BRIGHT Kentucky visits Pineville

Posted on: September 1, 2023
BRIGHT 23 Pinveille

Written by: Stacie Taylor, Director of Educational Program Development, Pikeville Medical Center, BRIGHT Class of 2023


The second session of BRIGHT brought the 2023 class to the scenic Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville. The session began by sharing professional wins and challenges since the last time the class met and getting to know more about one another through class panels. With each presentation, they were all more inspired by one another and grateful for the opportunity to learn together in this setting.

After that, Karen Butcher led the class in a DiSC workshop, which provided an opportunity to reflect on and dig deeper into the results of the DiSC assessment class participants completed prior to arrival. The DiSC profile provided them with a look into our personal “style”, from how they communicate to how they view information. The class was able to understand themselves more clearly and learn from others with whom they shared commonalities and vast differences. These conversations and activities were a vital catalyst for helping each of them grow more into their own style of authentic leadership marked by self-awareness and a commitment to continual growth.

On the evening of day one, cohorts had the opportunity to appreciate the natural history of Pineville by either participating in a hike to the historic Chained Rock, or the Nature Center on-site at the Pine Mountain State Resort Park. To wrap up the night, they reflected on the team-building they experienced throughout the day, shared dinner, and supported one another in a “jam” session with guitar, ukulele, keyboard, and voices to prepare for the upcoming BRIGHT talent show.

Day two took the class to the Bell Theater, a crowning jewel of downtown Pineville that has been restored to bring in many events and contribute to the revitalization of Pineville’s Main Street district and surrounding community. The class learned about collaborating to revitalize our communities from a panel including Kitty Dougoud, Kentucky Main Street’s State Coordinator, Jon Grace, the Bell County Tourism Director, and Jacob Roan, BRIGHT 2020 alumnus and the Economic Development Director/Executive Director of Main Street Pineville. After this, they were privileged to hear from Kentucky League of Cities’ Tad Long about the vision and processes it takes for a leader to pioneer lasting transformation in his or her community.

Participants took a mid-day retreat to the Laurel Cove Amphitheater, where they shared lunch and learned about the history of the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival and about more of their classmates in another class panel.

For the remainder of the afternoon, they were introduced to two transformational organizations: The Boone’s Ridge construction site and the Promise of 119. The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation’s president, Frank Allen, provided us with a tour of Boone’s Ridge atop a reclaimed mountaintop removal site and explained how it is poised to become a recreation and tourism destination that brings in jobs and revenue to the community while educating its visitors about science, conservation, and the natural history of the Appalachian region. On the way back to the Bell Theater, Becca Bray – a BRIGHT 2022 alumna and the Executive Director of RRJ Solutions – introduced them to the Promise of 119, a sober-living facility set to provide safe transitional housing for 15 women upon its launch.

They continued the day with engaging roundtable discussions with BRIGHT alumni and one another, about several key issues identified in the Appalachian region, while brainstorming causal factors and potential solutions. The evening wrapped up with dinner and a block party complete with live music and shopping in downtown Pineville.

On the final day of the session in Pineville, they were inspired by presentations from Will Bowling – a 2019 BRIGHT alumnus and Conservation Project Specialist from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – and from Adam Larkin, a 2022 BRIGHT alumnus and the CEO/Co-Founder of Gitt Apparel.

The topic of this session was “making a case for the region”, and they certainly did that and more. All came away with ideas, strengthened networking relationships, and momentum to bring back the passion for the region and share it with their communities with the intention of working steadily toward a lasting impact.

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