Award Categories

Culture/Arts–given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the advancement of culture/arts in the region.

Media and Technology-Given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of news publication, broadcasting, technological innovation and/or digital communication.

Organization-given to recognize groups that have organized to provide a needed service to the region.

Public Individual-given to recognize an individual whose public service is dedicated to the betterment of the region.

Private Individual-given to recognize an individual whose private service is dedicated to the betterment of the region.

Youth Leadership-The award goes to a young person in Eastern Kentucky who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and service to the region.

Tony Turner Award-given to an individual, group or organization that has demonstrated major contributions to the betterment of the region. This is a very special award that is not given every year.


2018 Award Winners

Public Individual  Award– Ron Daley

Private Individual Award – Joe Stepp

Culture/Arts Award– Chris Stapleton

Organization Award – Appalachian Citizens Law Center

Media and Technology Award – Jerlene Rose

Youth Leadership Award– Belfry High School Science Classes – Dr. Chandran

Tony Turner Award – Dr. Grady Stumbo


Mail-in Nominations

Mail your nominations to:

46 East Main Street

Whitesburg, KY 41858


Nomination Form

In the area of: *
Name *
Address *
Phone *
(Please enclose a brief biography of nominee) (If this nominee is selected, he or she will be interviewed by WYMT-TV prior to the conference)
Submitted by *
Submitted by
Address *
Phone *


Previous Award Winners


Public Individual  Award– dr. Carolyn sundy

Private Individual Award – David davies and Marilyn schraeder

Culture/Arts Award– ann schertz

Organization Award – Challenger center hazard CTC — Thomas cravens

Media and Technology Award – Jaime lucke

Youth Leadership Award– char project, Harlan county high school — scott pace and team

Tony Turner Award – Dr. edsel godbey


Public Individual  Award– Ron Daley

Private Individual Award – Joe Stepp

Culture/Arts Award– Chris Stapleton

Organization Award – Appalachian Citizens Law Center

Media and Technology Award – Jerlene Rose

Youth Leadership Award– Belfry High School Science Classes – Dr. Chandran

Tony Turner Award – Dr. Grady Stumbo


Public Individual: Dr. David McFaddin, Eastern Kentucky University

Private Individual: Bill Best

Media: Bruce Parson, The Holler

Culture/Arts: Warren Brunner

Organization: Jane Stephenson, New Opportunity School for Women

Tony Turner Award: Loyal Jones, Berea Appalachian Center

Youth Leadership: Chris Hall


Public Individual: Lisa Calhoun and Jerry Williams, Ashland Independent School District

Private Individual: Janice Odom

Media: Chuck Mraz, Front Page

Culture/Arts: Foothills Eco-Agritourism

Organization: Appalachian Artisan Center

Tony Turner Award: Jordan Smith, winner of NBC's The Voice

Youth Leadership: William Louis Roach-Barrette


Public Individual: Frank Justice, former mayor of Pikeville

Private Individual: Naomi Gail Spradlin

Media: Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader

Culture/Arts: Angaleena Presley

Organization: Kentucky Education Cooperative

Tony Turner Award: Judi Patton

Youth Leadership: STAY Project


Public Individual: Jerry Rickett

Private Individual: JC Egnew

Media: Mike Tarter / Forcht Broadcasting

Culture/Arts: Sundy Best

Organization: Dan Smoot / UNITE

Tony Turner Award: Bob Mitchell


Public Individual: Albey Brock

Private Individual: Robert Vaughn

Media: Matt Jones / Kentucky Sports

Culture/Arts: Higher Ground Coalition

Organization: Pregnancy Care Center

Tony Turner Award: Peggy Satterly


Public Individual: Gwenda Adkins

Private Individual: Denny & Jean Dorton

Media: no Media Award

Culture/Arts: Mountain Arts Center (MAC)

Organization: East KY Science Center

Tony Turner Award: Mike Mullins


Public Individual: Donovan Blackburn

Private Individual: Bill & Linda Francis

Media: Appalachian News-Express

Culture/Arts: Artist Collaborative Theatre

Organization: MACED

Tony Turner Award: Willard Kinzer, Kinzer Drilling


Public Individual: Glenn Leveridge

Private Individual: Joe Bowen

Media: Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute

Culture/Arts: Kathy Timmons Setterman

Organization: WYMT Mountain Classic Basketball & Scholarship Tournament

with special recognition of Archie Everage


Public Individual: Paul Dole

Private Individual: Ron Eller

Media: Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues / Al Cross

Culture/Arts: Halfway To Hazard / Chad Warrix & David Tolliver

Organization: United Way of Southeastern KY / Gaylan Good

Tony Turner Award: Willie Blevins


Public Individual: Shirley Hamilton

Private Individual: Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

Media: Don Rigsby & the Traditional Music Program at MSU

Culture/Arts: Paul Brett Johnson

Organization: Pathways Addiction Program, Ashland

Tony Turner Award: Linda Gayheart


Public Individual: Annette Napier

Private Individual: Burlin Coleman

Organization: Hillbilly Days - Howard Stratton & Grady Kinney

Culture/Arts: Linda Scott DeRosier

Media: David Hawpe, Courier-Journal

Tony Turner Award: Pastor Doug Abner & Pastor Ken Bolin


Public Individual: Dr. Bruce Ayers

Private Individual: Cornelia Dozier Cooper

Organization: Eastern Kentucky Social Club, Lynch Chapter

Culture/Arts: George Ella Lyon

Media: Al Smith, “Comment on Kentucky”

