Strictly Business Magazine

Page 1

News Journal



BUSINESS Fall 2023

A publication of the Southern KY Chamber of Commerce

Whitley County Schools

Investing in Vocational Training and Career Readiness

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Page 5 Meet the Board of Directors Lisa Harrison Vice President

Chamber Member


Page 14 Williamsburg Tourism Commission

Chamber Member Page 6 Whitley County Schools featuring the Career & Technical Education Building

CHAMBER MEMBERS Page 23 See the most current list of chamber members.

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 3 STRICTLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE

STRICTLY BUSINESS is a co-publication of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the News Journal. It is published quarterly and distributed for free at various locations throughout the area. For advertising information call Melissa at 606.528.9767


Page 10 Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC

CHAMBER CONTACT INFORMATION 222 Corbin Center Drive Corbin, KY 40701 606.528.6390

News Journal


Page 24 430 Main Street, LLC



BUSINESS Fall 2023

A publication of the Southern KY Chamber of Commerce

Whitley County Schools

Cumberland Run Harness Track Grand Opening — Page 13 Investing in Vocational Training and Career Readiness

Meeting— Page 22 Highlights from local festivals — Page 26

Cover photos by Timothy Wyatt

SINCE 1977 WE HAVE BEEN SERVING THE TRI-COUNTY AREA. We look forward to many more years to come!

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4 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business

MAYOR Suzie Razmus




Corbin Government Center 805 South Main St., Corbin, KY 606.528.0669

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 5

Meet the Board of Directors Here is what the Chamber means to me


eing a part of the Southern Ky. She was born and raised in Corbin, KY Chamber of Commerce is a way and now resides in London with her husof networking together with other band of 29 years, Terry Harrison. businesses and inThey have three children dividuals in the community. and three grandchildren. It’s a great way to share Lisa graduated from each other’s successes and Corbin High School in struggles. It’s also a way to 1979, and attended learn about what is going in Eastern Kentucky University our communities from eduwhere she studied Mass cation to new businesses to Communications. local and state government. After college, Lisa came My Chamber membership back to Corbin and was has given me a great referhired in 1984 by Jim Lee ral system to help others. Crawford to work in the For example, if someone advertising sales departasks me if I know a real ment. estate agent, a dentist, or She left the Times-Tribune a good caterer…I say, “As a a couple of times to try her matter of fact, I do.” hand at selling radio and Lisa Harrison Vice President billboard advertising but Southern KY Chamber of Commerce Lisa Harrison serves her heart was in print. as the Vice President of Lisa is an active member the Southern Kentucky Chamber of of First Baptist Church in Corbin where Commerce. she helps with the children’s ministries.


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Whitley County High School | Career & Technical Education Building

CHAMBER FEATURED MEMBER: The Colonel Component: Whitley County Schools investing in tomorrow’s workforce today


he Whitley County School District has been grabbing plenty of headlines lately thanks to several big sports-related accomplishments, such as a region championship volleyball season in the fall of 2022, a state championship baseball campaign in the spring of 2023, and the recent unveiling of a brand-new turf football field. All the while, the Colonels have been excelling in another, equally important area of emphasis – vocational training and career readiness. Whitley’s excellence in the vo-ag (agricultural) category has been well-documented over the years, most recently with their brand-new hydroponic greenhouse operation that is providing fresh produce to a handful of local restaurants. Now the school district is placing more focus on training in areas such as welding, electrical wiring and carpentry at their recently opened Career and Technical Education facility, which is located right next to the high school on Bou-

Story and photos by Trevor Sherman and Timothy Wyatt

levard of Champions in Williamsburg. “Several years ago, when we were considering what our students’ needs were, we also considered the needs of the community,” said Whitley County Schools Superintendent John Siler. “We looked at the businesses and the employment opportunities that are here in the community, and we have just kind of worked from there.” Many of those employment opportunities were to be found at nearby manufacturing facilities, such as Firestone and Jones Plastic and Engineering. By asking plant managers about the kinds of skilled labor that manufacturing facilities like these are most in need of, Siler and company were able to come up with a plan to help train students to one day fill those high-demand positions. “We have Bridgestone-Firestone here in Williamsburg, who are the world leader in air ride suspension,” Siler said. “At the time that we started planning our CTE building, we reached

