Volunteer 2014

emilyverticalEmily Alvey

Intern – 3 Years

Emily Alvey is a senior at Centre College pursing a degree in Anthropology with a minor in Asian Studies. She has been an important contributor to the success of the Frazier Museum for the past three years in the area of visitor experience. She was an Exhibit Specialist Intern at the Frazier History Museum during the summer of 2012. During that time I developed a very high regard for Emily based on the outstanding contributions that she made throughout the summer. Emily was integral to the success of our Summer Intern/Volunteer Program that year. She joined us again in 2013 as Project Manager Intern for our summer intern program with the same success. We were lucky enough to have her join one more time this past summer as our Development/Volunteer Intern. It was again a pleasure to have her with us.

Emily is especially valuable to our museum because of the knowledge of human history, Japanese history, culture and, language she has so far obtained through her studies. Her contributions to the material we use to enhance the visitor experience make her a true stand out. She has been the featured volunteer in the museum’s newsletter, Compass. She was also hand selected to provide a private tour for Master Kono Yoshinori, a contributor to the “Samurai” exhibit and the Consulate-General of Japan.
Emily takes ownership of her projects which revolve around enhancing the visitor experience. She made great contributions during our summer exhibits Samurai, Mythic Creatures and Gridirion Glory. Her attitude is contagious, and I have been extremely pleased with the influence she has over the entire volunteer and intern staff. Emily is the chief communicator and scheduler for this staff during her summers here. For the most part, the projects run smoothly enough for me to play a minimal role in day to day operations once recruiting and initial training takes place. I often joke that I don’t know what was going on because I don’t need to.

This summer, Emily took on the responsibilities required of the Exhibit Specialist as well as some additional responsibilities that were left unfinished when I unexpectedly lost my human resources intern. The additional tasks did not negatively affect her performance on the public side of things, and I was grateful for the help behind the scenes. Emily’s commitment to excellence and can do attitude brightened the office and made her a very well-liked and effective intern.

In addition to normal day to day operations and private tours, Emily took extra work updating the database of our Collections Department during her internship. This opportunity arose when Emily expressed to me a desire to gain as much valuable museum experience as possible during her time here. It was refreshing to see a young person not only take full advantage of the opportunities she had in her specific assignment, but to go the extra step and create new opportunities for herself. Her success in the summer exhibits carried over to her time in the Collection Department. I received nothing but positive feedback from her supervisor on that project.

As you can tell by now, I am impressed with this outstanding young woman and feel she extremely deserving of this award.

Nominated by Lauren Wheatley

ClariceDenouxClarice Denoux

Volunteer – 3 Years

Clarice worked for the Jefferson County Public School systems for 29 and a half years. Upon retiring, she immediately began volunteering with the Louisville Zoo and The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. She has been with both organizations now for 3 years, where she gives a combined 950 hours of service a year.

Clarice goes above and beyond the call of duty in everything that she does. Out of 475 active volunteers for The Kentucky Center, Clarice is consistently among the top 5 who spend the most time volunteering here. This past year she gave over 750 hours to The Kentucky Center alone. In addition to ushering for shows, Clarice spends hours typing and editing scripts so that our patrons with hearing loss can take advantage of our Caption Theater program. On top of all of that she comes into the Volunteer Office every Friday to help coordinate and schedule those 475 volunteers. Recently, Clarice facilitated in the Hospitality training for all of our staff and volunteers.I truly do not know what The Kentucky Center would do without Clarice, and I hope that in my time here, we never have to find out.

Nominated by Lauren Metts

MariLivelycropMari Lively

Volunteer – 7 Years

Mari Lively is originally from Michigan and first came to Louisville back in January 1986 for a long weekend seminar. During those few days, she fell in love with the city, the people, and the Southern Hospitality. She even met her (late) husband here in Louisville, but always says that she fell in love with Louisville first.

Mari actually started volunteering purely by accident, having settled down in the Old Louisville area back in 2003, and was taking her dogs for a walk when one day she happened upon the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center (OLCC/VC). She and her dogs were welcomed with open arms each time she came by until one day she asked if they ever used volunteers. They thought that was a great idea and Mari became the first volunteer for the OLCC/VC back in July 2007.

