Jones named Director of SOAR Innovation

The opportunity to do this work and engage with our communities, businesses, and partners is something that is truly humbling.  I look forward to visiting communities throughout the region and working with our champions and partners to transform our region.
— Ryan Jones | Director of SOAR Innovation

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Ryan Jones has been named director of SOAR Innovation at Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR).

Jones will lead SOAR Innovation, a new partnership between SOAR and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office.  SOAR Innovation will assist existing small businesses and entrepreneurs whose business or idea has the capability to expand existing markets or create new markets by leveraging technology.

“We are thrilled to have Ryan on our team,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “He understands the importance of technology and the role it has played in disrupting every aspect of business.  Appalachia Kentucky is no longer the product of the disruption, we want to be the disruptor.”

Jones comes to SOAR from Alltech, where he worked as a project coordinator, area sales manager, and business development manager for the beverage division.  Previous to that, he also worked as an insurance coordinator and human resource assistant at Pikeville Medical Center.

“The transformation taking place in Appalachia Kentucky is incredible, and it is something I have always contributed to in some, way, shape or form,” said Jones. “The opportunity to do this work and engage with our communities, businesses and partners is something that is truly humbling.  I look forward to visiting communities throughout the region and working with our champions and partners to transform our region.”

Jones, who earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Pikeville, is also an entrepreneur.  He is co-owner and co-founder of Lincoln Road, LLC, a coffee retailer, supplier, and distributor in Appalachia. 

SOAR Innovation will deploy Business and Innovation Champions across Appalachia Kentucky.  These champions will work proactively throughout the region to identify and build relationships with existing small businesses that have the desire and capacity to scale-up utilizing technology through methods of e-commerce, export, etc.   

For more information about SOAR Innovation, visit its website https://www.thereisafuture.org/innovation/ and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Jones can be reached at (606) 766-1160 or by email at ryan@soar-ky.org.

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