• Covid-19 Medical, Community and Innovation awards honored courageous people and efforts throughout our community
  • Televised Celebration of Leadership event honored 125 nominees for their positive community impact during a difficult year
  • 43 awards presented to recognize diverse people, projects and organizations leading and serving our region
  • Watch entire video here.


EVANSVILLE, IND., March 18, 2021 —Believing that servant leadership shines brightest in difficult times, Leadership Everyone celebrated the 26th Annual Celebration of Leadership Awards (COL) on WNIN for a second year. Leadership Everyone’s inspiring event, presented by title sponsor by Fifth Third Bank, recognized and thanked the innovative, collaborative and courageous accomplishments of 125 nominees.

Celebration of Leadership has highlighted servant leaders of every age, race, ethnicity, religion and background from within our region for the past 26 years, and this year was no exception.

“Throughout this challenging year, we have seen servant leadership at its finest—innovation, collaboration and perseverance across agencies and organizations have created amazing ways to serve our people through the pandemic,” said Lynn Miller Pease, Leadership Everyone’s Chief Executive Officer. “These results have led to new community partnerships and helped bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of our efforts. And broadcasting our event on WNIN has allowed us to better reach our region and make the celebrationavailable to thousands of people to watch, celebrate and embrace the LE mission – Diverse Servant Leaders Transforming Community.”

At this year’s televised 26th Annual Celebration of Leadership, 125 nominees demonstrating outstanding selfless community service were recognized, and 43 awards were presented to recipients. The nominations span across the following categories: Arts, Community & Neighborhood, Education, Government, Public Service & Environment, and Health & Social Service. In response to these challenging times, three special COVID-19 awards—COVID-19 Medical Awards, COVID-19 Community Awards, and COVID-19 Outstanding Innovation Awards—were presented, honoring the efforts of those who fought and are still fighting against the pandemic’s hardships.

The Celebration of Leadership awards ceremony will air again on WNIN on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at 5:30pm, and it can be streamed indefinitely from Leadership Everyone’s website or social media platforms.


Division Awards: Individual – Jara Dillingham; Project/Program – Feed Evansville, EVSC Office of Food & Nutrition, Read Evansville, Urban Seeds Meal Cook; Business/Organization – McKim’s IGA

Special Awards: Sam Featherstone Youth Award Pride of Bosse Marching Band, Children of Our Community; Bryce Jordan Servant Leader Award – Chuck Armstrong, Robin Mallery; Susan Kelley Jordan Leader in Courage Award – Front Line Workers; Willie Effie Thomas Diversity Award – Pamela Hopson; Shirley James “Greening the Community” Award – Evansville Climate Action Plan; Nancy Sieben Koehler Sustainability Award Diana Butler; Sara B. Davies Inspiration Award Lisa Vaughan; Transformational Inclusion Award – Individual Marisela De la Parra; Transformational Inclusion Award – Project or ProgramGreater Evansville Youth Parent Series; Spirit Award – Kendall Paul; Leader in Technology Award Ivy Tech Community College Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Technology; Regional Impact Award Governor Andy Beshear; Lt. Col. Reginald Gibson Award – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Winternheimer/LaMar Public Service Award Reopen Evansville Task Force; Visionary Award – Dr. Thomas Stratton; Darrell Ragland Community Collaboration Award – Dr. David Smith; Lifetime Achievement Awards Vera Campbell, Bruceann King, Sr. Jane Michele McClure

Recognition for Individual Achievement: Arts – Kimberly Bredemeier; Community & Neighborhood – Jaimie Sheth; Education – Erin Gibson; Government, Public Service, & Environment – Tara Barney; Health & Social Services – Amy Lutzel

Recognition for Project or Program Achievement: Arts – The Nutcracker Ballet Virtual Field Trip with Children’s Center for Dance Education with the EPO/EYPO and Evansville Children’s Choir; Community & Neighborhood – Black Chamber of Commerce, BOLD Holdings; Education – Teacher Locker; Government, Public Service, & Environment – Handle with Care (Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office); Health & Social Services – Evansville Independent Self-Isolation Center

Recognition for Business or Organization Achievement: Arts – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana; Community & Neighborhood – Core Crew of Habitat for Humanity of Evansville; Education – What Matters Most? Evansville; Government, Public Service, & Environment – Berry Global; Health & Social Services – Gilda’s Club Evansville

COVID-19 Medical Awards:  Dr. April Abbott; Ascension St. Vincent Evansville COVID-19 Incident Command; Ascension St. Vincent Evansville COVID-19 Nurses; Ascension St. Vincent Evansville Infection Prevention Specialists; Ascension St. Vincent Evansville Respiratory Emergency Department; Berry Global; Deaconess COVID-19 Testing Sites; Dr. Heidi Dunniway; Dr. Michael Hobson; Dr. Gina Huhnke; Dr. Roger Johnson; Shawn McCoy; Dr. James Porter; Dan Parod; Vanderburgh County Health Department

COVID-19 Community Awards:  AmeriQual Group and EVSC Partnership; The Catholic Diocese of Evansville; The COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville Region; Chemo Buddies, Inc.; Community Mask Makers; Marco DeLucio and David Jones; Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District; Field & Main Bank; Gibson County Chamber of Commerce; Hospital Chaplains and Clergy; Initiating Fabric Mask Sewing, Locally and Far Beyond; Local Lenders Providing PPP Loans; Need A Neighbor; SABIC; Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce; Chet Todd; UE Center for Innovation & Change: COVID Between the Coasts

COVID-19 Outstanding Innovation Awards: At Home Classroom; EVSC Office of Technology; EVSC Outreach; EVSC Virtual Academy; Ivy Tech Community College Completion Academy