Bill Schutters - Entrepreneurial Support Director

Bill Schutters is the Entrepreneurial Support Director (ESD) for the Kentucky Highlands Innovation Center (KHIC Center) which is the Business Incubator for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The KHIC Center is also the London office for the Kentucky Innovation Network.

Bill has spent the last 40 years as an entrepreneur, economic developer and business consultant. Schutters, whose specialties include marketing and finance, has consulted with more than 350 small business clients. He also is a certified trainer for the Ice House Entrepreneurship program, the Kauffman FastTrac and the NEF CORE-Four curriculums that help existing and aspiring entrepreneurs accomplish their goals.

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Birdie Watkins - Investment Analyst

IMGP0943 1194895426Birdie Watkins is an Investment Analyst for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Her responsibilities include business planning and research, financial modeling, budgeting and providing technical assistance to portfolio companies in the areas of accounting and marketing opportunities. She is also instrumental in loan documentation preparation. Birdie has previously held positions of Administrative Assistant at a construction company and an engineering company where she supported the project managers, engineers, and architects. She also served as student supervisor and secretary while attending Berea College.

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Edgar Davis - Business Development Specialist

IMGP0964 1194895924Edgar Davis is Business Development Specialist for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Edgar came to Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation to expand the use of Kentucky Highlands' loan programs including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Business and Industry Loan Guaranty Program, the USDA Intermediary Loan Program, and the Small Business Administration Microloan Program. He has developed agriculture and business development projects for the Kentucky Highlands Empowerment Zone. Prior to coming to Kentucky Highlands, Edgar was Vice President Commercial Lending at Monticello Banking Company located in Monticello, Kentucky. He also served in the role of Loan Officer and Bank Operations Specialist during his tenure at Monticello Bank. Edgar has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Kentucky.

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Ken Stegman - Technical Systems Engineer and Investment Analyst

IMGP0962 1194895940Ken Stegman is the Technical Systems Engineer and Investment Analyst for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Ken came to Kentucky Highlands as an investment analyst intern for his final year in college and joined the staff full time upon the completion of his internship. He is very skilled and knowledgeable in computer software, hardware, and systems.

Ken's responsibilities include business planning and research, financial modeling, budgeting and providing technical assistance to portfolio companies in the area of accounting and information systems. Ken maintains the computer network and systems of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and is responsible for design and implementation of its Web site. While attending Berea College, Ken served as Loan Officer for the Student Loan Fund and Supervisor for Berea College Campus Activities including conferences and college hosted events.

Ken has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and finance. He has attended various business related conferences and classes in accounting and computer information systems. And is a Member of Leadership Tri-County.

Ken is Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

Luke Ramsay - Assistant Director The KHICenter

Luke

Luke Ramsay is the Assistant Director of the Kentucky Highlands Innovation Center (The KHICenter). Ramsay joined the staff of Kentucky Highlands in the summer of 2013. Ramsay has spent the majority of his career working with non-profits to build their brand awareness through marketing and strategic partnerships. Most recently he managed all student programs for the American Association of Equine Practitioners, a ten-thousand member association based in Lexington Kentucky. Ramsay received his bachelors degree in public relations from Eastern Kentucky University where he graduated from the Honors Program. Ramsay is certified as a business incubator manager by the National Business Incubator Association and is also a certified Salesforce Administrator. He is a founding board member of the Southeast Kentucky Youth Leadership Council, an organization focused on providing high school juniors in eastern Kentucky with recognition and learning opportunities.

Melissa K. Conn - Investment Analyst

IMGP0891 1194895980Melissa Conn is an Investment Analyst for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Her responsibilities include business planning and research, financial modeling, budgeting and providing technical assistance to portfolio companies in the area of accounting. Ms. Conn also analyzes new investment opportunities and supports the efforts of the Chief Operating Officer.

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Michael Hayes - Special Projects Coordinator

IMGP0879 1194895999Michael Hayes is Special Projects Coordinator for Kentucky Highlands. He was responsible for establishment and overall administration of the Kentucky Highlands Empowerment Zone, one of the three original rural designations in the United States. This $40 million, 15-year federal experiment focused on locally based planning and execution of economic and community development initiatives. Michael is also responsible for coordinating and management of the several loan funds totaling more than $15 million, as well as preparing and evaluating business proposals, making investment decisions, closing loans, and marketing. Prior to coming to Kentucky Highlands, Michael was an Investment Banker for First Kentucky Securities Corporation where he was responsible for arranging financial packages for public and private sector bond issues. Prior to that, Michael worked for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in various capacities including Executive Director of the Office of International Marketing and the Chief Representative in the Far East Representative Office in Tokyo, Japan where he was responsible for promoting Kentucky as a location for manufacturing investment to Japanese companies and assisting Kentucky companies research and market products in the Japanese economy.

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Sandi Curd - Promise Zone Coordinator

Sandi Curd is the Promise Zone Coordinator, a position created when Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation was named the first and only rural Promise Zone in the nation. Curd is a Whitley County farmer with 25 years of experience in the fields of health care and agriculture. She is also a consultant to Leadership Tri County and president of the Whitley County Farmers’ Market board of directors. Curd has a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota.

Stephen Taylor - Development Director

IMGP0980 1194896015Stephen Taylor is Development Director for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC). He has been with Kentucky Highlands since 1992. Mr. Taylor's responsibility is to identify and secure funding for various economic development projects and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation supporting business lending, entrepreneurial development and affordable housing development . He also manages a number of partnerships with KHIC's numerous partnering organizations. Prior to becoming Development Director, Stephen was involved in developing the company's United States Department of Agriculture Intermediary Relending Program and the United States Small Business Administration Microloan Program. He served as board member Kentucky Association for Economic Development for 5 years and a regional leadership development organization for 10 years.

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Tom Manning-Beavin - Director of Housing

tom2 1332884045Tom Manning-Beavin is the Director of Housing for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.  He oversees a number of the housing development projects in KHIC's portfolio, including the Zero-Energy Houses in South Whitley County.

Mr. Manning-Beavin brings with him 20 years of service in affordable housing at the local, regional and national levels.

Prior to joining KHIC, he was an Executive Director and a CFO for various local community housing development organizations and was the Director of Lending for the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE).  Mr. Manning-Beavin also served on Housing Assistance Council's loan fund staff.

He began his career with Appalachia Service Project coordinating single-family new construction and owner-occupied rehabilitation, and handling housing counseling and loan origination duties.   

Mr. Manning-Beavin holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Earlham College.

Will Ball - Financial Analyst

Will Ball 1333725976Mr. Ball is responsible for monitoring all lines of credit through periodic evaluations of the companies. He also assists with the financial analysis of potential borrowers and new loans for existing borrowers. He also assists
the accounting department by completing loan pipeline reports on a monthly basis.

He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Cumberlands and a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Cumberlands. He previously worked for the Bank of McCreary County as a collections officer.