2019 UPIKE Opening Convocation

For more than a century, the University of Pikeville has created opportunity through the promise of education. As UPIKE enters its 130th academic year, the community is invited to join faculty, staff and students for the university’s Opening Convocation ceremony. The event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. in the Health Professions Education Building, seventh floor. 

This year’s convocation address will be given by Jared Arnett. A native of Eastern Kentucky, Arnett has a heart for the people of the region and for the businesses of eastern Kentucky. In November of 2014, he began his new role as the Founding Executive Director for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR), a special, bi-partisan initiative launched by former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in 2013. SOAR’s mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, identity, improve the quality of life and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachia Kentucky.

Prior to taking his post at SOAR, Arnett served as President/CEO of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in the expansion of the organization both geographically and strategically. Before being employed at the Chamber, Arnett’s career included serving as the director of finance for Sound House Music, Inc.; general management consultant for the East Kentucky Small Business Development Center; and at age 26, he started his own consulting firm, Beacon Management Solutions, Inc.

Through his consulting work, Arnett has played a vital role in more than 10 successful start-ups in Eastern Kentucky, including the most recent, as a partner in Mountain Music Exchange, LLC. He has a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies and a minor in government, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Morehead State University. Arnett resides in Harold, Ky., with his wife, Bethany, and their two children – Rosalind (Roz) and Harker.