We would like to warmly welcome the newest members of our executive board. Our board members are appointed by SOAR’s Co-Principal Officers Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Andy Beshear. Being appointed as a board member is a great privilege to not only the organization but to our region as well.
But what exactly does a board member do?
According to the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, the ten basic responsibilities that board members are responsible for are as follows:
- Help determine the organization’s mission and purpose
- Select the Executive Director
- Support the Executive and Review his/her performance
- Ensure Effective Organizational Planning
- Ensure Adequate Resources
- Manage Resources Effectively
- Determine and Monitor the Organization’s Programs and Services
- Enhance the Organization’s Public Image
- Serve as a Court of Appeal
- Asses its Own Performance
Meet our Newest Members
Chris Deaton, President & CEO, Senture
Chris Deaton joins the SOAR Executive Board as a lifelong entrepreneur and native Kentuckian. Together with his father, the Deaton family has created thousands of jobs across Kentucky for more than 25 years.
Chris led his former company, Senture, to grow from three employees in 2002 to more than 3,000 employees across multiple locations when it was acquired in 2021. Chris and his father found that the people of Eastern Kentucky were strong and dedicated to doing great work for clients, and, as a result, were the catalyst for growing a solid and successful business. Chris received a business degree from the University of Kentucky in 1990 and has worked beside his father since 1991, creating jobs and opportunities for Kentuckians. He lives in London, Kentucky with his wife of 32 years, Cynthia, their five children, and two grandchildren.
Stephen Frazier, co-Chief Operating Officer, CFO, Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment
Stephen Frazier joined Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment as the Chief Financial Officer in 2016 and was promoted to the role of co-Chief Operating Officer in 2022. Prior to joining Tarter, he worked at Ernst & Young and Dean Dorton.
Stephen is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics and the University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Kentucky and admitted to the Kentucky and Tennessee Bar Associations.
Les Fugate, Vice President and Director of State and Local Public Affairs, Brown-Forman
Les Fugate is the Vice President and Director of State and Local Public Affairs for the Brown-Forman Corporation, the largest publicly traded American-headquartered spirits company headquartered in Louisville, KY. Les directs the public policy and outreach efforts for Brown-Forman across the U.S. An accomplished former political aide, non-profit executive, Les served as the chief political aide to former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson where he directed the communications office, legislative affairs, and local elected official outreach. He also spent time as an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit.
Les is a Cum Laude graduate of Centre College and earned his master’s degree from Vanderbilt University where his studies concentrated on government relations, communications, and fundraising.
Mike Johnson, Assistant CEO, Appalachian Wireless
Michael L. Johnson, Assistant CEO of Appalachian Wireless, began his career in a dual role in the wireline and wireless industry. Since beginning his career in July 1992 as a Central Office Technician at Harold Telephone and Installer at Appalachian Cellular, Mike has worked at virtually every aspect of the technical side of the wireless business.
Mike is a visionary in the telecommunications industry with broad experience in technology management, engineering, project management, and safety administration. Mike has used his creativity and passion for innovation to build one of the most recognized technical teams in the industry. He works diligently to ensure the company consistently delivers the highest quality of customer experience, practice and promote safety standards, and ensure the company’s compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and standards.
A proud native of Pike County, Mike and his wife, Jessica, currently reside in Floyd County at Ivel, Kentucky. In his free time,
Barry Martin, CEO, Primary Care Centers of EKY
Barry Martin is the Chief Executive Officer of Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky (PCCEK). PCCEK operates four rural health clinics in the heart of Appalachia in southeastern Kentucky. He started the organization in 2003 with the goal of providing quality healthcare to the residents of the region and contributing to the communities where the patients live.
Barry’s work ethic, along with his 30 years of diverse healthcare experience, has given him the business understanding and industry knowledge to build a clinically integrated, multi-tiered, patient-centered primary care system. Additionally, he has developed unique relationships with various partners to meet the needs of the patients PCCEK serves. Working with local hospitals, the University of Kentucky, and a regional Community Mental Health Center, he has developed innovative approaches to issues faced by the patient population served by PCCEK.
He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and obtained a Masters of Health Administration degree, also from UK, in 1995.
Elmer Whitaker, CEO, Whitaker Bank
Elmer K. Whitaker is President & CEO of Whitaker Bank, Inc, and President of Whitaker Bank Corporation of Kentucky, a family-owned financial institution and bank holding company offering retail and commercial bank services, as well as insurance and wealth management services. Whitaker Bank has 2.05 billion dollars in total assets, 450 employees, and 45 locations in 17 Kentucky counties.
During his 30-plus year career, Elmer has worked in all areas of the bank, which has prepared him for his current roles in the company. He has facilitated the growth of the company through acquisition and product development. He formed the marketing department for the company, and he has built a recognized brand throughout the Bluegrass State.
He has created a culture that has made Whitaker Bank a leader in community involvement – accomplished by his example. Under his leadership, Whitaker Bank was among the first banks in the state of Kentucky to sponsor the Everfi program to teach financial literacy in schools with under-privileged kids. He was awarded the Financial Education Innovation Award in both 2017 and 2018.
He served as the 2018 Chairman of the Board for Leadership Kentucky and had the vision to start a leadership development program for emerging leaders in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. This program known as BRIGHT Kentucky was launched in 2019 and focuses on developing ethical leadership while fostering networking, project collaboration, and the creation of opportunities throughout the region. In addition to financially supporting the program, Elmer is present during sessions to provide mentorship and assist in the advancement and development of the participants
Carlos Cameron, District Director, Congressman Hal Rogers (Proxy)
Carlos Cameron, a lifelong resident of Jackson County, was named District Director for Congressman Hal Rogers earlier this year. Carlos has worked for Congressman Rogers since 2014.
Prior to working for Congressman Rogers, Cameron dedicated nine years to Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment, and Education), the non-profit organization launched by Rogers in 2003 to combat the drug abuse epidemic in Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District
The new board members will join the existing board members:
- Kim McCann, Partner/Attorney, Vanantwerp Attorneys (Board Chair)
- Donovan Blackburn, CEO, Pikeville Medical Center (Treasurer)
- Jean Hale, Retired Chairman, President, and CEO, Community Trust Bank
- Robert Stivers, Senate President, Ex-Officio Member
- David Osborne, Speaker of the House, Ex-Officio Member
- Albey Brock, Bell County Judge-Executive, Ex-Officio Member
- John Will Stacy, Morgan County Judge-Executive, Ex-Officio Member
- Rocky Adkins, Senior Advisor for Governor Andy Beshear (Proxy)
Other ways to help the SOAR team and mission in EKY
You don’t have to be a board member to make a difference in Eastern Kentucky or be a part of the SOAR team.
Here are some ways in which you can help our region:
- Donate to SOAR through our flood relief efforts.
- Volunteer with us!
- Become a mentor for students in your community
- Join our team
- Become a partner