From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Burks, Juanita P.

(born: 1920  -  died: 2014) 

Juanita P. Farley Burks was the daughter of Donna and Allen Farley of Crittenden County, KY. Ms. Burks was head of J. P. Burks Construction, Inc., a Louisville, KY, glass company she started in 1980. She was one of the leading African American women entrepreneurs in Kentucky, having served on President Carter's board of energy and, in the 1970s, was nominated by Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll to go to Washington, D.C. to help develop a federal energy policy. Burks attended Kentucky State College in the early 1940s and took business courses at the University of Louisville. In 1974, she borrowed money (for the first and last time) through a $6,000 home loan to start her first company, City Plaza, a personnel recruitment service. Burks' glass company was formed in 1980; she won a contract to install glass in the downtown Louisville Galleria, where her company put the floors down and installed $4.5 million worth of glass. Burks had worked as a maid and elevator operator in that same building when she first came to Louisville in 1942, earning $17 per week. In 1983, Burks was named Woman of Achievement, and, in 1996, Kentucky Entrepreneur of the Year. Juanita P. Burks was the mother of Ishmon Burks, Jr. Juanita P. Burks died August 3, 2014 [source: S. S. Shafer, "Business pioneer Juanita Burks dies," Courier-Journal, 08/05/2014, p.A.8]. For more see M. Green, "83-year-old loves business," Courier-Journal, 10/01/2003; and C. Carlton, "Faith & fashion," Courier-Journal, 04/16/2006, Arts section, p.1I.

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“Burks, Juanita P.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:17