President's Dinner Award Recipients
2016 Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award
Steve Hils and his wife Christine are the proud parents of two Ursuline alumnae. Steve was a very dedicated member of Ursuline’s Dads’ Club, playing a big role in Ursuline’s annual Chip Wheelie Day and Father-Daughter Dance. Steve served on the Ursuline Development Committee for many years, working with Ursuline’s team to grow the outcome of the Annual Fund, specifically working to develop Ursuline’s giving society for young alumnae, the Father Jack Wessling Giving Society.
“Steve’s approach to leadership has always been centered around service,” Ursuline President, Ms. Sharon L. Redmond, said. “He holds a belief that those in leadership roles should be willing to contribute at any level of work, and he lived that belief through and through.”
The Outstanding Leadership Award was established in 2012 to recognize and honor alumnae, parents, or friends of Ursuline, for their loyal and exceptional volunteer leadership at Ursuline Academy.
Kelly Dehan '79
2016 Ursuline Woman of the Year
Mind. Body. Soul. These are the words around which Kelly Dehan centers her life, nurturing each, maintaining a deep faith.
As a member of Ursuline’s Class of 1979, Kelly learned the importance of this balance, being challenged by her teachers who, in her words, would insist on a student’s best, and offer the encouragement needed to get the best. These challenges instilled a confidence in Kelly and her classmates, showing them that as young women, they did not have to limit themselves.
Kelly has stretched and expanded her mind throughout her very successful career. After graduating from Ursuline, Kelly attended Boston College for two years, and then finished her degree in transportation management at the University of Cincinnati. She began working at Besl Transport in 1984, where her father Robert served as the Chief Executive. Kelly worked in every department of Besl, learning the ins and outs of the business. Working closely with her father, Kelly gained an appreciation for his approach to management: shake off the small stuff; trust your gut; be human, but command respect.
Kelly and her brother Mike bought Besl Transport from their father in the 90s, and successfully ran it together until they sold it in 2013. Kelly thrived as a manager, realizing that in any business, people are your biggest assets. Kelly’s approach was to bring good people into the business and empower them with the authority to make decisions. Her brother Mike told us that when you work with Kelly, you’re part of her family.
Her success as a woman business owner led Kelly to encourage other women as they pursue their careers. Kelly was a beloved speaker at Ursuline’s 2011 Symposium Day, talking with students about her career path and answering questions about life after Ursuline. Ursuline’s 2010 Woman of the Year and Kelly’s classmate, Becky Buehler Catino ‘79, served as the moderator for Kelly’s Symposium panel.
“Kelly is a true, true Ursuline supporter and is the first to build up another Ursuline alum,” Becky said. “She is sincere, smart, kind, accomplished, and warm. And with all of her wonderful qualities, she is the first to compliment someone else.”