A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NewsMakers ’22: Our awardees — Chris Carle, Judi Gerding, Ray Hebert, Chuck Session, Lytle Thomas

By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune editor

The moment we’ve been waiting for — the unveiling of the annual NKyTribune NewsMaker awards, honoring five unselfish, accomplished community SuperStars who have made interesting — and many — headlines this year and who have — over their rich and productive careers — given back generously to the community.

So, drum roll please for the fabulous NewsMakers:

Chris Carle is both Mr. Nice Guy as well as Mr. Go-To Guy at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. A self-described “healthcare geek,” he honestly loves his job — and his job, co-workers, and the community love him back. His healthcare experience dates back to his teens — you’ll learn more about that later — and today he is the President and CEO of the St. Elizabeth Provider Network and COO of St. Elizabeth Dearborn. That means he wears a lot of hats for St. Elizabeth and, in doing so — in his can-do spirit way — he brings people together to make the region a better place to live and work. And, he’s engaged in the larger community in ways almost too many to mention, but we will do the best we can. Stay tuned — the full story on the amazing Chris Carle is still to come, as the NKyTribune honors him with the NewsMaker ’22 award.

And, who can be surprised to find Judi Gerding in NewsMaker company. This year, she has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of her beloved Point/Arc, a nonprofit for which she serves as President and Founder. She led with her heart all those years ago to fill a big gap for individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD), driven by the love of her son, Steve. Along the way, she has been the guiding inspiration of a wealth of “social enterprise businesses” — that is, nonprofits with a business imperative — that provide jobs for clients and income for the nonprofit too. And there are also a number of group home throughout the NKy region and an education center and career development programs and . . .more. Read more about Judi Gerding and her incredible commitment to making our community better for everyone, as the NKyTribune tells her story as one of our NewsMaker ’22 awardees.

Ray Hebert is everyone’s favorite teacher and favorite historian. Since landing in NKY in the 1970s, he has been instrumental in the education and civic engagement of thousands of students. Now in his 50th year at Thomas More University, he has served in a number of significant leadership roles, helping shape the university as it celebrates its own 100th year. Among positions he has held are Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College, chair of the Department of History, International Studies, and Political Science, head of the honors program and more. He is cutting back on his time at TMU in his so-called “retirement,” but he is remaining head of the William T. Robinson III Institute for Religious Liberty. A nationally-renown scholar and an all-around good guy, he has earned many allocades and has been a key player in the community for many years. Learn all about NewsMaker Ray Hebert as the NKyTribune honors his impactful career and service.

Just call him ‘Chuck’ — everybody does. That’s because he is your friend the first time you meet. Chuck (Charles) Session has been a fixture around the Northern Kentucky area for many years. And this year, he’s calling it quits, at least as it applies to the work he has been doing for Duke Energy for over four decades. Don’t worry, he’s still involved in so many community-good organizations, you’ll hardly think of him as “retired.” With passion and purpose, Chuck is committed to improving the lives of others. He last served as Vice-President, State Government Affairs Duke Energy Ohio & Kentucky, responsible for a team that led regulatory policies, strategies, and relationships — to better serve customers. He has been ever-present in the Northern Kentucky community and continues to volunteer his time with Leadership Kentucky, the Horizon Community Fund, Gateway — and many others. He leads with integrity, humility, respectfulness, and selflessness. Yes, he’s just the kind of guy you’d call ‘Chuck.’ Learn more about him as the NKyTribune honors him as a NewsMaker ’22.

Lytle Thomas is a ‘born banker’ — make that community banker — who has brought his 35 years of experience to his new role as president of First National Bank which has moved its banking headquarters to Northern Kentucky. It’s a great fit — and great for the community as well, as Thomas is putting his community stamp on a bank that is already growing its footprint in the region. He is certainly building big time on the 140-plus-year-old institution that started in Carrolton. Already the bank has opened a new full-service banking center in Fort Wright and is opening another prime location in the Florence/Union area this month on U.S. 42 — creating new jobs and building a reputation as an honest and focused ‘community bank.’ Growing the technology, being innovative, aiming to be good neighbors, meeting individual needs of customers, providing a welcoming workplace — all are reflective of Thomas’ banking style and of the bank’s legacy. Learn more about Lytle Thomas as the NKyTribune celebrates his NewsMaker ’22 award.

Stories about each of these accomplished NewsMakers will appear the week of November 14 right here in the NKyTribune, as we continue our tradition of honoring community-engaged citizens who give back to the community. The Trib is finishing up seven years of serving NKY with local news online — free to all, because everyone needs access to the news to be a contributing member of our community.

The NKyTribune appreciates the support of the following sponsors of our NewsMakers program. Without these good corporate citizens — who put the community’s interest first — we could not provide the 24/7 news, sports, and entertaining features (including FREE obituaries, an open platform for the region’s nonprofit news, and a forum for the exchange of opinion and ideas). Please join us in saying thanks.

As a nonprofit, The Trib has received a matching grant from the nationally-funded NewsMatch program that will double your contributions through the end of the year. This is our fourth year in this program. We’re asking you for your generosity in supporting us — and in helping us reach our goals for both the amount of donations we receive — as well as bonuses for exceeding the number of readers who donate year-over-year. For that, we say thanks to you as well.

Help the NKyTribune continue to serve

HONOR YOUR FAVORITE NEWSMAKER WITH A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO THE NKyTRIBUNE — and help sustain a professional, accurate, up-to-date local news and information service you can depend on. The NKyTribune is a nonprofit publication dedicated to serving the Northern Kentucky region and providing FREE access to everyone. Your contributions matter — and will be matched by national NewsMatch funders through December 31. We need and appreciate your support. Send your checks to NKyTribune, 644 Braddock Court, Edgewood, Ky. 41017 or

Click here to donate online.

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One Comment

  1. Congratulations, Ray. We have all been fortunate to learn from you and enjoy your generous and caring friendship. Patricia Borne, Alumnae of TMU and Executive Principal of CEO Resources, Inc.

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