Alumni Hall of Distinction | BCTC

Alumni Hall of Distinction

Bluegrass Community and Technical College established the Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2017 to honor the extraordinary contributions made by our former students.  

Inductees

We are proud to recognize the following members of the inaugural class of the BCTC Alumni Hall of Distinction.

2019 Inductees

Lexington Community College, 1987

Associate of Applied Science, Nursing

Professor Holroyd was originally from Selma, Alabama. With the help of Ruth Newman, her Choral teacher, she was awarded a music scholarship at Peabody College in Nashville.  She worked in the cafeteria to cover her remaining expenses.

After graduating from Peabody, she returned to Alabama to teach chorus and band in Tuscumbia where she was one of only two women band directors. She also taught Choral music in Tuscaloosa until she left to study music at Columbia University.

She began her collegiate teaching at the Women's College of the University of North Carolina. After seven years, she continued her education at Indiana University concentrating on music education and voice.

Her career journey led her to the University of Kentucky where she was one of a few women Choral conductors at a major universities in the United State.  Professor Holroyd held the position of Director of Choral Activities where she taught music education, and conducted The Madrigal Singers, The Women's Glee Club, The University Chorus, The University Choristers, and The University Chorale from 1961-1987.  Sara was a trailblazer in both high school and collegiate conducting.

In 1987, she retired from the University of Kentucky at the age of 62 and enrolled in the nursing program at the Lexington Community College. After receiving her nursing degree, she became a nurse in the St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Department on the second shift. She worked in the Emergency Department until her retirement again at age 71.

Sara was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 2017. 

Lexington Community College, 1988

Architecture and Building Technology

Jimmy Nash attended Lexington Technical Institute and studied Architectural Technology.  A third-generation builder, he started Jimmy Nash Homes in 1990 and, for over 25 years, has been building beautiful custom homes in Central Kentucky. 

The company offers interior design services with every new home and pays close attention to energy efficiency, putting each home through a HERS (Home Energy Rating Standard) process.

Jimmy Nash Homes is consistently recognized during the Grand Tour of Homes sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky (BIA).  In 2018, they won first-place prizes within all eight categories: Curb Appeal, Landscaping, Kitchen, Master Suite, Floor Plan, Interior Features, Interior Lighting and Overall Appeal. The firm has also won the Best of Houzz awards every year since 2014.

Jimmy has been a long serving member of the BCTC Architectural Technology program advisory committee.  He has provided practicum and co-op placements for students and has even hired several to work for his company.   Jimmy Nash has invited architectural technology students to tour several of his homes, given presentations to classes, and provided funding to help offset cost of their annual trip to Chicago.  Jimmy Nash served on the BCTC Foundation Board of Directors from 2006 to 2017.   

Lexington Community College, 1990

Associate of Science

Ed L. Thompson, Jr. began his career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1987 as a Student Trainee in 1988. He obtained an associate in science degree from Lexington Community College (LCC), now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Mr. Thompson initially enrolled at the University of Kentucky (UK), but quickly transferred to LCC to complete his basic undergraduate studies. He later transferred back to UK and received a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy in 1993.

During his 28 years with the USDA, Mr. Thompson has served as a technical professional with the NRCS, and is currently a program manager with the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Mr. Thompson is responsible for student recruitment and retention in the fields of agriculture science and technology, and as a liaison for services to individuals and groups through USDA and the 1890 Land Grant Program. He also administers the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, and is responsible for coordinating all USDA outreach programs within the state of Kentucky.  He uses his previous experiences to work with students, faculty and staff in preparing graduates for employment with the USDA and private sector agricultural based industries.

Mr. Thompson attributes completing a college degree to choosing the right environment. "LCC let me focus on pursuing my degree while allowing me to juggle my part-time career with USDA. The small classroom setting prepared me to transfer to a larger institution setting."

Lexington Community College, 1981

Associate of Applied Science, Dental Hygiene

Dr. Teela J. Watts became interested in dentistry during high school in Owensboro, Kentucky.  She received her Associates in Applied Science degree in dental hygiene from Lexington Technical Institute where she graduated with honors in 1981.

