BRIGHT Kentucky Announces Inaugural Class

Posted on: July 25, 2019
Tags: BRIGHT Kentucky

Madeline Flynn – Communications Manager
502-695-1102 |




FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 25, 2019) Leadership Kentucky, currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, is proud to announce the members of the inaugural BRIGHT Kentucky Class of 2019.


BRIGHT Kentucky will engage bright, entrepreneurial minds from all sectors and regions to offer non-partisan, ethical leadership training, expanded networks, and mentors designed especially for residents of the 54 Kentucky counties of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The program is made possible by a $500,000 ARC grant and private funding from the Whitaker Foundation, SOAR, and others.


“I am thrilled to see so many young professionals investing in Eastern Kentucky and eager to participate in this program,” stated BRIGHT Program Coordinator, Karen Butcher. “These individuals are some of the brightest in their communities and the Appalachian Region of Kentucky is sure to thrive because of their commitment.”


BRIGHT Kentucky is made up of five three-day sessions where the major focal point is to help participants fully understand the local economic context and to build robust skill sets in communication, collaboration, consensus building, visioning, and community engagement. The program, which runs July through November, will take participants across Eastern Kentucky: Natural Bridge Region in July, Big Sandy Region and Cumberland Region in September, the Daniel Boone Region in October, and the Gateway Region in November. The program start date is July 29.


This year’s class includes 50 participants from 29 different ARC counties representing a variety of public and private sectors. Leadership Kentucky congratulates the following members:


  • Lucas Barnes - Estill County – Estill County Emergency Management Agency
  • Will Bowling - Clay County – The Nature Conservancy
  • Rachel Bowling - Carter County – Morehead State University Small Business Development Center
  • Jessica Bray - Laurel County – Cumberland Valley Area Development District
  • Ruthie Caldwell - Floyd County – Vision Granted
  • Daniel Carmack - Laurel County – Sallie Davidson Realtors
  • Kelli Chaney - Clinton County – United Cumberland Bank
  • Corey Chesnut - Knox County – Forcht Bank
  • Jerrod Childers - Powell County – Whitaker Bank
  • Bobby Clue - Pulaski County – Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce
  • Amy Combs - Johnson County – Kentucky Addiction Centers
  • Emily Conley - Wayne County – Barnes & Noble College
  • Andrew Davis - Knox County – Hometown Bank
  • Dee Dozier - Boyd County – American Electric Power
  • Aaron Ellis - Greenup County – Pathways Inc.
  • Larry Epling - Pike County – University of Pikeville
  • Danielle Franklin Harmon - Johnson County – Highlands Health System
  • Colby French - Harlan County - Dept. of Military Affairs Appalachian Challenge Academy
  • JaKaye Garth - Pulaski County – Hampton Inn
  • Cody Gibson - Pulaski County – Wright Medical Technologies
  • Chase Hail - Whitley County – The Holler Creative
  • Lindsay Hale - Clark County – Clark County Public Schools
  • Julie Hendrix - Wolfe County - Hazard Community and Technical College System
  • KaSandra Hensley - Rowan County - N.E. KY Area Health Education Center, St. Claire HealthCare
  • Whitney Hogg - Letcher County – Childers Oil/Double Kwik
  • Chandra Hunley - Floyd County – City of Pikeville, Appalachian Wireless Arena
  • Chassidy Ison - Morgan County – Pathways Inc.
  • Tyler Johnson - Madison County - Fahe
  • Jeffery Justice - Pike County – Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)
  • Colby Kirk - Harlan County – One Harlan County
  • Maggy Kriebel - Whitley County – Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission
  • Derek Lewis - Laurel County – Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Brandy Martin - Whitley County – University of the Cumberlands
  • Payton May - Pike County - BitSource
  • Lauren McCoart - Perry County – WYMT-TV
  • Mindy Miller - Perry County – Housing Development Alliance, Inc.
  • Ladetra Morgan –Leslie County – Red Bird Mission
  • J. Morrison - Boyd County – Boyd County Fiscal Court
  • John Nelson - Rowan County – Morehead State University
  • Jeremy Noble - Lewis County – Maysville Community and Technical College
  • Sally Oakes - Letcher County – Childers Oil/Double Kwik
  • Donnie Osborn - Martin County – Kentucky Educational Development Corporation
  • Ryan Osborne - Whitley County – University of the Cumberlands
  • Kayla Parsons - Lawrence County –Addiction Recovery Care
  • Laura Patrick - Greenup County – King’s Daughters Health System
  • Aaron Poynter - Russell County – Bennett’s Carpets, Inc.
  • Brittany Ratliff - Pike County – Jones & Walters PLLC
  • Sierra Rice - Boyd County – Members Choice Credit Union
  • Don Smith - Pike County – Pike County Commonwealth Attorney
  • Nicole Winkleman - Elliott County – Kentucky Rural Healthcare Information Organization




About Leadership Kentucky

Leadership Kentucky, created in 1984 as a non-profit educational organization, brings together a select group of people who possess a broad variety of leadership abilities, career accomplishments, and volunteer activities to gain insight into complex issues facing the state. Our goal is to prepare our participants to take an active role in advancing the state for the common good. By fostering understanding of how the state’s issues are interconnected, and by forging new relationships among community and regional leaders, Leadership Kentucky graduates bring a fresh and informed perspective to their communities and companies, serving as important participants in the unified effort to shape Kentucky’s future.


BRIGHT Kentucky is designed to build the capacity of next-generation leaders in the Appalachian region of Kentucky to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

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