Board of Advisors

Dave Adkisson

Jared Arnett

Ben Chandler

Adam Edelen

Winston Griffin

Jim Host

Ardis Hoven

David M. Lawrence

Sheila Pressley

Lawrence Prybil

Sheila Schuster

Stephen M. Shortell

Stephen A. Williams

Jared Arnett

Jared Arnett is the Founding Executive Director for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc., (SOAR), a special initiative launched by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in 2013.  SOAR’s mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve those goals in Appalachian Kentucky.

Prior to SOAR, Mr. Arnett led the 530 member Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce as President/CEO.  He was instrumental in the expansion of the organization both geographically and strategically.  He has also served as the director of finance for Sound House Music, Inc,. general management consultant for the East Kentucky Small Business Development Center, and at age 26 started his own consulting firm, Beacon Management Solutions, Inc.  He has been instrumental in more than 10 start-up companies in eastern Kentucky, including the most recent, as a partner in Mountain Music Exchange, LLC.    

He has a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies, a minor in Government, as well as an MBA from Morehead University.  He has nearly 10 years of experience in executive leadership and entrepreneurship.

Ben Chandler

In 2016, Ben Chandler was named President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky As Kentucky Attorney General, Chandler won a $45 million settlement from one of Kentucky’s largest insurance companies; that funding was used to create the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in 2001, a nonpartisan health foundation with a mission to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by information and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity.  

Mr. Chandler practiced law with Brown, Todd & Heyburn, and later with Reeves & Graddy before beginning a career in public service. His state service included one term as Kentucky State Auditor (1992-1995), and two terms as Attorney General (1995-2003).

In February 2004, Ben was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District until the 112th Congress adjourned in January 2013. He was Executive Director of the Kentucky Humanities Council from 2013 to 2016.

An eighth-generation Woodford Countian, Ben earned a B.A. in history, graduating with distinction from the University of Kentucky, and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. He studied at the University of London and Trinity College in Dublin, including an internship in the British Parliament.

Adam Edelen

Adam Edelen is the founder of Edelen Strategic Ventures, a Kentucky-based management consultancy designed to assist entrepreneurs at every stage of development.  Additionally, Edelen is the founding general partner of Appalachian Horizon, a social impact private equity fund focused on developing and diversifying the economy of the depressed region.  He is also a founder and partner in a number of ventures, primarily in the renewable energy space.

Recently, Edelen garnered significant attention for structuring an innovative partnership of leading coal company with a global renewable energy giant.  The partnership proposes the largest solar installation in Appalachia, built by out-of-work coal miners on a mountaintop removal site.  The proposed project has been featured globally, from CNN and SkyTV to Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal.

As a chief of staff to a former Kentucky governor, Steve Beshear, and later as the state’s elected state auditor, Edelen earned a reputation as a modernizer and a reformer in government.  His efforts have won state and national recognition.  He has been named the Outstanding Young Kentuckian and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber Commerce.  The latter is among the most prestigious youth service awards and previous honorees include presidents Kennedy, Ford, Nixon and Clinton.  Most recently he has been honored by the Aspen Institute, the German Marshall Fund, and the Kentucky Rural Health Association.  His received a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky.

Winston Griffin

Winston Griffin is the Chairman and CEO of Laurel Grocery Company.  Founded in 1922 by Winston’s grandfather, Laurel Grocery supplies independent grocery stores in Kentucky and surrounding states.

Winston is on the board of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce where he serves as Treasurer.  He also serves on the board of the National Grocers Association, Northern Kentucky University Visitors Board, the University of the Cumberlands Visitors Board as well as Cumberland Valley National Bank.

After graduating from Woodberry Forest School and attending Tulane University, Winston returned to Kentucky and graduated from UK.  He then moved to Los Angeles to help his cousin manage a wholesale T-shirt company call The Village Mews.

Winston returned to the bluegrass state and earned his JD at Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.  After a clerkship with Hon. Eugene Siler of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Winston received his MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Winston’s association with the UK College of Public Health began after a SOAR presentation featuring Laurel Grocery’s onsite health clinic.  He was invited to give the presentation at the COPH due to Laurel Grocery’s aggressive approach to long-term employee health.

Jim Host

Jim Host was the founder of Host Communications, a College Sports Marketing and Association Management Company, which began in 1972.

Growing up in Ashland, Kentucky, he obtained one of the first two full Baseball Scholarships given by the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1955. During his time at UK, he started doing play by play of college and high school sports and created the Kentucky Central UK Network, which was one of five UK originations of radio networks.

