Two prominent Northern Kentuckians were among those awarded the prestigious statewide Commonwealth Award from the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative.

The awards were presented at the KPI Summit on Philanthropy, which was held for the first time in its nine years in Northern Kentucky at the impressive Newport Aquarium Riverside Room that features terrific views of the river and the Cincinnati skyline.

William P. Butler of Corporex Companies and Garren Colvin of St. Elizabeth Healthcare were honored for philanthropic service that rises to “extraordinary” statewide.

Two other awardees were Scott Davis of Henderson, president of Field & Main Bank in Henderson and trustee of the Preston Foundation, and Tori Murden McClure, president of Spalding College in Louisville.

“The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative is proud to welcome these extraordinary individuals into the rarified company of our Commonwealth Award winners,” said Joseph Clabes, president and CEO of KPI. “Their unselfish service to others, community engagement and dedication to leadership make them outstanding examples of the people and the work that mean so much to Kentucky.”

William P. “Bill” Butler is chair of Corporex Companies, a privately held investment and real estate firm with more than $1 billion in assets in 20 major markets. He grew up in Northern Kentucky and built his enterprises from here. He has been engaged in the community in a number of ways and has earned accolades nationally and regionally for his community service and business accomplishments.

As a civic leader, Butler is credited with leading efforts toward regionalism. He co-chaired the “Quest” visioning process, founded the Metropolitan Club (and contributed his ownership to three charities) and in 2017 became founding chairman of the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, a communitywide foundation aimed at bringing people together to help break the cycle of poverty, support the arts, spark development and innovation, enrich education and improve the health and wellness of the Northern Kentucky region.

Garren Colvin is CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Northern Kentucky’s largest employer. He grew up in Ludlow, started working for St. E. as a student intern at Thomas More College and spent most of his professional life there.

He has made it his priority to establish the hospital as a vital community member in addition to its role as a vital health care provider. His aim: To make Northern Kentucky among the healthiest communities in the country.

Under his leadership—and he leads by example—St. Elizabeth is making a terrific impact on the quality of life in Northern Kentucky. He has been named a Hero Against Heroin, heads the NKY campaign for United Way, is co-chairing the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association, is a founding member of the Kentucky Health Collaborative, and has established a roadmap for Northern Kentucky’s first-ever comprehensive cancer center.

Both of these incredible servant-leaders have already made an impact on Northern Kentucky that will resonate for generations to come.

And they aren’t finished.

More Good Works

Good works abound all around in response to terrific needs in storm-ravaged Texas, Florida and beyond. Duke Energy has dispatched 1,400 workers to scenes of the disaster. The Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Air National Guard, Kentucky Emergency Management team and local emergency medical and rescue volunteers are on various rescue and medical relief assignments.

Braxton Brewing Company devoted its canning line to drinking water for hurricane victims.

The Florence Freedom gave half its online ticket sales from a playoff game to hurricane relief.

Highlands teacher Megan Boimann-Hennies organized a school supply drive to help the 200,000 students enrolled in the Houston Independent School District. It became a systemwide effort, proving that one person can make a difference.

It’s impossible to name all the service organizations and nonprofits and caring individuals who have rallied to the cause—but when you see these efforts, please help and say thanks to those who are leading.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Thanks to all those who give.

Judy Clabes is editor and publisher of KyForward and former editor of The Kentucky Post. She welcomes your ideas for people who should be noticed for their accomplishments. Please email them to

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