The 2014 graduates of Leadership Lake Cumberland, the premier leadership program of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, had a lot on their minds when they graduated from the program. After completing the nine-month intensive leadership course, they weren’t ready to call it quits. In fact, they were just getting started.
In January, graduates met to discuss ways to continue their journey as a group, while at the same time giving back to the community and businesses that gave so much to them.
Martin Cranfill, a class graduate and Vice President at First and Farmers National Bank, was one of the first to suggest undertaking a community project.
“From my perspective, a community project was a natural extension of our class. Our class has a diverse group of talented and driven leaders that formed a very close bond during the months we were together,” said Cranfill. “It did not take a lot of convincing for the group to agree to continue to work together on a project. In fact, the first email that I sent out suggesting a community project received a positive response from all 26 graduates of the class.”
After seeking community feedback from area leaders it was ultimately an idea put forth by Tiffany Finley Bourne, Pulaski County Community Development Director and LLC class mentor, which won the group over. The LLC class agreed to focus on upgrading Pulaski County Park, with plans to build a new beach and construct a new courtesy dock, shelter and playground.
After meeting with both Pulaski County government officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the LLC class was given the go ahead to undertake the project. The project has been named “PC Park: Build-A-Beach”.
What will this project mean for the Lake Cumberland area? “Lake Cumberland rivals the Grand Canyon in the number of visitors each year,” said Bourne.
“This project will be a gateway for those visitors to get out of their boats and see what else Pulaski County has to offer. It will be the only safe public pedestrian access on all of Lake Cumberland.”
The LLC class is off to a fast start with graduates pitching in as needed.
• Kyle Turpen from Hinkle Contracting, worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on requirements and measurements for the project.
• Elizabeth Burton, owner of PrimePoint, a local consulting firm, donated graphic design services for marketing materials.
• Michelle Herrman with South Kentucky RECC created the online GoFundMe page for the project.
• Joe Quigley with Blackboard Student Services created the Facebook page that will provide updates for the project.
“This is one of the best teams with whom I’ve ever been involved,” said Burton. “Everyone has pitched in wherever needed, and the dedication and commitment to seeing this project through to completion is incredible.”
Members of the business community are also starting to contribute to the project. Deco Architects, a local architectural firm, jumped in to donate services and provide architectural drawings.
“We expect many more businesses to become involved,” said Patrick Shepherd, a class graduate representing Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. “Whatever we can do to improve the amenities of our local area ultimately benefits our entire business community.”
The LLC class believes that public-private partnerships create opportunities for community engagement that result in buy-in and support for needed community improvements and enhancements.
Bobby Clue, executive director of the Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce agrees stating, “Community partnerships and regional approaches to problems are instrumental to the success of any project and the growth and sustainability of a community.”
The project is currently broken into two phases. Phase I will focus on development and construction of the beach, while Phase II will involve construction of the courtesy dock, playground and shelter.
“Our initial fundraising goal is $35,000 which will cover the cost of the beach, picnic shelter and courtesy dock,” said Cranfill. “Anything raised above that amount will be used for the playground and landscaping.”
“This is the first Leadership Lake Cumberland class to ever choose to continue working as a group post-graduation and to tackle a community project like this,” said Clue. “We always hope that our graduates will go on to help change and shape our community. With this project, these leaders are doing just that. They are setting a very high bar for all of us.”
The LLC class has already launched its fundraising efforts. Individuals and businesses interested in donating to the project can visit:
for more information.
Donors and anyone wishing to volunteer to help with the project may also contact the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Tiffany Finley Bourne with Pulaski County Government, or any member of the 2014 LLC class.
You can keep up with the progress of the project and receive announcements by following the 2014 Leadership Lake Cumberland class Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCumberlandLeadership.
Leadership Lake Cumberland is a nine-month intensive leadership course designed for emerging and existing community leaders to learn more about themselves, expand their professional and social networks, develop an understanding of how our community works and examine important issues that impact Pulaski County’s future.