Roundtable Networking Luncheons are held in the fall (four luncheons) and winter (five luncheons) attracting over 175 business professionals at each event. If you’ve attended in the past, you know the value of face time with this prestigious group! Be empowered by speakers who are prominent leaders in Kentucky as they share their personal and professional challenges and lessons learned. Connect with leaders and decision makers, build your network, visit exhibitors (and do a little shopping!), win door prizes, feel motivated and make new friends. Attendees have the opportunity to announce their job openings with the group and candidates who are searching for new employment can share their qualifications to this diverse network of professionals. This is an event you don’t want to miss!
- 11:30-12:00 Register/Network/Visit Exhibitors
- 12:00pm Lunch & Program
- 1:20pm Drawing for door prizes
- 1:30pm Adjourn
- January 17 | Ouita Michel, Chef & Restaurateur
- February 7 | Holly Sheilley, V.P. Student Life/Athletic Director, Transylvania University
- March 6 | Linda Gorton, Lexington Mayor
- March 27 | Ann Reed, Regional President, Kroger
- April 18 | Amy McGrath, Lt. Colonel (Ret.), U.S. Marine Corps
To read bios click on the plus + sign
Since 2001, when Ouita Michel and her husband, Chris, opened the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky., she has made locally grown ingredients a priority in her world-class cuisine. Michel’s restaurants have purchased almost $3 million of Kentucky-grown meats, dairy and produce. She was a James Beard Foundation Award nominee as Outstanding Restaurateur, and Best Chef in the Southeast. Michel and her restaurants are regularly featured in media such as The New York Times, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Ouita Michel is a member of Slow Food USA; Les Dames d’Escoffier; community supper coordinator for Midway Christian Church; board member of FoodChain, a non-profit food incubator in Lexington, Ky.; and Hindman Settlement School, which is dedicated to enriching Appalachian culture. She is a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a statewide citizens group. Michel is an alumna of the James Beard Chefs Boot Camp, for chefs who work to improve the world’s food systems. Honors include the Fayette Alliance Agricultural Excellence Award and Bluegrass Tomorrow’s most prestigious honor, the Josephine Abercrombie Award, given to a person who improves the quality of life in the Bluegrass. Ouita, Chris and their daughter, Willa, live in Midway.
Dr. Holly Sheilley is in her sixth year at Transylvania University and 24th year in higher education. She began her tenure at Transylvania as its first female Director of Athletics and only third female AD for the state of Kentucky. In 2016, Dr. Sheilley moved into her current role as Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.
As vice president of enrollment and student services, Sheilley oversees enrollment management, marketing and communication; admissions recruitment; student life and well-being; campus and community engagement; diversity and inclusion; residence life; and all athletic operations including oversight of 27 varsity teams. Since her arrival at Transy, she has led a rebranding initiative for athletics which included the development of a new mascot, new logos and a new athletics website. She was also instrumental in the creation of a new diversity and inclusion office as well as the new student transition and family programs office. Among her numerous athletic successes include six athletic programs having their first NCAA All-Americans; the most NCAA appearances and conference champions in one year; renovation of Hall Softball Field; and the creation of the first women’s triathlon team in Kentucky.
Prior to Transylvania University, Sheilley served as the assistant director of championships for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Prior to coming to the NCAA, she served as the assistant director for student development and championships at the University of Louisville where she was for over eight years. She received the doctorate of philosophy degree in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville, a master’s degree in secondary education from Eastern Kentucky University and a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Asbury University.
Linda Gorton is the Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. Linda grew up in the heart of farm country in central Ohio, where her father sold Ford tractors and later managed a grain elevator. Her mother worked in a physician’s office. Linda attended the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, where she graduated in 1971. She married Charles Gorton, a native Lexingtonian and fellow UK graduate. The newlyweds moved to Germany where Charlie was stationed with the U.S. Army and Linda worked as a registered nurse. After three years in Germany, the two moved to Columbus, GA, next to South Korea and then back to the U.S. where they decided to come home to Lexington.
Over the years, Linda has volunteered with numerous groups. She was a Girl Scout leader, a LYSA youth soccer coach and volunteered with the Lafayette Band. She is an ordained Elder and Deacon at Second Presbyterian Church. Linda has served on many community boards, including the Friends of the Dog Park, Parks Advisory Board, Family Circuit Court Advisory Board, Sister Cities Commission, UK/LFUCG Arboretum Advisory Board, Bluegrass Council-Boy Scouts, Bluegrass Military Affairs Coalition, Friends of the Lafayette Band, Central Kentucky Radio Eye, and Emergency Medical Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the Citizen Police Academy, the Citizen Fire Academy, Leadership Lexington 2000 and Leadership Kentucky 2001. In addition to her community service, Linda was a staff nurse for a local physician and was a volunteer Family Support instructor for the U.S. Army Reserve Battalion and Brigade Pre-Command Course.
Before being elected Mayor, Linda served 16 years on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council: four terms representing the 4th District, one term as a Council Member At-Large and one term as Vice Mayor.
Linda and Charles have two children and four grandchildren. Both children are in military families.
Ann oversees the Louisville Division of Kroger and is responsible for 116 stores in Kentucky, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois that employ more than 15,000 associates.
Ann began her career with Kroger in the Central Division in 1993. Since then she has served in a number of leadership positions in both merchandising and operations, including store manager, buyer, category manager, Deli/Bakery merchandiser, director of Deli/Bakery and director of Fresh Ready Meals. Ann was promoted to Vice President of Merchandising at Fry’s in 2010, followed by vice president of Merchandising at Fred Meyer in 2013, then Vice President of Customer 1st Promise in General Office in 2015. She was named to her current position in 2017.
She was recognized in 2012 as one of Progressive Grocers Top Women in Grocery. She has served as a board member of the Western Association of Food Companies and the Northwest Grocers Association. Ann attended Ball State University in Indiana where she majored in Marketing and Management. She and her husband, Daniel, live in Goshen, KY and have one son Robert who is 14. Ann enjoys being a part of her son Robert’s sports, boating, remodeling/renovating, and gardening.
When Amy McGrath was 12 years old, she fell in love with military fighter jets. Wondering why there were no women flying, Amy discovered there was a federal law in the U.S. prohibiting women from serving in combat roles. Amy began writing letters to members of Congress advocating for change to remove the restriction on women and wrote every member of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. During her senior year of high school, the combat exclusion law was lifted.
Amy attended the US Naval Academy and graduated in 1997 with a B.S. in Political Science. She was commissioned as an officer in the US Marine Corps, where she went on to serve as an F/A-18 Pilot and Hornet Weapons Systems Officer stationed at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA. Amy completed a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2002, becoming the first female Marine to fly in an F/A-18 on a combat mission. Her second combat tour was to Iraq in 2003.
In 2009, Amy married U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Erik Henderson and both were later deployed simultaneously to Afghanistan (her third combat tour). They now have three children. In 2011, Amy was assigned to Washington D.C. as a Marine Corps Congressional Fellow, serving as defense and foreign affairs policy advisor to Rep. Susan Davis of San Diego. She then served in the Pentagon as the Marine Corps’ liaison to other federal government agencies such as the Department of State. Having reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Amy’s last assignment was instructing at the US Naval Academy. She earned a Master’s Degree in Global Security from Johns Hopkins University. Amy retired from the Marine Corps in 2017 after 20 years and moved back home where she launched her campaign for Congress in Kentucky’s Sixth District. Since the November election, Amy has resumed flying and is enjoying her first extended time off in 25 years.