Awarding Initiative

A sold-out, capacity crowd—more than 700—attended the sixth annual Women’s Initiative breakfast and had a great time, even though the guest speaker couldn’t show up. Linda Rottenberg was stranded in New York by a snowstorm. In typical fashion, the organizers took it in stride and Skyped her in for her talk, “Crazy is a Compliment.” Rottenberg has written a book by the same name and is co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, a nonprofit organization supporting fast-growing entrepreneurs.

The annual Spirit of Achievement award was presented to Linda Schilling of Valley View Temporary Furnished Housing for her service to the Chamber’s Women’s Initiative. The Initiative was founded in 2008 to address the leadership gap for women and has become the leading regional organization for women of all career stages.

And kudos to Dale Silver of C-Forward and her team for planning a great event and for all the good work the Initiative does to improve the lives of working women.

Flying High

Speaking of working women and success, CVG’s CEO Candace McGraw and her team are making big strides at the airport:

Total passenger traffic through CVG in 2014 increased by 3.1 percent over 2013, while local passengers increased 5.9 percent, representing 300,000 additional passengers.

CVG is the ninth-largest cargo airport in North America and 40th in the world. Cargo traffic also grew by 10.2 percent in 2014. In times when airports are seeing decreases in cargo traffic, CVG experienced double-digit growth and continues to be the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America.

“Three years ago, we at CVG set out to diversify the carrier offerings available from CVG with the objective of growing our customer base and making affordable pricing options more available,” says McGraw. “We are now seeing the positive results of those efforts. These increases would not be possible without our passengers who support us daily and without the tremendous support of the Tristate region. We are proud of our growing CVG success story.”

Fighting Heroin

Holly Specht of Fort Thomas is one of the founders of NKY Hates Heroin. She was motivated to take action after the death of her son, Nicholas, from a heroin overdose. The group has an active Facebook page, published a “Resource Guide for those Facing ADDICTION and their Loved Ones,” has marched on Frankfort to bring attention to their cause and to encourage legislation that focuses more on education than punishment.

Northern Kentucky is sadly a hotbed of heroin use and trade. The group will have its second annual 5K Walk & Run on Saturday, June 6, starting at 8:30 a.m. in Independence. Mark your calendars and watch for details on their Facebook page.

Legal History

Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocate for children, is celebrating 25 years of service this year. Founded by Kim Tandy, who still serves as executive director, CLC has an impressive list of accomplishments and has earned a reputation for leading the way to better legal protections for minors.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

The upcoming Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #4 by Steve Flairty will feature his story about Campbell County’s Ally Bruener, a “sit down” comedian. Bruener is successful as a comedian despite being confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy. Having performed comedy on stage since 2010, she has appeared in The Devil Cup competition in NYC, at the Funny Bone in Dayton and Newport, Go Bananas in Cincinnati and more. Many of her performances are on YouTube.

She constantly fights her health issues, but says, “When you’re laughing, you’re not worrying.”

Flairty’s book will be released sometime in 2015.

Judy Clabes is editor of Northern Kentucky Magazine and editor/publisher of