Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Community Leadership Awards


Community Leaders: The ACE Awards


I always like to see the different awards that are handed out each year by different organizations locally. Rotary International has theirs as does Leadership Southern Indiana. I'm sure there are countless other groups that name leaders as well from their point of view.

I find it interesting to see who they are and how they are contributing to make our community a better place. I will say though, the ACE Awards from One Southern Indiana are always my favorite. This is because One Southern Indiana, being the chamber and economic development group, has the widest reach and broadest base of people within Southern Indiana of all the local organizations. 

As I understand it, there are open nominations that are then narrowed down to three in each award group. A small part of judging is then done based on an online voting system while most of the scores are based on the merit of the applicant's application. 

Here is an explanation of the Ace Awards from One Southern Indiana's Facebook page:


"The ACE Awards celebrates remarkable individuals who exemplify the character and acumen of exceptional leadership, making them outstanding citizens in the business and regional community. This signature event aims to celebrate the accomplishments of individual business leaders who are members of One Southern Indiana.

The categories for the awards are:

Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC James W. Robinson Young Professional of the Year ACE Award

Duke Energy Kevin Hammersmith Community Leader ACE Award

Kightlinger & Gray, LLP Sam Day Professional of the Year ACE Award."


So many times we hear about awards named after people. I thought it was important to give a snapshot of who these awards are named after and why they are named after them.

  • James W. Robinson: Jim was firm believer of the free enterprise system and a strong advocate for young people in the community, and his words of wisdom over the years will be remembered by many. A dedicated family man, Jim leaves a legacy of faith, integrity, hard work, generosity, and loyalty. He was co-founder of Robinson-Nugent, Inc., and past chairman of the board of Caldwell Tanks, Inc., Stemwood, Inc., and Niemco, Inc. Jim was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana Hall of Fame in 1998, earning the distinction of being the first father-son duo of inductees (his late father having been inducted in 1984). Jim was a S.C.O.R.E. Counselor, an investor in Rocket Man, Inc. and a past board member of Your Community Bank. He also served on the board of Kentuckiana Junior Achievement, Cedar Lake Foundation, and New Albany/Floyd County School Board. Jim was a Kentucky Colonel, an Indiana University Southeast Medallion recipient, a member of the Windsor Society, a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow, and was toasted at the 15th annual benefit of the Rotary Club of New Albany.

  • Kevin Hammersmith: Killed by a drunk driver in 2011, Kevin was the director of government and community relations for Duke Energy in Southern Indiana. Kevin was instrumental in shaping the Southern Indiana community through his involvement and contributions to many local organizations. He was a member of the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Board, former president of Harvest Homecoming, a Past Chairman of One Southern Indiana, and a board member of the IUS Board of Advisors and the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

  • Samuel Day: Sam was treasurer and chairman-elect for the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, on the advisory board of Indiana University Southeast, past president of the Floyd County Bar Association, a member of the Board of Governors and past secretary for the Indiana State Bar Association. He was a member of Leadership Southern Indiana, past president of the Kiwanis Club of Historic New Albany and he was the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Professional of the Year in 2002. He devoted over 500 hours per year to volunteer work with many organizations, including the New Albany Floyd County School Corp., Project Peace, Highlander Youth Recreation and the Ogle Center.

For a list of this year's ACE Award Finalists, click the link below. There are videos for each person and you can vote for your favorite.




What are your thoughts?
Do you have the scoop?
Let us all know in the comments below.


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