On Oct. 1, Wil James, Jr., president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., began his term as chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. James succeeds 2014 Chairwoman Elizabeth McCoy, president and CEO of Planters Bank in Hopkinsville. Kevin Canafax, vice president of midwest public affairs for Fidelity Investments in Covington, has been named chair-elect for 2015.
In July 2010, James became the seventh president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. He leads Toyota's largest automotive manufacturing plant in North America, while also championing quality initiatives for Toyota’s fourteen North American manufacturing operations. James is the first African-American to serve as president of Toyota’s Kentucky plant, located in Georgetown, which manufactures the Camry, America’s best-selling car, and was recently named the new home of the first U.S.-produced Lexus.
James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University and in 2013 was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Serving with James, McCoy and Canafax on the Chamber’s 2015 Executive Committee will be:
- Treasurer Paula Hanson, director of tax services for Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, Lexington;
- David Gray, president of Baptist Hospital East, Louisville;
- Tierra Kavanaugh Turner, CEO of TKT-Nectir Global Staffing, LLC, Louisville.
- Rusty Cheuvront, vice president, director of global community relations, Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville;
- Bill Lear, managing director, Stoll Keenon Ogdon PLLC, Lexington
- Lynn Parrish, president of Marwood Land Company, Pikeville;
- Deirdre Lyons, co-founder, director of corporate image and project management for Alltech, Inc., Nicholasville;
- Stephen P. Branscum, president & CEO, Branscum Construction Company, Russell Springs;
- Joseph W. (Joe) Craft, III, president & CEO, Alliance Resource Partners, LP, Lexington;
- Charles E. (Buzz) English, Jr., partner, English Lucas Priest & Owsley, LLP, Bowling Green;
- Brad Rives, chief administrative officer, LG&E and KU Energy LLC, Louisville
Newly-elected 2015 board members are:
- Heath Campbell, president, Kentucky region, BB&T, Lexington
- Bryan Fite, plant manager, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Calvert City
- Marilyn Ford, chief operating officer, First Citizens Bank, Elizabethtown
- Richard Hernandez, refining general manager, Marathon Petroleum Company LP, Catlettsburg
- Warren Rogers, CEO, W. Rogers Company, Lexington
- Jon Stewart, president & CEO, Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance, Lexington
- Michael White, President & CEO, America's Finest Filters, Inc., Louisville
The Kentucky Chamber is the state’s largest business organization, representing businesses of all sizes throughout the Commonwealth. Click here for a full board listing, including members continuing their terms.