Executive Board of the Kentucky World Trade Center, Chairing the Trade Education Committee.
Mr. Scott Northcutt
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Bacardi & Company, Limited
Hamilton HMCX, Bermuda
Eastern Kentucky University, ’84 Speech Communication; Miami Univeristy in Ohio, MA in Organizational Communication
EKU CB&T Distinguished Speaker 2005
EKU Dept. of Communication Distinguished Alum 2002
Scott is Senior Vice President of Human Resources of Bacardi Limited - the world’s largest privately held spirits company. He first joined Bacardi in 2009 with responsibility for employee career development, employee benefits, succession planning, as well as management and organization development for all Bacardi Limited brands and companies. The company sells more than 200 brands and labels in more than 150 markets with a portfolio that includes Bacardi rum, Martini vermouths and sparkling wines, Grey Goose super-premium vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Dewar’s whisky, Eristoff vodka, Cazardores tequila and many more.
Scott has a passion for talent development, performance management and driving employee engagement and at Bacardi built the global human resources organization that implemented standardized policies, tools and programs across all regions. He led the implementation of first global, company-wide talent performance management system, talent exchange programs, a global orientation program, employee assistance programs, and the company’s first global employee engagement survey.
Scott has more than 20 years of experience in the international human resources field with leadership positions in several global companies. Prior to joining Bacardi Limited, he served as Global Executive Vice President of Human Resources for DHL Express, the global market leader in international express delivery services. There he was responsible for motivating, retaining and rewarding the performance of nearly 150,000 employees around the world. During his tenure, DHL was recognized consistently around the world as an “Employer of Choice,” and in 2008 more than 29 countries won awards as a “Best Place to Work.”
Previously, Scott served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources for Fleming Companies; Vice President of the People Group for Sam’s Club Division of Wal-Mart; and Vice President of Human Resources followed by Vice President of Store Operations of Dollar General Corporation.
Scott graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and completed a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication from Miami University in Ohio.
Mr. Donald James Perry
Senior Vice President and Investments Manager
Kentucky Farmers Bank
Eastern Kentucky University, ’86 Industrial Technology; ’95 MBA
Donald J. Perry currently serves as Senior Vice President and Investments Manager for Kentucky Farmers Bank. Perry is responsible for investing the bank’s assets, pension plan and trust assets. He is also part of KFB’s executive management team which sets the bank’s strategic direction and addresses high level issues.
Born and raised in Florence, Ky., Perry graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1986 with a B.S. degree in Industrial Technology and immediately went to work for Ashland Petroleum as a computer analyst. While working as Project Manager in the Information Technology Department, Perry earned a Masters in Business Administration from EKU and began working in a financial capacity as a senior financial analyst. The last three years of his 17 year career with Ashland was spent in an entrepreneurial capacity developing new business opportunities for Valvoline.
In 2004, Perry left Ashland, Inc., and began working for Kentucky Farmers Bank. This new role required the Perry family to move from Lexington to Ashland, Ky., in 2007. Since the move, Perry has become very involved with community activities. Perry currently serves as Chair for the United Way Board for Northeastern Kentucky, is part of the Ashland Alliance, and supports the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland. Perry is also still involved with his alma mater and currently serves on EKU’s Business Advisory Council. He is the current President of Beta of Richmond Inc., an alumni organization for EKU Betas.
Perry has been married to his college sweetheart April, since 1986 and has two teenage children, Connor and Kendall.
Chief Marketing Officer
ITESM (Mexico), International Business, ’01; Tec Milenio (Mexico), MBA Quality and Operations, ’10
After various export awards and trade specialist positions (AMCHAM and Kentucky Trade Office in Mexico), Blanca is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Lectrodryer and she is responsible for continuing Lectrodryer’s growth in the global marketplace. She overlooks company’s marketing strategy and is responsible for the overall sales and product mix for profit performance. Under her tenure Lectrodryer has gone from 35 percent exports to 71 percent.
