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Appalshop, still recovering from flooding, now looking for new executive director


Officials said a staple organization in Eastern Kentucky media is searching for a new leader.

Alex Gibson has served as Executive Director of Appalshop for 10 years and recently announced he will be stepping back from the position.

Rachel Rosalina is Communications Director with Appalshop. She said they haven’t found the right person to replace Gibson yet, but they have an idea in mind of what kind of person they want to lead them through future challenges.

“Appalshop has been around for 55 years, which is a testament to the ways that things have been done, but the world is drastically changing, and having someone with a clear vision and a clear understanding of Appalachian culture and the role of community will be instrumental,” said Rosalina.

Gibson was brought in originally to help with a generational transition, and now they’re looking for a new leader to bridge the next challenge with.

The organization was hit hard by the floods in Eastern Kentucky, suffering serious damage to structures, most of which have yet to be rectified. Rosalina said flood clean-up has been slow and difficult. She said many items from their archives had to be sent off for repair and storage elsewhere, as they simply don’t have appropriate facilities anymore.

“In addition, our radio station, was also flooded and they are currently working out of an RV, which we have nicknamed “The Possum Den”, but that RV was meant for temporary use during festivals or moving during weather, not for a full-time studio,” said Rosalina.

Rosalina said it will likely be some time before they find a new Executive Director. After that person is hired, they will go through a shadowing and transition period with Alex Gibson to learn the ropes.