Friday, December 11, 2015

Southern Kentucky Order of Colonels gives lifetime achievement award to Karin Holzfurtner-Lewis (Karin Wagers)

Wagers in 1996
Col. Jordan Palmer, secretary-general of the Southern Kentucky Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels today confirmed Karin Holzfurtner-Lewis (previously Karin Wagers) would receive the Order's first "Lifetime Achievement Award." Born on the 14th day of March in 1953, Karin Barbara Holzfurtner married U.S. soldier Fred Wagers in Manchester, Kentucky when he was stationed in West Germany. Ms. Wagers began working for Winn-Dixie being a cashier, stock crew, office cashier, assistant head cashier, customer service manager (blue vest, or top level management), deli-bakery manager, and assistant location manager (blue vest, or top level management) at Winn-Dixie # 1685 in Hazard, KY.

Winn-Dixie # 1685 in Hazard, Kentucky was the foremost and sometimes second in terms in sales. Ms. Wagers always kept her department within guidelines for sales per man-hour, payroll, gross profit, and passed health department tests with flying colors.

Ms. Wagers defied the limits placed on Women in the 1980's and the 1990's. No woman had held the position of assistant location manager, and in every position, Ms. Wagers was paid less than men at other Winn-Dixie stores in identical positions. Winn-Dixie would later settle a class-action lawsuit with Women for failing to promote them and paying them less than their male counterparts.
Wagers in 2000

Ms. Wagers began a second career in 1994 in hospitality working for Holiday Inn Express as a guest service agent, night auditor, executive assistant to the general manager, and client service manager before being moved to sales manager, groups and meetings, for Liberty Investment Services performing the occupation at the Best Western Regency, Holiday Inn Express, and Baymont Suites. With her attention to detail, Ms. Wagers excelled in her position and helped the Holiday Inn Express win the "Rising Star Award" from Intercontinental Hotels Group (previously Bass Hotels & Resorts).

Ms. Wagers continued her hospitality career as general manager of a Holiday Inn Express in Georgetown, Kentucky and in Winchester, Kentucky. Ms. Wagers would later be promoted to regional manager, quality assurance manager, regional director of operations, all the way to vice president of operations (and special assistant to the chief executive officer) and finally to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Merus Hotels Group and Neal Management.

Mr. and Mrs. Al Lewis
"Throughout her career, Ms. Wagers worked as hard, and most of the time, harder than a man, yet she wasn't paid the same as a man; he was often passed over for jobs because of her gender in the 1980's. Nevertheless, she carried on her exceptional performance and work ethic, thereby advancing what Woman can and cannot do. Karin Barbara Wagers pushed the limits managers and supervisors placed on her gender, and by example, gave rise to feminism across the Commonwealth," stated Secretary-General Jordan Palmer.

In 2015 she married Al Lewis, becoming Karin Holzfurtner-Lewis after a long courtship which started in Columbus, Ohio when she was supervising the opening of another Holiday Inn Express & Suites.

ABOUT: The Southern Kentucky Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels includes 23 counties of the Commonwealth, including: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Harlan, Jackson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Madison, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Whitley, and Wolfe.

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