New Board Members Join One East Kentucky

30 Dec 2020


Paintsville, Kentucky - One East Kentucky (OEK), a regional economic development organization, has three new board members - Tyler Burke, Major Accounts and Economic Development Manager of Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Tim Hatfield, Community CEO of ARH Highlands, and Freddie Williams, Vice President of Thacker-Grigsby Telephone, Inc. They are replacing Bill Grigsby of Thacker-Grigsby Telephone, Inc. and John Horn of SilverLiner. 

“We would like to thank Bill Grigsby and John Horn for their service to One East Kentucky and the entire Eastern Kentucky region. Bill served on the board from 2015 to 2020 and John has served since 2018. They provided invaluable insight into the region and brought their industry’s perspectives to discussions on business recruitment, workforce development and our future growth,” said Chuck Sexton, President & CEO of One East Kentucky. 

New board members are important for the continued growth of the organization, and for gaining fresh insights into important economic development issues. As the Economic Development Manager for Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Tyler Burke has extensive experience. He specializes in business attraction and development and works with new tourism ventures in areas of Appalachia. “Supporting One East Kentucky aligns with my personal and professional goals. Eastern Kentucky is my home, it's where I work, and it's where I am raising my daughter. The economic vitality of this area is of the upmost importance to me, and serving on the OEK board is a way I can elevate my impact,” said Burke. He has chosen to serve on the Board of Directors because, “OEK creates life changing opportunities for the people of this region and serves as the face of “economic development”. This work is not simple nor easy. It takes exceptional leadership, a relentless pursuit and a passion. OEK displays all of these attributes and more,” he said. 

As the CEO of a healthcare provider, Tim Hatfield offers a unique perspective to the board. “I see One East Kentucky as a driving engine for economic development. I joined the Board of Directors because I understand the importance of bringing a cross-section of leaders together from across different fields and regions of Eastern Kentucky to make a sustainable, positive long-term impact. I also see the opportunity to recruit more healthcare specialists and researchers to our markets, working with the university system,” he said. 

Freddie Williams was pleased to join One East Kentucky because, “as a member of a family owned business, I recognize the growth of my company is tied to the economic growth of our region, and want to work to advance the job opportunities of our local communities. OEK will play a vital role in the years to come as Eastern Kentucky continues to transition from the coal industry. With the success of Dajcor Aluminum and their pending expansion, and the growth of SilverLiner, the importance and value of OEK is just becoming publicly evident. With public and local government support, OEK has the opportunity to continue the growth it has successfully proven it can accomplish. Personally, being in the communications industry, I bring insights regarding the need to continue developing our infrastructure. This too, will be important for future growth,” he said.

Successful regional economic development requires vision, collaboration and decisive leadership. One East Kentucky has all three, in part, due to the strength of the Board of Directors. Adding these new members will help the organization to achieve its mission to create jobs by recruiting industry and investment to the region. 

“As an organization, we represent Eastern Kentucky throughout the United States and the world. We regularly hold meetings with national and international corporations who are searching for their next location. Our job is to demonstrate why the One East Kentucky region is the right place to do business,” said Chuck Sexton, President & CEO of One East Kentucky. “We will continue to do so in order to grow our local economy.” 



About One East Kentucky

One East Kentucky is a 501(c)3 non-profit, privately funded regional economic development organization.  The nine county area includes: Floyd, Knott, Johnson, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike. We are governed by a 13-member board of directors elected by investors of the organization. Learn more about our board and investors by clicking here.

One East Kentucky champions the economy, markets the region for attraction of new companies, and advocates for economic development on a collective, regional level. The organization began as a partnership of five chambers of commerce – Hazard/Perry County Chamber of Commerce, Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, Letcher County Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Eventually, this led to the creation of a private organization funded by the private businesses and partners in these nine counties.

These partners recognized the opportunity to better serve prospective businesses through regional service programs and marketing. Through One East Kentucky, we are proud to coordinate efforts for a greater impact on the economic growth of our region. One East Kentucky works closely with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), Southeast Kentucky Economic Development, AEP Kentucky Power and many other organizations to secure new projects for our communities. SOAR's Industrial Development strategy is answered through the implementation of programs at One East Kentucky for our nine counties.

To learn more, visit