BRIGHT 2019 in Campton

Posted on: August 5, 2019
Tags: Session Review, BRIGHT Kentucky

Summary by:
Ruthie Caldwell, MA, PMP - BRIGHT Kentucky 2019
Grant Writing & Project Management Consultant - VISION GRANTED

Day 1: July 29, 2019

Participants were welcomed to the program and began by networking. Prior to the session, participants performed a personality assessment known as the Predictive Index. At this session, they discussed their results in small groups. Then, they defined the top five most important aspects of a successful team. They broke up into randomized groups and were tasked with planning a largescale event while utilizing the talents of each team member. Overall, activities emphasized the importance of understanding personal strengths and weaknesses, valuing the differences between each personality type, and recognizing the opportunities that come from having a team made up of diverse personalities.

Day 2: July 30, 2019

Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D., introduced concepts from her book Bridges Out of Poverty discussing “the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty” followed by a presentation of concrete tools and strategies a community can use to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty. Afterward, participants broke into groups for an experiential “Amazing Race” style hike to Natural Bridge. Then, Judge Sara Combs, District 7 Court of Appeals spoke about leadership by focusing on traits from her late husband, Governor Bert T. Combs including his belief that government should always serve the people and that “one person can make a difference and everyone should try.” Next, a regional talk-show was hosted spotlighting four leaders from the local Red River Gorge region. The speakers offered practical leadership advice on topics like the importance of collaboration, listening, and transparency. The evening finished with comradery and a light-hearted competition as small groups played a Kentucky trivia game.

Day 3: July 31, 2019

The morning opened with a presentation on the “Fine Art of Written Communication” where Leadership Kentucky President Janice Way emphasized the importance of showing gratitude to team members and sponsors. Next, Sandy Dunahoo, Kentucky Commissioner for Local Government, spoke about the vision for the BRIGHT program and accepted questions from participants. Then, a panel discussed exciting developments in tourism for Red River Gorge including a presentation from Dave Adkisson, President, and CEO of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Afterward, the facilitator-led participants in a visioning exercise focused on the question “How do you imagine your region?” The half-day session ended with participants writing Thank You notes to sponsors.

BRIGHT Session 1 Recap

By Ladetra Morgan, BRIGHT Class of 2019

As we hiked straight up a stair-stepped  incline towards Natural Bridge, breathless with our muscles full of hike-induced lactic acid, I realized when I looked up and saw that we were almost at our destination that this was the epitome of how Kentucky Leadership’s BRIGHT program felt. 

Our first session of BRIGHT was held in the Red River Gorge area of beautiful Eastern Kentucky from July 29th-31st, 2019.  Fifty of us who call this area home joined with Kentucky Leadership representatives to come together and set the foundation for how to make Eastern Kentucky better and “brighter.” That foundation was laid through introspective reflection about who each of us are as individual leaders. The BRIGHT inaugural class was granted the opportunity to take part in the “predictive index” survey that placed each of us into a leadership style- and allowed us to learn more about our strengths and weaknesses.

During these three days of session 1 in Campton, KY the inaugural class of 2019 were able to talk about issues that our region faces, build relationships across county and partisan lines, and network with some of the most influential and passionate leaders that our region boasts- like Judge Sara Combs, Elmer Whitaker, and Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo from the Department of Local Government. 

That feeling of unbearable weight, of hard work in addressing the issues that our region faces- but knowing that there is hope and a future for our home is undeniably similar to our hike to Natural Bridge. Our destination is just ahead, and our first session inspired so many of us to keep working on ourselves and our communities. 


Norton Healthcare
Pikeville Medical Center
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Republic Bank
Whitaker Bank
Putting Kentuckians First and Reentry with the Kentucky Office Of Adult Education and the Education and Labor Cabinet
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
University of Louisville
Delta Dental
Kentucky Association of Health Plans
Whitaker Bank Foundation
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Tennessee Valley Authority
Appalachian Regional Healthcare