It was an amazing afternoon today as we hosted our first-ever EKY Gala, presented by Kentucky Power, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg!
It was a great time to network with others in our region during a networking event, hosted by KY Innovation, and a delicious reception event after the award ceremony, hosted by King’s Daughters Medical Center.
The entertaining award ceremony was presented by Appalachian Regional Healthcare, where the Kentucky Opry band stole the afternoon away with their musical talent!
In case you missed this amazing event, here is the list of awards and their recipients:
Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Rajant Corporation
This award recognizes a person in Appalachia Kentucky who has devoted a lifetime of service to advancing Eastern Kentucky. It’s that simple. Someone whose work will impact generations to come.
This award was presented to Congressman Hal Rogers.
Business Person of the Year presented by Gearheart Communications
This award recognizes a business leader whose leadership has led to the growth of their business or company.
This award was presented to Donovan Blackburn.
Appalachia Leadership Award presented by BRIGHT Leadership Kentucky
This award is given to an individual who has provided leadership to make an impact at the regional level.
This award was presented to Elmer Whitaker.
EKY Humanitarian Award presented by People’s Bank
This award recognizes the work of an individual or organization working to advance social causes across Appalachia. This would include but is not limited to poverty, food insecurity, housing, educational access, etc.
This was award was presented to Jerry Fultz.
City of the Year presented by MakeMyMove
This award recognizes a city or municipal government working to create opportunities for citizens and attracting new citizens, talent, and industries in creative and collaborative ways.
This award was presented to City of Whitesburg & City of Jenkins.
County of the Year presented by Addiction Recovery Care
This award recognizes a county government that is working to create opportunities for citizens and attracting new citizens, talent, and industries in creative and collaborative ways.
This award was presented to Lawrence County.
EKY Connect Award presented by the Center for Rural Development
This award recognizes an individual, group, or organization working to advance broadband connectivity through increasing digital equity, adoption rates, remote work, digital literacy, etc.
This award was presented to Thacker-Grigsby Communications & Leslie County Fiscal Court.
Healthy Communities Award presented by Pikeville Medical Center
This award recognizes an individual, group, or organization that is working to address health disparities in Eastern Kentucky.
This award was presented to Farmacy & CANE Kitchen.
Downtown of the Year presented by Qk4
This award recognizes a downtown or Main Street organization working to support existing businesses and attract new businesses, as well as working on collaborative beautification efforts and downtown Wi-Fi access.
This award was presented to Revitalize Russell.
EKY Tourism Organization of the Year presented by Creative Media of KY
This award recognizes a local or regional tourism agency working creatively to promote current tourism assets while building capacity to create new opportunities to attract tourists to Eastern Kentucky.
This award was presented to Backroads of Appalachia.
Startup of the Year presented by KY Innovation
This award is given to a small business/startup that has launched or scaled by leveraging technology and connectivity to reach customers beyond Eastern Kentucky.
This award was presented to New Frontier.
EKY Recovery Award presented by Operation UNITE
This award is given to an individual, group, or organization that is working on the frontlines to provide opportunities for recovery for those impacted by Substance Use Disorder. This award is designed to recognize efforts to train, employ, establish educational pathways, serve families, and impact communities through the power of collaborative efforts and innovative thinking.
This award was presented to Addiction Recovery Care.
EKY Student of the Year presented by KCTCS
This award is given to a high school or college student who has impacted their school, college/university, and/or community through academic excellence and community service.
This award was presented to Mountain View Elementary School & Logan Sizemore.
EKY Teacher of the Year presented by The Prichard Committee
This award is given to a high school or college teacher who has impacted their school, college/university, and/or community by inspiring students and giving back to their community.
This award is was presented to Dr. Chandran Haridas from Belfry High School.
One last additional award: EKY Heroes
We wanted to dedicate a time of support and a standing ovation to those who continue to put in the hard work and effort in helping those who were affected by last years severe flooding. Those award recipients included:
- CANE Kitchen
- Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
- Housing Development Alliance
- Appalachian Apparel
- Tiffany Craft, Mayor of Whitesburg
- Jerry Fultz, Mayor of Wayland
- Angie Hatton
- East KY Dream Center
- Seema Sachdeva
- Mountain Association
- Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED)
- Community Ventures
- Kentucky Small Business Development Center
- Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
- Christian Appalachian Project
Last minute surprises during the event
We announced several big announcements during our EKY Gala:
The first is the Kentucky Opry Summer & Christmas series and the second our Country Music Highway Tribute Show happening this summer.
Stay tuned for more information on both concert events!