Ann Brown Perkins, Executive Director of Safe Harbor and an Ashland business owner, received the 2015 Ashland Community and Technical College Distinguished Alumna Award for her achievements and community service. The award was presented at the Graduation Ceremony on May 8.
Perkins graduated from Holy Family High School in Ashland and attended Ashland Community College, an ACTC predecessor, from 1970 to 1971. She transferred to the University of Kentucky for a Bachelor in Arts Degree. She returned to Ashland to run successful businesses with her husband Sam and to develop her own career as a service agency manager.
I am humbled and deeply honored to be selected for this award, she said. I credit my success very strongly with my time at ACC and the tremendous caring staff who provided mentoring and life-long learning opportunities.
ACTC has been a huge part of our family. My father attended as a local business owner that operated six days a week. He attended classes at ACC and became the Executive Director of KEDC after graduating. My husband Sam is an ACC alumnus. Our second son, Michael, attended on an academic scholarship. To date, we have had three generations of our family as alumni. I am extremely proud of that fact.
Perkins was Field Director for the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council, Executive Director of the YWCA, and an insurance account executive before she began serving on the founding board of Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky in 1998. Safe Harbor is a women's shelter and service agency serving domestic violence victims in the FIVCO area. During this time, Perkins and her husband owned and operated McClures Restaurant for 10 years and now own and operate Second Hand Rose Consignment Shop.
As Executive Director of Safe Harbor, Perkins has overseen development of a multi-million dollar grant-funded project to renovate the former Ashland T. B. Hospital into a shelter with 34 furnished apartments and a variety of services.
Perkins is on the Advisory Boards for Community Trust Bank, River Cities Harvest, and the Paramount Arts Center. She is the founder and past chairman of the Board of CareS and founder of the Boyd/Greenup Alliances Youth Leadership Board. She is past president of the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Altrusa, Pilot and Rotary Clubs of Ashland. She was appointed to the ACTC Board of Directors in 2008.
She has received awards for outstanding service and accomplishments from Rotary, Jaycees, YWCA, the United Way of Northeast Kentucky, the United Way of Kentucky and Federal Home Loan Bank, among others.
As a small business owner and a non-profit Executive Director, I know the role ACTC has played in peoples lives, Perkins said. Most of my staff have attended ACTC and were able to stay in Ashland to work and live. Safe Harbor has been able to send many women to ACTC for a once in a lifetime opportunity to get higher education.
ACTC is a gem that has catapulted many people into making their dreams become a reality by providing affordable, accessible, quality education in our own hometown, she concluded.