2020 Leadership KY Class

Leadership Kentucky’s  2020 BRIGHT Kentucky Class.

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:

Sarah Adkins – Whitley County – University of the Cumberlands

Frank Baker – Leslie County – Hyden Citizens Bank

Chelsea Ballard – Hart County – American Cave Conservation Association

Adam Bowling – Bell County – Self-Employed - Small Business Owner

Ben Carr – Montgomery County – Kentucky 4-H Foundation

Crystal Cox – Pulaski County – United Way of South Central Kentucky

Tyler Curran – Nicholas County – Kentucky Army National Guard

Gene Detherage Jr. – Rowan County – The Fletcher Group

Aaron Dockery – Pulaski County – City of Somerset

Hanna Gabbard – Johnson County – Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)

Courtney Gillette – Boyd County – Boyd County Tourism and Convention Bureau

Laura Gregory – Wolfe County – Kentucky Waterways Alliance

Sara Hacker – Rowan County – Morehead State University

Megan Haile – Monroe County – TJ Samson Community Hospital

Jennifer Hall – Knott County – Alice Lloyd College

Jenni Hampton – Pike County – Kentucky Career Center

Tena Hunley – Magoffin County – McDonald’s Of East Kentucky

Summer Jackson – Whitley County - University of the Cumberlands        

Mindy R. Johnson – Edmonson County – Western Kentucky University

Kayla Jude – Martin County – Kentucky Career Center

Patrick Lager – Montgomery County – Whitaker Bank Corp.

Zach Lawrence – Perry County – Hazard-Perry County Economic Development Alliance

Zachary Leftwich – Green County – Green County Board of Education

Josh Little – Pike County – Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Caitlin Mason – Laurel County – Cumberland Valley Area Development District

Aaron Montgomery – Greenup County – Addiction Recovery Care & Rise Above

Courtney Oliver – Laurel County – Reppin2Recovery INC

Andrew Owens – Bath County – Michael R. Gray Funeral Home, Owingsville

Justin Pruitt – Boyd County – Boyd County Fiscal Court

Jessica Ritchie – Breathitt County – Juniper Health, Inc.

Jacob Roan – Bell County – City of Pineville

Jonathan Shell – Garrard County – State Solutions LLC

Dustin Stephens – McCreary County – East Ky Power Cooperative

Jacob Taylor – Rockcastle County – Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center

Erica Trammell – Harlan County – Appalachian Challenge Academy

Gavin Tussey – Boyd County – Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 248

JoAnn Vanzant – Lee County – Operation UNITE

Tyler Ward – Letcher County – Jacobs+Ward

A.J. Wilson – Hart County – Hart County Fiscal Court

Elijah Wilson – Cumberland County – University of Kentucky

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.

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