Isabel Yates Community Service Award

The Isabel Yates Community Service Award was established in 2020 to honor Lexington’s ‘First Lady of All Things Good’ in recognition of her many contributions to the community. The award honors a woman whose service has made an enduring impact on the Lexington Community. Award recipient is honored at the Women Leading Kentucky Leadership Awards Luncheon held in November.

Isabel Yates and her family moved from South Carolina to Lexington in 1963. As the daughter of a small-town physician, Isabel learned the importance of public service from her father, who told her ‘You better be proud of the place where you live, and you should live so the place is proud of you.”

Isabel has served organizations such as The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation, The Philharmonic Guild, Friends of McConnell Springs, The Public Policy Committee for the Kentucky Alzheimer’s Association, LexArts, The Downtown Lexington Corporation, UK Art Museum, The Kentucky Theatre, Lexington Opera Society, the YMCA of Central Kentucky, and KET. 

Isabel served as a member of the Lexington City Council from 1991 – 2002 and was dubbed by former Mayor Jim Gray as “The first lady of all things good in Lexington” for her work spearheading many projects in the city over the years. 

As a former Board and Advisory Council member for Women Leading Kentucky, she has encouraged and mentored many women. Isabel is an outstanding example of giving back to the community.

Nomination Deadline: June 30, 2022


Criteria & Instructions


The nominee shall be an outstanding woman who has been involved in community service such as boards, commissions or community groups and shall have demonstrated a sustained commitment to her community. The award is open to residents of Fayette County.

  • The nominee has demonstrated, through their civic involvement, how the quality of life in their community has been enhanced.
    – Describe the history of the nominee’s community activities and major accomplishments.
  • Special leadership qualities
    – Describe their ability to inspire and encourage others.
  • Ability to achieve outcomes
    – Such as money raised, number of people reached.
    – Challenges and obstacles overcome in making these contributions.
  • The nominees shall have received no compensation for their involvement.
  • The charitable activities / events or service listed cannot be part of the nominee’s job description or duties of the individual.


Write a letter of recommendation detailing how the nominee has demonstrated and fulfilled the aforementioned criteria. Please include:

  • Your contact information (name, title, company, email and phone)
  • Nominee contact information (name, title, company, email and phone)
  • Nominee bio (recommended)

Email letter of recommendation and/or supporting information/documentation to


Past Recipients

Janet Holloway

Women Leading Kentucky Founder

Isabel Yates

Former City Council Member