Oldham Chamber plans
'Celebration of Women'
Glenview Trust CEO Edwards to speak
at March 13 brunch
LA GRANGE, Ky. (March 2015) –Community involvement is very important to Tawana Edwards. So is empowering women to improve their lives to contribute to a better future.
She realized the importance of making a positive influence on women and young girls about 12 years ago. At the time, she was approached by one of the founders of Women 4 Women to become involved with the non-profit.
Edwards said she was taken “with the way they have made benchmarking research studies to determine the status of women and girls in the community.” She is now the Board Chair of the organization.
Living in Oldham County since 2000, she also became involved in the Oldham County Community Foundation, which is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Louisville. The philanthropic goal of the foundation is for “people to come together and create endowments,” she said.
Funds are created and put back into the community. “We’re very focused on helping non-profits in Oldham County,” Edwards said.
“Oldham County is such an amazing community; it’s so unique. It has many wonderful attributes, such as being close to Louisville,” she said. “People are so kind and supportive of each other.”
But Edwards’s community involvement does not stop there. She is also on the board of the Fund for the Arts.
Edwards will be the keynote brunch speaker for Celebration of Women: A Tablescapes Event on Friday, March 13. This event will be held form 10 a.m. until noon at CityPlace, Pavilion 1, located at 112 S. First Ave. in La Grange.
Her speech will focus on how women make financial decisions. Edwards is currently co-CEO, Chief Fiduciary Officer and board member of Glenview Trust. She has more than 31 years experience in the trust and investment area. She is an honors graduate of the University of Louisville and received her juris doctorate from the university’s Brandeis School of Law.
Edwards will be just one of many women attending the sixth annual Celebration of Women event. Hosted by the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, it has “become one of our most popular events,” said Deana Epperly Karem, executive director of Oldham Chamber & Economic Development. “More than 150 people usually attend.”
A prelude to the brunch will be the Tablescapes Reveal & Reception, which is planned from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at CityPlace. “The Reveal is an opportunity for guests to see the tablescapes fully dressed,” said Karem. This will be the fourth year for a Tablescape theme.
Guests will have the opportunity to view “the space and the beautiful tables featuring varying themes designed by the companies who purchased them,” she said. After the Reveal attendees are invited to follow the Walk of Fame from CityPlace to a cocktail reception at Rails Restaurant, located on Main Street.
Karem expects to have 20 tables for the Tablescapes portion of the event. She said she is excited to hold the event at CityPlace because the “pavilions are beautiful, and I think this will provide a beautiful venue for this type of celebration. The lighting, the open-air features and the space itself will really showcase the tables and make for a perfect venue.”
Karem continued, saying that “there is no event like this in the region hosted by another Chamber of Commerce. This event is special because it is Oldham County’s way of celebrating the work, contributions and accomplishments of women leaders.”
At this event, the Tony Cotton Distinguished Woman Leader Award will be presented to Hope Gardiner, vice president of Boone Gardiner Center in Crestwood. Cotton, who died of cancer two years ago at age 47, was an ordained minister and the publisher of the Oldham Era at the time of his death. He served as a mentor to his staff and others.
Of winning this award Gardiner said, “To be part of such a wonderful community full of outstanding women has been a joy to me, but to have them single me out with an award like this is very exciting.”
Like Edwards, Gardiner has been very active in the community. As a member of the La Grange Rotary Club she organized a Coat Drive last fall. As a result, “we were able to distribute 700 winter coats, 200 hats and dozens of pairs of gloves to members of our community in need,” she said. She is currently working to collect nonperishable food items for families in need.
Gardiner is also a substitute at the after school care programs for Camden Station Elementary and Kenwood Station Elementary. “I love working with the kids. I try to be a positive role model and truly love spending time with them.”
She and her husband, Matt, are both horticulturalists and run Boone Gardiner Garden Center. “Boone Gardiner is not your typical garden center,” said Gardiner. “I love that and hope to continue offering customers more than they expect.”
Growing up, Gardiner had several female mentors she looked up to. She said her mother is an amazing business woman who has an endless network of friends and is always on the go. Her mother, Gardiner’s grandmother, graduated from Cornell Medical School’s first nursing class and was deeply dedicated to her profession.
“My paternal grandmother has to be one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known. She was the last one room school house teacher in my home county.”
Gardiner continued, saying that “even though she fought cancer for 54 years, you never heard her complain. She taught me to can vegetables from the garden and that the best way to treat a person is exactly how you want to be treated. I have always looked up to all three of these women and try to follow by their examples.”
Individual tickets are $15 for the reception and $20 for the brunch. Tables also available.
• For more information or to make reservations, contact Camille Coltrain at (502) 222-1635 or email: CColtrain@OldhamCountyChamber.com.
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