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 7

out to those folks, as well as the folks at Jones Plastic and Engineering. They are two of the largest employers in the area, and both talked about the difficulty that they were having in finding technicians and maintenance team workers. The people who can troubleshoot and calibrate their equipment and keep their plants in operation.” Wendy Goff, Plant Manager of the Williamsburg Firestone facility, recently visited a Whitley County Board of Education meeting to discuss future opportunities for local high school students, saying, “Something I don’t think most people understand about manufacturing, they think it’s just making a part. And it is making parts, but there are so many different positions and jobs that are available, and that we are going to need in the future.” “We’re having a huge technology shift where, while a lot of our commercial parts are very manually produced, our automotive parts require a lot of automation and robotics,” Goff added. “That is where your CTE [training] comes in, getting those students prepared for the future as we grow.” Firestone has recently made a hefty investment in the local community, with $145 million being pumped into an expansion building that was recently finished and a distribution building that is expected to be completed in the near future. These additional buildings will allow Firestone to scale up their operations as they are awarded new manufacturing contracts. Jones Plastic and Engineering Plant Manager Tom Anspach echoed Goff’s sentiments concerning the need for an adequately trained workforce, saying, “It’s very important for us, because you can’t always find people that are good in maintenance, or who are good electricians. We need people who can operate these machines, and who have knowledge about these robots.” “Instead of working in a restaurant or a store if they decide not to go to college, these kids can come in here and, if they’re trained, they can start out at about $22 an hour and have a really good career,” Anspach explained. “You can do that and

not have a bunch of student debt, so we are trying to get as many students as we can interested in that.” Willie Singleton, Operations Manager at Jones Plastic and Engineering, said that the company has made a significant investment in making sure that local high school students can have the opportunity to receive valuable training in key areas that can one day lead to a career in manufacturing. “We have been involved in helping to supply the welding department with some of the supplies that they need,” Singleton said, highlighting just one contribution out of many in recent years. “These kids are the future of Whitley County,” Anspach said of local high schoolers. “We’ve actually been partnering with Whitley County to try and get a molding machine in the new CTE building up there. That is one of the projects that we’ve been working on, so that we can get these kids trained on the process of how to operate a molding machine. That way, as soon as they get out of school, they can come right down here and go to work.” According to their official website, Jones Plastic and Engineering is one of the world’s leading injection molders for the power sports, appliance, and automotive industries. Similar to Firestone, Anspach and Singleton said that Jones Plastic’s Williamsburg facility is currently considering options for expansion as demand for various products continues to grow. KY FAME presenting high school grads with the opportunity to earn as they continue to learn By partnering with the local school districts, employers can tap into a potential future workforce that could help them to be more stable as we move ahead into the future. Of course, there will still be much for a high school graduate to learn, even if they have been fortunate enough to receive some level of formal training in an environment, such as Whitley County’s new CTE facility.

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Enter the KY FAME program. hope.” KY FAME stands for Kentucky Federation for Both Firestone and Jones Plastic and EngineerAdvanced Manufacturing Education. It is a proing are reaping the benefits of employing young gram that puts participating students on track to workers who are involved in the KY FAME proa two-year associate degree in applied science gram. One of those, Ryan Rose, is a 2022 WCHS while also providing the opportunity of paid ingrad who is currently employed at Jones Plastic. dustry experience with a sponsor Thanks to KY Fame, he is getting company. Locally, students can atthe opportunity to gain real world tend classes at Somerset Commuexperience in the workplace while nity College, where they spend two pursuing a degree and several days a week in class and the other valuable certifications. Best of all, three at the sponsor’s facility. he is getting paid well as he does it. According to an SCC informa“Not long after I graduated, I did tional flyer about the program, an interview here and went to students are paid a competitive work through the FAME program,” wage while getting valuable handsRose said. “Things really took off on work experience, making them from there. I have been able to Wendy Goff, Firestone Plant Manager better prepared for their future work and earn a wage while I’m in career. The specific hands-on school. In the maintenance training is provided in fields, field, you have always had the such as electricity, robotics, choice of getting a degree or fluid power, mechanics, fabgetting work experience. With rication, troubleshooting and this program, you get both. more. When you come out of it, you Chris Hall, Associate Dean of don’t just have a degree. You Career and Technical Educahave a degree, two years of tion at SCC, was also present work experience and multiple at the recent Whitley County certifications. It really opens a WC Schools Superintendent John Siler and Jones Plastic Plant Manager Tom Anspach Board of Education meeting lot of doors.” where Wendy Goff offered her For more information on KY comments. Hall, who works FAME, go online to fame-usa. directly with high school stucom/fame-program-locations/ dents to help them determine kentucky-fame. possible career paths, said, Siler re-iterates the impor“To me, in southeast Kentance of CTE tucky, the biggest hurdle that Coming back to the vision we have to overcome is the behind Whitley County’s Calack of hope. For a lot of kids, reer and Technical Education I believe that’s where they are program, Siler said that a genright now: They’re not ashamed of where they eral consensus ultimately led to the school discame from, but they don’t want to stay there.” trict beginning to shift more of their collective “Going to talk to them about career and techfocus onto this particular area of need. nical education, I see that as a way for them to “We learned that most businesses are evolvbetter themselves and better the community,” ing and changing,” said Siler. “We also learned Hall continued. “When you don’t have anything that there isn’t a very large pool of these types it’s hard to find that hope in your day-to-day life, of technicians who are available to hire locally, but when you have a gainful job, working for a so it was discussed at the high school with the good employer and being able to provide for principal and site-based council, and we all felt your family… I believe that raises the level of like this CTE program fit really well for our local

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area.” that students, who graduate from the school sys“It just lined up and made sense to go in that di- tem, are well equipped to take the next steps torection,” Siler continued. “So, when we did the CTE ward attaining gainful employment, regardless of building we included a large lab that can house the field. all kinds of different training equipment that the “As a school, we can help identify to local emkids will need. Through their ployers those kids who have work there, they are earning really done well in these classendorsements and certificaes,” Siler said. “The ones who tions.” have shown proper growth, Siler mentioned that other have determination, good atCTE opportunities within the tendance and behavior. We school district include nursing can help present employers assistant training and phlebotwith a pool of potential future omy. As for some of the previemployees.” ously mentioned trades, such “The shortage of skilled WCHS graduate Ryan Rose as welding, instructor Ryan workers who can do electriMoore has taken students to cal work, who can do HVAC Louisville for Skills USA competitions where par- work, who can weld and do the things that we ticipants have earned statewide recognition. need for manufacturing and everyday life… there Siler said he hopes to see electrical and carpen- is a shortage of that. Those folks who are in those try students also get those same opportunities industries and have the certifications and experisoon. ence are making a good living at it. That is what Ultimately, the name of the game is making sure we want to help our students achieve.”

Whitley County Board of Education

PROVIDING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS! 300 Main Street | Williamsburg, Ky | 606-549-7000

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CHAMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Aisin Automotive Casting using past experience to ensure a bright future for customers and workforce


ith a motto of “quality first,” Aisin Currently, about 700 permanent employAutomotive Casting in London is ees come to work at AAC each day, and at continuing the important work of any point in time there could also be a temproducing top-tier aluminum enporary workforce of around 100 people. gine and transmission components for some As Vice President Kenneth Dick explained, of the world’s most popular vehicle lines. while the end result of the collective efforts Beginning production in of these employees remains 1998, AAC is a leader in largely the same, the prothe melting and die casting cesses have changed someprocesses that produce a what over the years. long list of crucial automo“As we are moving more With these changes tive components, including: comes new opportunities, into automation, we need crank cases, oil pans, cam people who have a basic as people are still shaft housings, trans-axle understanding of certain needed to produce the casings, transmission casthings,” Dick said. “In the ings, convertor housings, old days, we could probably parts, but just in a valve bodies, and more. different sort of capacity take in anyone off the street. Located on 41 acres of Honestly, that’s just not the land in southern Laurel case anymore.” County, AAC features two plants that cover Speaking more on the expansion of autoroughly 250,000 square feet each. The cammated processes, Dick said, “Looking at what pus also features its own wastewater treatwe do, it’s hot, it’s dangerous, and it can cut ment facility, and a guest house. you, so it’s better if a machine does that in-