He graduated with an AB Degree in Radio Arts. He played one year of Pro Baseball with the Chicago White Sox as a pitcher before injuring his arm, which forced his retirement from the game.

In 1967, Host became the youngest Cabinet officer for Governor Louie Nunn. He was Commissioner of Public Information and Tourism. He became Commissioner of Parks and the founding Chairman of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission in 1969. The State Horse Park hosted the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2010. He was the Chairman of WEG from 2006 to 2009. He became the oldest Cabinet Officer for Governor Ernie Fletcher in 2003 as Secretary of Commerce after retiring from Host Communications.

In January of 1972, what became Host Communications was begun as Jim Host and Associates. His first client was the Lexington Tourist and Convention Commission. This led to the formation of the Lexington Center Corporation, which built Rupp Arena. He served both groups as their first Executive Director.

In 1974, Jim Host and Associates acquired the radio rights to UK Sports, which led to the NCAA radio network rights in 1975. Soon, conferences like the SEC and the Southwest Conference became clients of Host. Institutions like Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida State, and South Carolina as well as a number of others became clients as well.

In 1983, the company introduced the NCAA Corporate Partner Program. Before this time, there was no licensing of similar programs in College Athletics. In 1998, Host created the NCAA Football logo; a pennant shaped logo to promote the college football game as an alternative to the NFL logo.

He retired as CEO of Host Communications in 2003, and became Secretary of Commerce for Kentucky, until November of 2005. He then became Chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority, which built the KFC YUM Center, serving until 2012. When the Arena was dedicated on October 10, 2010, the 14,000 square foot lobby was named Host Hall in his honor.

Host is a member of the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni, was named Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Communications ; received the Excellence in Public Relations Award from the UK Journalism School and is a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. He has also been honored with a number of Regional and National awards including being inducted in the National College Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the National Tourism Hall of Fame.

He is presently serving as a member of the Executive Committee of SOAR.

Ardis D. Hoven, MD

Dr. Ardis D. Hoven, retired University of Kentucky professor and internal medicine and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, serves as the first female Chair of the World Medical Association.  Hoven served as president of the American Medical Association (AMA) for 2013-2014. She has been a member of its board of trustees since 2005, its secretary for 2008-2009 and chair of the board for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

She served as interim chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, and medical director at the Bluegrass Care Clinic as part of UK HealthCare until 2012, when she became president-elect of the AMA. Hoven has spent her career caring for patients with infectious diseases, including HIV and AIDS. She was motivated to get involved in organized medicine at the local, state and national levels during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. The impact of the epidemic on health care and the access to health care were key issues for her as she became engaged at the state and national level.

Hoven was president of the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) from 1993-1994 and served as a delegate to the AMA from Kentucky. She has also been actively involved in medical staff issues at her local hospital and has held a variety of positions, including president of the medical staff, member of the board of directors and president of the hospital foundation board.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hoven received her undergraduate degree in microbiology and then her medical degree from the University of Kentucky.  She completed her internal medicine and infectious disease training at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease, she is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Disease Society of America. She has received many awards, including the UK College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award and the KMA Distinguished Service Award. In 2013 Hoven was named one of Modern Healthcare Magazine’s Top 25 Women in Healthcare, in addition to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (No. 54), and its 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders (No. 5).

Sheila D. Pressley, DrPH, CPH, DAAS, REHS, HHS







Lawrence Prybil, PhD, LFACHE

Dr. Lawrence Prybil, Retired Professor of Health Services Management and former Associate Dean at the UK College of Public Health (CPH), was named the first Norton Healthcare Endowed Professor in Healthcare Leadership at UK.  He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Iowa, where he served as Associate Dean and Senior Advisor to the Dean in the University of Iowa College of Public Health.  He participated in building the new IU College of Public Health.  He has also held senior executive positions in two of the country’s largest nonprofit health systems for 20 years, including 10 years as CEO for a six-state region of the Daughters of Charity National Health System (now Ascension Health).

Dr. Prybil received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa College of Medicine.  He is a Life Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on the governing board of hospitals, health systems, the American Hospital Association, and other nonprofit and investor-owned organizations.  He and his multi-disciplinary research team completed report on the third in a series of national studies regarding governance structures, processes, and culture in nonprofit healthcare organization.

