University of Kentucky Alumni Association Distinguished Service Awards and Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award are presented annually to honor and recognize those who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. This year, UK MBA alums Fritz Skeen and Jacob Willoughby were recognized among several recipients (pictured) of these two honorable service awards respectively.
Fritz Skeen earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972 and an MBA in 1973 from the University of Kentucky. He served as president of the UK Alumni Association from 2018-19. He was chairman of the Great Teacher Awards/Scholarship, vice-chairman of the Alumni Service Awards and vice-chairman of the Budget, Finance and Investments committees. He has also served as treasurer and president-elect of the UK Alumni Association and on the Membership Committee. He and two fellow UK graduates restarted the Jacksonville UK Alumni Club, where he continues to serve on the board.
During his 30-year career with IBM Corp., Fritz held a variety of sales, marketing and executive positions, including regional manager in Los Angeles, director mid-range systems and group director – telecommunications product marketing in Westchester County, New York, and general manager – greater Chicago. He is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a Wildcat Society member, a UK Fellow, a member of the K Fund and returns to campus to play tuba in the UK Alumni Band. He is a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and was president of the UK chapter when he was a student.
Blake Willoughby received bachelor’s degrees in accounting in 2011 and in economics in 2012 and an MBA in 2012 from the University of Kentucky. He is the chairman and president of First Breckinridge Bancshares Inc., which owns and operates seven community banks in Central and Western Kentucky. He serves on the boards of directors of Brandenburg Communications Corporation, the Breckinridge Health System Foundation, Volunteers of America Mid-States, and the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He also serves on the Golden Matrix Fund Advisory Council and the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Emerging Leaders Board.
As a student at UK, Blake was a Singletary Scholar, Gatton Ambassador and member of the University Appeals Board. He served as president of the Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, corporate relations chairman of DanceBlue and as a Supreme Court Justice for the Student Government Association.
The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information on the awards, and to see past winners, visit ukalumni.net/awards.