EDP chooses three at-large members

Published 10:10 am Thursday, November 16, 2017

Every seat on the restructured board of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership is now filled. The final three at-large members were chosen Wednesday morning, during the second-ever meeting of the newly remade board.

The three are interim Chair Ben Nelson, Danville Schools Superintendent Keith Look and local retiree Ennis Tillman.

“Personally, I happen to know all these people and personally, I think they’re excellent,” said Tom Poland, outgoing secretary and treasurer for the EDP.

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Poland and interim Vice Chair Terry Gilbert will be leaving the board once new officers are chosen.

Nelson, Look and Tillman were recommended by a four-member committee of EDP members — Danville Mayor Mike Perros, Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney, Industrial Foundation Chair John Albright and Ephraim McDowell Health CEO Sally Davenport. Nelson stepped out of the meeting while the board discussed and then voted on the recommendations, as did Look. Tillman did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

Perros seemed to indicate a likelihood that, having been appointed to the new board, Nelson could continue in his role as EDP chair.

“… Ben was an obvious, check-the-box. Now we’re down to two — how do we want to work that out?” Perros said of the committee’s work choosing the three names.

Nelson served as vice chair prior to becoming chair in January, when long-time chair Richard Trollinger stepped down. Nelson, like Gilbert and Poland, remained on the board in an interim capacity following its reorganization.

Perros said Tillman is retired from Mashusta and a prominent member of the local African-American community. He was chosen in an effort at “diversification” of the EDP board, he said.

Look was chosen because of the need for the EDP to help with workforce development, Perros said.

“Workforce development — I maintain that that is going to be the weakest link in our chain,” he said. “And we felt like having Dr. Look and his interest in education would be timely at this point.”

Danville City Commissioner Denise Terry, one of three representatives for the city on the new board, said she thinks the EDP should look into adding younger members with future appointments.

“I think these are excellent choices,” she said of Nelson, Tillman and Look. “We need to look around this room and find young people in the future.”

Terry said there are four generations of people living and working together in Boyle County.

“We need to learn how to communicate with Millennials and Generation Z — which we don’t even know what they’re bringing to the table,” she said. “We have got to find Millennials and we have got to learn how to communicate with them and we have got to bring them in.”

Poland said he thinks there are many younger people contributing through the local “volunteer base.”

“There’s certainly a deep bench out there,” he said.

Gilbert said she thinks younger people “are not as willing to come and sit around the table and meet like those of our generation have always in the past.”

“They’re more willing to do it on social media, electronically,” she said. “… Maybe there’s a way to bring them in, if they’re not willing to sit on a board, but to bring them in and use their skills in other ways.”

The EDP must still choose new officers — it needs a chair, a vice chair, a secretary and a treasurer. The board agreed to handle those appointments in much the same way as it handled recommendations for the at-large seats. The same four-member committee, with the addition of departing members Gilbert and Poland, will offer officer recommendations to the full board at its next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 13.


The full EDP board consists of:

• Boyle County Industrial Foundation: Industrial Foundation Chair John Albright, Walter Goggin and Cindy Ellsworth

• Danville: Mayor Mike Perros, Commissioner Denise Terry and City Manager Ron Scott

• Boyle County: Judge-Executive Harold McKinney, David Maynard and David Williams

• Chairman’s Circle investors: Ephraim McDowell Health CEO Sally Davenport, Marty Gibson with Farmers National Bank and Brian Hutzley with Centre College

• At-large members: Danville Schools Superintendent Keith Look, Ben Nelson and Ennis Tillman

• Advisory partners (cannot vote): Rhonda Doss (Chamber of Commerce), Jennifer Kirchner (Convention and Visitors Bureau), Nick Wade (Heart of Danville), Robby Mayes (Main Street Perryville) and Perryville Mayor Anne Sleet (Perryville)

Junction City has an open advisory partner seat on the EDP board, but the city has not participated in EDP board meetings for years.