Woodford County Chamber of Commerce
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.
Meet The Board Members
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.
Justin Carroll is a Mortgage Banker at Stockton Mortgage Corporation 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.
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.
President and CEO
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.
Past Chairman of the Board
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.
Cynthia Bohn is the owner and manager of Equus Run Vineyards, a 38-acre full service winery/agritourism business in Midway established in 1998. Her previous position was with IBM Corp. Her involvement with the community encompasses the KY World Trade Center, Woodford County Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors), Woodford County Tourism Commission, and Eastern Kentucky University Business & Technology (Board Member). Cynthia has received several awards including Proctor and Gamble Women Entrepreneur Community Award and Central Kentucky Leading Women Award from the Lexington Herald Leader.
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.
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.
Tristan is the Co-Executive Director at Spark Community Café in Versailles. He was raised in Woodford County and graduated from Woodford County High School in 2017. He is currently a senior at The University of Kentucky and is studying Community and Leadership Development. Tristan was awarded the 2018 Community and Leadership Development Freshman of the Year Award from the University of Kentucky along with the 2019 Duvall Leadership Fund Scholarship; used to present a research paper at the 2019 World Community Development Conference in Dundee, Scotland.
Tristan is a community focused individual and is currently a board member of the Woodford County Human Rights Commission. Tristan also collaborated with the Woodford County Agriculture Extension Office to develop Woodford FoodNet, an interactive website focused on bringing local farmers and consumers together to promote purchasing local products
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.
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.
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.
Henry (Hank) Yohe
Hank is retired but these days describes himself as a professional volunteer. He also keeps busy bowling, square dancing, singing in the choir and showing classic vehicles. He is an accomplished horseman having bred, trained and shown Percherons for over 30 years. Throughout those 30 years, he worked with young people, teaching them about draft horses and the overall care of a horse. Since moving to Kentucky, he’s been doing volunteer work with several different groups in Woodford County: State Fair Pride of the Counties Committee, Twilight Festival Committee, Millville Community Center Committee, July 4th Committee, Kentucky Horse Park and the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce.
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.