Story by Trevor Sherman

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 11

stead of a human being. As the technology gets better, we continue to add more automation in order to take more of that human safety risk out of the equation.” Dick said that, with these changes comes new opportunities, as people are still needed to produce the parts, but just in a different sort of capacity. Getting back to safety, AAC is putting a lot of focus on that particular area as it seeks to ensure the health-and-well-being of its valuable employees. Some of the ongoing efforts to maintain a safe working environment include regular communication meetings with team members and a renewed emphasis on work-life balance. As Dick explained, when an increasing demand for parts eventually led to the implementation of a seven-day work week about ten years ago, many people were unhappy

with the pace at which the company was trying to move ahead. “When we were running non-stop, seven days a week, we got a reputation for never giving people time off,” Dick said. “We have been working to fix that, and we want to get the word out to the community that this is just not the case anymore.” Currently, AAC is operating on a fiveday work week with the option of expanding hours if the need should arise. The company is also doing its part to partner with local communities in a variety of ways. As Human Resources Manager Eric Sproles explained, presenting the Aisin name in a positive light is important, and leadership is accomplishing this in a variety of ways. Recently, AAC made monetary donations to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library youth literacy programs through the Corbin Public Library and the London-Laurel County Chamber Foundation. President Yoshihiro Kawai was on hand to present checks on both occasions. AAC also had a presence at this year’s World Chicken Festival in downtown London, and they regularly host company-wide

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Aisin Automotive Casting picnic and management cookout events. In order to contribute to local environmental sustainability efforts, the company sponsors community cleanup events as well. Always keeping an eye on the future, AAC is constantly on the lookout for how they can capitalize on new business opportunities, which will create exciting new employment prospects for people living in this part of the state. Same as many automotive parts manufacturers these days, AAC is beginning to shift some of its focus onto producing components for hybrid vehicles. With the processes to manufacture these components being largely the same, the company is well-prepared to meet specifications and hit the ground running when it comes to meeting this growing demand.


Our Rehabilitation Centers specialize in short term re- our program gives residents of any age or medical stahabilitation for a wide variety of health conditions such tus access to the experience and expertise of our dedias fractures, joint replacement, other orthopedic pro- cated physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapy cedures, heart attack, stroke, other cardiovascular dis- team, dietitians, social workers, and activity team, who eases, as well as chronic disease management, wound are specifically trained in individualized care managecare, pain management, and many other debilitating ment. diseases and conditions. Our facilities are open to welcome new residents and During your stay, we strive to provide the comforts of we encourage you to experience our facility and meet home with amenities such as: delicious and nutritional our team by scheduling a tour. meals, personalized activity programs, flat screen TV’s, We would be happy to add new volunteers both indiiPad’s, Wi-Fi, and telephone service. vidually and with groups. Contact our activity directors Every resident and recovery is different, with our ex- if you or your organizations would like to share your tensive experience in rehabilitation and long term care, time and talents with our residents. Our professional team of caregivers will work together to promote health as well as help you set and achieve goals for long term or your journey home.

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Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 13

Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland Run cuts the ribbon on harness racing in Corbin

On Sunday, Oct. 15, the long-awaited grand opening of the race track at Corbin’s Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland Run facility finally took place. Local, regional and statewide dignitaries, including Gov. Andy Beshear, were on hand to take part in the festivities and witness firsthand the history-making first races to take place at Cumberland Run, located at 777 Winners Lane just off of the Corbin Bypass. In addition to the day’s races, a carnival was set up next to the track to provide entertainment for kids. A number of food vendors were also present, as well as live music and train rides around the premises for families to enjoy. Oct. 15 kicked off 12 days of harness racing in Corbin, with meets being held Sunday, Monday and Tuesday through Nov. 7. In a press release sent out a week before the grand opening, Vice President of Racing for the Mint Gaming properties, Ted Nicholson, said, “We’re excited to bring live racing to southeastern Kentucky. We look forward to our purses increasing each year and building Cumberland Run into a harness-racing gem while continuing to build back the standardbred industry in Kentucky.” On opening day, Mint Gaming Hall Vice President

and General Manager Henry Graffeo commented, “I was nervous and excited at the same time. It’s just nice to see people come out and enjoy themselves. I’m from New Orleans, and I like to be in crowds of people. I go to Mardi Gras every year. This, to me, is probably the closest thing that I can help to bring from my background to my friends here in Williamsburg and in Corbin.” For more information on the offerings at the Mint Gaming Hall - Cumberland Run, visit

