Mr. Rickett was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in 1989, after previously holding the positions of Vice President and Marketing Manager. The company, a community development corporation which focuses on venture capital and entrepreneurial development, is recognized as one of the premier business development organizations in the United States. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation has been designated the Lead Entity of one of three Rural Empowerment Zones, one of eight Rural Tax Credit Community Development Corporations, a partner Community Development Corporation of Rural Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a Community Development Entity by the U.S. Department of Treasury and has received allocations of New Markets Tax Credits. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation became the nation’s first nonbank lender under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Business & Industry Loan Guaranty program and the first SBA guaranteed lender under the Community Advantage Program. Kentucky Highlands sponsors Entrepreneur Development programs and has developed the Kentucky Highlands Business Innovation and Growth Center. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation also co-manages with Tech 2020 of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Southern Appalachian Fund, a New Markets Venture Capital Fund as well as Meritus Ventures, the only Rural Business Investment Company approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration.
Mr. Rickett has served as the Board Chairman for The Center for Rural Development and continues to serve on the board and executive committee of the Center for Rural Development, and past Chairman of the Kentucky Appalachian Advisory Commission. Mr. Rickett served as a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati Advisory Committee for six years. He serves on the Advisory Council at Eastern Kentucky University School of Business. Mr. Rickett was appointed to the Tennessee Valley Corridor Board of Directors by Congressman Hal Rogers. In 1996, Mr. Rickett was named the recipient of the first Governor’s Economic Development Leadership Award. In 2005, Mr. Rickett received the Pioneer in Excellence Award and the Mike Sveridorf LISC Leadership Award from the Local Initiative Support Corporation. In 2009, he was inducted into the Kentucky Association for Economic Development Hall of Fame.
Mr. Rickett is a graduate of Cumberland College and holds two Masters Degrees from Eastern Kentucky University.
Brenda McDaniel is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. From 1978 to present, she has held many positions at Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, serving in her current capacity since 1989. She is responsible for the financial, accounting, compliance and legal functions of KHIC and its subsidiaries and affiliate companies. She serves as liaison with outside attorneys, accountants, financial institutions, tax professionals and other consultants as well as state and federal government officials. Ms. McDaniel is involved in developing strategy for Kentucky Highlands and compliance with agreements. She is involved in setting policy and establishing and achieving the goals of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Brenda serves as treasurer for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and its related companies. Brenda is Treasurer and Investment Committee Member of The Southern Appalachian Fund, a New Markets Venture Capital Company, and Meritus Ventures, a Rural Business Investment Company.
Ms. McDaniel serves as a member of the Rural Local Initiative Support Corporation Advisory Committee and the Stand Up for Rural America Advisory Committee. Under Ms. McDaniel’s financial leadership, Kentucky Highlands has become one of the largest rural community development corporations in the United States. Kentucky Highlands was awarded designation as Lead Entity of a Rural Empowerment Zone–one of only three in the United States. Additional designations include one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions, a tax credit community development corporation, a New Markets Tax Credit Allocatee, a nonbank lender under the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Business and Industry Loan Guaranty Program, an Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Advantage Lender, SBA Micro Lender and participant in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.
Brenda has participated in several study groups analyzing the need for investment and economic development in rural areas and she has been involved in the development of new programs which serve the need for capital in rural areas. She provides technical assistance to other development groups and speaks and conducts training sessions at various conferences and meetings. Ms. McDaniel also serves as a member of several regional and national development agencies.
Ms. McDaniel has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Eastern Kentucky University, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.
Mark Bolinger is the Vice President of Business Lending for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. Mark came to Kentucky Highlands in June 1993 following an internship with the business development department. Mark has worked in most phases of business development including the provision of technical/management assistance to portfolio companies, provided architects/engineers with design/specification information to design a manufacturing building, prepared budgets for the purchase of equipment for portfolio companies, Board member for Kentucky Highlands portfolio companies and loan packaging/servicing.
Mark coordinates all lending activities at Kentucky Highlands including Revolving Lines of Credit, the SBA Microloan Program, the SBA Community Advantage Loan Program, the USDA IRP Program, USDA RBEG Revolving Loan Funds, the USDA RMAP Loan Fund, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Loan Fund, the Create Jobs for the USA Loan Fund and various other loan funds. Mark has assisted in the development and teaching of a curriculum for business planning seminars for small businesses.
Prior to college and his transition to Kentucky Highlands, Mark worked for 10 years in the private sector in various positions from grocery clerk to underground coal miner. Mark’s work study at Berea College was spent as an Accounts Payable Clerk. Mark spent 1991 as an Economic Development Intern at the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development where he conducted a survey of Woman Owned Businesses in their service area.
Mark is a graduate of Berea College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. He financed his education through grants/loans, work study, internships and summer employment. Mark has completed various business related training including the Kentucky Institute for Economic Development and the Venture Capital Institute of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (MASBIC). Mark received a certification as an Economic Development Professional through the National Development Council in 2008. Mark spent time as a member of the Kentucky Appalachian Commission and is a graduate of Leadership Tri-County and Leadership East Kentucky.