From the Executive Director's Desk

As the 2024 Legislative Session unfolds, I’m pleased to share that myself and the 15 dedicated executive directors of Area Development Districts (ADDs) and our legislative committees across the state are diligently monitoring bills that could impact our communities. At the forefront of our discussion lies the biennial budget, a crucial factor in shaping the future of services provided by ADDs. It is with optimism that I report that the House budget, sent to the Senate Feb. 1, aligns favorably with our legislative agenda.

Significant activities marked the month of January. To kick-start the year, we traveled to the Cumberland Valley Area Development District office for a specialized training session on securing grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). This training was designed specifically for staff members representing ADDs within the Appalachian region. It’s worth noting that the ARC allocates over $300 million in annual funding to support a wide array of projects in Kentucky. Our ADDs are pivotal in transforming project ideas into viable grant proposals, guiding through the application process, and providing essential technical support post-grant award. Collaboration with the London and Columbia USDA offices remains integral to the success of these projects.

On Jan. 11, the Kentucky Association of District Directors and I bid a fond farewell to KCADD Executive Assistant Marilyn Eaton-Thomas. Marilyn joined us in 2020 under the leadership of former KCADD Executive Director Tony Wilder. She swiftly proved herself to be a valuable asset to the ADDs. Her extensive knowledge of the programs offered and her ability to establish unique relationships throughout ADD offices made her an invaluable team member. As Marilyn transitions into her next chapter, we have entrusted the executive assistant responsibilities to KCADD’s Public Information Officer, Molly Haines, who joined our team in the fall of 2023. Molly can be reached at

In closing, we wrapped up the month by participating in the Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association’s Winter Conference held in Lexington. During the conference, we had the privilege of hearing from Gov. Andy Beshear, who discussed critical topics such as water projects, economic development initiatives, infrastructure, employment, and recent legislative actions. We were happy to see Sen. President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne at the conference as well. It's always an honor to hear from House and Senate leadership on their legislative priorities. The event provided an unmatched networking opportunity, and I was delighted to have three ADD executive directors accompany me in meaningful conversations with county judges regarding the progress of our communities.

As we progress, I encourage you to follow KCADD on Facebook and Instagram. We remain committed to showcasing the outstanding work of the 15 ADDs as they continue positively impacting communities throughout Kentucky. 

Casey Ellis

Executive Director

Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts

Kentucky Association of District Directors

ADDs in the News

Pulaski County and LCADD address affordable elderly housing

From the Commonwealth Journal

The HELP (Healthy Elderly Living Project) Project, which recently received the Alice Wohlbruck NADO Impact Award, is based off of a pilot project undertaken in Pulaski County with a partnership of the Pulaski County Fiscal Court, the Lake Cumberland Area Development District and the Lake Cumberland Housing Agency.

This project is just one proposed solution to the increasingly prevalent issue of the shortage of affordable housing for the low-income elderly population. Continue reading

GRADD backs Murray State establishing vet medicine school

From the Messenger Inquirer

The Green River Area Development District (GRADD) showed its support Jan. 10 during its board of directors meeting in backing the efforts of Murray State University opening the state’s first School of Veterinary Medicine. Continue reading

Above: GRADD Board Chairman Steve Henry and Dr. Parr with GRADD’s resolution of support for Kentucky’s first School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Business owners hear from leader about Lincoln Trail ADD

From the Messenger Inquirer

Calling his agency a well kept secret, Lincoln Trail Area Development District Executive Director Daniel London said he is trying to change that. Speaking Tuesday to the Radcliff Small Business Alliance, not only was London shedding light on the agency but also the services they offer. “It’s been a very well kept secret over the years, unfortunately,” London said, adding it is very important to economic development in the region. “Of course, in 52 years, many of you haven’t heard of us. We’re trying to do better at that.” Continue reading

What's Happening in Your Area Development District?

CVADD staff attend ARC workshop

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently provided a grant workshop in Asheville, North Carolina. Cumberland Valley Area Development District staff Caitlin Mason and Steve Morris attended. “It was great discussing the ARC ARISE, INSPIRE, and POWER programs,” Mason said.

The Cumberland Valley Area Development District serves the Kentucky counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, and Whitley.

Above: Caitlin Mason, left, and Steve Morris, right, of the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, talk with Karen Fabiano of the ARC Washington D.C. office.

NKADD partners with Local 12 to host Caring For the Caregiver event

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District is partnering with Local 12 and Humana Health Insurance for the Caring for the Caregiver resource fair for caregivers from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Newport Aquarium. 

Local 12 Medical Reporter Liz Bonis will lead a discussion with a panel of area experts to answer your questions. The panel will be recorded for a show to be broadcast later on Local 12. Attendees will receive lunch and free admission to the Newport Aquarium. Sign-up here

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District serves the Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton.

GRADD-area fiscal court receives $150K grant from DRA

Congratulations to the Webster County Fiscal Court for receiving a $150,000 investment from the Delta Regional Authority Strategic Planning Program! Funds will be used to develop a county-wide comprehensive economic development plan focused on revitalizing the local economy. The plan will lay a roadmap for downtown revitalization, workforce investments, green/resilient industry attraction, and capitalizing on current and future federal/state investments.

The Green River Area Development District serves the Kentucky counties of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster.

Gateway Area Development District announces regional cat spay/neuter project

A year-long needs assessment of animal shelters in the Northeast Kentucky region has resulted in the award of a $100,000 grant to Gateway Area Development District (GADD) from the Joanie Bernard Foundation for the implementation of the Gateway Cat Spay/Neuter pilot project that includes continued mentorship with Team Shelter USA, LLC. The project aims to decrease the number of cats and kittens entering shelters. Continue reading

The Gateway Area Development District serves the Kentucky counties of Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan.

PADD receives funding for vaccination outreach, education

The Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living recently granted the Purchase Area Development District funding from USAging’s Aging and Disability Vaccination Collaborative. The funding will allow PuADD to conduct outreach and education about the importance of getting vaccinated for its elderly and disabled citizens, as well as host vaccination events. 

The Purchase Area Development District serves the Kentucky counties of Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, and McCracken.

Month in Photos | January 2024

Pennyrile Area Development District Aging and Independent Living staff Ali Jones, Amanda Monroe, and Megan Moenig-Young recently attended an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training.

Barren River Area Development District Executive Director Eric Sexton spoke to a group of students at Plano Elementary as part of a monthly luncheon for students selected as leaders.

KIPDA Transportation Director Andy Rush speaks at the Kentuckians for Better Transportation Conference at the Galt House in Louisville.

Bluegrass Area Development District Director of Human Resources Mike Riley, left, receives the Employee of the Year Award from Executive Director David Duttlinger.

Dee Parker of FAHE presents on social equity at the January Kentucky River Area Development District board meeting.

Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts/Kentucky Association of District Directors Executive Director Casey Ellis attends a training session on securing grants from ARC.

Buffalo Trace Area Development District Ombudsman Amanda Grooms spent Jan. 30 at Maysville Nursing and Rehab with the facility social worker and residents playing Residents’ Rights Bingo. 

The Big Sandy Area Development District held its 59th annual board meeting. The meetings are a special opportunity to recap the work done in the five-county area and to show appreciation to its board and staff members.

The Lake Cumberland Area Development District held its Board of Directors meeting Jan. 25. All 10 counties were well-represented. Department of Local Government Field Representative Will Clem was the guest speaker. 

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