14 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business




hange. It’s tough to think about and usually even tougher to do. Sometimes it is necessary to move in a new direction though. Take the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center for instance, which had operated for more than three decades with two gymnasiums in its building. While the gyms could be decorated pretty nicely for more formal events, Williamsburg officials remember the event that spawned them to make a major change to the facility. About two years ago, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers was in Williamsburg for an event at the Williamsburg Firestone plant and, afterwards, city officials hosted a reception for him over at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center. The reception was in one of the gymnasiums that had been decorated and decorated nicely

Story and photos by Mark White

for the occasion. Still, it looked kind of dingy and gray. “It was kind of one of those things you look around and go, ‘We need to do something,’” noted Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison. “We decided right then that we needed something more formal,” added Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe. Thus began a $200,000 plus renovation of one of the gyms, which was converted into an event space that includes a new entry way, new flooring, state-of-the-art sound system, a stateof-the-art lighting system, a state-of-the-art projector system, and a kitchen upgrade. In late April, city officials dedicated the newly renovated space naming it as The Alvin Sharpe Conference Center much to the surprise of their tourism director of 34 plus years.

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 15

“To me it is one of the nicest, formal facilities for any kind of event. We have already had a wedding reception there. People loved it,” Sharpe said. “I think it is the ideal facility for bigger events.” It has already hosted a wedding reception and the annual Williamsburg Homecoming. The newly renovated portion of the building is booked up through December on the weekends. Plus, the remaining gym gets steady use too.


GATEWAY TO THE CUMBERLANDS 650 S 10th St, Williamsburg, KY 606-549-0530 | www,

One of the bigger annual events that the newly renovated tourism center has already played host too was the 32nd Annual Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree, which was held on Oct. 19-21. Jeep Jamboree USA is an organization out of California that conducts jamborees all over the United States. The events usually include Jeep enthusiasts from all over the country turning out for off-roading fun in their fourwheel drives. You must have a Jeep to participate in the Jeep jamborees. The Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree usually features participants from more than 20 states, and sometimes Canada too. The Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree has been the largest one in the world in year’s past, but this year Jeep Jamboree USA reduced the number of Jeeps down to 200 Jeeps because of the number of trails that are available. In prior years the event has had as many as 300 Jeeps taking part. Even though there weren’t quite as many Jeeps for this year’s event as there have been in year’s past, there were still about 400 at-

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WILLIAMSBURG TOURISM tendees. events do, such as the first ever Octoberfest celThe tourism center hosted dinners each night ebration, which was held recently in place of the of the jamboree. River Fog Festival. Bubby’s BBQ provided If you are in town over a cookout and fish fry for the summer, visit the dinner on the first night newly renovated Kentucky of the event, which also Splash waterpark comfeatured a performance plete with its Burg Island by bluegrass group Tidal attraction, which opened Wave. this past summer. Friday and Saturday No matter what time of night, David’s Steakhouse year you visit Williamscatered the dinners for burg, you can check out the attendees at the tourThe Mint Gaming Hall off ism center. Exit 11, which features 250 There is plenty to do in “historical wagering maWilliamsburg no matter chines” in addition to the Cumberland Mint Gaming Hall what time of year you visit. Backyard Grill restaurant. The town’s biggest event Sharpe noted that while is Old Fashioned Trading Days, which is annually Corbin gets a lot of attention as the northern enheld during early September. trance to Cumberland Falls, Williamsburg is the This year’s Old Fashioned Trading Days festisouthern entrance to the park, which is about val had a record number of vendors, and some 18 miles away from either direction. of the best entertainment in the history of the event, Sharpe said. Sharpe said he doesn’t have estimates on attendance for this year’s Old Fashioned Trading Days, but noted the Thursday night crowd was the largest he had ever seen during the history of the event. “Our Old Fashioned Trading Days is completely different from a lot of these others out there. We don’t have the carnival atmosphere, just good wholesome entertainment,” Sharpe said. While Old Fashioned Trading Days doesn’t have alcohol sales, some other downtown Kentucky Splash Waterpark new Burg Island

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 17

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20 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business

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Chamber Meeting

We’re all about where you live!

