DHS alumni spotlight on Tierra Kavanaugh – Class of 1993

Published 1:01 am Friday, October 13, 2023


This month, Danville Independent Schools is spotlighting Tierra Nicole Kavanaugh, a 1993 Danville High School graduate who died in April 2020. There is a scholarship established in her name, the Tierra Kavanaugh Memorial Scholarship.

“Tierra was our class president and went on to become a very successful businesswoman who also was a valuable mentor to others hoping to succeed in the business world, especially minorities and women,” said Mark Finke, a former classmate of Kavanaugh.

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The $1,000 one-time scholarship is awarded to a graduating Danville High School senior who is a young woman of color, has an accumulated unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher, is on a DHS athletic team, is enrolled at an accredited college or university, and shows leadership qualities in the community and classroom.

The scholarship is sponsored by the DHS class of 1993, and donations to the scholarship fund can be made through the Community Foundation of Louisville. The scholarship was established after Kavanaugh’s death and has been awarded to a DHS senior for the past two years, Finke said.

Kavanaugh’s mother, Sheila Kavanaugh, said: “We will always donate to the scholarship because it’s an honor to continue her legacy. Tierra enjoyed living and growing up in the Danville community and thrived on the betterment of everyone that knew her. One of the teachers she mentioned quite often was Laura Newman. Tierra was known for being a prominent businesswoman, but her family always came first. As I was privileged to hear her speak at several different events, she always mentioned her family and friends from Danville, especially her classmates.”

Kavanaugh’s daughter, Tristan Turner, was 17 when her mother died, and she’s now a junior at the University of Louisville, where her mother also attended college.

According to an article by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and The Bottom Line News, Kavanaugh was the founder and CEO of TKT & Associates, a Louisville-based company founded in 2006. According to the TKT & Associates website, the company specializes in helping brands with “global talent attraction, recruitment, spend management and business development.” The article also states that she established a firm that later became known as ASTUTE Sourcing, and she co-founded TKTKonnect LLC.

Tierra served on boards and committees for several Kentucky organizations, including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

According to WE USA Women’s Enterprise, Kavanaugh was also Kentucky’s first executive director for the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment.