Woodford County Chamber of Commerce

THE CHAMBER
  • Is an independent, not-for profit corporation

  • Is a volunteer organization composed of individuals, businesses, industries, and professionals who have joined together to accomplish collectively what they cannot do individually

  • Serves as a watchdog and spokesperson for businesses in local and state affairs

  • Acts as a business agent and sales manager in promoting Woodford County, your firm, your products and services

  • Words as the information bureau to promote tourism and provide statistical data to meet business needs

  • Publicizes and promotes Woodford county to people considering relocating, establishing a business, or expanding the tourism industry in this area

  • Strives for a healthy and sound economy by promoting and encouraging new businesses and expansion of existing businesses

  • Enriches the quality of life in Woodford County through the support of community activities, cultural events and enrichment programs

WHO RUNS THE CHAMBER

The members run the Chamber. Every year, members elect one-fourth of the Directors to serve on the board for a four-year term. Officers are elected by the Board of Directors annually at the last meeting of the year to include: Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. Board members are eligible to serve in an officer capacity after completing one (1) year service as a member of the Board of Directors. All officers shall serve for terms of one (1) year or until their successors assume the duties of office, and they shall be voting members of the Board. The Board sets the policies that govern the operations and activities of the Chamber. Volunteer committees are established to accomplish the organization's goals and objectives. Activities of the Chamber are supported by a full-time, professional staff, which manages all Chamber operations.

REASONS TO JOIN
  • If you are a business located in Woodford County, you depend on this community for transportation, utilities, work force, materials, etc. The Chamber works to provide a healthy climate in which to do business.

  • The support of all businesses and professional men and women is needed to improve the quality of life and economic well being of Woodford County. In tern, this means more customers, clients and patients.

  • Joining the Chamber means getting involved and staying involved. It means speaking your mind on important issues that effect your business. Membership means meeting with other business people and working collectively to accomplish the objectives necessary for a business to prosper in Woodford County.

  • Joining the Chamber means being a leader in the business community. The Chamber is also committed to maximizing your impact by speaking and acting through strength in numbers, and through  listening to your needs and ideas. 

  • Membership investments in the Chamber of Commerce may be tax deductible as a necessary business expense.

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE CHAMBER?
Become a part of growing a better community which should mean more business and bigger profits for you and your company. 

Meet The Board Members

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Austin Wingate

Chairman of the Board

 

Austin Wingate was born and raised in Winchester Ky. He is an agent for Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance in Woodford Co where he now resides. Farm Bureau is the largest insurance provider in Woodford Co as well as the State of KY. Austin takes great pride in servicing and taking care of all of his client’s insurance needs. He is a performance driven professional who is passionate about helping others by protecting their families’ assets. Austin serves on the local Farm Tour Board, Farm Bureau Board, Farm To Table Board, Leadership Woodford Co, & has been the Area Chairman for Woodford County Ducks Unlimited for the past three years.

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Justin Carroll

Vice Chairman

Justin Carroll is with Community Trust Bank in Versailles.  He was raised in Woodford County and is a 1997 graduate of Woodford County High School.  He also has a BA in History from Eastern Kentucky University.  Justin has had a successful career in banking beginning back in 2011 and has been with the bank since 2018 where he focuses on commercial lending and business development.

Mr. Carroll is a current member of the Woodford County Board of Directors, United Way of the Bluegrass for Woodford County, and is a graduate of Leadership Woodford County. Mr. Carroll has served as Treasurer and is currently serving as Vice-Chairman for the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce.

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Christie Eckerline

Treasurer

Born and raised in Lexington and now raising her own family here, Christie Eckerline has always had strong ties to the community.  She graduated with a double major in economics and history from Centre College in Danville, KY.  After college, Christie began her career at Alltech with a job in Marketing and Events.  During her time at Alltech, she was involved in the planning of the 2010 World Equestrian games.  

As the COO of The Kentucky Castle, Christie is dedicated to providing a venue for people in our community to enjoy and celebrate life’s milestones. Christie also serves on the board of the Blue Grass Charity Foundation which celebrates community involvement and service of young women.  When she’s not working or involved in the community, she enjoys family time with her husband, Tripp and two young daughters Rosie and Bell.

 

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Jackie Cecil

Jackie Cecil is Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).  Mr. Cecil is currently a member of: United Way of the Bluegrass Woodford County Board of Trustees, Woodford County Chamber of Commerce, Woodford Theatre Board of Directors and a graduate of Leadership Woodford County.  He also served on the Big Sandy Health Care Board of Directors for over 15 years where he held the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary and chaired various standing ad hoc committees.  Mr. Cecil is a past-president of Gateway Regional Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and was instrumental in reactivation the chapter.  Mr. Cecil also served two three-year terms on the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents as Board Secretary.

Past Chairman of the Board

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Tim Culver

Tim Culver is Vice President of Advancement at Midway University, where he has served in that role since August 2018. Prior to that, he held a similar position at Lexington Catholic High School.

 

Other posts held by Culver include serving as Executive Director/Director of Major Gifts for 14 years at the Trinity High School Foundation in Louisville; Director of Communications in the Office of the Mayor in Louisville; and, as Executive Director of the United Way of Franklin County. Other career experiences include serving as a news producer for WKYT-TV in Lexington and as a public relations consultant for The Preston Group, Inc.

 

Culver, a current Woodford County resident, is a native of Louisville where he attended Trinity High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Western Kentucky University.

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Bret Jones

A 2004 graduate of The University of the South (Sewanee) and an alumnus of the Irish National Stud Breeding Course, Bret has been an official member of the Airdrie Stud team since 2006. He works daily with Airdrie's unrivaled managerial team and staff to help ensure that Airdrie's legacy will always be that of a farm that does right by it's people, horses and clients; a reputation earned by Brereton and Libby Jones over the last 50 years.  

A Breeders' Cup Board Director since 2011, a commissioner on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission from 2016-2020, and a founding steering committee member of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association’s 2020 Campaign - a group developed to educate and give a voice to the industry's under 40 generation, Bret's greatest pride will always be his wife, Tyler, and their 3 boys: B, Jack and Thomas.  

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Jeri Hartley

Jeri Hartley has been in Real Estate for over 15 years. She is a top producer with Rector Hayden Realtors and a member of the Top Producers Club.

Jeri's interests and involvement in local government and community include Woodford County Planning and Zoning, past member of PVA Board of Appeals & Woodford County Architectural Board of Review Committee. Jeri donates and volunteers with local Addiction Recovery Programs & Charities, Woodford County team sports, and Woodford County Schools.

Jeri is also President and Co-Creator of The Woodford Charm, a local magazine about local people. Two of her sons (Cory & Casey Cooley) and her daughter in laws (Katie & Sara Cooley) showcase their talents by highlighting people and places that make Woodford County so amazing.

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Elizabeth Pitchford

Elizabeth Pitchford was born and raised in Lexington.  She graduated from Henry Clay High School, Spencerian College of Fashion Merchandising and the University of Kentucky with a degree in Marketing.  Her 20 plus year career at Ruggles Sign, a full service sign manufacturer for national retailers and regional firms, located in Versailles, includes project management, special projects and marketing. Over the years Elizabeth has served on the Board of Directors for the Lexington Advertising Club, Board of Directors for Lexington Forum, Chairman of the Board for Woodford County Chamber of Commerce, PTO President for Woodford Christian School, and Board of Directors for the PTO at Southside Elementary.

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Kyle Fannin

Kyle Fannin is a lifelong Kentuckian and graduate of the University of Kentucky who taught high school social studies at Woodford County High School for 24 years.  Prior to that he owned and operated a small real estate and property management company in Lexington and more recently helped to found and currently serves as executive director of Spark Community Café.  Kyle also serves on the Woodford County Human Rights Commission and is a director on the both the Woodford Forward and Spark Community Café boards. 

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Laurie Dorough

Laurie grew up in Versailles and is a 1994 Woodford County graduate. Laurie attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated with a B.A. in Park and Recreation Therapy where she received her certificate in Therapeutic Recreation.

She began her career out of college with the Alzheimer’s Association, leading a dementia-specific adult day program and working in direct care and with the volunteers that supported the program’s activities. Laurie serves as the Executive Director for Daisy Hill Senior Living and resides in Versailles with her husband, Jed and their three children, Abby, Jake & Anna. 

Providing ministry and leadership in the community in which she has grown up and now resides in is a gift and honor. 

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Thomas Davenport

Thomas began his career in banking in 2006. Four of those years were spent at US Bank as a mortgage lender and Sales Manager. In 2019, my family and I moved from Cincinnati, OH to Lexington, KY where I began my career with Wesbanco as as District Sales Manager. I cover offices in Scott, Fayette, Woodford and Jessamine Counties.

Mr. Davenport is the founder of a non-profit, Financial Educators of America, Inc., which provides financial literacy to teens and young adults. Mr. Davenport holds a Bacherlor's from Penn State. He is happily married for 13 years with three young children- all boys. They are a football loving family and Mr. Davenport played football at Miami University. He shares the love of the sport with his sons and by coaching youth in Scott County!

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Michael Moorman

Michael began his career in 1992 with UPS as a part time supervisor in Cincinnati Ohio.  Over the next 28 years he held many different leadership roles of increasing responsibility in Transportation, Logistics, Supply Chain and Distribution for some wonderful companies such as Staples, Home Depot, Office Depot, BlueLinx and now Lakeshore Learning.  Many of roles have been throughout the Midwest, Southern and New England states with stops in Findlay Ohio, Westfield Massachusetts and Hartford Connecticut.  In his current role as Senior Director of Eastern Distribution Michael is responsible for the Lakeshore Learning Distribution campus in Midway, KY.  He and his wife and will be moving to Georgetown, KY as soon as construction is complete on their new house in the spring of 2021.

 

Michael holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Wilmington College in Ohio and completed his post graduate work at the University of Notre Dame, where he played basketball and was part of the track team at Wilmington.

 

Michael has been happily married to his wife Heather for 20 years and they have one son, Cory 28, who is a Chef in Cincinnati.  Heather and Michael both love basketball, football, golf and boating.  They’re foodies and love to try new restaurants and seeing what new food creations our son comes up with.

Meet Your Chamber Staff

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Whitney Dunlap

Whitney Dunlap has a BA from Miami University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky, College of Law. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, Woodford County, Madison County (former President) and Estill County Bar Association, Kentucky Defense Counsel. He has practiced insurance defense for 30 years trying numerous cases in the state and federal courts throughout Central, Northern and Eastern Kentucky. In conjunction with his trial practice he has briefed and argued cases in the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati and the United States Supreme Court. He joined the Chamber in April 2016 when he started his law firm in Versailles.

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Becky Baldwin

Rebecca Burkich Baldwin is a life-long resident of Versailles.  An active participant in the community, Rebecca is a member of Kiwanis Club, Women in Business, Woodford County Young Professionals, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce.  Rebecca has had a successful career in banking and is currently employed by Republic State Mortgage, focusing mainly on residential mortgages.

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Elaine Bailey

Elaine Bailey graduated from Transylvania University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric & Communication. Upon graduation, she set out for Memphis, Tennessee, for three weeks of intense training to become a National Leadership Consultant for her sorority, Chi Omega. In this role, Elaine spent two years traveling to nearly 40 colleges and universities to ensure quality, safety, and consistency amongst Chi Omega chapters. She reported back to the national organization's Board of Trustees on the progress and status of each sorority chapter. Through this experience, Elaine sharpened her communication and public-speaking skills, enhanced her organization, practiced customer service, learned valuable internal and external marketing principles, and so much more.

 

Since February 2019, Elaine has worked for Woodford County Public Schools (WCPS) as the Public Information & Communications Officer.

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Cassie Prather

Cassie Prather is the Public Health Director of the Woodford County Health Department where she works to prevent disease, promote wellness and protect the citizens of Woodford County. She relocated to Versailles in 2017 from her hometown of Mt. Sterling along with her husband John and their five children. 

Mrs. Prather holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion from Morehead State University as well as a Master of Public Health from Eastern Kentucky University. She is also a proud graduate of Leadership Woodford County.  

She currently sits on the board for the Woodford County Agency for Substance Policy is a member of the Healthcare Advisory Board at Midway University and serves as a member on the site-based decision-making council at Southside Elementary School. 

Emily Downey is an experienced marketing and business development professional who has spent her career on global partnership, activation, marketing and business development strategies along with working in mergers and acquisitions for due diligence, culture integration and strategic vision planning. Downey has worked with the global agri-business firm Alltech and is now currently launching her business as EKD Strategies while serving as the Woodford County Tourism Executive Director. 

Downey proudly serves on the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce Board, Bluegrass Community Hospital Board, LexArts board, advisory council for Girls on the Run, and is the chairperson for the EMERGE Conference with Commerce Lexington in 2020. 

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President and CEO

Emily Downey

Beth Shewmaker

Executive Assistant

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