Inaugural Women's Summit - Speakers

  • Sen. Julie Raque Adams

    Senator • Commonwealth of Kentucky

    Bio coming soon.
  • Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball

    State Treasurer • Commonwealth of Kentucky

    Allison Ball is the 38th State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, currently serving her second term. Prior to her role as State Treasurer, Treasurer Ball practiced bankruptcy law and focused on consumer rights and commercial litigation. As part of her time in public service, Treasurer Ball spent four years as an Assistant Floyd County Attorney, prosecuting child abuse and juvenile delinquency cases. Treasurer Ball has a rich Kentucky history; her family has been in Eastern Kentucky since the 1790s. She holds a degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law and was very active while a student there, serving as President of the University of Kentucky Chapter of the Federalist Society.  
  • Dr. Neeli Bendapudi

    President • University of Louisville

    Neeli Bendapudi is the 18th President of the University of Louisville. Selected by the UofL Board of Trustees in April 2018, Bendapudi came to Louisville from the University of Kansas where she served as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. Since becoming President, Bendapudi has worked toward making the university a great place for students to learn, a great place for faculty and staff to work, and a great place for alumni and the community to invest. Under her leadership, the university will celebrate diversity, foster equity and strive for inclusion. She earned her PhD in marketing from the University of Kansas and has teaching experience at Texas A&M University and The Ohio State University. Bendapudi returned to KU in 2011 to become the School of Business dean and H.D. Price Professor of Business. During her career, she has taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA and PhD levels and received numerous college, university and national teaching awards. She is married to Venkat Bendapudi. Their daughter, Sirisha, is married to Kyle Ladd.
  • The Honorable Elaine Chao

    The Honorable Elaine Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation •

    Elaine Chao is the first American woman of Asian heritage to be appointed to a President’s cabinet.  She has held two cabinet positions: U. S. Secretary of Labor and U. S. Secretary of Transportation. An immigrant to this country at the age of 8 not speaking any English, she received her citizenship at the age of 19. Her experience transitioning to a new country motivated her to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities. Secretary Chao was also President & CEO of United Way of America; Director of the Peace Corps; Deputy Secretary of the U. S. Department of Transportation; Chairman of Federal Maritime Commission. She was also a banker in the private sector. The recipient of 37 honorary degrees, Secretary Chao earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.  A proud Kentuckian, she lives in Jefferson County.    
  • Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman (Invited)

    Lieutenant Governor • Commonwealth of Kentucky

    Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman is an educator, basketball coach, writer, founder of a non-profit and the fifty-eighth lieutenant governor of Kentucky. She is wife to Chris, mom to Evelynne, adopted mom to Emma and a bonus mom to Will and Nate. Her family lives in Frankfort. Public service is a way of life for Jacqueline and her family. She was raised to offer a hand up to those in need and, as a result, has devoted her personal and professional life to serving her community. She is a tireless advocate for public education and a strong proponent of young women stepping into leadership roles. As Lieutenant Governor, Jacqueline is focused on creating a comprehensive cradle-to-career public education and job training system in Kentucky that will produce the future leaders of our Commonwealth. As a fifth-generation Mercer Countian, she also concentrates on the many challenges facing rural Kentucky. Jacqueline is determined to build a better Kentucky for everyone.  
  • Susan Elkington

    President • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky

    As president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) since 2018, Elkington oversees an $8 billion operation, which employs more than 10,000 people, and in a year, can produce as many as 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines. TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally, producing the Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES 350 (including hybrid versions of all three), and RAV4 Hybrid; plus, four-cylinder and V6 engines, in Georgetown, Kentucky. Elkington joined TMMK in January 2017 as senior vice president, overseeing the plant’s manufacturing and administrative functions. Prior to this role, she served as general manager, Production Control Division at Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) global headquarters in Toyota City, Japan, supporting Toyota’s 53 manufacturing plants worldwide. Elkington earned her mechanical engineering degree from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
  • Alice Houston

