Susan Guess, senior vice president of marketing for Paducah Bank, has been named the Kentucky Volunteer Service Award winner by Governor Steve Beshear. She will receive her award next month at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.
Guess was selected for her anti-bullying advocacy work. She and her daughter, Morgan, began the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation nearly four years ago after Morgan experienced bullying. They have raised $50,000 to bring a variety of anti-bullying programs to the region. Susan was appointed by the Governor last fall to serve on the Kentucky Bully Prevention Task Force. She chairs the Legislation, Regulation, and Funding committee. The 22-member panel will make recommendations to the Governor this fall. She has been featured on CNN and wrote an opinion piece on the subject for the Huffington Post. ExpertBeacon also invited Guess to give advice to parents struggling to address bullying. She has been featured on Health 360 and Connections on KET.
“My initial goal was to teach my daughter that bad things are going to happen in life and we can choose to ignore them, blame others, or be a part of the solution,” said Susan. “My hope was for her to find her own voice and to see that she could make a difference. What we discovered was that we had a chance to give hope to those suffering in silence and that we could help young people all over the Commonwealth find their own voice.”
Paducah Bank President and COO Mardie Herndon shared his pride in Guess' award. "I am very proud of Susan. Her desire to make a meaningful difference is evident in her passion for excellence. She is driven, compassionate and unwavering in her focus to bring attention to those whose voices may not be heard. This award validates her commitment and appropriately celebrates the impact of her cause. Our fine Commonwealth has a brighter future because of Susan's efforts."
The Kentucky Volunteer Service Award recognizes an individual (ages 19-64) who has met a community need in an innovative and effective manner. The nominee may have made an impact through changed lives and/or community conditions as a result of service efforts.
“Providing service to others is a rich part of Kentucky’s heritage,” says Governor Beshear. “It is a calling that many engage in every day individually or through faith-based organizations, community groups, schools, and other entities that address a variety of critical needs – and these folks deserve our sincere gratitude.”
Guess also won the award in 1998 for her role in chairing the $100,000 Heath High School Memorial Garden. The garden was built to honor and memorialize those students injured and killed in the school shooting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Murray State University and an MPA from the University of Louisville. She serves on the Murray State University Board of Regents.
The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service, a division of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, coordinates the annual awards program. The Governor’s Office launched the volunteer awards program in 1975.