Leadership Kentucky Announces 2020 BRIGHT Kentucky Class

Posted on: July 28, 2020
Tags: BRIGHT Kentucky

Madeline Flynn
Leadership Kentucky, Communications Manager


FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2020) Leadership Kentucky is proud to announce the members of the BRIGHT Kentucky Class of 2020.

BRIGHT Kentucky, which began in 2019, engages bright, entrepreneurial minds from various occupational sectors 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. 

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: Somerset in July, Ashland in August, Berea/Frankfort in September, Pikeville in October, and Hazard in November. The program began last week in Somerset where the class heard from business leaders, visited Lake Cumberland, and networked with other participants.

This year’s class includes 41 participants from 30 different ARC counties representing a variety of public and private sectors. Leadership Kentucky congratulates the following members:

  1. Sarah Adkins – Whitley County - University of the Cumberlands
  2. Frank Baker - Leslie County - Hyden Citizens Bank
  3. Chelsea Ballard – Hart County - American Cave Conservation Association
  4. Adam Bowling – Bell County - Self-Employed - Small Business Owner
  5. Ben Carr - Montgomery County - Kentucky 4-H Foundation
  6. Crystal Cox – Pulaski County - United Way of South Central Kentucky
  7. Tyler Curran – Nicholas County - Kentucky Army National Guard
  8. Gene Detherage Jr. – Rowan County - The Fletcher Group
  9. Aaron Dockery – Pulaski County - City of Somerset
  10. Hanna Gabbard – Johnson County - Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)
  11. Courtney Gillette – Boyd County - Boyd County Tourism and Convention Bureau
  12. Laura Gregory – Wolfe County - Kentucky Waterways Alliance
  13. Sara Hacker – Rowan County - Morehead State University
  14. Megan Haile – Monroe County - TJ Samson Community Hospital
  15. Jennifer Hall – Knott County -Alice Lloyd College
  16. Jenni Hampton – Pike County – Kentucky Career Center
  17. Tena Hunley – Magoffin County - McDonald's Of East Kentucky
  18. Summer Jackson – Whitley County - University of the Cumberlands
  19. Mindy R. Johnson - Edmonson County - Western Kentucky University
  20. Kayla Jude – Martin County – Kentucky Career Center
  21. Patrick Lager – Montgomery County – Whitaker Bank Corp.
  22. Zach Lawrence – Perry County - Hazard-Perry County Economic Development Alliance
  23. Zachary Leftwich – Green County - Green County Board of Education
  24. Josh Little – Pike County - Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  25. Caitlin Mason – Laurel County - Cumberland Valley Area Development District
  26. Aaron Montgomery – Greenup County - Addiction Recovery Care & Rise Above
  27. Courtney Oliver - Laurel County - Reppin2Recovery INC
  28. Andrew Owens – Bath County - Michael R. Gray Funeral Home, Owingsville
  29. Justin Pruitt – Boyd County - Boyd County Fiscal Court
  30. Jessica Ritchie – Breathitt County - Juniper Health, Inc.
  31. Jacob Roan – Bell County - City of Pineville
  32. Jonathan Shell – Garrard County - State Solutions LLC
  33. Dustin Stephens – McCreary County - East Ky Power Cooperative
  34. Jacob Taylor – Rockcastle County - Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center
  35. Erica Trammell – Harlan County - Appalachian Challenge Academy
  36. Gavin Tussey – Boyd County - Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 248
  37. JoAnn Vanzant – Lee County - Operation UNITE
  38. Tyler Ward – Letcher County - Jacobs+Ward
  39. J. Wilson – Hart County - Hart County Fiscal Court
  40. Elijah Wilson – Cumberland County - University of Kentucky
  41. Jennifer Wilson – Johnson County - Kentucky Cancer Program




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.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Norton Healthcare
Kentucky Power
Maker's Mark
RunSwitch PR
Kentucky Chamber
Republic Bank
St. Elizabeth
Whitaker Bank
Kentucky Proud
Beam Suntory
CHI St Joseph Healthcare