    Founder & Owner • HJI Supply Chain Solutions

    Bio coming soon.
  • Rep. Joni Jenkins

    Representative • Commonwealth of Kentucky

    Bio coming soon.
  • Elizabeth McCoy

    CEO • Planters Bank

    Elizabeth McCoy is the CEO of Planters Bank in Hopkinsville, KY. Planters Bank is comprised of 12 locations located in Western Kentucky and Montgomery County, Tennessee. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; University of Kentucky Board of Trustees; past Chair of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; and serves on several other boards and committees including the Hopkinsville Industrial Foundation, Hopkinsville/Christian County Economic Development Council, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for Gatton College of Business. Mrs. McCoy recently received the Martha Layne Collins Leadership Award. She is originally from London, Kentucky and a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Gatton School of Business. She holds an MBA and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. McCoy is married to Hal McCoy and has one son.  
  • Diane Medley

    Executive Chairman • MCM CPAs & Advisors

    Active in public accounting since 1981, Diane Medley co-founded Chilton & Medley in 1988 and Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP in 2010. She has led the firm through several mergers and acquisitions, making MCM the largest CPA firm in the region with approximately 350 employees across five locations, including offices in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Indianapolis and Jeffersonville, Ind., and Cincinnati, Ohio. Today the firm is the 76th largest professional and financial services firm in the United States. As the former Managing Partner and Co-Founder, she was the first woman in the region to have this leadership position within a major firm, and one of only a few in the U.S. Top 100. After graduating from Meade County High School in 1973, Diane attended the University of Louisville and graduated with a B.S. in Commerce in 1980 with Highest Honors. She was the class Valedictorian of the School of Business and Outstanding Senior in Accounting.  
  • Kate Shanks

    Vice President of Public Affairs • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

    Shanks has been with the Chamber for more than four years and focuses her work on energy, environment, small business, and competitiveness issues. She is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and earned both a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation and Management and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining the Chamber, Kate spent nearly 12 years working for state agencies focused on energy and environmental policy and regulation and has held multiple positions relating to communications, outreach, policy analysis and design, and legislative affairs.  
  • Renee Shaw

    Public Affairs Managing Producer and Host • Kentucky Educational Television (KET)

    In 1997, Shaw began her career at KET as a public policy reporter and associate producer. In 2005, she launched the first statewide minority affairs program, Connections with Renee Shaw, on KET. As one of KET’s public affairs program producers, Shaw is producer/managing editor and host of KET’s legislative coverage, co-hosts election night coverage, hosts KET’s health series, and produces numerous other issue-centered programs at KET. For more than a decade, she produced Comment on Kentucky, KET’s longest running public affairs program. A former adjunct professor of media writing at Georgetown College, Shaw has trained journalists in Southeast Asia on reporting principles and standards and produced multi-platform, issue and public policy reports for a national news service. She travels across the state moderating public issues forums and speaking about diversity, media, political and state legislative matters. Shaw is a native of Portland, Tenn. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science in 1994 and a master’s degree in corporate communications in 1996. She worked for several years as an award-winning reporter and associate producer with Western’s Public Broadcasting Service: WKYU-TV and WKYU-FM.  
  • Ashli Watts

    President and CEO • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

    Ashli Watts was named the President and CEO for the Kentucky Chamber, the state’s largest business association, in November 2019. Ashli joined the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in November of 2012 and during her tenure a Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the Chamber led efforts in passing significant pieces of legislation such as felony expungement in 2016, right to work legislative in 2017, workers’ compensation reform in 2018 and reinstating arbitration agreements in 2019. As part of the Chamber’s leadership team, the Kentucky Chamber was named National State Chamber of the Year in 2017. Prior to joining the Chamber, she worked at the Kentucky Bar Association and the Legislative Research Commission. Ashli graduated from Campbellsville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History in 2004 and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Louisville. Ashli is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Kentucky, currently serves on the boards for Campbellsville University, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), where she was also named a 40 under 40 in 2020. Ashli also serves on the Kerner Commission, Agritech Council, and the Commonwealth Education Continuum, appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear. She currently resides in Frankfort with her husband Ryan and two children, Emma and Carter.  

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