Personnel Cabinet
Governor Beshear, Personnel Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson host 23rd Governor’s EEO Conference

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 09, 2009  
Contact Information:  Crystal Pryor

Kentucky Personnel Cabinet
Office of the Secretary


Crystal Pryor

Governor Beshear, Personnel Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson host 23rd Governor’s EEO Conference

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 9, 2009) – Today, Gov. Steve Beshear and Personnel Cabinet Sec. Nikki Jackson addressed a crowd of state and private sector employees to commence the 23rd Annual Governor’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Ky.

This year’s conference theme was The State of Diversity and Equality. Over 20 professionals presented 24 sessions to attendees, covering topics ranging from EEO technical guidance to strategic planning and leadership development.

 “Today, hundreds of folks from across the Commonwealth came together to advance diversity in the workplace,” said Gov. Beshear. “Both the public and private sector workforces are sharing ideas and making renewed commitments to ensuring equal opportunities for all Kentuckians.”

The luncheon and awards ceremony, which was co-sponsored by the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) State Council, featured guest speaker Chuck Shelton. Shelton is the managing director for Greatheart Leader Labs. Since 1981, he has coached, trained, spoken and consulted on leadership development and diversity management nationally, through more than 250 presentations and projects.

“For leaders, diversity turns loose the power of human differences, so people get more done and do it with more cultural dexterity,” said Shelton while addressing the luncheon crowd. “As leaders we need to stand up, show up and speak up in service to our employees, customers and constituents.”

The luncheon also recognized recipients of the Charles W. Anderson and the Innovation, Collaboration & Education (ICE) Awards for their accomplishments in the areas of promoting justice and equality throughout the Commonwealth.

The Charles W. Anderson Award is named after the first Black legislator in Kentucky and the South, since the Reconstruction era. Re-elected on five consecutive occasions, Rep. Anderson guided many pieces of legislation through the Kentucky General Assembly. The 2009 recipient of the Charles W. Anderson Medal is John J. Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

The ICE Award honors state agency EEO Coordinators who promote proactive EEO compliance & statewide diversity, while serving on the EEO Coalition. The recipient of this year’s ICE Award is Yvette Smith, executive director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Contract Compliance in the Finance & Administration Cabinet.

“The Commonwealth is honored to recognize Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Smith, for their diligent and compassionate work in the EEO field,” said Sec. Nikki Jackson. “The EEO Conference is a special time each year where the Commonwealth engages others in a dialogue around the importance of inclusion and rewards leaders for superior work. By placing importance on these topics the Commonwealth takes another step towards its goal of being regarded as an employer of choice.” 

For more information on the Governor’s EEO Conference or other programs in the Office of Diversity and Equality, go to