After getting married and practicing as a dental hygienist in the area for five years, she enrolled in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 1986.   She gave birth to her daughter during her first year of dental school and that year with the number one rank in her class of fifty-two students.  She received a scholarship to provide support during her second year.   During that second year, Teela Watts lost most of her personal belongings in a house fire, but despite this, still finished with the number one ranking again.  Ultimately, she graduated with high distinction.

Dr. Watts opened her own dental practice in Versailles, Kentucky.   She has raised three beautiful children and has been active in her community and church.  Professionally, she has served on the Woodford Co. Board of Health as Dental Advisory for four years and on the BCTC Dental Hygiene Advisory Board since 2009.  

Dr. Watts shared that, "Dentistry has been a very gratifying, successful, and rewarding career for me and I could not imagine any other career where I could have helped more people."

2017 Inductees

photo of Claudia Carroll

Lexington Community College, 1996
Associate Degree, Nursing

Inducted October 4, 2017

Claudia Carroll was honored in 2012 as Outstanding Alumna. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1996 from the former Lexington Community College and went on to earn her BA in English from the University of Kentucky. Ms. Carroll has served as a licensed Registered Nurse for 21 years and has over 20 years of Human Resources experience.

She has held increasingly responsible positions from recruitment, to training and development, to employee relations. She is well-known for her work in nurse recruitment and nursing education including awareness and educational programs for students from middle school to college. She helped develop a loan program that helped hundreds of students. She has served on the advisory boards in education including BCTC and as president and vice president of the Kentucky Association of Health Care Recruiters. She has held leadership positions on the Federal Health and Education Credit Union Board of Directors. She was active in the BCTC Alumni Association serving as an active member as well as treasurer, vice president and president.

photo of David Prewitt

Lexington Community College, 1986
Associate Degree, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Inducted October 4, 2017

David Prewitt is a mechanical contractor with 42 years of experience providing commercial plumbing, heating, and piping services in the Central Kentucky area. After graduating from Transylvania University with a Business Degree in 1976, he started working with Cox Mechanical Contractors, Inc. As he worked, he became interested in the field operations of the business and enrolled in the former Lexington Community College. He received an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology in 1986. In time, Mr. Prewitt was offered a partnership role in the company and later became the sole owner, changing the name to Prewitt Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

He served as Chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors. As Chairman, Mr. Prewitt has worked toward increasing business opportunities for Kentucky Contractors and is recognized throughout his field and the community for his accomplishments. He has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 37 years, and his hobbies include motorcycling, bicycling, and cars. He was the 2006 awardee of the BCTC Outstanding Alumnus Award.

photo of Francis O'Hara

Central Kentucky State Vocational School, 1987
Diploma, Drafting/CAD

Inducted October 4, 2017

Dr. Francis O’Hara was a student in 1986 at the University of Kentucky majoring in Industrial Education while completing a diploma in Drafting at Central Kentucky State Vocational and Technical School. He worked for Central Associated Engineers, Inc. for eight years.

His passion for industrial education led him to leave the field of engineering to become a full time career and technical teacher at the Leestown Campus. He was later named Principal of Eastside Technical Center in Fayette County. Dr. O’Hara has served in various leadership capacities throughout the community, such as Leadership Kentucky, and was recognized as the Fayette County School Administrators Association "Administrator of the Year" in 2005.

He went back to school himself earning his doctorate in education. In 2005, he was named head of the Elkhorn Crossing School in Scott County, where he partnered with BCTC to support dual credit opportunities for technical courses. He was honored by BCTC in 2011 as the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He is currently the Director of Innovation Education in Kenton County Schools.

photo of Gary Cloyd

Lexington Technical Institute, 1979
Associate Degree, Architecture and Building Technology

Inducted on October 4, 2017
Gary Cloyd graduated from the Lexington Technical Institute in 1979 with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Architecture and Building Technology. He completed a Bachelor's of Business Administration Degree from the University of Kentucky, graduating with high distinction and departmental honors in Personnel and Industrial Relations.

