Operation UNITE President & CEO Nancy Hale has been selected by The Kentucky Gazette as one of the 50 “Notable Women in Kentucky Politics and Government” for 2022.

“These 50 women represent some of the most intelligent and powerful women leading our commonwealth in a broad range of fields – elected office, government service, labor, lobbying, and nonprofit leadership,” said Laura Cullen Glasscock, the Gazette’s editor and publisher. “These women make things happen in fields that mostly are dominated by men.”

“I am humbled by the honor,” said Hale, who has headed UNITE since February 2015. She is the third person to hold this position since its creation in 2003.

UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) is a Southern and Eastern Kentucky-based non-profit organization striving to prevent abuse of drugs and facilitate recovery.

“Earlier this year, The Kentucky Gazette asked its members and social media followers to nominate women who make a difference in Kentucky public affairs,” Glasscock said. “Nominators emailed us the names and reasons why these women should be honored. It’s as fascinating to read the nominations as it is to read the Notable Women’s bios when they’re submitted. I will say, these women have fans who respect their work.”

Hale spent 34 years as a teacher, career counselor and administrator – mostly in Rockcastle County – before joining UNITE as Co-Program Director for the UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps) program in 2012.

Hale currently serves on the advisory boards for the Rx and Illicit Drug Summit and National Recovery Month Planning Partners.  In addition, she is a Board member for RECON Kentucky, and member of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Substance Use Disorder Advisory Council and the Southeast Kentucky Advisory Council for Volunteers of America.

Very involved in her community, Hale has served as an Executive Board Member and volunteer with the Rockcastle County UNITE Coalition for the last 18 years and volunteered for 28 years with the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association.

In addition, as a member of First Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Hale is actively involved in missions and outreach. She serves as Women’s Missionary Union Director, has served as a messenger for the Rockcastle Association of Kentucky Baptists, the Kentucky Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention, various music ministries, and taught Sunday School for more than 40 years.

She and her husband, John, are the parents of two grown sons and they have four grandchildren.

About The Kentucky Gazette

Now a public affairs journal, The Kentucky Gazette was founded in 1787 by John Bradford, a Lexington printer who later published some of the first Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Almanac (1788-1807). It is considered the first newspaper published in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains and was established to support Kentucky’s break from Virginia to form the young nation’s 15th state in 1792. The Kentucky Gazette is a nonpartisan, independent journal that covers state government, politics and public affairs.