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University of Pikeville alumni honored

November 10, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
Five individuals have been recognized for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the University of Pikeville. The awards were part of this year’s Homecoming celebration.

Kelly Wells, UPIKE men’s basketball coach, was presented with the Honorary Alumni Award. The award recognizes individuals who are not graduates, but whose service reflects the spirit and tradition of the University of Pikeville. Wells led the Bears to the NAIA Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship, earning Rawlings Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year honors in the process in 2011. Last year, Wells became UPIKE’s all-time basketball wins’ leader. Off the court, he has helped raise awareness of organ and tissue donation as the spokesperson for the Kentucky Organ and Donation Association and through his Wells Tough organization. He and his wife Shawne live in Pikeville with their children, Kaylee and Mason.

Doug Branham, class of 1971, received the Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to alumni whose contributions have enriched the lives of others and who bring honor and distinction to the individuals, their families and the University of Pikeville. As CEO and president of Colonial Claims Branham oversees one of the nation’s largest catastrophe adjusting companies. Branham lives in Dunedin, Fla., and Lexington, Ky., with his wife Felicia Rivas Branham. Together, they have an extended family of six children and 11 grandchildren. Branham is also involved in the breeding, racing and selling of Thoroughbred horses, Angus cattle and farming hundreds of acres in Bourbon County, Ky.

Kathi Belcher Fletcher was recognized with the Gary Thrash Outstanding Ambassador Award. Named for the alumnus and longtime board member, the award is presented to recipients whose service to the college and alumni association exemplifies Thrash’s dedication to the university mission. A member of the class of 1971, Fletcher has spent 22 years as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Pike County School District. She assumed her current position as guidance counselor for the Pike County Schools Early College Academy in 2014. She lives in Regina, Ky., with her husband of 36 years, Kenneth David Fletcher, also a Pikeville College alum. The couple have one daughter, Keri Fletcher Childers, a 2006 graduate of the college; one son, Christopher Kyle David Fletcher, a captain in the United States Marine Corps; and one grandson.

CEO and president of Paxeon Reconstruction, Kyle Sineath, 2007 graduate of Pikeville College, oversees a company that builds best-in-class orthopaedic products, including derivative and emerging products. Sineath received the Rising Young Alumni Award for his professional achievements, pursuit of excellence early in his career, and the commitment and positive impact he has made in service to others. Prior to joining Paxeon, Sineath sold his first start-up company to Redken Cosmetics and helped guide NuTech Medical to an $86 million acquisition. He and his wife Lauren live in Tennessee with their son Kamp. The Sineaths have an extended heart for Christian missionary work. They also enjoy visiting the mountains.

Sue Butcher Huffman Stanley was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. She is the daughter of longtime Pikeville College athletic director and coach, Paul Butcher, and graduated from the college in 1970. Following the death of her first husband, Kenny Huffman, also a Pikeville graduate, she started the Kenny Huffman Memorial Tennis Tournament and an endowment fund at the college. The tournament, which has lasted 45 years, provides a college scholarship to qualifying high school graduates and scholarship money to UPIKE’s tennis team. Stanley, a former coach, athletic director and teacher, is now retired. She lives in Georgia with her husband Brad.


Five individuals were recognized during the University of Pikeville’s Homecoming celebration for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the university. Pictured, from left, Alumni Association President Tommy Chamberlin, Kelly Wells, Paula Thompson, who accepted the award on behalf of Sue Huffman Stanley, Kathi Belcher Fletcher, Doug Branham, Kyle Sineath and UPIKE President Burton Webb.

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