Presentation will honor eight leaders

Record Staff Report

Presentation Academy will honor eight women during its 25th annual Tower Awards for Women Leaders Oct. 8 in a television presentation.

This year the school is introducing a new award — the Mother Catherine Spalding Visionary Award.

“This award honors a woman who has lived her life as Mother Catherine Spalding did — a pioneer and a passionate woman of faith,” said Presentation Academy’s president Laura Dills, noting that the school wanted to celebrate the Tower Awards’ 25th anniversary by honoring the school’s founder and her contributions.

The inaugural recipient of the Mother Catherine Spalding Visionary Award is the late Dr. Ann Eileen Winebrenner Kleine-Kracht. She was a graduate of the Presentation class of 1958 and served as chair of the board of trustees.

She was the founding dean of the Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences at Bellarmine College, now university.

“As a Pres alumna, Ann exhibited many of the same qualities as our foundress, particularly her pioneering spirit and community engagement,” said Margaret Anderson, a Presentation alumna who served as the awards selection committee chair. “She was well known for her self-deprecating sense of humor, reducing anxiety in others as she navigated critical decisions for positive outcomes. Her background provided her with the ability to work towards common goals and persuade others to follow. Ann’s deep faith in God grounded her. She was an exemplary role model for our students.”

Due to health concerns brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the annual award celebration will not take place. Instead, the winners will be announced Oct. 8 on WHAS-11’s morning show Great Day Live from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Viewers will also hear their pre-recorded acceptance speeches during that broadcast.

Presentation Academy will also host a live event on the school’s Facebook page,, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. that evening where they will raise money for financial aid and draw the winners of the Tower Treasure raffles. The proceeds from the award event go towards the school’s scholarship fund.

The annual event honors women leaders in Louisville in a variety of fields and highlights the contributions they’ve made to Presentation Academy students and the community, according to a press release from the school.

This year’s honorees and the fields in which they’ve led are:

Arts and Communication — Wendy Whelan, former dancer at the Louisville Ballet Academy and current associate artistic director for the New York City Ballet.

Business Technology and Trade — Stephanie Brothers Kertis, a graduate of the class of 2001 and assistant director of Louisville Forward.

Education — Sister of Charity of Nazareth Dr. Sharon Gray, vice-provincial of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Government and Law — Nikki Lanier, senior vice president and regional executive of the Louisville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Mo.

Science and Healthcare — Dr. V. Faye Jones, senior associate vice president for diversity and equity, and associate vice president for health affairs and diversity initiatives at the University of Louisville.

Service and Advocacy — Lynn Rippy, president and CEO of YouthBuild Louisville.

Lifetime Achievement Award — Sister of Charity of Nazareth Rebecca Miles, retired director of Sister Visitor Center and Doors to Hope.

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