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New WKCTC Vice President

Ashley R. WrightAshley R. Wright, executive director of the United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, has been named vice president of institutional advancement for West Kentucky Community and Technical College, officials announced today.

Wright, who has been United Way executive director since 2008, begins work at the college on September 9. WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said in the colleges new vice president position, Wright will provide strategic leadership to the college in establishing goals and identifying fundraising priorities.

The position provides the highest level of stewardship in the oversight of investments and gifts through the Paducah Junior College Foundation, Veazey said. Ashley Wright brings a proven record of successful team building, a collaborative leadership style, and the communication skills to enhance the strong partnerships the college has been recognized for at the national level.

As vice president, she will also serve as executive director of the Paducah Junior College Foundation, succeeding Kay Travis who retires September 30. Travis, a 28-year veteran of the Marshall County School District and former Marshall County High School guidance counselor, joined the college in 1997. Travis became executive director of the foundation in 2001.

John D. Williams, chairperson of the PJC Foundation Board of Trustees, said the experience Wright brings from her work at the United Way as well as her vibrant personality will be a perfect fit for the college. As state and federal funding for higher education continues to decrease in todays tougher economy, the college has to work harder at securing continued financial support, Williams said.

I think there are hundreds of people who do not realize what we have at WKCTC; that we have more than 7,000 students and that we have 350 employees, Williams said. Not only is the college a provider of excellent education, but people also need to understand that WKCTC is a viable industry in this area. We have a story to tell, and I think we need someone of Ashleys caliber to get out there and to tell it and help us grow.

At United Way, Wright was responsible for coordinating a communitywide annual fundraising campaign in excess of $1 million dollars. She has been program director for Caring for Kids, Inc., in St. Louis, Mo., and associate director and director of client services at the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center in Paducah.
Wright was also the coordinator of the Impact Poverty Task Force in Paducah for two years and is a United Way Reading PALS volunteer and Rotary Club of Paducah member. A Berea College graduate, Wright received a master of social work degree from Washington University specializing in non-profit management.