Mari loved telling visitors about the history of the Old Louisville neighborhood and enjoyed how appreciative the visitors were. It was through her volunteering at the OLCC/VC that she was introduced to the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and had the opportunity to volunteer at events, such as the Kentucky State Fair and the National FFA Convention & Expo.

Mari credits her volunteer time as the reason she has been able to experience events she would never typically get to attend, meet wonderful people and create lasting friendships, and for the last year and a half, become a part of the Louisville Visitors Center volunteer family. In 2013, Mari became our Top Volunteer with 508 volunteer hours.

Why does Mari love to volunteer? When asked, Mari told us, “It’s hard to put into words how much satisfaction I get when I see visitors get excited as I tell them about all the things to do and see in Louisville. To make them feel welcome and help them navigate the city so they can get the most out of the time they have to spend here and to make them want to come back. It just makes me feel like I’m giving back to a city that’s given me so much. I love being that warm welcome that I’ve always received here!”

I have a love affair of Louisville since I laid eyes on it. Years ago, I was driving from Michigan to a conference here and as I drove over the Kennedy bridge, the skyline mesmerized me.

I attended the seminar, happened to met a wonderful man, fell in love with Louisville and him, and made my life here. My husband, the love of my life, passed away but people here embraced me and supported me. My life has run the gamut but sharing Louisville is my passion and this place gives me a chance to talk about the city that I love.

[from Facebook]

I have had the pleasure of working with Mari Lively for the last year and a half as her Volunteer Coordinator at the Louisville Visitors Center. While I never envisioned myself as being a Volunteer Coordinator on my professional journey, I cannot imagine doing anything else because I have such an amazing volunteer team to work with that includes Mari Lively.

When Mari is not regularly scheduled to work at the Louisville Visitors Center, she is always the first to volunteer more of her time if I need help. She works with us at our special events as well, like Forecastle, the Kentucky State Fair, WorldFest, etc. She even tells me that I can call her at a moment’s notice if I need her.

Her dedication is noticed by all and reminds me of what Gathan Borden, our Director of Brand Marketing & Advertising at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau told me about his experience of working with Mari…

I first met Mari when she was volunteering for FFA, and she had no idea that I worked for the LCVB. I asked her why she volunteers, and she then proceeded to tell me about how much she loves the city and that she has a passion to help others. After that encounter, I always ran into her at various events that she was volunteering for, and I thought to myself, “Man, she is everywhere!” But every time I saw her, she always had a smile and a kind word to say. I would watch her interact with visitors and I was impressed with her knowledge of the city, because as a volunteer, she may know more than most people who sell the city for a living. I think Mari is an awesome example of what volunteerism and customer service is all about, and I think that she serves as a model volunteer for the city.

Mari should win a ROSE Award because she cares about each and every visitor and local that comes into the Louisville Visitors Center, visits one of our festival booths, or just encounters in her daily activities. Mari is an embodiment of what makes Louisville such a compassionate and amazing place to be.

Nominated by Rose Zimmerman Caple

KenO'HaraKen O’Hara

Airport Ambassador – 6 Years

Ken O’Hara has been an integral part of the Airport Ambassador Program at the Louisville International Airport since February 2008. Since this time, he has logged more than 1,700-hours in the Information Booth where he volunteers at least once a week. In the Information Booth he welcomes visitors to Louisville and helps weary travelers find their luggage, ground transportation, hotel information and answers a variety of questions about the airport and our community. In addition, whenever necessary, he readily assists travelers in finding solutions to unique and unusual problems they may be facing. Ken says one of his favorite things about working in the Information Booth is bringing a smile to the airport’s youngest visitors by giving complimentary toy airplanes and stickers to children.

A native of Queens, NY, Ken served in the U.S. Navy and the Merchant Marines and retired from a career of more than 40-years in aircraft maintenance with Pan American Airlines, Eastern Airlines and UPS. He said he enjoyed working in aircraft technical support because he was part of a team that was constantly problem solving and troubleshooting issues. Which are all things that come in handy when he’s helping travelers and guests at the airport’s Information Booth.

