Butts Named Among Kentucky Gazette’s 2022 Notable Women

For more than 30 years, Trigg County’s Sharon Butts has been well established in the ongoings of local and regional economic development.

Those years of service were recently recognized at a high level, when the South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council associate director returned to her desk — only to find an ornate press release and etched hardware noting she’d been named to Kentucky Gazette’s 2022 Notable Women in Kentucky Politics and Government.

A 1986 graduate of Murray State University, Butts went to work at the Service Merchandise HQ in Brentwood, Tennessee, as a buyer — responsible for procuring flatware and Pfaltzgraff.

Family life and the birth of her oldest daughter, Samantha, brought Butts back to her native Cadiz.

In 2003, Butts said she got a call from Steve Allen at Kentucky Machine & Engineering. A local industrial development agency was in its infancy, and it needed a leader.

Butts has served the SWK EDC as associate director since October 1, 2013, and previously served as the director for the Cadiz-Trigg County Economic Development organization for more than a decade. For the people of Trigg, Christian and Todd counties, she’s responsible for business retention, new industry recruitment, community development and certification programs — while maintaining relationships with tri-county, regional, state and Tennessee Valley Authority partners.

Among her many hats, she’s an active Cadiz Rotarian, serves on the Board of Directors for the Hopkinsville Community College Foundation, and holds several strong accolades — including graduate of the inaugural Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Leadership Institute Class of 2012, graduate of the Kentucky Institute for Economic Development in 2005, graduate of the Trigg County Leadership Class of 2012-2013, and graduate of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Leadership Class of 2014-2015.

Butts said “she loves going to work,” still enjoys serving the communities in which she grew up, and always finds comfort and peace when she returns from a long trip and crosses back into west Kentucky.

This is the third class of 50 “notable women” from the Kentucky Gazette, which is a nonpartisan, independent public affairs journal that focuses on state government and politics. It was originally founded by John Bradford in 1787 and was considered the first newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains — supporting Kentucky’s break from Virginia to create a new state in 1792.

The Gazette was revived by Lowell Reese in 1995 and operated as a newspaper until current owner, Laura Glasscock, purchased it in February 2007.

2022 Class

Karen Armstrong-Cummings
Julia Babbage Laungani
Karen Berg
Dinah Bevington
Caitlin Blair
Amy Burke
Sharon Butts
Brandy Cantor
Mary Lynn Collins
Marie Alagia Cull
Jill Fraley Dotson
Rita Dotson
Cathe Dykstra
Karen Finan
Sandra Frazier
Nancy Galvagni
Tara Grieshop-Goodwin
Nancy Hale
Sally Hamilton
Shellie Hampton
Jennifer Hancock
Samara Heavrin
Laura Hromyak Hendrix
Keturah Herron
Kimberly Ishmael
Danielle Jones
Dana Mayton
Haley McCoy
Paula McCraney
Shannon Meyer
Libby Milligan
Patti Minter
Kathy Stewart O’Nan
Tara Purvis
Sherelle Roberts
Brenda Rosen
Jena Scott
Jennifer Schwartz Scutchfield
Kate Shanks
Shannon Smith
Ashley Snider
Shelby Williams Somervell
Hollie Spade
Crystal Staley
Patricia Summe
Nancy Tate
Robbin Morrison Taylor
Katrina Thompson
Sarah Van Wallaghen
Amy Wickliffe