The 2015 SOAR summit
2015 was not just another year, the summit was not just another meeting, and the discussion was anything but politics as usual. The 2015 SOAR Strategy Summit built off the momentum created after the initial Summit and was designed to make sure that Eastern Kentucky continues to move in one direction, Forward. The Summit is about taking the raw passion of the region, utilizing the strong work ethic of the people, and harnessing it strategically so that we all pull the region forward together instead of pulling ourselves apart.
SOAR is not just another initiative: It is about facilitating real, tangible change. To that end, this Summit was not just intended to be us talking about the change we want to see, but to provide direction and take away action items for people who want to be the change. At the Summit, many individuals who proved that they are dedicated to being this change wrote down exactly what they will do to help this region SOAR. You can see these individuals’ actual commitments here.
At the Summit, it was made clear that communities and individuals throughout Eastern Kentucky have committed to change. This change is extremely important, and because of that, heads have been turned throughout the nation. Over the last year, this region has received the support of many national leaders and organizations, including the CDC (Center for Disease Control), NPR (National Public Radio), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Congressional Committee on Appropriations and many others. All these instances of support show that the resources and opportunities are available for Eastern Kentucky to use, and that it is up to individuals and groups within this region to utilize them.
This event is designed to be the catalyst for change. By uniting people and having these important discussions together, we are all able to benefit from getting new and unique perspectives that enables us to shape a strategy that will shape our region. Strong, meaningful leadership leads by example and breaking down barriers to collaboration. By doing this, we can give the region a unified direction, and we can all SOAR to new heights together.