News Journal

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

Davis A. Worthy, MD and Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Baptist Health Corbin, was the speaker for the September meeting. FOR ADVERTISING, ONLINE OR PRINT SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION



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Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 23


•430 Main Street, LLC •4ever Graphics & Design •AdventHealth •Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC •Alzheimer’s Association •American Business Systems •Appalachian Outfitters, LLC •Appalachian Wireless •AT&T •AT&T Store •Avizion Glass LLC •Baptist Health Corbin •Baptist Worx •Barnhill Pediatric Dentistry, P.S.C. •Barrier Roofs •Baylor Commercial Door & Hardware Inc. •Baymont Inn & Suites •BedTime Sleep Solutions •Belk, Inc. •Best Western Corbin Inn •Betty’s Flowers •BHG Corbin •Bissell’s •Bluegrass Care Navigators •Bluegrass Realtors •BoBo’s Boutique •Bojangles of Corbin •Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company •Breaktime Vending •Carnegie Center of Corbin •CC&M - Construction Division •Central Automotive Supply •Central Baptist Church •Century 21 Advantage Realty, a Robinson Company •CHI Saint Joseph Health Saint Joseph London •City of Corbin •City of Williamsburg •Cloyd & Associates, PSC •Comfort Inn & Suites •Commercial Bank •Commonwealth Cancer Center •Community Trust Bank - Corbin •Community Trust Bank - Williamsburg #1 •Community Trust Bank - Williamsburg #2 •Computer Information Services (CIS) •Continue CARE Hospital at BHC •Corbin Board of Education •Corbin Center •Corbin City Utilities Commission •Corbin Community Backpack •Corbin Educational Center •Corbin Elementary •Corbin Flower Shop, Inc. •Corbin Garage Doors •Corbin Health and Rehab Center •Corbin High School •Corbin Housing Authority •Corbin Intermediate •Corbin Lion’s Club •Corbin Middle School •Corbin News Journal •Corbin Preschool •Corbin Primary School •Corbin Public Library

•Corbin Rotary Club •Corbin Senior Citizens Center •Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission •Corbin Tri-County Joint Industrial Development Authority •Creative Touch Jewelers •Creech & Gibbs Pharmacy LLC •Crystal Clean •Cumberland Falls Family Dentistry, P.L.L.C •Cumberland Falls State Park •Cumberland Foot & Ankle Center •Cumberland Valley Insurance •Cumberland Valley National Bank •Cumberland Valley RECC •David Perry •David’s Steaks, Buffet & Catering •Davis Salvage •Dayspring Health •Delta Natural Gas •Disabled American Veterans Chapter 158 - Keavy •Donevon Storm Insurance Agency, Inc •Dusty Diamond Boutique •East Kentucky Telecom •Eastern Kentucky University - Corbin •Eastern Kentucky UniversityWorkforce Education •Edward Jones •Encore Communications, Inc. •Eubanks Electrical Supply, Inc. •Falls Road Plaza •FastPace Health •Firestone Industrial Products •First Baptist Church •First Care Clinic •First Financial Credit, Inc. •First Financial Credit, Inc. •FK Perkins & Co. PLLC •Folktale Coffee and Bakehouse •Forcht Bank •Forcht Bank - Williamsburg •Forcht Broadcasting •Forcht Group of Kentucky •Forcht Pharmacy •Forest Hills Shopping Center •Freedom Point Church •Freeman Brother’s Maintenance LLC •Freeman Brother’s Realty LLC •Freeman Family Practice •Freeman, Childers & Howard •Goodwill Industries of Corbin •Goodwill Industries of Williamsburg •Grace Community Health Center •Grace On The Hill •Grove Marina •H&R Block •Hacker Brothers Inc. •Hampton Haigen Home •Hampton Inn by Hilton, Williamsburg, KY •Hampton Inn Corbin •Hart Funeral Home Inc. •Heaberlin Supply •Healing Hands Health Center •Heltaco LLC DBA Orkin Pest Control •Hillcrest Health and Rehab Center