Mr. Cloyd joined the staff of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) upon its founding in 1998 as the Assistant System Director of Facilities Management after serving approximately 20 years in similar positions in the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet. In his years with KCTCS, Mr. Cloyd supervised the construction of 40 new facilities with a total scope of approximately $500 million.

In 2002, he became the System Director of Facilities Management and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2010. Mr. Cloyd's primary responsibilities centered on developing policies and procedures for managing and operating KCTCS facilities, establishing a facilities maintenance program, starting an annual facility inspection protocol, and supervising construction of new facilities. He also managed the development of the KCTCS six year capital plan and preparation of the KCTCS biennial capital budget requests.

Mr. Cloyd was lured out of retirement in 2015 to manage two construction projects for BCTC: the Georgetown-Scott County Campus Advanced Manufacturing Center and the Science Education Center at the Newtown Campus in Lexington.

Mr. Cloyd was a member of the inaugural KCTCS President's Leadership Seminar class in 2000 and received the 2006 New Horizon's Staff Award of Excellence for the KCTCS System Office. He has volunteered with several organizations including the Versailles/Woodford County Repair Affair, the United Way, and the Parent Teacher Organization, and has coached several youth athletic teams.

"BCTC has benefited immeasurably from the dedication and expertise of Gary Cloyd. Having worked with him directly for over 15 years, I know that we owe him for the fine new facilities and the well-maintained older buildings at BCTC. We thank him for his years of public service in support of our students."

-Dr. August Julian

photo of Glenna Fletcher

Lexington Community College, 1983
Associate Degree, Nursing

Inducted October 4, 2017

Glenna Fletcher and her husband, Ernie, have been nearly lifelong partners in their work to serve. She raised their two children while moving around as an Air Force family. When they returned to Kentucky, Mrs. Fletcher decided to complete her Nursing RN degree and chose the former Lexington Community College, completing her Associate Degree in Nursing in 1983.

Her passion was working with young mothers. When her husband entered politics, she managed much of the campaign and staff, helped raise the funds, and developed relationships throughout the district and state to better know and serve their constituents. Becoming Kentucky's 60th First Lady, she embarked on a new journey making a difference.

Mrs. Fletcher championed Get Healthy Kentucky and was key in the "Read Achieve" program among other worthy initiatives. Following her time as First Lady, the Fletchers established Alton Healthcare and the Alton Institute with the goal to improve healthcare efficiency and efficacy, again focusing on service to parents and families. She was honored as the BCTC 2005 Outstanding Alumna of the Year.


photo of Greg Wood

Lexington Community College, 1986
Associate Degree, Electrical Engineering

Inducted October 4, 2017

Greg Wood began his education at the former Central Kentucky State Vocational Technical School in 1978 and earned his Associate of Applied Science Degree from the former Lexington Community College in 1986. He has been a leader in the facilities management field for many years, spending some 30 years with IBM and then Lexmark International, Inc. He also worked with Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis.

Mr. Wood now owns Freedom Realty and Property Management, and was recognized as the 2017 Winchester – Clark County Chamber Business Partner of the Year. He has served as a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2014 and was the Chamber Director in 2016. He has participated on several college advisory committees for more than 25 years. While at IBM/Lexmark, he provided co-op experiences and hired many students. He was honored as the BCTC 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. Mr. Wood and his wife, Penny, have been married for 37 years. He is a member of Central Baptist Church and has served his community through working with many community organizations.

photo of Guy Cornish

Lexington Community College, 1988
Associate Degree, Mechanical Engineering

Lexington Community College, 1992
Associate Degree, Electrical Engineering

Inducted October 4, 2017

Guy Cornish began his studies as a non-traditional student at the former Lexington Technical Institute and Lexington Community College, completing all his classes while working full-time and earning two engineering degrees. He then transferred to Midway College where he received a Bachelor of Organizational Management.

During his 46 year career, he has worked in the engineering departments at three major companies in the Lexington area including Irvin Industries, Inc. Air Structures Division and Clark Material Handling. He is currently a Staff Engineer at Schneider Electric (Square D). He has been honored with numerous awards including the college's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award in 2004. As a member of the Alumni Association, he was a tireless supporter of the college. Mr. Cornish and his wife, Donna, enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren ages 8-15. He is an avid genealogist and writes a newsletter that he emails to over 100 family members.

photo of Joey Payne

Lexington Community College, 1992
Associate Degree, Business Technology

Inducted October 4, 2017

Joey Payne graduated from Lexington Community College in 1992 with an Associate in Business Technology, then continued his education, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1993. He earned an MBA in 2000 from Eastern Kentucky University.

