Lillian H. Press

President at Mental Health Association of Central Kentucky

Lillian H. Press

Lillian H. Press

President at Mental Health Association of Central Kentucky

Biography

Lillian Press, a Kentucky hero and advocate / practitioner of divergent thinking, serves as a wonderful example of how educated people today can have many different careers in one lifetime. She has been an inspirational leader in a variety of careers throughout her life. Lillian Henken Press was born and educated in Boston. She received a bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Boston University in 1946 and a master's degree from the then- new Boston U. College of Communications. Prior to their move to Kentucky in 1952, Lillian worked as a newspaper reporter and as a public relations executive. Shortly after her move to Lexington, she joined the staff of the newly-arrived WVLK .She remained there until 1960, rising from commercials copywriter to program director. in 1961 "Lil" became a volunteer for the newly formed Central Kentucky Mental Health Association, a decision that would change the direction of her life. In 1964 Lil, at the behest of the association, directed a survey of mental health resources and needs in nine Central Kentucky counties, as part of a nationwide initiative by President Kennedy. The recommendations offered and publicized in the final report of that survey were significant factors in the later development of Kentucky's' statewide mental health system of community mental health centers.
Lil then organized and developed Kentucky's first Regional Mental Health Board which in turn, under her direction launched Kentucky's first two Comprehensive Care Centers with help from the Kentucky Department of Mental Health, led by Commissioner Dr. Dale Farabee, This became the prototype for a state system of community mental health centers that Dr. Farabee spread across the Commonwealth and was proclaimed in a news release "the best in the nation" by the National Institute of Mental Health. (The Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board, now covering 17 counties, grew from that first Board).



In 1967 Lillian Press was appointed Executive Assistant to Commissioner Farabee and served in that post until 1975.



In late 1982 when she was in Washington as Special Assistant to Appalachian Regional Commission's Federal CoChairman Al Smith, she was recruited by Governor John Y. Brown to organize and direct Kentucky's Governor's Scholars Program that he was about to launch the next July. Lillian Press served as executive director for its first 10 years.

In only its second summer, this innovative, challenging liberal arts program for Kentucky's brightest rising high school seniors, was heralded as an "Educational Utopia" by Fred Hechinger, education editor of the New York Times, in a five-column article he wrote after a visit to the Program. It became a model for other such schools, and today approximately 22,000 students have been motivated and inspired by this life-changing program, many already serving in leadership positions in the Commonwealth.



Recognizing that it would help herself and others, Lil organized 28 other state Governor's Schools into the National Conference of Governor's Schools (NCoGS) in 1987 and served as its chair/president until her retirement in 1992. NCoGS has since established a Distinguished Achievement Award in her name and that of Jim Bray, who served for 30 years as director of the nation's first Governor's School in North Carolina. During her retirement, Lillian Press turned her attention to increasing the participation of citizens, particularly women, in the political process, In late 2002 she organized The Women's Network, Advocates For Democratic Principles with an emphasis on those Principles and a future based on FDR's Four Freedoms. That Network now includes branches and chapters throughout Kentucky with close to 1000 members. The Women's Network has recently established a new Commonwealth Institute For Policy Issues and Civic Engagement and has become a force in local and state politics. She received an honorary degree from Centre College in 1992 and has been a member of the Centre College Board of Trustees for 17 years. The late Lucille Little, a Lexington philanthropist, endowed the O. Leonard and Lillian Press Distinguished Lecture Series at Centre College in tribute to their service to the state.



In 2006 Lil received the Martha Layne Collins Leadership Award from Women Leading Kentucky, and in 2008, another surprise, when The Women's Network elected her the first recipient of the Lillian Press Distinguished Leadership award. She also received

A Distinguished Achievement Award from the Kentucky Department of Mental Health in the 1970s.



Other community service:

President for thee years, Kentucky Oral History Commission

Board of Trustees, St. Catharine College

Secretary, Headley-Whitney Museum Board

President, Central Kentucky Mental Health Association

Board member, Community Fund (later called United Way of the Bluegrass)

Board member, Hospice of the Bluegrass

Organizer and member,1st Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board

Advisory Board, Women Leading Kentucky

Advisory Board, Emerge Kentucky

Transition Team for Governor Steve Beshear

Overview
Career Highlights

Mental Health Association of Central Kentucky
Kentucky Oral History Commission

RelSci Relationships

204

Number of Boards

6

Number of Awards

1

Relationships
RelSci Relationships are individuals Lillian H. Press likely has professional access to. A relationship does not necessarily indicate a personal connection.

Founding Member at Britton Johnson PLLC

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Managing Director & Co-Head of Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group at Lincoln International LLC

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former President at First National Bank of Danville, PA

Relationship likelihood: Strong

President at Percipent Resources, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Member, Board of Trustees at Centre College

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Member, Board of Trustees at Centre College

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Partner at Elliott, Houlihan, and Skidmore, LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Auditor of Public Accounts at State Government of Kentucky

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Chief Executive Officer at 1020 Digital LLC

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Maternal & Fetal Medicine at Baptist Health Medical Group

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Paths to Lillian H. Press
Potential Connections via
Relationship Science
You
Lillian H. Press
President at Mental Health Association of Central Kentucky
Education
Bachelor's Degree, magna cum laude
Career History
President
Tenure Unconfirmed
Program Director
Prior - 1960
Boards & Committees
Member, Advisory Board
Prior
Member, Advisory Board
Prior
Board Member
Prior
Member, Board of Trustees
Prior
Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$1,000 - $2,499
2012
$1,000 - $2,499
2011
Awards & Honors
1992
Centre College
This web site is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorized, or sponsored by Lillian H. Press. The use of any trade name or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the trademark holder. The Presence of Lillian H. Press's profile does not indicate a business or promotional relationship of any kind between RelSci and Lillian H. Press.