Team Members

Brook Smith

Founder, Somewhere Appalachia; Appalachian Impact Fund

Brook Smith is an entrepreneur, contemporary art collector, and philanthropist who catalyzes and supports community capacity building. He is president of Smith Manus, a leading provider of surety bonds throughout the United States and Canada. A native of Kentucky, Brook has long supported creative and artistic projects both locally and nationally.

A passionate advocate for the people and natural environment of Appalachia, Brook and his wife Pam founded the Appalachian Impact Fund to support economic transition and community investment in Eastern Kentucky that is directed by the local community. AIF makes grants to nonprofit partners active in the region and blends capacity building with creative investment capital.

Penny Peavler

Project Manager, Somewhere Appalachia; Cultural Tourism Consultants

Tourism professional with broad experience in the management and operations of cultural institutions and attractions of all types. Principal of Cultural Tourism Consultants, member of the Kentucky Humanities Council, and Commissioner at Louisville Tourism. Native of Central Kentucky, lover of Southern gothic fiction, student of Kentucky writers, and passionate advocate for the people and art of Appalachia. Peavler is the project manager for the Somewhere Initiative.

Reed Smith

Project Coordinator, Somewhere Appalachia

Public relations executive who is passionate about community engagement, local communities, and the Appalachian region. Lover of art and design.

Drura Parrish

RSLP Ventures

Drura is an Operating Partner at RSLP Ventures, an investment firm whose founders believe in positive social impact. An architect by training, Parrish was the founder and CEO of Make Time, one of nation’s most innovative manufacturing on demand firms.

David Jackson

Hacker Brothers Construction

President of Hacker Brothers Construction, a lifelong Appalachian, and a strong voice in workforce development and skills training. During his career, he has built countless schools and public facilities in Southeast Kentucky.

Julien Robson


Director of Great Meadows Foundation, the INhouse Foundation, and Curator of the Shands Collection and the collection of Brook Smith. He also works as a project-based Independent Curator/Consultant and is based in Louisville, Kentucky and Vienna, Austria.

Grace Fitzmorris

Grace-Full Consulting

Principal of Grace-Full Consulting. A nonprofit professional with deep experience in events and programs, Grace most recently served as head of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.

Dr. Vic Adams

Southeast Community and Technical College

Angela Allen

Bell County Schools

Mike Allison

Passionate Advocate for Appalachian Culture & Environment

Melissa Bond

Arts & Culture, Kentucky Community Extension

Dr. Dessie Bowling

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

Carcille Carloftis

Corbin Educator

Mike Caudill

Mountain Comprehensive Care

Timothy Deaton

Appalachian Arts Alliance

Todd De Priest

Mayor of Jenkins

Robert Gipe

Author, Community Leader

Tom Hansell

Professor, Appalachian State University

Dr. Jeff Hawkins

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

Valerie Ison

Cowan Community Action Group, Inc, CANE Kitchen

Jeffrey Johnson

Dean of Architecture, University of Kentucky College of Design and Studio Appalachia

Preston Jones

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Missy Matthews

Letcher County Tourism, Childers Oil Company

Kimberly Sergent

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

Ada Smith


Kristin Smith

Broadbent Farm and Wrigley Tap Room

Lora Smith

Appalachian Impact Fund

James Stapleton

Appalachian Groundswell

Joe Tolbert

Appalachian Artist

Jennifer Yankey

Bell County Schools