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Patton Leadership spends day in Floyd County learning about leadership and tourism

Prestonsburg, KY (January 30, 2020) – Patton Leadership Institute spent the day in Floyd County on Friday, January 10, learning about business and tourism in Floyd County. The day included a visit to Appalachian Wireless, the Mountain Arts Center, and a few historical sites in the area.

Friday’s session began with a tour of the Appalachian Wireless headquarters in Ivel, led by Appalachian Wireless Marketing Manager Ashley Litteral. During the tour, the group learned about the company’s past as well as its proposed future, with construction underway for a data center on the property.

Following the visit to Appalachian Wireless, a sponsor of the leadership program, the group toured the Mountain Arts Center (MAC) in Prestonsburg. The center, founded in 1996, houses a 1,044-seat theatre, several large meeting rooms, a commercial recording studio, an art gallery, an arts education room, and several individual instruction practice rooms. MAC Executive Director Joe Campbell led the group on a tour of the facility Friday.

Speakers for Friday’s session included: Sarah Lange-Hyden, Brittainy Branham, and Josh Turner, whom presented about the Sugarcamp Mountain Trails in Prestonsburg – a bike trail that is bringing people from across the nation to the region; Joe Jacobs, economic development associate for the Big Sandy Area Development District, a multi-county organization serving its five-county area of Eastern Kentucky, charged with planning, promoting, and coordinating programs for regional economic and social development; Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton, who updated the group on happenings in Prestonsburg; and Rick Newsom, Community Trust Bank executive vice president and eastern region president, who led the group in a leadership discussion.

The group visited the Middle Creek National Battlefield and the historic Samuel May House before wrapping up the session. The Middle Creek National Battlefield was home to the Civil War’s Battle of Middle Creek on January 10, 1862. Built in 1817, the Samuel May House was the hub of a 350-acre farm that served as a recruiting and supply post for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

“Floyd County, like the rest of Eastern Kentucky, has an incredible amount of natural resources and people who are working hard to make the rest of the world aware of them,” said Josh Little, director of operations for the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “The leadership of Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton and other local officials are making Prestonsburg, and Floyd County, a must-visit small town for tourism.”

Patton Leadership Institute is made up of leaders from across the region. Participants in the program attend a two-day opening session and eight day-long sessions during a nine-month period. The curriculum weaves together topics crucial to the development of community such as education, economic development, healthcare, energy, tourism, and government. Key leadership skills are integrated into each session.

For more information about the Chamber or Patton Leadership Institute, visit them online at,, or call 606.432.5504.

The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is located at 178 College Street, 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 be a resource for businesses in Southeast Kentucky that is committed to improving the regional economy.

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