Chamber honors women

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The West Chamber is honoring women who have bettered Jefferson County, and one of Lakewood’s city staff is among them.

City Manager Kathy Hodgson is one of 12 women being honored by The West Chamber at its annual Celebrate Women of Jefferson County on Nov. 9.

“I’m really humbled by this and didn’t expect it at all,” Hodgson said.

Some of the other winners include Dot Wright from the Claire De Lune Chamber of Commerce, Jeanne Oliver with the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and District 1 County Commissioner Faye Griffin.

According to Andrea LaRew, director of marketing and programs for The West Chamber, nominations came in from people in the community, peers and friends of the nominees. There were about 30 nominees this year, and a selection committee worked its way through the nominees to narrow it to 12 winners.

“The committee worked with a scoring sheet based on professional, community and personal leadership,” LaRew said. “This is not a business award — it’s more about the impact on the community — so community leadership is weighed heavier.”

LaRew also added that the committee also looked at frequency of work and volunteering.

Hodgson was nominated by Mayor Bob Murphy and scored extremely well in all three categories, according to LaRew.

“Kathy has helped the community by attracting new businesses to Lakewood and working to integrate the west rail line,” LaRew said. “During her tenure in Lakewood, the city has won numerous awards, including being designated an All-American City.”

One of the organizations that Hodgson works for is the Metro City and County Management Association, where she currently serves as president.

“It’s a group of managers from around the area who get together to talk about the industry,” Hodgson said. As president Hodgson works on coordinating events for the organization.

For Hodgson, the community and local government working together is the critical juncture for things to get things done.

“We want people to be engaged with the government,” she said. “They need to be part of the conversation and know about the community.”

Hodgson credits the people she works with in the city and at home for helping her.

“In winning this, it really shows the importance of surrounding yourself with good, smart people. I also have a great support system at home,” she said. “I’ve worked for the city for 30 years, and have such a passion for it.”

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