Mr. Payne currently serves as Vice President and Senior Consultant at the Cammack Retirement Group, a leading national, independent retirement plan consulting and investment advisory firm. He focuses on providing comprehensive services to colleges and universities and not-for-profit, healthcare, and corporate plan sponsors.

Mr. Payne began his career as a store manager for Domino’s Pizza, then as area manager for Pizza Hut, Inc. He then joined the University of Kentucky (UK) and worked as the Senior Retirement Officer for UK Employee Benefits. He was named Business Officer for the UK Community College System. He joined KCTCS in 1998, first as the Director of Employee Benefits, where he helped to design and establish all of the benefits programs for the newly created institution. He later served as Acting Director of Human Resources.

In 1999, Mr. Payne returned to UK to serve as the Chief Benefits Officer, including responsibility for the $185 million self-funded medical benefits plan covering 33,000 lives. In 2011, he was named Executive Director of Know Your RX and leads a team of nine pharmacists at UK in the delivery of concierge services for employers and their 117,000 plan participants in 48 states. He was an adjunct faculty member for several years and continues as a guest lecturer each semester.

Mr. Payne has served on numerous boards, including the advisory boards for TIAA-CREF and Express Scripts, as well as the Bryan Station Alumni Association and the Lafayette Band Association. He was recently named to the Bryan Station High School Hall of Distinction.

photo of Karen Hill

Lexington Community College, 1978
Associate Degree, Nursing

Inducted October 4, 2017
Dr. Karen Hill is the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer at Baptist Health Lexington. She earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Lexington Technical Institute in 1978, then a Bachelor’s of Science and Nursing in 1987, a Master of Science and Nursing in 1990, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2010 from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Dr. Hill oversees operations in the acute care hospital and outpatient centers supervising over 2,800 employees. Under her leadership, Baptist Health Lexington has been designated as a Magnet® organization three times, an international recognition for nursing excellence.

Dr. Hill leads Baptist Health System initiatives including co-chair of the Value-Based Steering Committee and the Operations and Efficiency Council. She has organized, on behalf of the Baptist Health System based in Louisville, over 55 affinity groups of disciplines across the state to share best practices in resources, leadership, and staffing.

Dr. Hill also contributes to her profession in numerous ways including serving as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Nursing Administration, an international scholarly peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Hill has authored over 65 peer-reviewed publications and is co-author of a book to be released in 2018 on creating a research environment in a community hospital. She is well known for her expertise in leadership development, presenting internationally on topics such as bringing evidence to practice, tips for publishing and working with an editor, leading an intergenerational workforce, and the retention of experienced older employees among other topics. She was inducted in the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow in 2012.

Dr. Hill is active in the community. She is the chair-elect of Commerce Lexington, as well as the Chairperson of the Hospital Advisory Commission for The Joint Commission. She serves and supports various community health-related charities and is an usher in her church.

"We are excited to honor Dr. Karen Hill for her success, but even more, for her commitment and support to the BCTC nursing programs. From work on advisory groups, speaking at pinnings, legislative advocacy, and supporting scholarships, she has been a contributor, reaching back to help others throughout her career."

-Dr. Augusta Julian

photo of Paul Embs

Lexington Community College, 1995
Associate Degree, Business Management

Inducted October 4, 2017

Paul Embs was employed with Rockwell International in Winchester just out of high school. He married Claudia, his wife of 46 years, and joined the 100th Division of the Army Reserve. He studied at the former Central Kentucky State Vocational Technical School and the former Lexington Community College before completing an Associate Degree in Business Management in 1995.

