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Patton Leadership Institute visits Floyd County

Prestonsburg, KY (January 9, 2023) – Patton Leadership Institute (PLI) spent the day in Floyd County on Thursday, January 5th, learning about business and tourism in Floyd County. The day included a visit to the Mountain Arts Center, East Kentucky Science Center, and Varia Planetarium located on the Prestonsburg campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
The group toured the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) in Prestonsburg. The MAC, founded in 1996, houses a 1,044-seat theatre, several large meeting rooms, a commercial recording studio, art gallery, arts education room, and several individual instruction practice rooms. Executive Director of the MAC, Joe Campbell, led the group on a facility tour as he explained the history of the MAC and impact it has made on eastern Kentucky.
Eric Ratliff, executive director for the Big Sandy Area Development District (ADD) spoke with the group. The Big Sandy ADD is a multi-county organization serving a five-county area of eastern Kentucky, and is charged with planning, promoting, and coordinating programs for regional economic and social development.
Dalton Hatfield, Appalachian Regional Healthcare’s (ARH) system legislative liaison also joined the group. Hatfield talked about healthcare issues our region faces and how ARH is working to help residents become more educated on their healthcare needs and become more proactive in preventing illness.
Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton updated the group on happenings in Prestonsburg. Stapleton also challenged everyone in attendance to be more involved with tourism and be aware of what is happening in the communities around them. He noted that it is our responsibility to show hospitality to tourists and visitors while they are in town, and we need to know what there is to do and what is going on in our communities.
“Getting to hear from Mayor Stapleton about Prestonsburg was a highlight of this session for me. You can tell he is invested in not just Prestonsburg, but the entire region,” said Tiffany Coleman, director of programs and media for the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “I didn’t know the Mountain Arts Center had a commercial recording studio; it was nice to hear about the artists who use it. If I could carry a tune in a bucket, I would take that bucket to the MAC.”
Patton Leadership Institute is a leadership development program of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. PLI is made up of leaders from across the Chamber’s eight-county region. Participants attend nine sessions over a nine-month period, and the curriculum weaves together topics crucial to the development of community such as education, economic development, healthcare, energy, tourism, and government. Leadership skills are integrated into each session.
For more information about the Chamber or PLI visit them online at or call 606.432.5504.
The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is located at 178 College Street in Pikeville and serves more than 500 businesses in eight Eastern Kentucky Counties: Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike. The Chamber’s mission is to serve the businesses of Southeastern Kentucky through a commitment to networking, advocacy, education, and collaboration as we partner together to enhance the business climate in our region.

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