Ken has also served our community for a number of years campaigning for air safety. He currently volunteers for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Safety Team that includes holding monthly seminars for the aviation industry on safety issues and he helps train Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting personnel across the state on responding to aircraft emergencies. In addition, for more than 30 years he has worked on counter terrorism efforts with various law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, the U.S. Navy’s Seal Team Six, the FBI and local SWAT teams.

Ken is a proud father and grandfather who enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife, Gail, have three children – a son, Michael, and two daughters, Christine and Erin. They also have four grandsons – Aidan, 8, Connor, 6, Lochlan, 3 and Liam, seven months. Ken, a self-proclaimed prankster, smiles and says he is constantly teaching the youngsters “all the bad stuff” they need to know.

I love giving airplane stickers and toys to the kids, they get a kick out of it. I have a good friend that travels through Louisville named Jack. I’m careful to say ‘Hello Jack’ when I see him at the airport instead of ‘Hi Jack.’

[from Facebook]

The Louisville Regional Airport Authority nominates Ken O’Hara for the 2014 R.O.S.E. Award in the volunteer category because, not only is he a dedicated volunteer to the airport, he’s also an extremely passionate ambassador for our community. Ken greets arriving airport guests with his thick, New York-accent, warm smile and welcoming attitude. He loves to help people and feels satisfied knowing he’s been part of the solution in what can be difficult situations.

As an Airport Ambassador for more than six years, he has logged roughly 275 volunteer hours annually at the airport, which is approximately 15% of the time that a full-time, paid employee works each year. It is quite remarkable he gives so much of his time to a volunteer role.

Our volunteer coordinators and his fellow Ambassadors regularly notice Ken’s giving spirit. He is one of the most considerate individuals who always goes out of his way to make sure other Ambassadors he volunteers with have what they need to assist airport guests. And when Airport Ambassadors visit area attractions to learn about them, he constantly makes sure the other volunteers can see, hear and are front-and-center to learn new things. This same trait is not lost on travelers either. One passenger said, “Mr. O’Hara went above and beyond of any help I could have requested. He took down my information to assist me and immediately followed-up within 10 minutes. I cannot thank Mr. O’Hara enough for being so kind, patient and a great volunteer.” On another occasion, a wounded sergeant sent a hand-written note, thanking Ken for his assistance when he arrived in Louisville on his way to Ft. Knox. In his note the sergeant commented, “You are truly a good person… I appreciate everything you did for me.”

Ken has also dedicated additional time on various occasions to help patrons for the Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s special events such as welcoming Kentucky Derby guests and assisting 1,200-plus soldiers that previously departed annually from the airport for the holidays.

Countless compliments from passengers, guests and others have been received about Ken as he is truly an asset to the Airport Ambassador Program and our community. To us, he is an ideal Ambassador – one who is approachable and friendly, knowledgeable about and proud of our airport and community, generous with his time and never afraid to try new challenges.

Nominated by Natalie Chaudoin

donaldspaintDonald Spain

Volunteer Naturalist – 10 Years

Don Spain, a Volunteer Naturalist at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, is a native Louisvillian, graduating from Southern High School in 1958, and then continuing his education at the University of Louisville. After earning degrees in chemistry, math and English, he worked at Johnson Controls as an Analytical Chemist for 24 years before moving onto Chesapeake Packaging as a quality systems manager for nine years. Throughout his career, he taught part-time at Jefferson County Public Schools as an astronomy instructor, a position he maintains presently.

Upon retiring from Cheseapeake Packaging, he devoted his time to volunteer work by leading astronomy programs and other educational activities with the Louisville Astronomical Society as well as Blackacre Nature Preserve and Bernheim Forest. Though his background exudes math and science, he also dabbles in art–sketching and photographing landscapes of his experiences in nature as a volunteer. Additionally, he is currently working on his first children’s book and two novels. Don is continuing his education at the University of Louisville, working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Learning.

