Women Helping Women Honors 2015 Annual Award Winners
Women Helping Women Honors Five for Volunteer Efforts and Support
Cincinnati – Women Helping Women is proud to recognize the five individuals honored during the 2015 Women Helping Women (WHW) Annual Meeting November 12 at The Cincinnati Woman’s Club. Each year, WHW selects those who have made significant contributions to the agency’s mission and recognizes them at this yearly event attended by staff, board members, volunteers and community supporters.
This year’s honorees include:
- K. Kendall Fisher, Maria C. Blake Community Service Award Recipient –
Kendall Fisher has been a longtime champion for WHW and for survivors of abuse. Her passion for supporting survivors started even prior to her involvement with WHW. She began her career in 1988 as a volunteer Advocate and went on to serve as the director of several programs including a domestic violence shelter, an offender treatment program and a teenage dating violence prevention program. From 1997 – 2000 she served as WHW’s Associate Director and then returned to the agency as the Executive Director from 2008 – 2015. During her time with WHW, she strengthened the collaborative model programs to place WHW advocates within the Cincinnati Police Department’s Personal Crimes Unit, the Cincinnati Police Districts, the City Prosecutor’s Office and the Legal Aid Society. Kendall’s passion for educating the community about WHW’s mission is evidenced by numerous teaching awards and the expansion of WHW’s prevention programming during her tenure.
When she learned in 2012 that Butler County’s Rape Crisis Program was going to have to shut its doors within just a few short weeks, she didn’t hesitate to get involved. She worked diligently to enlist community support, and WHW was able to expand sexual assault programming to Butler County and preserve critical survivor services.
In June of 2015, Kendall became the Director of Advancement at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics, but her passion for the issue and WHW’s mission is something that she will always carry with her.
- George Wile, Janet S. Klaine Philanthropy Award Recipient –
George Wile and his late wife, Elizabeth, have played a major role in the philanthropic life of our city. WHW is very fortunate that when the need arose to expand our sexual assault services into Butler County in 2012, Mr. Wile provided funds to make the expansion possible. Through this involvement he learned that the agency was in need of a new server and more efficient systems. Not only did he provide the funds to purchase the server, he provided his expertise and that of his friend, Mark Rosenblum, to assist in the transition. WHW is now better able to provide the services so vital to our survivors and partners. Once again this year, Mr. Wile has stepped up and helped at a time of need. With great gratitude we present this award recognizing the role his philanthropy has played in the life of WHW.
- Police Officer Kelly Best, Thomas R. Oberschmidt Award Recipient –
Police Officer Kelly Best was appointed to the Cincinnati Police Department in 2002 and was transferred to the Personal Crimes Unit (PCU) in 2007. She was assigned to the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s Hospital, but has successfully investigated cases involving both juveniles and adults. Since being assigned to PCU she has averaged 98 cases per year. She has had a number of accomplishments in her role with PCU, one of which is securing a forty count indictment for human trafficking against two individuals. Officer Best’s colleagues describe her as someone who always displays sensitivity, understanding, and compassion in working with survivors of sexual assault. She is dedicated to duty and persistent in her pursuit of criminal justice. Because of her attention to detail and professionalism, she is often sought out by her peers for advice on case investigations. She is extremely dedicated to her job and makes herself available day or night. She has worked a number of high profile, heinous cases and brought them to a successful resolution.
Officer Best is a United States Marine Corps veteran. She is currently working in the Cincinnati Police Department’s Military Liaison Group which provides services for veterans inside the criminal justice system. Officer Best also volunteers for numerous other community events through her church. While serving her community, she is also a single parent to her daughter and son.
- Ashley Couch, Butler County Founder’s Volunteer Award Recipient –
Ashley Couch has been an amazing and compassionate volunteer advocate for WHW since the spring of 2014. Ashley consistently goes above and beyond the typical volunteer duties and is on call three to four times a month to cover hospital accompaniment calls and provide advocacy for survivors. Ashley has also stepped in to help in the days surrounding many holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July and Valentine’s Day in the year and a half that she has been a volunteer.
Ashley has continued to volunteer with us after graduating from her undergraduate program, and while she has started her Masters of Social Work program at Miami University. She currently works as a Chemical Dependency Counselor for Community Behavioral Health.
- Brandi Patchan, Hamilton County Founder’s Volunteer Award Recipient –
Brandi Patchan completed volunteer training in March of 2014 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. In the time since her training, Brandi has provided WHW with over 278 volunteer hours. She has spent many of these hours accompanying survivors at arraignment court or in civil protection order hearings. Brandi has also lent her time to data entry, answering the hotline and representing the agency at community events. Brandi is described by WHW staff as being such a positive presence at the agency and someone who is always up for helping out in whatever way she can.
Brandi was born in Miami, FL but has been a Cincinnatian for over 18 years. She is married and has one son. She is an avid nature lover and enjoys outdoor adventures, especially hiking and whitewater rafting, with her family. Brandi has always held a huge desire to help others, which is what led her to massage school. She was a massage therapist for over 10 years, working on both humans and animals, before moving onto other work adventures with her husband. She has always held an endless fascination with learning and doing new things. Her deepest hope is that the more she is able to grow, the more she will be able to offer and share with the world.