With a new job at Clark Energy Cooperative, he moved on to Midway University obtaining a Bachelor's degree in 1999. Mr. Embs was named President and CEO of Clark Energy Cooperative in 2005, a provider of electrical service to parts of eleven counties and operator of a regional propane gas subsidiary. He retired in 2015, but remains active as the Chairman of the Greater Clark Foundation. He has served on several utility boards and committees at a state and national level. He was active in Winchester and the surrounding communities serving as the Chamber of Commerce President and as chairman of Hospice East. He was honored as the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2008.

photo of Susan Westrom

Lexington Community College
Associate Degree

Inducted October 4, 2017
Representative Susan Westrom has served the citizens of Fayette County’s 79th Legislative District as State Representative since 1999. She is proud to have attended the former Lexington Community College (LCC). She thanks Jeanne Humble, a faculty member at LCC and BCTC, for inspiring her to accept every academic challenge and take the first steps in giving back.

Rep. Westrom says she "bloomed where I was planted." As a 32-year-old single parent of two children with no quality, post-secondary education, she decided to enroll at LCC. She quickly realized she was the oldest person in the class and felt blessed with exceptional educators. She did well academically and acquired scholarships all the way through graduate school. From the University of Kentucky (UK), she earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Social Work.

Rep. Westrom has consistently fought for issues affecting Kentuckians. She has worked tirelessly to promote the well-being of children and families, improved regulations for licensed professionals, licensed assisted living facilities, and transparency in government. She supports business development, especially fighting for Central Kentucky’s signature industries. Currently, she serves in the Kentucky House as a member of the Agriculture, Appropriations and Revenue, Licensing and Occupations Committees, as well as the Budget Review Subcommittee on Health and Family Services. She serves on the national level as the vice-chair of the National Council of States Legislators Legislative Effectiveness Committee.

As a strong supporter of her community, Rep. Westrom has served on a number of boards including the Midway University Center for Women and Leadership Advisory Board, the UK College of Social Work Advisory Board, and the UK Women’s Health Center Advisory Council. She has also served on the Professional Women’s Forum, the Lexington Forum, Kentucky United for Children and Families, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, and the Human Services Regional Council. She is currently a certified mediator in Fayette County.

"Representative Susan Westrom has been a BCTC advocate in many ways over her career. As a legislator and public servant who benefited from a community college education, she has supported students, families, and higher education in both government and business roles. She is a voice for many who need a champion, with support and vision for a better Commonwealth."

-Dr. Augusta Julian

photo of Terona Cobble-Johnson

Lexington Community College, 1992
Associate Degree, Business Management

Inducted October 4, 2017

Terona Cobble-Johnson grew up on a farm in rural Fayette County, but the necessity of education and academic success was her parents’ mantra. She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and later from college. She has spent a career supporting Fayette County’s youth.

Mrs. Cobble-Johnson earned an Associate Degree in Business Management from the former Lexington Community College. After graduation, she accepted a position as office manager for the Kentucky Special Olympics. In August 2000, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Individual and Family Development. She is currently the coordinator of the youth services center at Winburn Middle School where she has created a state model for youth development. She is a dedicated community leader, using her leadership skills to support the Roots and Heritage Teen Conference, Community Action Council, Rite of Passage for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and others. Ms. Cobble-Johnson was honored in 2007 as the BCTC Outstanding Alumna of the Year and was inducted into the Super Sunday Hall of Fame in 2014.


photo of Tom Masterson

Lexington Technical Institute, 1979
Associate Degree, Architecture

Inducted October 4, 2017

Tom Masterson is an entrepreneur with over 40 years in the electrical construction business. He founded and has owned TEM Group for the past 18 years. Mr. Masterson has received many awards for his success including being named the 2009 Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year by the US Small Business Administration, and the Associated General Contractor of Construction Man of the Year in 2000. He received his Associate Degree in Architecture from the former Lexington Technical Institute in 1979. He later completed a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Louisville in 1998 and studied at Dartmouth University in their Executive MBA program in 2005-2006.

Mr. Masterson has nearly 20 years of service to BCTC and was honored as the 2009 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He became a member of the BCTC Alumni Association board in 1999 and served as president from 2002-2007 when he worked to establish an Alumni Scholarship. He was also instrumental in helping BCTC start its own Foundation serving as a member, vice-chair, and chair.