By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
At the Kentucky Chamber board of directors meeting in October, Bill Lear passed the leadership torch to Joe Craft, who will serve as chair for the 2018 Chamber year. Craft is president and chief executive officer of Alliance Resource Partners LP.
Craft has dedicated his career to civic and industry leadership, currently serving as a member of the board of directors for the BOK Financial Corporation, as a director and executive committee member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and is immediate past chairman of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
“I think Joe Craft is a brilliant business leader whose track record, both in business and in politics, is virtually unequaled. I think he will be a strong leader for the Chamber an influential voice in government circles on behalf of Kentucky’s business interests,” outgoing Chamber Board Chair Bill Lear said.
He is married to Kelly Craft, who was named the U.S. ambassador to Canada by President Donald Trump. The Crafts engage in numerous charitable endeavors including founding and funding the Craft Academy at Morehead State University and the recent establishment of a scholarship program for graduates from the academy. In addition, the Crafts are major supporters of the University of Kentucky and its athletic programs.
“It is an honor to lead Kentucky’s most important pro-business organization,” Craft said. “The Chamber has a long and proud history of advocating for its members, and for pro-growth policies that allow for job creation and greater opportunity for all Kentuckians. We will continue this legacy on my watch, and I look forward to using the Chamber’s influence to help make Kentucky the best version of itself.”
Paul Thompson, president and COO of LG&E and KU Energy, has been named chair-elect for the coming year. Serving with Craft and Thompson on the Chamber’s 2017 executive committee will be:
- Immediate Past Chair, Bill Lear, Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC, Lexington
- Treasurer, Winston Griffin, Laurel Grocery Company, London
- Vice Chair, Administration, Nick Rowe, Kentucky American Water, Lexington
- Vice Chair, Business Education, Hood Harris, AT&T Kentucky, Louisville
- Vice Chair, Membership and Marketing, Rusty Cheuvront, Brown-Forman, Louisville
- Vice Chair, Public Affairs, Nick D’Andrea, UPS, Louisville
- Small Business Representative, Don Bloomer, Citizens National Bank, Somerset
- Chair, Kentucky Chamber Foundation, Janet Jakubowicz, Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP Lexington
- At-Large Member, Mike Castle, Alltech, Inc., Nicholasville
- At-Large Member, Candace McGraw, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Hebron
- At-Large Member, Helen Sims, Superior Care Home, Inc., Paducah
- At-Large Member, Kevin Smith, Beam Suntory, Clermont