With her background and the experience at Lectrodryer, she has authored technical papers on Hydrogen Cooled Generator Auxiliaries for the Power Generation Industry. She has presented at ASME Power, Electric Power Conference and IEEE Mexico.
Born in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, Blanca enjoys actively serving in her local community. She has served at the RAAC (Richmond Area Arts Council), acted in the past as president of the Madison County Industrial Management Club and was recently appointed to serve on the EKU School of Business Advisory Council. Blanca also enjoys addressing EKU business students and has made a priority for Lectrodryer to work with the Co-op program. Blanca and her husband, Alberto Sanz, reside in Madison County, Ky., since 2004.
Emergency Room Physician
University of Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky University, ’78 BA Music Education
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation
Cumberland College, ’72 BS Geography
Eastern Kentucky University, ’73 MS Geography; ’75 MA Recreation
Mr. Rickett is responsible for setting policy and for establishing, monitoring, and achieving the goals of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. He is directly responsible for management of the company’s twenty-one person staff and the operations of the parent company, its subsidiaries and off –balance sheet investment activities.
Mr. Rickett was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in 1989, after previously holding the positions of Vice President and Marketing Manager.
The company, a community development corporation which focuses on venture capital and entrepreneurial development, is recognized as one of the premier business development organizations in the United States. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation has been designated the Lead Entity of one of three Rural Empowerment Zones, one of eight Rural Tax Credit Community Development Corporations, a partner Community Development Corporation of Rural Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a Community Development Entity by the U.S. Department of Treasury and has received allocations of New Markets Tax Credits.
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation became the nation’s first nonbank lender under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Business & Industry Loan Guaranty program and the first SBA guaranteed lender under the Community Advantage Program. Kentucky Highlands sponsors Entrepreneur Development programs and has developed the Kentucky Highlands Business Innovation and Growth Center. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation also co-manages with Tech 2020 of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Southern Appalachian Fund, a New Markets Venture Capital Fund as well as Meritus Ventures, the only Rural Business Investment Company approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration.
Mr. Rickett has served as the Board Chair for The Center for Rural Development and continues to serve on the board and executive committee of the Center for Rural Development, and past chair of the Kentucky Appalachian Advisory Commission. He served as a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati Advisory Committee for six years. He serves on the Advisory Council at Eastern Kentucky University School of Business. Mr. Rickett was appointed to the Tennessee Valley Corridor Board of Directors by Congressman Hal Rogers. In 1996, he was named the recipient of the first Governor’s Economic Development Leadership Award. In 2005, Mr. Rickett received the Pioneer in Excellence Award and the Mike Sveridorf LISC Leadership Award from the Local Initiative Support Corporation. In 2009, he was inducted into the Kentucky Association for Economic Development Hall of Fame.
Mr. Rickett is a graduate of Cumberland College and holds two Masters Degrees from Eastern Kentucky University.
Mr. George E. Ridings
Founder and Vice President
Ridings Insurance & Financial Services, LTD
Eastern Kentucky University, '64 BS Commerce
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 1993
EKU Dept. of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems Distinguished Alum 2004
Life Member, Million Dollar Round Table
Kentucky State Association of Life Underwriters Medal of Honor, 1986
George E. Ridings is the founder of Ridings Insurance & Financial Services, LTD., a family-owned firm that provides business and personal insurance planning and other financial services for individuals, families, and businesses.
George became an agent with the New York Life Insurance Company in Richmond, Kentucky, in 1964. George and his son, George Nelson, currently own and operate Ridings Insurance & Financial Services, LTD. George is also a registered representative with NYLIFE Securities, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC, a licensed insurance agency).
He has received many industry and New York Life Awards and he earned the following designations from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), 1972; and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), 1982. He has also been a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors) and SFSP (Society of Financial Services Professionals) for over 30 years.
