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New director, office space bring life back to Heritage Council

Levee to fill position vacant since 2013

By Emma Kennedy
Source: The News-Enterprise
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 1:30 am (Updated: October 25, 1:30 am)

With a new director, office space and funding stream, the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Heritage Council is preparing for a banner year.

LaRue County Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Krista Levee accepted the Heritage Council’s executive director position and will start next week.

Heritage Council Chairman Charlie Skees said renovations have started for a new office space on North Main Street behind the R.R. Thomas Building. In the meantime, Levee will work out of the Historic State Theater.

Levee has been with the LaRue County chamber for four years and also has worked in politics and community development.

Levee said she worked with former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, on the campaign for U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, for former U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis in his Elizabethtown district office and with different community projects over the last several years.

“I’m familiar with the communities and their needs, big and small,” she said. “In all of my jobs, it’s been working and meeting with local leaders and businesses and making things work and trying to improve.”

Skees said it was Levee’s diverse background in nonprofits, admini­stration, public relations and social media that earned her the position.

“She has a very outgoing and personable personality that is needed for the Heritage Council in these exhilarating times in the revitalization of downtown Elizabethtown,” Skees said. “The Elizabethtown Heritage Council is proud to be a prominent part in promoting and stimulating the downtown economy while promoting the historic integrity of downtown Elizabethtown.”

The executive director role for the Heritage Council has been vacant since 2013, when it was held by Heath Seymour.

The position was advertised over the summer, but readvertised in September when then-council chairwoman Kathy Helm said there weren’t any applicants who fit specific criteria the board had in mind.

At the time, she said the role would be heavily focused on relationship-building and experience with nonprofit organizations would be a huge plus.

Skees said with a director to be the face of the council, he’s confident events such as BBQ, Blues & Bikes and Second Saturday downtown can improve on their success. He said with Levee as a liaison, there will be a link between local business and the Elizabethtown City Council.

The city council also has come back on board with the Heritage Council in recent months, deciding in budget talks to pay the Heritage Council $75,000 annually for the next three years to stimulate downtown focus.

In return, the agreement is that Mayor Edna Berger can appoint three members to the Heritage Council’s board, and the council director will report to the city council with any updates.

Levee’s start date is Nov. 1.

Emma Kennedy can be reached at 270-505-1746 or ekennedy@thenewsenterprise.com.