Elevate 2019 in Prestonsburg

Posted on: May 21, 2019
Tags: Session Review, Elevate Kentucky

By: Nicole Krider
Elevate Class of 2019
Director of Member Services, United Way of Kentucky

All of us have heard the many misperceptions and stereotypes of Appalachia (i.e. it’s Appa-LATCH-uh, not Appa-LAY-shuh). The Elevate session hosted in Prestonsburg, KY delivered an outstanding group of speakers that did their community justice by breaking those stereotypes and then some.

The Prestonsburg session kicked off at the Mountain Arts Center with a tour and backstage experience with Joe Campbell, Interim Executive Director of the MAC. We were then welcomed by Prestonsburg’s Mayor himself, Les Stapleton (Leadership Kentucky Class of 2018). Mayor Stapleton addressed the many ways the Appalachian community is breaking stereotypes, increasing economic development, and facing community challenges. One of the many ways Prestonsburg is moving forward, is by creating momentum around its unique culture and heritage. One example of that unique culture was highlighted by Cary Rolfe, Vice President, The Country Network. Mr. Rolfe educated our class on Appalachian music, local musicians, and the television program that highlights them, Country Music Highway 23.

Next, we heard from Appalachian historian and entrepreneur, Rusty Justice (Leadership Kentucky Class of 2013), Co-Owner, BitSource. Mr. Justice is an expert on Appalachian heritage, culture, and resources. Our class then heard from regional nonprofit leader Jared Arnett, Executive Director, SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region). Mr. Arnett shared with us a new vision for Appalachia and his organization’s role in shaping the future of the region. Later that afternoon, our class heard from Burton Webb (Leadership Kentucky Class of 2018), President, University of Pikeville. Mr. Webb shared with us the values and foundations of leadership and tools we can use to implement our leadership knowledge to become more impactful leaders.

It was a warm day in Prestonsburg, and I was so grateful we got to spend some time outside on a surface reclaiming tour with Mayor Les Stapleton. Mayor Stapleton provided our class with a tour of the beautiful mountains, including StoneCrest Golf Course, and a stunning view from the top of the Sugarcamp Mountain Trail. We finished our day with a moonshine skit, delicious cookout dinner, and Appalachian music beside Dewey Lake at picturesque Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.

Day two began with a Productive Communication seminar with Karen Butcher of Karen Butcher Coaching and Training. Ms. Butcher provided an interactive learning experience in effective communication. We then got to experience the East Kentucky Science Center with a facility tour and planetarium program.

In the afternoon, we returned to the MAC where Les Fugate (Leadership Kentucky Class of 2015), Executive Vice President, RunSwitch PR provided us with a business etiquette overview - including an interactive demonstration of a formal meal. Though some of our class had a few etiquette slipups, it was a fun way to learn and practice how to survive even the most formal of events or banquets!  

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Norton Healthcare
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Baptist Healthcare System Inc.
Spalding University
Hutch Auto Group
Whitaker Bank
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Planters Bank