Patton Leadership Institute hosts session on regional tourism

Staff Report

The Patton Leadership Institute class gathered for its latest meeting on June 9.

PIKEVILLE – The Patton Leadership Institute class met on June 9 for its latest session in the Chamber’s professional development and leadership program. With the day focusing on regional tourism, the class started their session at White Lightening Zip Line in Pikeville. It was the first time zip lining for several PLI class members.

“It was an amazing experience. This was my first time zip lining and it’s a day I will never forget. The staff was wonderful and to have this attraction in our backyard is incredible. It’s definitely something I plan on doing again with my family,” said Clarissa Adkins, U.S. Bank.

The class then visited Wayland, a former coal camp community in Eastern Kentucky. Mayor Jerry Fultz provided a tour and overview of Wayland and the legendary Wayland High School gym.

Over the past several years, Wayland has made significant improvements through tireless efforts of their city’s leadership. The city has received nearly $1 million in grants and investment. They have worked diligently to promote the cleanliness of Wayland, constructed a sewage system and formed a PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment) program.

Wayland’s future plans include building an outdoor track and another city park, little league baseball field and softball field, basketball court, adaptive playground for those with special needs and update the Wayland High School gym into a health and wellness fitness center. Once the gym is renovated they hope to provide Zumba classes, youth sports, community gatherings and an indoor track.

“I am not aware of any other communities in the Appalachian coalfields that are as progressive and forward thinking as Mayor Jerry Fultz, the city council, and citizens here,” said Jacob S. Colley, Chamber President/CEO. “What they have done here and are continuing to do here is remarkable.”

Fultz stated that Wayland has been selected to open up the Smithsonian in March of 2017. For more information about Wayland, please call (606) 358-9471.

PLI will conclude next month with a session devoted to energy and natural gas. In August, the class will be recognized at the Chambers 59th Annual Awards Banquet. Applications will be available in August for next year’s leadership class. For further information, please contact the Chamber office at (606) 432-5504.

The Patton Leadership Institute is the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s flagship professional development program that seeks to strengthen the future leadership in regional organizations by developing emerging talent into quality leaders. PLI is presented by AEP Kentucky Power, Appalachian Wireless and Food City. For more information on the Patton Leadership Institute, visit

Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (SEKC) is committed to improving the local economy, regional unity, political advocacy, and economic development; ultimately, improving the quality of life for citizens of the entire region. With over 550 member businesses that employ 25,000+ employees in 8 counties, SEKC provides a support network for businesses in Southeast Kentucky.

The Patton Leadership Institute class gathered for its latest meeting on June 9. Patton Leadership Institute class gathered for its latest meeting on June 9.

Staff Report

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