KY Chamber Op-ed: New generation set to lead Kentucky

The following is an op-ed piece authored by Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts and Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) President OJ Oleka

In 1960, as the American people entered a new year and, notably, a new decade, the electorate chose a new face to serve as its president. As the youngest president ever elected, John F. Kennedy’s historic victory signaled that a new generation of leadership was ready to serve. He would say so himself in his inaugural address: “Let the word go forth … the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

In 2020, as Kentuckians enter into a new year and, notably, a new decade, you can see many new faces ready to serve the Commonwealth. With the election of Governor Andy Beshear, 42, and Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman, 37, the average age of Kentucky’s seven statewide constitutional officers is 40. The torch has been passed to a new generation of Kentuckians.

That generational leadership torch has also been passed in the private sector and is burning just as brightly.  Much like what we see with our statewide elected officials, the two of us are in similar positions, leading under the millennial label and as historic firsts of our organizations.  As the first woman and youngest Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and the first African-American and youngest President of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), we were both selected to lead statewide associations following the seasoned tenures of our predecessors.

Read more from the KY Chamber.

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