•Holiday Inn Express, Williamsburg •Hometown Bank of Corbin •Hoover Properties •Houchens - Save A Lot •Insurance Service Center of Corbin •Jackson Warewashing Systems •James Baker State Farm •Jaynes Family Practice •JBK, Inc. Roofing Division •John and Milly Burkhart •Jones Plastic & Engineering Co., LLC •KCEOC Community Action Partnership •Kentucky Blood Center •Kentucky Climate Control •Kentucky Was Pros •KentuckyOne Health Cancer Care •Kiwanis Club of Corbin •KOWA Kentucky, Inc. •L&N Federal Credit Union •LaDonna’s LLC •Larkey HVAC •Laurel County Literacy Council •LDRM •Legacy Ford Lincoln Chevrolet Buick GMC •Liquor Mart •Little Caesar’s Pizza •Mackey Vision Center •Mallory Davis - State Farm Insurance •Marr, Miller & Myers PSC, CPA •Martin’s Sports Apparel •Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant •Middlesboro Coca-Cola •Minuteman Press •Mitchell Tax & Accounting •Mountain Rehabilitation Services •MPI KY LLC •National Services Mgt. Inc. dba •New Beginnings Real Estate LLC •New Hope Ministries •Northwestern Mutual •Norvex Supply •Old Town Grill •On The Money, LLC •O’Neil-Lawson Funeral Home •Ossoli Foundation •Owens Auto Parts •Paw Paw Patch Dog Grooming, LLC •Pennington Wellness •Pepsi Cola Bottling Company •Pierce Dant Hamblin Post #3167 - VFW •Pilot Travel Center •Planet Earth PC •PNC Bank •PRI (Partners for Rural Impact) •PT Pros, Inc. •Rapiscan Systems •Re/Max on Main •Rebecca Lucas •Reeves Property Group •Renfro Supply •Robert P. Hammons, Attorney at Law •Sallie Davidson Realtors •Sav-Rite Home Care Inc. •SecuriTech Group

•Servpro of Pulaski and Laurel Counties •Shawn Rogers Realty Inc. •Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort •Small Business Development Center - EKU •Somerset Community College •Sonic Drive-In •Sonny’s BBQ •Southeast Apparatus LLC •Southeast Kentucky Audiology •Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College •Southeast Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries •Southeastern Medical Supply LLC •Spero Health •State Farm Insurance - Michael Jones •State Farm Insurance - Mike Sparks •The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation, Inc. •The Arena •The Body Bar •The Brick Oven •The Depot on Main •The Gail Frederick School Of Dance, Inc. •The Great Escape Corbin •The Job Shop •The Local Laser Company, LLC •The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland •The Suds Barn •The Wrigley Taproom and Eatery •Tim Short Auto Mall •Times Tribune •Tipton & Tipton Attorneys At Law •Tire Discounters •Tomahawks LLC •Total Foot and Ankle •Trent Knuckles •Tri-County Cineplex •Trinity Family Health, PLLC •University of the Cumberlands •US Marine Corps Toys For Tots/ JC Paul Marine Corps League 1448 •US Restoration LLC •VFW Post 3302 •W.D. Bryant & Son •Wallen’s Towing and Recovery •Waste Connections of Eastern Kentucky •Webbed Sphere, Inc. •Whitaker Bank •White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics •Whitley Broadcasting Co. Inc. •Whitley County Board of Education •Whitley County Fiscal Court •Whitley County Health Department •Whitley County/UK Extension Service •Wildcat Harley Davidson •Williamsburg Health and Rehab Center •Williamsburg Insurance Agency •Williamsburg Tourism Commission •Wilson Equipment Co., Inc. •Winds of Change •Workout Anytime •Wyatt Insurance Agency, Inc.

24 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business




long Main Street in downtown Williamsburg sits a brick building with a white front façade that, while inviting, doesn’t properly prepare guests for what they will find once stepping inside. The building is mostly inconspicuous, displaying its address, 430 Main Street—with the numerals represented by a clock that is perpetually set to 4:30— above the main entrance. But once inside, there is what one might call a museum, with items from all over the world exhibited throughout the space and adorning the walls. Many of the trinkets found inside are from the travels of Dr. James Moss, who now owns the building.

