Curd will manage the implementation of the Promise Zone strategic plan; serve as the liaison between the Promise Zone communities and KHIC, which is the administrator for the Promise Zone; work with the implementing partners; and coordinate activities with the SOAR and USDA Strike Force initiatives as well as state and local government efforts.
“Sandi has the experience, skills and knowledge of the region that will help guide the input and effort from the entire community into a sustainable strategy for the future,” said Jerry Rickett, president and CEO of KHIC.
Curd, a Corbin resident, has 25 years of experience in the fields of health-care and agriculture. She also is 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.
“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity serve,” Curd said. “The Promise Zone is filled with individuals who know how to leverage our future for the better. We need to introduce them to resources, help them navigate around obstacles and then stand aside to applaud their success.”
Funding assistance for management of the Promise Zone has been provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Kentucky Department of Local Government and the Kentucky Office of the Governor.
In January 2014, Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley counties were awarded one of only five national Promise Zone designations as a result of a successful application from KHIC and several community partners. Information on the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone can be found at www.kypromisezone.com.
The initiative will give the area a competitive advantage in applying for federal grants as well as additional assistance from various federal agencies that oversee housing, education, economic development, agriculture and safety. Those agencies also will provide increased coordination to help the counties maximize federal and private investment.