Rural Development Center Announces New Board Members

SOMERSET, Ky. — The Center de développement rural is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its board of directors.

Karen Kelly of Cornerstone Government Affairs and Tim Robinson, Founder and CEO of Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), will be full members, and Dr. Nancy Cox, Vice President of Land-Grant Engagement and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will represent the University of Kentucky.

“We are proud to welcome these three talented leaders to our Board of Directors,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of the Center for Rural Development, during the announcement. “These individuals have a wealth of knowledge, experience, leadership, and expertise working to help improve the lives of people in our region and throughout Kentucky.”

“Our Board of Directors is committed to pursuing the Center for Rural Development’s mission to provide leadership that drives innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life for the citizens we serve,” added the Chairman of the Board, Robert M. Duncan. “I am personally thrilled to have these three new members on our Board of Directors as we work together to fulfill our mission to serve Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

Karen Kelly has over 25 years of experience managing projects, advocating for improved legislation and policies, and communicating with senior government officials, business leaders and the public.

She joined the Cornerstone office in Kentucky after serving more than nine years as District Director to U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05). Prior to that, Kelly helped Congressman Rogers start Operation UNITE, a nonprofit whose mission is to prevent drug abuse and aid recovery. She was also President and CEO of Eastern KY PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment). She led the charge to provide water and wastewater infrastructure and rallied thousands of volunteers in a 42-county region.

Tim Robinson founded ARC in 2010 with a vision to help people in Appalachia end their battle with addiction and discover their God-given destiny. ARC serves more than 30 programs in 21 counties in eastern and central Kentucky and plans to become a multistate provider in 2023.

Under his leadership, ARC implemented innovative strategies and programs to expand access to treatment. ARC serves about 2,000 people a day and now has nearly 1,000 employees. ARC’s “Crisis to Career” model combines treatment with job training and employment to give people the best chance of long-term recovery.

Robinson has received national recognition for his work addressing the addiction crisis, and in 2022 received the prestigious Congressman Hal Rogers Beacon of Hope Award.

Dr. Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky, acknowledges the college’s large footprint and statewide role. She was appointed by UK President Eli Capilouto to join his leadership team with the additional role of Vice President for Land Grant Engagement for the University of Kentucky.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is one of the four largest undergraduate colleges in the UK and consistently ranks second among UK colleges in external funding. It is home to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and plays a vital role in disseminating knowledge to citizens of the Commonwealth.

Under his deanship, the college experienced phenomenal growth in favor of the state’s signature horse and distilled spirits industries. Cox is responsible for creating the Racetrack Safety Program and led a historic partnership with Beam Suntory to create the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. In addition, she conducted a critical review of the Cooperative

Extension Service, building a new administrative model and strengthening Extension’s connectivity with community partnerships to support local development.

The Center for Rural Development, a non-profit organization, based in Somerset, KY, serves 45 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. For more information, visit or call 606-677-6000.

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