Tony Turner Award: Muggins Bennett and Mike Howard

Special Award: Bernie Bickerstaff


Public Individual: Hilda Legg

Private Individual: Herman Webb, Van Lear

Culture/Arts: Doug Adams, Letcher County

Organization: East Kentucky Corporation, CEO Tom Jones

Media: East Kentucky Broadcasting,

with special recognition to Walter May

Tony Turner Award: Bob Hutchinson, “McDonald’s of East KY”


Public Individual: Sylvia Lovely

Private Individual: J. Maynard Thoma

Culture/Arts: Jessie Stewart Foundation,

special recognition to Dr. James Gifford

Organization: Grayson Area Chamber Commerce /Carter County Fair Board

Tony Turner Award: Sid Stewart


Public Individual: David Lollis

Private Individual: J. Phil Smith

Organization: Hazard Perry County Community Ministries, Gerri Roll

Culture/Arts: Garry Barker, KY Folk Art Center

Media: Dee Davis, Center for Rural Strategies


Public Individual: Rocky Adkins, East KY Legislator

Private Individual: James H. Booth, Entrepreneur

Organization: Brushy Fork Institute

Culture / Arts: Gurney Norman

Media: Big Sandy News, Allen Scott Perry, III

Special Award: Dr. Edward Hughes


Public Individual: Roger Recktenwald

Private Individual: Mike Duncan

Organization: Lotts Creek Community Center, Alice Whitaker, Director

Culture / Arts: Tom Whitaker, Prestonsburg Community College

Media: Gearheart Communications, Paul Gearheart


Public Individual: Secretary Ann Latta, Tourism Cabinet

Private Individual: Dr. C. Vernon Cooper, Jr.

Organization: Pine Mountain Settlement School

Culture / Arts: Harlan Boys Choir

Media: WHLN Radio, Harlan County

Special Award: Adron Doran


Public Individual: William Weinberg, Attorney-at-Law

Private Individual: Chad Perry

Organization: David School, with special recognition to Danny Green

Culture / Arts: Loyal Jones

Media: WMMT Radio, Whitesburg

Special Award: Ron Eller


Public Individual: Mayor William D. Gorman, City of Hazard

Private Individual: Joe and Gaynell Begley, Letcher County

Organization: Riverside Christian School, Mr. Don Hostetler

Culture & Arts: Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, KY

Media: WMKY Public Radio, Morehead and WEKU/ WEKH Public Radio, Eastern

Special Award: Ernie West


Public Individual: Greg Stumbo

Private Individual: Dr. Mary Fox

Organization: Frontier Housing Corporation

Culture & Arts: Lee Sexton, Musician

Media: Kentucky Explorer Magazine, Charles Hays


Special Award: Governor Paul Patton

Public Individual: Dr. Grady Stumbo

Private Individual: Clifton & Ruby H. Caudill, Letcher County

Organization: Presbyterian Child Welfare Agency, Charles L. Baker

Culture / Arts: Greater Hazard Community Concert Series

Media: Louise B. Hatmaker ,Newspaper Editor and Publisher


Special Award: Cawood Ledford, KY Sports Announcer

Public Individual: Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. Congressman

Private Individual: Raymond Bradbury, Business & Civic Leader

Organization: Whitley County Communities for Children

Culture & Arts: Kentucky Mine Museum, Benham, KY, James B. Goode

Media: Daily Independent, Ashland, “Religious Magazine”


Public Individual: Clayton Little, State Representative

Private Individual: Deborah Stevens, Director, Doves, Inc.

Organization: United Methodist Mountain Mission, Lee Hubbard

Culture & Arts: Albert Stewart, Editor & Author

Media: Troublesome Creek Times, Ron Daley, Editor


Public Individual: John Whisman, Founder of KY ADD’s

Private Individual: C. Louise Caudill, M.D. Morehead

Organization: Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

Culture & Arts: Kentucky Folk Art Center, Morehead State University

Media: Floyd County Times


Public Individual: Lt. Governor Paul Patton

Private Individual: Lois Weinberg, Educator, Hindman

Organization: Appalachian Research & Defense Fund, John Rosenberg

Arts: Al Cornett, Artist

Media: KET, Virginia Fox

New Comer: Kentucky Opry, Billie J. Osborne

Special Tribute: Governor Bert T. Combs


Public Individual: Senator Benny R. Bailey

Private Individual: Frank Justice, Ashland Oil & Jerry Howell, Jackson

Organization: Hindman Settlement School, Mike Mullins

Culture: Appalachian Celebration, Morehead State University

Arts: Jenny Wiley Theatre

Media: Clarence “Soc” Clay, Outdoor Writer & Lexington Herald Leader

Special Award: Harry Caudill, Writer


Public Citizen: William Hambley, Pikeville Mayor

Private Citizen: Father Ralph Beiting & Eula Hall

Organization: Lend-A-Hand Mission, Erma Gall & Peggy Kenner

Culture & Arts: J.P. & Annadeene Fraley, Folk Musicians

Media: Mountain Eagle - Tom & Pat Gish


Public Citizen: Governor Bert T. Combs

Private Citizen: G.B. Johnson, Business & Civic Leader

Organization: Forward in the 5th & Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Culture: Appalshop, Whitesburg

Arts: James Still, Poet

Media: WYMT-TV, Tony Turner, Hazard