Leadership Kentucky Class of 2023 Celebrates Graduation After Seven Month Program

Posted on: December 21, 2023
LKY Class 2023
Photo by Timothy Johnson, LKY Class of 2023

Leadership Kentucky today announced that the Class of 2023 graduated on Friday, December 15 and participants chose classmate Carlos E. Sanchez to receive the 2023 Lisa Murrell Award.

Since 1985, Leadership Kentucky graduates have brought an enlightened and informed perspective to their communities and companies, serving as important catalysts in the unified effort to Improve our State.

At the graduation ceremony, Leadership Kentucky announced Carlos E. Sanchez as the recipient of the 2023 Lisa Murrell Award. Sanchez is President of AT&T Kentucky.

The Lisa Murrell Award is presented annually in honor and loving memory of Lisa Murrell, a member the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2008. The recipient of the award is a current class member who embodies the spirit of Lisa: Courage, Compassion, Dedication, and Selflessness. The recipient is chosen by fellow classmates.

In choosing Sanchez, his classmates described him as…“A friend to everyone and thoughtful in all he does. Having lived in Kentucky for just slightly over a year, he has taken significant steps to get to know our state, learn about our issues, and engage with stakeholders. May we all be a little more like Carlos - kind, helpful, hopeful, and grateful.”

“I have had the pleasure to spend the last seven months with these leaders and have been so impressed with their engagement, leadership skills, and interest in learning about our Commonwealth with its numerous opportunities as well as challenges,” says Janice Way, president.  “Through the Leadership Kentucky program, they have gained tremendous insight, experienced Kentucky in a unique way, and built lasting relationships that will serve them well for many years to come. And, this year, we had the opportunity to recognize one of our state’s leaders, Carlos, and we look forward to witnessing his impact in the years to come.”

The class of 2023 included 52 participants representing a variety of public and private sectors. Leadership Kentucky congratulates the following:

  1. Kim Baker - Jefferson County - Kentucky Performing Arts
  2. John Bevington- Franklin County - LGE-KU
  3. Heather Campbell - Jefferson County - Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
  4. Colleen Chaney - Madison County - Eastern Kentucky University
  5. John Cox - Fayette County - Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  6. Douglas Craddock, Jr. - Jefferson County - University of Louisville
  7. Tiffany Craft - Letcher County - City of Whitesburg
  8. Darrin Croucher - Woodford County - Thoroughbred Engineering
  9. Lee Crume - Kenton County - BE NKY
  10. Tokwiny Da-Thong - Jefferson County - Amazon
  11. William Downey - Jessamine County - R. J. Corman Railroad Group
  12. Jennifer Fraker - Oldham County - Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
  13. Chris Francis - Boone County - KY/WV YMCA State Alliance
  14. Heather Gate - Warren County - Connected Nation
  15. Abbie Gilbert - Jefferson County - Humana
  16. John Hampton - Fayette County - Acrisure, LLC dba GCH Insurance Group
  17. Dalton Hatfield - Fayette County - Appalachian Regional Healthcare
  18. Ben Haydon - Fayette County - Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
  19. Amanda Henson - Oldham County - Healthcare Executive
  20. Debra Hess - Pike County – Community Trust Bank, Inc.
  21. Jill Horn - Jefferson County - Brown-Forman
  22. Ashley Ireland - Calloway County - Murray State University
  23. Jeremy Jarvi - Jefferson County - LouCity & Racing Foundation
  24. Timothy Johnson - Fayette County - United Way of the Bluegrass
  25. Kandi Justice - Pike County - Pikeville Medical Center
  26. Julie Kirkpatrick - Boone County - meetNKY| Northern Kentucky CVB
  27. Justin Lane - Montgomery County - Kentucky American Water
  28. Blake Layfield - Marion County - Maker's Mark
  29. Dorothy Lockhart - Fayette County - CHI - Joseph Health Partners
  30. Daniel Maloney - Jefferson County - Louisville Zoo
  31. Jeremy Mattox - Scott County - Kentucky Court of Justice
  32. Haley McCoy - Madison County - Kentucky Association for Economic Development
  33. Stephanie McMahan - Madison County - US Bank
  34. Anne-Tyler Morgan - Fayette County - McBrayer PLLC
  35. Ben Mudd - Marion County - Pharmacists' Association
  36. Jennifer Nachreiner - Jefferson County - Aetna Better Health of Kentucky
  37. Chris Nation - Jefferson County - RunSwitch PR
  38. Katherine North - Jefferson County - Kentucky Association of Health Plans
  39. Steven Phillips - McCreary County - Lumber King, Inc.
  40. Aaron Poynter - Russell County - Putting Kentuckians First and Reentry with the Kentucky Office of Adult Education and the Education and Labor Cabinet
  41. Chris Purvis - Oldham County - Cherry Bekaert LLP
  42. Janet Ratliff - Rowan County - Morehead State University
  43. Carlos Sanchez - Oldham County - AT&T Kentucky
  44. Robert Simmons - Kenton County - EGC Construction
  45. Camden Skidmore - Fayette County - South Central Bank
  46. Jared Smith - Fayette County - Piper-Smith
  47. Megan Stith - Meade County - Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  48. Amy Stroud - Pulaski County - Forcht Broadcasting Radio & Digital
  49. Judy Vaughn - Estill County - Estill County Cooperative Extension
  50. Mackenzie Wallace - Jefferson County - Alzheimer's Association
  51. Jeremy Whitmore - Calloway County - Calloway County Tourism Commission
  52. John Willoughby - Floyd County - East Kentucky Network, LLC

Leadership Kentucky joins together a diverse group of leaders, with a variety of career accomplishments and volunteer activities, to gain insight into complex issues facing the state. In a series of seven monthly, three-day sessions held at various locations throughout the state, participants meet with Kentucky leaders and explore the state’s resources and opportunities. The leadership curriculum educates participants on Kentucky’s rich cultural heritage and unique diversity.

The year’s program ran June through December and took the class across the state: Berea in June, Louisville in July, Paducah/Eddyville in August, Somerset in September, Bowling Green in October, Northern Kentucky in November, and Central Kentucky in December. The sessions covered topics ranging from business and economic development, racial equity and social justice, arts and tourism, natural resources and the environment, education, healthcare, agriculture, and government.

Nominations and applications for the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2024 will be available online at leadershipky.org in January 2024.


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. 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. The Leadership Kentucky Foundation offers four unique programs: Leadership Kentucky, ELEVATE Kentucky (for young professionals), BRIGHT Kentucky (for Eastern Kentuckians) and New Executives to Kentucky (for senior level executives who have lived in the state for less than two years). For more information, please visit leadershipky.org or email lky@leadershipky.org



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