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The Northern Kentuckian of the Year Award was established in 1996 to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders dedicated to the economic and social well-being of the Northern Kentucky region.

Friday, May 10, 2019

11:15 a.m. - 1:30 pm at

Northern Kentucky Convention Center

2019 Honoree


Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Kroger Co.


The Northern Kentuckian of the Year luncheon benefits Covington Catholic High School’s tuition assistance program. During the 2018-19 school year, 109 students have been awarded $463,000 in financial aid. Covington Catholic and its alumni positively impact the Northern Kentucky community, and the luncheon provides a vehicle for the business community to support Covington Catholic’s tradition of excellence in education.

The Northern Kentuckian of the Year Luncheon has raised over $1 million for tuition assistance since its inception. This support has helped hundreds of students experience an education rooted in strong Catholic values and academic excellence. For these students, the opportunity to attend Covington Catholic can be life changing and provides a solid foundation for a successful future.

Covington Catholic received the National Blue Ribbon Award , presented by the U.S. Department of Education, in 2016. It was only 1 of 2 high schools in Kentucky to receive the award, and is the ONLY high school in Kentucky to have received it TWICE in the past decade (previously awarded in 2007).

2019 Committee Members

Daniel R. Groneck, Chair

U.S. Bank (Ret.)

Andrew J. VonLehman ’71, Co-chair

VonLehman & Co.

Jay Bayer

Bayer Becker

Joe Bayer ’06

Fedders Construction

Christopher Bell ’88

PNC Bank

Donald G. Benzinger

Central Bank

Chad Burke ’95

GBBN Architects

Andrew C. Collins ’86

Bannockburn Global Forex, LLC

Conrad Culbertson ‘04

Roeding Insurance

John F. Curtin ’66

Paul Hemmer Company

James J. Danneman ’91

Fifth Third Bank

Michael Dennemann ’88

U.S. Bank

Susan A. Finke

Covington Catholic High School

Andy Gregg ‘13

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

David W. Gronotte ’93

Chase Bank

Bill Holocher ’71

Roeding Insurance

Sean P. McGee ’06

USI Insurance Services, LLC

Cam Murphy ‘13

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Benjie Pieper ’93


Alex Rechtin ‘04

Roeding Insurance

Robert J. Rowe, Principal

Covington Catholic High School

Kyle Ruschman ’98

Payment Data Systems, Inc.

Tara Leen

Covington Catholic High School

Frank B. Sommerkamp, Jr. ’47

Cincinnati Bell (Ret.)

Eric Spencer ‘05

Ernst & Young

Chad Summe ’98

Quotient Technology

Thomas B. Thelen ’86

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Drew VonLehman ’98


John Wagner ’08

Kohnen & Patton LLP

Dan Groneck - 2017

Most Reverend Roger J. Foys - 2016

Andrew J. VonLehman - 2015

Buddy LaRosa - 2014

Paul T. Verst - 2013

Bob Hoffer - 2012

Bob Castellini - 2011

Dennis & Joyce Griffin - 2010

John Domaschko - 2009

Matth. Toebben - 2008

Joe Gross - 2007

John Yeager - 2006

Bill Robinson - 2005

Ray Biel - 2004

Ralph Drees - 2003

Paul Hemmer, Sr. - 2002

Bill Butler - 2000

Jim & Bert Huff - 1999

Wayne Carlisle - 1997