Why I Give – Allison (Estes) Ross ‘02

“I grew up on a tobacco farm, which is grueling manual labor. I had strong encouragement to get a degree and avoid that type of work. I give back because KWC afforded me the opportunity to build a successful life for myself and my family.

“I see KWC alumni as a team, and the ultimate team mentality means helping someone else win at life.

“I encourage others to be part of the KW team and help their ‘teammates’ by giving back.”

My Family

“Kyle and I have been married 15 years. He is a Purdue graduate and is the divisional seed sales manager at CPS in Owensboro. We have three blessings in Isabella (12), Elijah (9) and little Brayden (6).”

My Career

“I have spent the bulk of my career in various finance roles in the aluminum manufacturing industries of Hancock County, Ky. Currently, I am the vice president and CFO of Gryphon Environmental, LLC in Owensboro. We manufacture large industrial dryers, targeting municipalities. We are a young company just beginning to gain a foothold in the industry.

“I also coach high school girls’ basketball at my old high school, Hancock County High School.”

How KWC prepared me for my life and career:

“As a freshman at KWC, Raju Chenna, my accounting professor, connected me with Candy (Jenkins) Rickard ’91 as a mentor, and I stay in touch with her today and continue to value her as a mentor. She is retired from Old National Bank.

“I was a Brown Scholar and played basketball. Much of my preparation for a successful life and career was molded by my time on the basketball court. I certainly learned valuable lessons in the classroom, but the ones that resonated the most were on the hardwood.

“I will never forget the summer/fall of 1998 when I attended my first open gym on campus. Senior Carrie (Bridgeman) Wedding ’99 absolutely destroyed me on the court! She blocked my shots; I couldn’t guard her; and I spent more time falling down than standing! That was an eye opener. KWC basketball transformed me from a quiet, shy girl from a tiny town to a confident, strong, outspoken woman who understands what it means to compete and win. That quiet, shy girl was elected Student Government Association president her senior year!

“When I was employed at KWC as controller, I became very close to Cindra Stiff, who was the vice president of finance and my boss. She is a kind-hearted, long-term beacon/ambassador for the college and a dear friend.

“KWC impacted me in many ways as a student and still influences me today. I am grateful.”