Story and photos by Timothy Wyatt

Moss served in the United States Army as a surgeon in Okinawa, Japan during the latter portion of the Vietnam War. He also later worked as a surgeon in Thailand. “Spending two and half years in Asia, I got very attracted to the Oriental works,” said Moss. Among the items in the room are several burial urns and multiple pairs of Chinese guardian lions, which are often placed outside of homes to act as a form of protection from accidents and theft. Disbursed throughout is also paintings of Moss’ family, including his father and grandfather, the latter of which Moss said was the first medical school graduate in Whitley County. Construction of the building itself originally

Fall 2023 — Strictly Business 25

began in 1920, where it has spent time as several different things over the course of its 100year history. In its more recent history, it served as an office for local dentist Dr. Bert Ballou. Moss, said the front room of the lower level was a car showroom at one point. Moss began renovating the building in 2015 under the banner of 430 Main Street LLC. While that was just the early planning stages, he eventually had the entire interior renovated from the ground up, though he kept many of the pieces that made it unique. “This is the original ceiling from 100 years ago. The building inspectors said I was going to have to drop the ceiling and put in tile to make it fireproof, but I found a fire-retardant paint. If you put three coats of it on there, it gives it an hour fireproof rating,” said Moss. There are other little features throughout the building that Moss tried to keep original. The lower portion is an apartment Moss uses for his own purposes, but there are two other

apartments on the second level, one of which has the original straight-grain redwood that was laid when the building was constructed. Moss uses the upstairs apartments to attract young professionals and college faculty, and thinks of it as an incubator for new business in town. In addition to the apartments, the lower level is adjoined by a commercial space that most recently housed The Suds Barn, which outgrew the location and relocated. A new business is currently in the process of getting ready for opening in that space sometime later this year. Moss noted that many other buildings in downtown Williamsburg have seen renovations since 2015, which has revitalized the city’s Main Street. For that reason, Moss hopes to see others that can do so, to consider investing in it. “There are other buildings downtown that are empty,” said Moss. “I would encourage other people to look at those for renovating.”

26 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business

Nibroc and Old Fashioned Trading Days both were huge successes in 2023 This year’s NIBROC and Old Fashioned Trading Days events were once again huge successes in downtown Corbin and Williamsburg, respectively. The 71st Annual NIBROC Festival took place in Corbin Aug. 9-12, and, as usual, featured a great lineup of live musical acts. Entertaining crowds this year were local favorites County Wide and Paint Creek, as well as nationally known names, such as The Band of Heathens and Paul Thorn. From Nashville, the talented husband-andwife duo of Tim & Taylor ended up being a fanfavorite. Their appearance at NIBROC served as a homecoming for Tim Gore, who is from Corbin originally. Another Corbin native, Zac Hart, had the honor of kicking off the final night of music on Saturday, followed by the high-energy Bucktown All-Stars, who came all the way from New Orleans to perform on the NIBROC stage. NIBROC 2023 also featured a long list of fun and exciting contests, including the Appalachian Photographic Society’s Annual NIBROC Photo Contest, Tomahawks’ axe throwing contest, a singer-songwriter contest, pickleball, the Annual Fastest Kid in Town and NIBROC 2-miler races, cornhole and the Annual Pepsi NIBROC Volleyball Tournament. Old Fashioned Trading Days in Williamsburg turned 40 this year, celebrating in a big way with three days of music, food, shopping and contests Sept. 7-9. As always, OFTD is the place to be if you enjoy gospel and bluegrass music, as several talented acts took the stage during the three-day period. Canning and food growing competitions are a yearly tradition with this festival, and 2023 was no different as many local growers managed to walk away with prize ribbons across a wide variety of categories. County Wide, Paint Creek and Zac Hart were back on stage to entertain another enthusiastic festival crowd, along with 8 Daze Sober, Pistol Whip, Lowdown South, and more. As far as vendors, visitors to OFTD had plenty to choose from. Whether you were looking for a locally handmade craft item, some information on the Whitley-Williamsburg area, or just something delicious to eat, there were several options available. With 2024 now just a matter of weeks away, plans for next year’s festivals will be getting underway before we know it. Stay tuned in to local media outlets and the NIBROC and Old Fashioned Trading Facebook pages to make sure you stay up-to-date on all the developments!

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We can help you Bank Better Randy Bargo Jeannie Hensley

Mortgage Loan Specialist NMLS# 421457

Diane McKeehan

Corbin Market President

Assistant Vice President

NMLS# 713507

NMLS# 1989067


28 Fall 2023 — Strictly Business

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

90th Anniversary


952 Hwy 25W, North Corbin, KY


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