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On Tuesday, October 3rd, Alice Lloyd College was privileged to host Ms. Jean R. Hale of Pikeville, KY.

Ms. Hale is chairman, president, and CEO of Community Trust Bancorp, Inc.  She has served Community Trust for almost 50 years and has participated in the growth of the corporation from $18 million in assets to over $4 billion in assets.

Ms. Hale spent the day at Alice Lloyd College visiting with students and sharing her experiences with both students and faculty. A special luncheon was hosted, where students had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Hale and participate in a personal dialogue. The students, who were familiar with Ms. Hale’s professional resume, enjoyed hearing about her more personal stories in addition to her successes.

Student TaLaura Mathis had the opportunity to attend the luncheon with Ms. Hale and to hear her speak at convocation. Afterwards, she said, “I was so intrigued by Ms. Hale and the powerful, intelligent woman that she is. Her life shows the outcome of hard work and determination. She is a true exemplar that women can be strong and powerful in the work force. Being a woman myself, her words and stories encouraged me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.”

Growing up as a coal miner’s daughter and the youngest of four children, Ms. Hale saw the value of education from a young age. Not only did she recognize the importance of education, she also saw the worth of hard work. She says, “I was an over-achiever, before anyone thought of the word.” At 16, after an interview with a local banker for a school project, she decided that banking would be her career and stuck to her guns.

In 1978, Ms. Hale became the first female to hold the title of Assistant Vice President at Community Trust Bank, Inc. In 1982, she became the first female to hold to the title of Senior Vice President. In 1991, she became the first female to hold the title of Executive Vice President. In 1993, Ms. Jean Hale became the first female to hold the title of President and CEO of Community Trust Bank, Inc. She went on to become President and CEO of Community Trust Bancorp in 1999 and added the position of Chairman of the Board to her resume in 2005.

In addition to her accomplishments within the organization, Ms. Hale has been honored by American Banker magazine as one of the nation’s “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking”.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives Advocate of the Year, an Outstanding Alumna at Pikeville High School & Pikeville College, the Lane Report–Outstanding Business Woman, and Pike County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Woman.

Although she has seen much success in her career, has a stellar resume and is nationally recognized, Ms. Hale says that she is most proud of her career in service to others. Her two greatest passions are education and economic development. For that reason, she has served on numerous local, state and national boards to further the development of the Appalachian region. Ms. Hale is a testament to the life of service that is instilled in students at Alice Lloyd College and she left our students with one final piece of advice, “Pay it forward!”