The winner of the Public Individual Award at this year's East Kentucky Leadership Conference is a woman who works behind the scenes and doesn't seek the spotlight.
Some say much of the success of the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation can be attributed directly to her guidance and support since she became involved.
Annette Napier has been walking through this door at the Kentucky River Area Development District, or KRADD, since 1989.
“We're very fortunate to have Annette working in this organization and I think the region benefits from her being here,” Paul Hall, KRADD Executive Director said.
KRADD works with city and county governments to improve the quality of life for residents in its eight county area.
As program director, one of Napier's first assignments was to work with the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation on its annual conference.
“I never dreamed that it would last this long and grow to what it is today... we average three to four hundred people at each conference the last few years,” Annette Napier said.
Napier says she always comes away with new ideas after working with the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation.
She encourages everyone to attend the conference.
“Anybody who's never been to this conference should come one time, you think East Kentucky Leadership, I'm not a leader, I don't need to go, but it's not just for the leaders it’s from the everyday person who wants to learn more about how their country, how their city operates or things that they can do as a private citizen to better their communities,” Napier said.
It's an everyday person like Napier that many say has become a leader... whether she thinks so or not.
“To me these awards should be for dignitaries, people who have been in public office or in the public eye for years, not somebody like me who's behind the scenes. I've been behind the scenes for 18 years and enjoy working with the group. It's an honor to know that they feel like I deserve an award like this,” Napier said.
Napier says she hopes her work with the group will continue.
“It's been a very worthwhile effort and I hope to see it go 20 more years,” Napier said.
The winner of the 2007 East Kentucky Leadership Award for a Public Individual goes to Annette Napier.