Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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PRIDE Welcomes Amy Samples to Board of Directors

Amy Samples

Amy Samples, who is the Vice President of Community Outreach at AppHarvest, has joined the Board of Directors of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, the nonprofit that promotes environmental cleanup and tourism in southern and eastern Kentucky.

Eastern Kentucky PRIDE announced today that Amy Samples has joined its Board of Directors. She will volunteer her time and expertise to direct PRIDE, a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education, as well as economic development through tourism, in 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

Samples is the Vice President of Community Outreach at AppHarvest, which is a sustainable food company in Appalachia. AppHarvest is developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms, designed to grow non-GMO produce using up to 90 percent less water and only rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture on the same amount of land without agricultural runoff.

A Kentucky native, Sample’s work at AppHarvest includes community partnerships and educational programs. Prior to joining AppHarvest, she provided operations management for a regional land trust in Kentucky and she spent several years with The Nature Conservancy. In support of university extension, Amy has also provided community planning outreach and research coordination. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

“It is our pleasure to welcome aboard Amy, whose education and work experience are a great fit for PRIDE’s commitment to improving the environment and quality of life in this region,” said Tammie Nazario, PRIDE President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her community outreach savvy will be an asset to PRIDE, which has a small staff that accomplishes a lot by partnering with communities to pursue the goals we all share.”

“I am proud to join on the Eastern Kentucky PRIDE board to support the team in celebrating the southeastern region of my home state,” Samples said. “Having spent weekends growing up on Lake Cumberland, the flora, fauna and feel of the region were part of my childhood, framing the way I understand my place in the natural world. My parents have roots in Madison and Montgomery Counties, and now that I work at AppHarvest and am raising three children in Kentucky, my dedication to supporting vibrant, healthy communities in this special place has only grown.”

“It is exciting that PRIDE is leaning into the tourism potential of the region,” Samples added. “Tourism and recreation can spark economic activity and provide employment opportunities. Additionally, we know the Appalachian cultural and natural landscape is special and that community leaders consistently state that it is important for them to tell their place’s story on their terms. What better way to enable this than attracting visitors and focusing shared energy on a positive dialogue.”

The PRIDE Board of Directors meets bimonthly to establish guidelines for PRIDE programs and approve the organization’s budget. Ten board members are volunteers who bring particular expertise to fulfilling the PRIDE mission. One staff member, the President/Chief Executive Officer, also serves on the board. PRIDE was founded to promote “Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment” in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5) and the late James Bickford, who was the Kentucky Secretary for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. PRIDE’s mission is to contribute to the economic and cultural growth of southern and eastern Kentucky by improving water quality, cleaning up solid waste problems, and advancing environmental education, in order to improve living conditions for its residents while enhancing the potential for tourism industry growth in the region.

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