Leadership Kentucky’s Flame of Excellence Award to be Presented to Paul and Judi Patton

Posted on: January 2, 2023
2023 FOE


Leadership Kentucky, one of the first and most prestigious statewide leadership development programs in the United States, will host its 21st Annual Alumni Luncheon in Lexington at Keeneland’s Entertainment Center & Keene Barn on February 9, 2023, where the Flame of Excellence Award will be presented to Former Governor, Paul Patton, and First Lady Judi Patton.

The Flame of Excellence Award honors an outstanding Kentuckian who bravely lights the way for others. Leadership Kentucky alumni, board members, and guests are invited for networking at 11:00 a.m., followed by lunch and the Flame of Excellence Award presentation. Tickets are $80 per person and may be purchased on the Leadership Kentucky website or by emailing lky@leadershipky.org.

“Leadership Kentucky is proud to honor Former Governor, Paul Patton, and First Lady Judi Patton with the Flame of Excellence Award for their continued commitment to uplifting Kentuckians,” said Janice Way, President of Leadership Kentucky. “Impactful leadership comes from those who make conscious efforts to support their communities, and Paul and Judi exemplify what it means to  be leaders that light the way for others.” 

Former Governor Paul Patton was born in Eastern Kentucky, the son of a teacher and school cafeteria worker who instilled in him the value of education and hard work. A 1959 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in mechanical engineering, he spent 20 years building a successful coal business before turning to public service. He served as Governor of Kentucky from 1995-2003 following positions as Kentucky’s Lt. Governor, Secretary of Economic Development, Deputy State Transportation Secretary, and three terms as Pike County Judge Executive. Patton was named chancellor at the University of Pikeville in 2013 after serving as its President from 2009-2013.

Former Kentucky First Lady Judi Conway Patton spent her eight-year tenure advocating for the safety, health, and welfare for women and children. As First Lady, she established the Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. She worked tirelessly to ensure proper treatment and response for sexual assault victims and helping women and children who are mentally and physically abused.


Past Leadership Kentucky Flame of Excellence Recipients:

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. T. Pearse 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, former Host, KET

2015 – John A. Williams, Sr., Computer Services, Inc.

2016 – Helen Carroll, Toyota, retired

2017 – William (Bill) Jones, U.S. Bank

2018 – David Adkisson, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, retired

2019 – Myra Ball, Ball Homes and Donamire Farm

2020 – Alice and Wade Houston, HJI Supply Chain Solutions

2021 – Porter G. Peeples, Sr., Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County



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. 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. The Leadership Kentucky Foundation offers four unique programs: Leadership Kentucky, ELEVATE Kentucky (for young professionals), BRIGHT Kentucky (for Eastern Kentuckians), and New Executives to Kentucky (for senior-level executives who have lived in the state for less than two years). For more information, please visit leadershipky.org or email lky@leadershipky.org.


Norton Healthcare
Pikeville Medical Center
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Republic Bank
Whitaker Bank
Putting Kentuckians First and Reentry with the Kentucky Office Of Adult Education and the Education and Labor Cabinet
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
University of Louisville
Delta Dental
Kentucky Association of Health Plans
Whitaker Bank Foundation
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Tennessee Valley Authority
Appalachian Regional Healthcare