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This is not really a Kentucky-related story, but it is a story I know many readers will enjoy because I know you like WLEX-TV sports anchor Mary Jo Perino, a frequent contributor here.

Perino, who has won back-to-back  Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year Awards, has become the first woman elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association National Board. It’s a great honor for Perino, a Minnesota native who graduated from the University of Missouri, and came on the same weekend when she was on a NSSA panel at the annual awards weekend with women’s sports pioneer Lesley Visser. Perino joked she was in awe of just being on the same podium with Visser, but she more than held her own.

“I am thrilled that Mary Jo has agreed to serve on our National Board. She is both personable and knowledgeable and it’s great that she can be a pioneer in our organization as the first female on the Board,” NSSA director Dave Goren said.

NSSA’s National Board serves an advisory role to the Foundation Board, which is NSSA’s operating arm.

I can think of no one I would rather see serving on this board than Perino, or no one who deserves the honor more (remember, she does work daily with Alan Cutler). But seriously, she has an on-air style that is being friendly and informative. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she’s the ultimate professional. She makes no secret of her love for UK and local athletics, but she doesn’t let that impact her coverage.

I’m proud to count her as a friend and proud she’ll join myself and UK assistant football coach Chuck Smith on a panel at the UK Ohio Convention in Middletown, Ohio, in July. That group is going to love her as much as we do here.

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