FRANKFORT, Ky. (7-19-21) – UNITE Treatment Referral Coordinator Jennifer Witt has been selected by Leadership Kentucky as a member of the BRIGHT Kentucky Class of 2021.

Witt joins 40 other individuals, representing a variety of public and private sectors, from 27 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) counties selected for this class.

It is an honor for Jennifer to be selected for this prestigious leadership program and to represent Operation UNITE during the program over the next five months,” said Nancy Hale, UNITE President & CEO. 

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 ARC. The program is made possible by a $500,000 ARC grant and private funding from the Whitaker Foundation, SOAR, Kentucky Power, and other generous donors.

BRIGHT Kentucky is made up of five, three-day sessions where the primary goal 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: Pikeville in July, Hart County in August, Ashland in September, Somerset and Corbin in October, and Berea and Frankfort in November.

Selected for this year’s class are:

  1. Lina Abdallah — Pike County — Pikeville Medical Center
  2. Erin Adkins — Elliott County — First National Bank of Grayson
  3. Cole Atkinson — Laurel County — The Butchers Pub & Kamea Capital LLC
  4. Joshua Baker — Knott County — Alice Lloyd College
  5. Hunter Boyd — Boyd County — Boyd County Fiscal Court
  6. JR Briscoe — Pike County — University of Pikeville
  7. Timothy Caldwell — Floyd County — Mr. Tibbs Trading Company
  8. Kendra Calhoun — Harlan County — Boys & Girls Clubs of Appalachia
  9. Baylen Campbell — Perry County — Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
  10. Ricky Campbell — Perry County — Whitaker Bank, Inc.
  11. Clay Christian — Letcher County — Double Kwik, Childers Oil
  12. Jordan Collins — Knott County — Hindman Settlement School
  13. Wendy Crain-Lawson —Menifee County — Gateway Community Action
  14. Michelle Culp — Boyd County — Boyd County Fiscal Court
  15. Jackson Davenport — Madison County — Chenault Vineyards
  16. Natalie Detherage — Knox County — The Holler Creative
  17. Tara Dykes — Leslie County — Kentucky River District Health Department
  18. Jessica England —Lincoln County — Somerset Community College
  19. Stephen Frazier — Casey County — Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment
  20. Kiara Gabbard — Rowan County — PrintUSA
  21. Whitley Gatliff — Laurel County — Baptist Health Corbin
  22. Olivia Gilkison — Boyd County — VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
  23. Jocelyn Gross — Rowan County — Gateway Area Development District
  24. Brittany Guffey — Wayne County — Transamerica Agency Network
  25. Colby Hall — Floyd County — Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)
  26. Austin Hart — Fleming County — Fleming County Schools
  27. Emily Hathcock — Warren County — Barren River Area Development District
  28. Justin Holsinger — Greenup County — AEP/Kentucky Power
  29. John Hughes — Madison County — Office of the Attorney General
  30. Tara Leisure — Clark County — P&P Creative
  31. Matt Lorimer — Garrard County — Isaiah House Inc.
  32. Ben Madon — Bell County — First State Bank of the Southeast
  33. Ashley McCarty — Madison County — Bluewater Diagnostics Laboratory
  34. Will Napier — Laurel County — Cumberland Valley Area Development
  35. Toni Ousley — Johnson County — Big Sandy Skills U
  36. DJ Rymer — Boyd County — City of Ashland, KY
  37. Kelsey Sebastian — Breathitt County — Kelsey’s on Main
  38. Kellene  Turner — Whitley County — Kellene.Turner.Art
  39. Kiristen Webb — Leslie County — Leslie County Schools
  40. Chris Whitenack — Lawrence County — Addiction Recovery Care
  41. Jennifer Witt — Laurel County — Operation UNITE

JoAnn Vanzant, director of the UNITE Rural Health Opioid Program (RHOP) was a member of last year’s BRIGHT Kentucky class.

 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. Their goal is to prepare 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.