Home » The Center for Rural Development announces new board members

The Center for Rural Development announces new board members

SOMERSET, Ky. — The Center for Rural Development is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its board of directors.

Karen Kelly of Cornerstone Government Affairs and Tim Robinson, founder and CEO of Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), will serve as members-at-large, and Dr. Nancy Cox, vice president for Land-Grant Engagement and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will represent the University of Kentucky.

“We are proud to welcome these three talented leaders to our board of directors,” Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, said in making the announcement. “These individuals have a wealth of knowledge, experience, leadership, and expertise working to help improve the lives of people in our region and throughout Kentucky.”

“Our board of directors is committed to pursuing The Center for Rural Development’s mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life for the citizens we serve,” added board Chair, Robert M. Duncan. “I am personally delighted to have these three new members on our board as we work together to carry out our mission to serve Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

Karen Kelly has more than 25 years of experience managing projects, advocating for enhanced legislation and policies, and communicating with top government leaders, corporate executives, and the public.

She joined Cornerstone’s Kentucky office after serving more than nine years as the district director to U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05). Prior to that, Kelly helped Congressman Rogers launch Operation UNITE, a nonprofit with the mission of preventing the abuse of drugs and facilitating recovery. She also served as president and CEO of Eastern KY PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment). She led the charge to provide water and wastewater infrastructure and rallied thousands of volunteers across a 42-county region.

Tim Robinson founded ARC in 2010 with a vision to help people in Appalachia end their battle with addiction and discover their God-given destiny. ARC serves more than 30 programs in 21 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties and has plans to become a multi-state provider in 2023.

Under his leadership, ARC has implemented innovative strategies and programs to expand access to treatment. ARC serves approximately 2,000 individuals daily and has grown to nearly 1,000 employees. ARC’s “Crisis to Career” model combines treatment with job training and employment to give people the very best chance at long-term recovery.

Robinson received national recognition for his work to address the addiction crisis and, in 2022, received the prestigious Congressman Hal Rogers Beacon of Hope Award.

Dr. Nancy Cox, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, recognizes the college’s significant footprint and statewide role. She was appointed by UK President Eli Capilouto to join his leadership team with the additional role as vice president for land-grant engagement for the University of Kentucky.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is one of UK’s four largest undergraduate colleges and consistently ranks second among UK colleges in external funding. It is home to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and serves a critical role in disseminating knowledge to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Under her deanship, the college has seen tremendous growth in support of the state’s signature equine and distilled spirits industries. Cox is responsible for creating the Racetrack Safety Program and spearheaded a landmark partnership with Beam Suntory to create the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. In addition, she led a critical review of the Cooperative

Extension Service, building a new administrative model and strengthening Extension’s connectivity with community partnerships to support local development.

The Center for Rural Development, a nonprofit organization, based in Somerset, KY, serves 45 Southern and Eastern Kentucky counties. For more information, visit www.centertech.com or call 606-677-6000.

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