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Young Professionals of East Kentucky is a non-profit organization aimed at bringing young professional leaders together for networking, dialogue, and leadership.  Founded in 2009, YPEK strives to enhance the abilities of young professional leaders to develop forward thinking, innovative approaches to improve the communities throughout East Kentucky and to nurture their vision and passion to fuel the region’s business and social climate with new energy and initiatives.  Together, we can help make East Kentucky a more vibrant place to live and work.

YPEK is built on the principles of: connect, grow, and lead.  This purpose is centered on networking with those around you as well as reaching out to those with different views, learning from observing and relating with others, and taking gained knowledge and applying it to make an impact through servant leadership.


YPEK, which seeks to impact 32 counties of East Kentucky, sponsors regional issue forums, networking events, and hosts an annual women’s conference (spring) and awards banquet (fall).  In prior years, YPEK also held other timely events, including organizing disaster response volunteer efforts in East Bernstadt and West Liberty, two communities which were heavily hit by tornadoes, as well as launching the i2b Entrepreneurs Academy (i2b is short for “invention + innovation = business”), an accelerator program that helps develop successful entrepreneurs by providing real world mentoring, training, and a network of support from local business leaders.


Kevin Smith, Founder

Bobby Clue

Executive Director

Somerset-Pulaski Co. Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director

Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)


Managing Attorney

Law Office of Kevin R. Smith

Kevin Smith, Founder

State Treasurer

Kentucky State Treasury

Allison Ball

Jared Arnett

Amy Stroud

Executive Vice President

Forcht Broadcasting

Grayson Smith


Salyersville Independent Newspaper



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P.O. Box 404

London, KY 40744

Tel: 606-930-9141

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