Dr. Prybil has authored or co-authored 94 publications.  He is recognized for his expertise in executive governance and leadership, and recently completed the third in a series of national studies regarding governance structures, processes, and cultures in non-profit hospitals and health systems.

Sheila A. Schuster, PhD

Sheila A. Schuster, who earned her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1973, heads the Advocacy Action Network.  She has been a leading mental health and health care advocate in Kentucky for nearly 40 years. After graduating from the University of Louisville, she spent 27 years in private practice, providing psychological services to families and children. In addition to providing expert evaluations on behalf of children involved in family dissolution issues, she was a consultant to the Louisville School for Autistic Children, the Deaf Oral School, the Louisville Parent-Child Center, and Community Coordinated Child Care. Dr. Schuster has been an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at UofL and has presented numerous workshops and seminars.

In 1982, Dr. Schuster helped establish and now leads the Kentucky Mental Health Coalition, composed of more than 80 organizations representing consumers, families, advocates and providers. She was the first Executive Director of the Kentucky Psychological Association, serving from 1989-2000, and continues to represent that organization as federal and state legislative liaison. Dr. Schuster currently heads the Advocacy Action Network (AAN), an umbrella organization which includes a number of advocacy groups addressing health care, mental health, social justice and disability issues. AAN has coordinated the advocacy activities of Kentucky Voices for Health, whose goal is to increase health coverage and access to quality health care across the Commonwealth. Dr. Schuster currently serves as Chair of this 200-member coalition.

Because of her leadership role in the 1990s in representing consumers’ concerns around health care issues, Dr. Schuster was appointed by Governor Patton as the first consumer representative on the Kentucky Department of Insurance’s Health Advisory Council. She recently completed two terms as the Chair of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, having served on the Foundation’s board since its inception.  

Dr. Schuster is a member of the Kentucky Institute of Medicine’s inaugural class and a graduate of Leadership Louisville. She has been honored by numerous organizations for her advocacy efforts to improve the availability and quality of health and mental health care in the Commonwealth and to assure that individuals with mental illness and other disabilities, children, and those without access have the services and support they need to realize their potential.

Dr. Schuster holds graduate degrees from Purdue University and the University of Louisville.

Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA

Dr. Stephen Shortell, Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California – Berkeley, is the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Organization Behavior at the School of Public Health and Haas School of Business at University of California-Berkeley. He is also Dean of the School of Public Health at Berkeley, and holds appointments in the Department of Sociology at UC-Berkeley and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Research, UC-San Francisco.

Dr. Shortell received his undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame, his Masters degree in public health from UCLA, and his Ph.D. in behavioral sciences from University of Chicago. During 2006-07 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

A leading health care scholar, Dr. Shortell has received numerous awards for his research examining the performance of integrated delivery systems; the organizational factors associated with quality and outcomes of care; the development of effective hospital-physician relationships and the factors associated with the adoption of evidence-based processes for treating patients with chronic illness. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; past President of Academy Health and past editor of Health Services Research. He serves on many advisory boards and committees interested in improving the performance of health care systems.

Ashli Watts

Ashli Watts was named the President and CEO for the Kentucky Chamber, the state’s largest business association, in November 2019. Ashli joined the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in November of 2012 and during her tenure a Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the Chamber led efforts in passing significant pieces of legislation such as felony expungement in 2016, right to work legislative in 2017, workers’ compensation reform in 2018 and reinstating arbitration agreements in 2019. As part of the Chamber’s leadership team, the Kentucky Chamber was named National State Chamber of the Year in 2017. Prior to joining the Chamber, she worked at the Kentucky Bar Association and the Legislative Research Commission.

Ashli graduated from Campbellsville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History in 2004 and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Louisville. Ashli is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Kentucky, currently serves on the boards for Campbellsville University, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), where she was also named a 40 under 40 in 2020. Ashli also serves on the Kerner Commission, Agritech Council, and the Commonwealth Education Continuum, appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear. She currently resides in Frankfort with her husband Ryan and two children, Emma and Carter.

Stephen A. Williams

Stephen A. Williams, recently retired, served as the CEO of Norton Healthcare for 23 years, with 39 years of dedicated service at Norton.  He began his career in 1972 as the youngest-ever hospital administrator in Kentucky (age of 22) at the state’s then smallest hospital in his native Livingston County.  He joined Norton Healthcare (then known as NKC) in 1977 as an Assistant to the Executive Vice President.  He was named Vice President of Management Services in 1984 and two years later was appointed to the role of Vice President, Quality.  In 1988 he accepted the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and was named President and CEO in 1993. 