He is a Past President of the Richmond Jaycees, Richmond Rotary Club and the Greater Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a retired member of the Richmond Utility Board, where he served for 24 years. Currently he serves on the Pattie A. Clay Hospital Foundation Board and The Hospice Care Plus Board.
George is married to Judy Ridings and has one son, George Nelson Ridings, and daughter-in-law, Judy Ridings. He has two granddaughters. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Richmond, Kentucky.
Mr. Jim Rolf
Vice President, Data Solutions Group
Eastern Kentucky University, ’82 BBA Computer Information Systems
Jim Rolf is Vice President of the U.S. Data Solutions Group for dunnhumbyUSA, a global provider of specialized customer-focused analytical and targeting services. In 2005, he joined the company as IT Director, assuming his current position several months later, and is responsible for the driving the client data strategy supporting the customer insight and communications activities of the U.S. business. Mr. Rolf has more than 25 years experience building and supporting mission-critical applications for AT&T, Fidelity Investments, and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. He holds a BS in Electronic Data Processing from Eastern Kentucky University.
Dr. Hardy Tribble
Purchasing Manager (retired)
Procter & Gamble Company
Eastern Kentucky University, ’62 BS Commerce
EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni 1999
EKU Dept. of Management, Marketing & Administrative Communication Distinguished Alum 2000
EKU Dept. of Military Science & Leadership Distinguished Alum 2003
EKU Commencement Speaker Fall 2012
Upon graduation from Eastern Kentucky State College in 1962 with a degree in Commerce, Hardy was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s Finance Corps. After two years active duty at Ft. Carson, Co., Hardy returned home to Erlanger, Ky., and began a 31-year career at the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Oh. At P&G Hardy’s assignment was in accounts receivable, primarily working in credit investigation of prospective customers. Later in his career he was on the forefront of introducing word processing technology throughout the Cincinnati corporate headquarters. This led to the introduction of desktop computers. Hardy did analysis of software license agreements to ensure compatibility between P&G and the software manufacturer.
Hardy retired in 1996 and lives in Edgewood, KY with wife Judy. Both earned their degree from EKU in 1962. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. In 2012 Hardy will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.
Outside his professional work, Hardy “moonlighted” for 20 years broadcasting high school sports on radio in the greater Cincinnati area. Hardy was an elected school board member for four years. Hardy actively supports EKU by serving on the Foundation Board, International Alumni Association, Business Advisory Council, R.O.T.C. Advisory Board, and through financial support of the Tribble Commitment to Excellence Fund.
Ms. Tracy L. Wilkerson
Corporate Security Manager, Administrative Services
Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Companies
Eastern Kentucky University, '87 BBA Accounting, Computer Information Systems
Upon graduation from EKU, Tracy put both of her degrees to work at PNC Bank where she served as an internal IT auditor for five years and achieved the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) designation. She continued her career in the IT audit profession with Capital Holding (aka Providian Financial and Aegon International) where she became the IT Audit Manager.
After several years of managing audit projects, consulting on IT controls and working with IT professionals, Tracy broadened her professional career and became an IT Project Manager with National Processing Company, one of the largest credit card transaction processing firms. Tracy's team at NPC was responsible for serving the large national clients in various sectors ranging from restaurant and retail to oil and gas. In her role as Project Manager with NPC, Tracy continued to provide internal consulting on IT controls and worked with various internal and external auditors to do the same.
In 2004, Tracy joined Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Company as the Data Security Manager in IT. Over the years at KFB she has achieved the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification as well as the CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) designation. Tracy is currently the Corporate Security Manager for KFB where she is responsible for all aspects of security strategy, policy, as well as physical security and safety throughout the state.
Tracy is actively involved in several audit and security professional organizations including IIA, ISACA, ISSA, PMI and ASIS where she shares her knowledge and experience with others and participates in volunteer service projects such as Junior Achievement. Tracy resides in Louisville where she is mom to two wonderful middle-school aged children and she considers that her top job!