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April 15, 2009

In his own words

Pat Gallagher on the 10 Most Inspirational Women in Louisville (plus one)

 “Comfort of Integrity”

1) Lisa Betson Resnik, Director of Capital Campaign and Strategic Imitative at the Speed Art Museum — The first thing that struck me about Lisa was her integrity. When I was trying to decide if I should go after a career in art, I asked Lisa, “Do you think I can do this?” She looked at me and said, “Yes, Pat, I really believe in you.” That moment changed my life. A year later I mentioned that conversation to Lisa, though she reaffirmed the statement, she did not remember saying it. To my point women among us inspire people every day, and they don’t think twice about it.

 

“Pearl of Wisdom”

2) Bonnie Hathcock, Executive Vice President of HR at Humana — Everyone who works for Humana knows that Bonnie has set the culture at Humana. When I worked for Humana, I knew Bonnie expected my best every day. Bonnie’s expectations of herself and those around her are based in a hope that people will have the fullest lives they can possibly have.

 

“Loving Embrace”

3) Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director of Actors Theater — We are friends and socialize often. One day I was sitting in a bar drawing, and she was there with her husband Shane. She came up behind me and whispered in my ear, “Pat, you are a true artist.” At that moment, I almost cried. As soon as she left, a table of some of the city’s most prominent citizens (who I didn’t really know) asked me come over and join them for a drink. I was introduced to all of them as an outstanding new artist. I remember feeling like Jennifer made that moment happen.

 

“Heart of a Philly”

4) Anita Cauley, horse breeder — I never left her presence without feeling 10 feet tall. She has her own unique style and is truly a woman with dignity, but that said, she could hang out in the infield or have tea with the Queen and she would be just at home with either.

 

“Compassion of Louisville”

5) Lynda Lambert, DJ on 102.3 WXMA-FM The Max — Of course I knew Lynda from her morning radio show on The Max, but I did not know much about her. My wife strongly suggested I include Lynda in my list. When I met her, she looked at me as if to warn me not to waste her time. I found her to be a strong, warm, caring person who has her priorities straight.

 

“One Soul”

6) Barbra Sexton Smith, Executive Vice President of the Fund for the Arts, motivational speaker — The first time I met Barbra, she talked to me about “the dash” — the dash on our tombstone between our born-on and death dates. Our lives come down to what’s in that simple dash. I left that meeting, and her words did not leave my head. Barbra’s goal is to inspire, her job is to motivate.

 

“The Matador”

7) Nikki Jackson, Cabinet Secretary of Personnel for the state of Kentucky —Nikki is a person who is concerned about what is right. One only has to look at her husband Vince or her two children to see Nikki does things right. I was having trouble coming up with the title for Nikki’s painting. The choices were “Taking on the Bull” or “The Matador”; I chose “Matador” because the other did not hold the amount of class it needs to represent her.

 

“The Strength of Clarity”

8) Cathy Bailey, Former Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia — When someone suggested I include Cathy as part of this show, they described her as a Renaissance woman. After meeting her, I came to the same conclusion. Through all of her travels and experiences, Cathy is somebody who sees clearly what life is about. Though I only spent 90 minutes with her, I felt like I could take on the world after I left.

 

“The Torch”

9) Lonnie Ali, Vice Chair, Ali Center Board of Directors — The moment I met Lonnie, I felt an instant warmth. She is a woman with a strong moral core that guides her every waking moment. She is the kind of person who sits with kings but never forgets the name of the custodian. Her strength and vision and political savvy are what made the Ali Center come to life.

 

“Angel on the Waterfront”

10) Marlene Grissom, Director of Special Projects for Waterfront Park — Marlene is a woman who holds true power in every sense of the word. She is a person who gets things done, not for the glory but because it needs to get done. I would venture to say 60 percent of the things she does she doesn’t get credit for. She continues forward to do what she thinks is right for our city because it needs to be done. She is leaving a mark on Louisville that our grandchildren will enjoy for years to come.

 

“My Conscience”

11) Trisha Gallagher, Autism Specialist for Jefferson County Public Schools — It didn’t seem fair to not include my wife in this exhibit, so she comes in at No. 11. This all started with her. Her faith in me has never wavered, her support for me is always there, she has always been honest and she will call me out when she thinks I need it.