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KET fundraising board chairman John R. Hall passes gavel after 20 years

For Release: 2014-08-07 14:12:00

Former Keeneland president Nick Nicholson succeeds Hall

KET announces a transition in the leadership of its non-profit fundraising foundation. John R. Hall, founding chairman of the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors and retired chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc., is stepping down after 20 years. He will be succeeded by Nick Nicholson, retired president and CEO of the Keeneland Association, who assumes the chairmanship on October 29, 2014. Hall will remain on the board in an emeritus capacity.

“John Hall’s vision and commitment to KET’s mission have been steadfast since the creation of the Commonwealth Fund. His integrity, leadership, and giving spirit have inspired all of us, and we are forever in debt to his legacy of service,” said Shae Hopkins, founding president of the fundraising non-profit, and who today is executive director and CEO of KET. “Nick Nicholson will bring extraordinary experience and energy to help lead our continuing efforts to engage our viewers and others in support of KET. Few people have achieved such success and commanded as much respect as John and Nick. KET’s programs and services are stronger thanks to their tireless leadership, and we are truly grateful.”

“KET is a treasure in the Commonwealth,” Hall said. “Ashland was an early partner in the establishment of KET, contributing land for its transmission towers statewide that today form the nation’s largest public television network. I have been honored to work with the dedicated team at KET and so many generous friends to help KET advance its mission to educate and to provide every possible opportunity for Kentucky’s citizens.”

The Commonwealth Fund for KET was established in 1994. To help provide funding in perpetuity for some of KET’s programs and services, Hall helped launch three endowments, including the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Endowment for the Arts, the O. Leonard Press Endowment for Public Affairs, and the Endowment for Kentucky Productions. Hall is particularly proud of KET’s original biographies about distinguished Kentuckians – such as the late William T. Young Sr., the late Sally Brown and, more recently, Ted Bassett – as well as KET’s original production Thoroughbred, which brought the pageantry and traditions of the horse industry to the nation, airing on PBS in 2011.

“John Hall exemplifies the best in public service and has dedicated himself to strengthening KET’s impact on families, schools and communities,” said Nicholson. “We all share in KET’s noble calling to educate, tell Kentucky’s stories, and bind us together from east to west, rural to urban. I am humbled to follow John’s lead and inspiration.”

Nicholson, who joined the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors in 2003, served for nearly 13 years as president of Keeneland and previously as the senior executive for The Jockey Club. He is the current chairman of Equibase.

For his contributions to the equine industry, Nicholson received the Eclipse Award of Merit, the Lifetime Service Award from Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and The Jockey Club Gold Medal.

“It has been a rare gift to work and learn beside Mr. Hall in service to KET,” said Michele Ripley, president of the Commonwealth Fund for KET. “Through KET, he leaves an immeasurable imprint on the lives we touch.”

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and facebook.com/KET and at KET.org. KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and facebook.com/KET and at KET.org.

Contact: Todd Piccirilli

 

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Nick Nicholson, left, John R. Hall

Nick Nicholson, left, John R. Hall

Nick Nicholson, retired president and CEO of the Keeneland Association, assumes chairmanship of the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors on October 29, 2014.

Nick Nicholson, retired president and CEO of the Keeneland Association, assumes chairmanship of the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors on October 29, 2014.

John R. Hall, founding chairman of the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors and retired chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc., is stepping down after 20 years.

John R. Hall, founding chairman of the Commonwealth Fund for KET board of directors and retired chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc., is stepping down after 20 years.

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