ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas to speak at 2018 SOAR Summit

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Tim Thomas, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), will speak at the 2018 SOAR Summit, which is scheduled for August 30-31 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky.

Thomas, who was sworn in on April 3, 2018, will speak during the Summit’s main session on Friday, August 31. The ARC has been an instrumental partner of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) since its inception in 2013.

“The Appalachian Regional Commission has not only been a valued partner in SOAR, but their team has provided guidance and input as we have grown and evolved over the past five years,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “As we continue to bring partners together, address challenges, and seize opportunities, it is important to know we have an organization like the Appalachian Regional Commission standing ready and willing to help us build the 21st Century Appalachia we envision.”

As federal co-chair, Thomas works directly with ARC’s 13-member governors, their state alternatives and program managers, and a network of local development districts to continue to create economic opportunities across Appalachia. 

Thomas has more than 20 years' experience in public infrastructure, workforce training, and regulatory issues. He most recently served on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell's state staff from 2015 to 2018. In that role, Thomas fostered deep partnerships with state and local officials, community leaders, and constituent groups to support economic and community development initiatives. He was previously the director of external and regulatory affairs for Swift & Staley, a Kentucky-based maintenance, operations, and environmental services company that included federal and state agencies among its clients, such as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture.

“We look forward to Federal Co-Chair Thomas speaking at the SOAR Summit,” said Arnett. “We also look forward to him and his team exploring, firsthand, the innovation and collaboration taking place across Appalachia Kentucky.”

Registration is open for this year’s Summit at  This year’s Summit will feature a special pre-Summit session on Thursday, August 30 focusing on leadership, technology, and healthcare.  Attendees have several options when registering, including registration for all Summit activities or event specific registration for the pre-Summit session (Thursday, August 30), reception (Thursday, August 30), and the Summit main session (Friday, August 31). 

For more information, call (606) 766-1160 or email