Don Spain has been a volunteer at Bernheim for over ten years, devoting his time to educating Bernheim’s 200,000 annual visitors so they learn more about the skies above. Whether leading a night hike, setting up a sun scope during the day, or simply sharing his knowledge of astronomy, chemistry, art, etc (the list really could go on for a long time), Don is responsible for many visitors’ positive experiences.
At Bernheim Don wears many hats. He is our “Star Captain” leading Bernheim’s monthly Star Stories astronomy programs. Don coordinates these programs with the Louisville Astronomical Society; and this partnership ensures that visitors have a good ratio of telescopes and trained eyes on hand to reveal the wonders of the night sky. Our participants in these programs range from small children to senior citizens and Don is attentive to the needs and interests of all visitors. He has a warm and relaxed manner that engages everyone. The Bernheim at Night series also includes monthly Full Moon Night Hikes where Don is on hand assisting with visitors while also training other Volunteer Naturalists.

Thanks to Don, hundreds of Bernheim visitors have a chance to learn about local history, geology and forest ecology from the lofty perch of Bernheim’s historic fire tower. We can’t open the fire tower to visitors without trained volunteers willing to provide a safe and informative opportunity for them to climb up into the cab and experience the bird’s eye view of Bernheim and the surrounding area. Don routinely reports for fire tower duty on our busy Sunday afternoons to ensure that our visitors aren’t disappointed by finding it closed.

Don serves as a good will ambassador for Bernheim through the generosity of his spirit, his ability to wonder and marvel, and his enthusiasm for sharing in the delight of discovery. During the first and third Saturday of each month, Bernheim hosts ECO Kids (Every Child Outside) programs and Don is nearly always on hand with telescopes, microscopes, or Kitchen Chemistry discovery activities. It’s a joy to watch him in action.

Don shares his artistic side through wonderful photos of nature and art (some his own) that he routinely posts on Bernheim’s Facebook page. He is always willing to jump in and help wherever needed, including being a volunteer Trail Scout, walking Bernheim’s 40+ miles of trails to ensure their safety and cleanliness. As a bonus, he often sketches drawings of the wonders he experiences while hiking.

In addition Don is one of our outstanding school field trip leaders, helping Bernheim make the outdoors more exciting and accessible to the hundreds of schools children attending each experience.

Don’s talents are many, and he shares them generously and humbly. He is a leader that inspires visitors, other volunteers, and staff alike. He has rightly received every award that Bernheim offers its most outstanding volunteers. Bernheim and our visitors are fortunate to have Don Spain connect them with nature.

Nominated by Amy Landon

PaulyoungPaul Young

Owner – 5 Years

Paul is a renaissance man when it comes to the craft beer industry! He has been active in the local beer scene for a long time, and has education and experience in museum curating as well as film making. After his business, My Old Kentucky Home Brew, became more established, he has been able to spend more and more time on volunteer projects that promote the Louisville craft beer industry, which is proving to be a great tourism attraction.

I’m a musician, and I see parallels about both the arts of crafting beer and music, but people generally love to hear old favorites with songs and with beer, it’s always evolving and changing…you could travel the world tasting beers and by the time you get around, it would be new again. Infinite possibilities when it comes to beer. I love to educate people about it.

[from Facebook]

Paul has been involved as a volunteer for the Louisville Independent Business Alliance’s Brewfest since 2011. The event is not only a huge fundraiser for the ‘keep Louisville weird’ campaign, it has also become a tourist draw for Louisville and serves to promote and add momentum to Louisville’s craft beer scene. Paul has been serving on the committee, and in 2013 stepped up his volunteer contributions even further by creating the “Brewseum”, which is a self-directed journey through the history of craft beer in Louisville, supported by demos, a ‘how-to’ area and in 2014, a short film as well. The Brewseum is focused on educating Brewfest goers on the impact that local beer has had to the Louisville community over the years. The exhibit has also been featured at the Kentucky Science Center’s “ExBEERiment” event in 2013 and will be in 2014 as well. Paul put the entire thing together as a volunteer, and it has proved to be a valuable part of the Louisville experience.

Nominated by Jennifer Rubenstein