Debra Hensley describes herself as a social entrepreneur, community builder, and socially responsible civic servant. She is the owner of the Hensley Agency of State Farm Insurance Companies in Lexington. She has worked in insurance and financial services since 1974.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Debra focused her volunteer and advocacy work towards improving the lives of women, children, and families.
In the mid-80’s and early 90’s, Debra was elected to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council where she focused on social justice issues, affordable housing, and homelessness. As Chair of the Task Force on Homelessness in Lexington in the early 90’s, she emerged as a leading force behind creation of the Hope Center to assist homeless and at-risk people. In recent years, she was appointed as Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness which advocates for innovative solutions to address the complex nature of homelessness.
Debra is the Co-Founder of Downtown Lexington Corporation which promotes downtown as a unique and vibrant place in Lexington for business, residential life and entertainment
She is the founder of Debra Hensley’s Social Stimulus, which produces podcasts of unique individuals in the Bluegrass Region and hosts fundraising events featuring local “do good” businesses and organizations: www.debrassocialstimulus.com
She is past Chair of The Kentucky Conference of Community & Justice (KCCJ) and played a significant role in the creation of “The Plantory”, a Centre for Social Innovation and an initiative of the KCCJ. The Plantory covers administrative needs of small profit and nonprofit tenants and helps incubate organizations focused on social good, bringing together organizations and individuals who share the common vision of improving the well-being of people and the planet.
As a co-founder of JustFundKY, she helped to create an endowment to fund efforts to eradicate discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. She worked with public officials and community advocates for passage of the Fairness Ordinance to protect LGBT individuals against discrimination.
Debra is the Founder and President of Lexington Community Radio, a non-profit organization that will be launching two Low-Power FM stations in the next few months located at the STEAM Academy. These stations will broadcast and connect in English and Spanish. The content will focus on “public wellness” which means public health & safety, local news & meaningful education, public-issue forums, and cultural exchange, events, and entertainment.