LWK Class 1

Inaugural Class of Leadership West Kentucky Graduates

Martha Argotte, HR Director at United Southern Bank is a recent graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership West Kentucky (LWK).  This was the first year of the program sponsored by the West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance (WKRCA).  There were 29 participants from 14 counties in West Kentucky in this new program.

Members of Leadership West Kentucky live or work in the counties represented by the West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance including Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, and Trigg. All 14 counties had representation in the program, which was created to promote regionalism and build a network of informed citizens across community lines. The desired outcome was to instill pride in the region and focus on encouraging participants to be active in their region and community.

TVA served as the presenting sponsor of the program. Curriculum included leadership development, education on issues facing the region, relationship-building and awareness of the attributes and uniqueness of each county.

“This group of people from all over the region came together to get to know more about our local areas and to get to know each other. They have built a network of contacts they can call on each other when they have a question about another area. We hope the first class of Leadership West Kentucky will return to their communities and companies with increased skills, knowledge, perspective, and a new regionwide professional network,” said Sandra Wilson, Paducah Chamber President/CEO, who helped coordinate the program. “These leaders will have the resources to be better prepared to be catalysts in their companies and communities to further advance the region.”

The West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance will evaluate the program and determine the status of continuing with the program in 2024.

The class had a two-day orientation in Paducah in January and met monthly through May in locations throughout the region. The one-day sessions focused on a featured community as well as regional topics such as transportation, education, economic development, quality of life, advocacy, agriculture, and tourism. In February the class focused on Lyon/Caldwell/Crittenden counties, in March met in Murray, in April in Fulton/Hickman counties and graduated at the final session in Hopkinsville on May 25.

For more information about Leadership West Kentucky and the West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance, visit wkrca.org.

Members of LWK Class #1 include:

Ballard County – Sarah Drysdale, UK Cooperative Extension.

Caldwell County – Jay Campbell, Fredonia Valley Bank; Joe Pelletier, Rogers Group.

Calloway County – Shawn Touney, Murray State University.

Carlisle County – Kevyn Dunker, GEO Consultants; Jennifer Quillen, Graceland Management Services.

Christian County – Martha Argotte, United Southern Bank; Ruth Lynch, Retired, Christian Co. Board of Education; Josh Ryan, Planters Bank; DeeAnna Sova, Ascend.

Crittenden County – D’Anna Browning, City of Marion; Tonya Driver, Crittenden Co. Board of Education

Fulton County – April Gallimore, Fulton Co. Judge’s office; Susan Malone, Citizens Bank.

Graves County – Crystal Balentine, FNB Bank; Terry Bradley, Paducah Bank; Nathaniel Cox, KeyBank/City of Mayfield.

Hickman County – Justin Jackson, Jackson Consulting Firm.

Livingston County – Tyler Coleman, Farmers Bank & Trust.

Lyon County – Monica Walker

Marshall County – Dana Howard, CFSB.

McCracken County – Kenny Boyd, Baptist Health Paducah; Sarah Dallas, Paducah Bank; Leslie Heath, Keller Williams Realty.

Trigg County – Scott Sholar, Tennessee Valley Authority.

Representing Multiple Counties – Betsy Burkeen, United Way of Western Kentucky; Stephanie Moss, Child Watch; Ryan Tolbert, Atmos Energy; Austin Wetherington, U.S. Cong. James Comer’s Office.



Photo collage cutline:

1st Row (L to R): Martha Argotte, United Southern Bank; Crystal Balentine, FNB Bank; Kenny Boyd, Baptist Health Paducah; Terry Bradley, Paducah Bank; D’Anna Browning, City of Marion; Betsy Burkeen, United Way of Western Kentucky; Jay Campbell, Fredonia Valley Bank; Tyler Coleman, Farmers Trust Bank;

2nd Row: Nate Cox, KeyBank/City of Mayfield; Sarah Dallas, Paducah Bank; Tonya Driver, Crittenden Co. Board of Education; Sarah Drysdale, UK Cooperative Extension; Kevyn Dunker, GEO Consultants; April Gallimore, Fulton Co. Judge Executive’s Office; Leslie Heath, Keller Williams Realty; Dana Howard, CFSB;

3rd Row: Justin Jackson, Jackson Consulting Firm; Ruth Lynch, Retired, Christian Co. Bd. of Education; Susan Malone, Citizens Bank; Stephanie Moss, Child Watch; Joe Pelletier, Rogers Group; Jennifer Quillen, Graceland Management Services; Josh Ryan, Planters Bank; Scott Sholar, Tennessee Valley Authority;

4th Row: DeeAnna Sova, Ascend Elements; Ryan Tolbert, Atmos Energy; Shawn Touney, Murray State University; Monica Walker; Austin Wetherington, Cong. James Comer’s Office.

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