Flame of Excellence Award Presented to Mira Ball

Posted on: January 21, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 22, 2020) - Leadership Kentucky, one of the first and most prestigious statewide leadership development programs in the United States, presented Mira Ball with the Flame of Excellence award during their 18th Annual Alumni Luncheon in Lexington, Ky. at the Marriott City Center on January 9th.


The Flame of Excellence award honors an outstanding Kentuckian who bravely goes before and lights the way for others. Mira Ball shares leadership of Ball Homes, established in 1959 with her late husband, Don, and their three children. She is also the proprietor of Donamire Farm. However, Mira’s leadership skills have never been limited to the realm of family business as she continues to be an active member in the Lexington community.


Her service to the state of Kentucky spans more than 30 years. From 2007-2010, Mira served as chair of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. This is only one of several “firsts” that she has taken on as a community leader. In 1991, she became the first woman president of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. She is the first and only woman ever elected to the Kentucky Utilities Board of Directors. In 1997, Ball was named as the first woman Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Midway College and continues to serve on that board as a Life Trustee.


She has received many other recognitions across the state for her service and commitment: Junior Achievement’s Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame, honored as Woman of the Year by the Women’s Center of Central Kentucky, named Woman of Achievement by the YWCA, and named to NAWBO’s Winner’s Circle.  She and her husband were honored jointly as Philanthropist of the Year, recipients of the Optimist Cup and the Happy Chandler Kentuckian Award. In 2016 Mira and Don were awarded with honorary doctorates by the University of Kentucky.


Past Recipients of the Leadership Kentucky Flame of Excellence Award:

2002 – Dr. Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky Historian Emeritus

2003 – Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt, Former Governor

2004 – John R. Hall, Retired Chairman/CEO, Ashland Inc.

2005 – Martha Layne Collins, Former Governor; Chair/CEO Kentucky World Trade Center

2006 – Wendell H. Ford, U.S. Senate, Retired; Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center

2007 – Albert P. Smith, Jr., Retired Host of “Comment on Kentucky”

2008 – David A. Jones, Founder & Former Board Chairman, Humana, Inc.

2009 – Eula Hall, Founder, Mud Creek Clinic

2010 – Owsley Brown Frazier, Founder & Chairman, Frazier International History Museum

2011 – Dr. Pearse T. Lyons, Founder & CEO, Alltech

2012 – William T. Samuels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc.

2013 – Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr., Past President, University of Kentucky

2014 – Bill Goodman, Executive Director, Kentucky Humanities Council

2015 – John A Williams, Founder and Chairman, CSI

2016 – Helen Carroll, Carroll Project Planning and Toyota

2017 – William J. Jones, US Bank

2018 – David Adkisson, former President/CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce





About Leadership Kentucky

Leadership Kentucky, created in 1984 as a non-profit educational organization, brings together a select group of people who possess a broad variety of leadership abilities, career accomplishments, and volunteer activities to gain insight into complex issues facing the state. Our goal is to prepare our participants to take an active role in advancing the state for the common good. By fostering understanding of how the state’s issues are interconnected, and by forging new relationships among community and regional leaders, Leadership Kentucky graduates bring a fresh and informed perspective to their communities and companies, serving as important participants in the unified effort to shape Kentucky’s future.


Norton Healthcare
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Fifth Third Bank
Republic Bank
Whitaker Bank
Maker's Mark
HealthPoint Family Care
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Delta Dental
Whitaker Bank Foundation
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Tennessee Valley Authority
University of Louisville
University of Pikeville