Room breakfast to highlight health and human services | New


On July 7, the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Power in Partnership Breakfast will feature a “Tribute to Health and Human Services.” Leadership Paducah Class #35 will also present its class project funds to the Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center. The class chose Child Watch as the recipient last fall at the start of their program through a thorough process.

Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center. Pre-registration is required by noon Tuesday at or by calling 270-443-1746. Power Card holders do not need to pre-register. The cost is $20.

The program will feature a panel of speakers representing health and social services, including Betsy Burkeen, United Way of Paducah-McCracken County; Christine Thompson, Paducah-McCracken County Senior Center; and Tony Watkins, Community Foundation of West Kentucky, Inc.

Burkeen, the local United Way CEO, has been with the organization since 2013. She is responsible for the overall management and development of United Way as they partner with nonprofits, businesses and members of the local community to improve education, income and health conditions. Burkeen was recently recognized by the Paducah Chamber and the Paducah Sun Business Journal as the Young Leader of the Year for 2021, and United Way was named the Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year.

Thompson is the executive director of the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services for seniors to improve well-being, promote friendships, and facilitate lasting independence and dignity. Prior to being named Executive Director in December 2019, Thompson served as Project Director of the organization’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). She earned her BA in International Relations and French from Murray State University in 2004.

Watkins has been the CEO of the Community Foundation of West Kentucky, Inc. since 2002. The Community Foundation, located in Paducah, now has five affiliates: Murray, Henderson, Glasgow, Livingston County and Marshall County. The organization is currently leading the disaster relief effort in 14 western Kentucky counties, partnering with FEMA and 12 other federal agencies in this effort. Watkins is a former pastor and graduate of Georgetown College with a degree in theology.


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