The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

R.K. Thompson banquet speaker named

VW independent/submitted information

The Thompson family and Van Wert Service Club announce the speaker for this year’s R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Awards banquet.

Van Wert native Kristen (Hoverman) Gillespie leads a product specialist team at YouTube, where she focuses on ensuring product excellence of YouTube’s various consumer offerings, including the YouTube App, YouTube TV, and YouTube Music. In her role, she works closely with product and business leaders across the company to develop experiences and content that users trust and enjoy.

Kristen Gillespie

Prior to her current position at YouTube, Gillespie managed a small business product sales strategy team at Google, and before that, was a team leader for a Google Ads support team in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Gillespie is an expert in product-market fit and go-to-market strategy, and is passionate about building products that can be enjoyed by a diverse set of users.

When not at a laptop, Gillespie also serves as the flutist for Fiume di Musica, a chamber ensemble based in Palo Alto, California, and has performed with New Millennium Chamber Orchestra and the Grace Cathedral Contemporary Ensemble.

Gillespie, the daughter of Paul and Annette Hoverman, is a Van Wert High School graduate who holds degrees in music performance and business entrepreneurship from Bowling Green State University. She currently lives in Redwood City, California, with her husband, Aaron, and their dog, Cooper.

This year’s awards banquet will be held Wednesday, April 18. The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award program was initiated 48 years ago by R.K. Thompson Jr. in honor of his father, the late R.K. Thompson Sr. Both men had worked closely with young people and encouraged them to set high, but attainable, goals and then apply themselves to obtain those goals.

The program provides cash awards for high school seniors in Van Wert County who best exhibit that character trait. The Self-Reliance Award is designed to seek out and honor seniors who “do the best with what they have,” whether they are scholars, athletes, student leaders, or someone who must seek employment to help their family meet expenses.

The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award is sponsored by the Thompson Family Trust, through the Van Wert County Foundation, and administered by the Van Wert Service Club.

POSTED: 03/28/18 at 7:32 am. FILED UNDER: News