Under Williams’ leadership, Norton experienced growth with an expansion of services at Norton Hospital and Norton’s downtown children’s hospital; the acquisition of the former Suburban Hospital and its subsequent transformation into a women and children’s hospital, the acquisition of Audubon Hospital and it’s expansion of services, and the development of the Brownsboro campus, including constroction of the Norton Brownsboro Hospital, Norton’s children’s outpatient center and two outpatient facilities. During William’s tenure,  Norton also experienced an increase in net revenues of more than 700 percent, and net assets more than 600 percent.  Norton Healthcare now provides 51 percent of the hospital services in Louisville, double its 25 percent market share when Williams became President and CEO, and is the third largest private employer.

 Williams expanded Norton’s network of affiliates and partners for both clinical care, and academic relationships, adding Lifepoint, JCTC, Bellarmine University, University of Kentucky and others.  He helped lead in developing, and served as the first chair of the Kentucky Health Collaborative.  The Collaborative includes ten leading hospital systems determined to make a difference in Kentucky’s poor health rankings by increasing access, improving services, achieving efficiencies and other important goals for the Commonwealth.
Another major contribution Williams brought to Norton, for which the organization received national recognition, was the development of programs to measure, report, and continuously improve quality and safety in health care.  Many of today’s health care industry quality standards and norms have their roots in work that Williams and his team pioneered at Norton in the mid-1980s. Norton was the first recipient of a national award for leadership in health care quality in 1987, and nearly 25 years later, received the National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum.

While Williams has been dedicated to health care leadership in Kentucky for 44 years, he has also been a leader in both civic and professional organizations. That includes serving on the board of the American Hospital Association and as chairman of its seven-state Regional Policy Board; chairman of the Kentucky Hospital Association; chairman of Health Insights Foundation; co-founder of Passport Health Plan; co-founder of University Medical Center; founding co-chair of Greater Louisville, Inc. and currently serving on its executive committee;  Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board; Bellarmine University board of trustees; Leadership Louisville; Metro United Way board chairman; Fund for the Arts; Greater Louisville Health Enterprises Network; Bank One, Kentucky; Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky; and Porter Bank Corp.

Williams received his bachelor’s degree in business from Murray State University in 1972 and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota in 1979.  He has received distinguished alumnus awards from both of those universities. In 2010, former Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear appointed him to the board of regents of Murray State University. In June, 2016, he was elected chairman of that board, after serving as vice-chairman and chairman of its finance committee.

Williams has received numerous local, state, and national honors and awards, including leadership service awards from American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Forum, Health Insights, Kentucky Hospital Association, Business First, YMCA, Junior Achievement, Volunteers of America, and many others.

Scott P. Davis

Scott P. Davis serves as Chairman & CEO of Field & Main Bank, a Kentucky-charted community bank headquartered in Davis' hometown, Henderson, Kentucky. He has guided the organization in this role since 2006, when the bank was called Ohio Valley Bank. During his tenure, Davis has led the organization through a bank merger, two insurance company acquisitions, a name change and rebranding - all of which helped significantly grow the company's size and footprint. Today, Field & Main Bank offers six banking centers in Henderson, Lexington and Cynthiana, Kentucky, as well as Evansville, Indiana. Davis champions the bank's unique delivery model designed around the concept of modern craft banking® - a thoughtfully crafted banking experience that honors traditional values fused with modern technology. 

Davis began his banking career at Field & Main Bank (then Ohio Valley National Bank) in 1981 as a Trust Officer. In 1988,· he joir,ed Hibernia National Bank and relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By 1989, Ray Preston, then-Ohio Valley board chairman, tapped Davis to return to Henderson to head the bank's administrative organization and oversee a number of the Preston family's holdings. Today, Davis continues to serve as Administrative Manager for the Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation.

Deeply committed to the communities he serves, Davis proudly volunteers on the board of directors for community organizations, including the Henderson County Public Library Foundation, Henderson Leadership Initiative, and the Welborn Baptist Foundation. In 2016, he was appointed to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board of directors for the third time.

Davis earned his undergraduate degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky and a also has completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. He is a graduate of the Cannon Financial Institute's Trust Administration School. Additionally, Davis holds a private pilot license and has obtained his instrument rating. 

He and his wife Pam reside in Henderson and Lexington are proud parents of three adult children, Betsy, Evan and Caroline.