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.
Doug Branham | Distinguished Alumni
As CEO and president of Colonial Claims, 1971 Pikeville College graduate Doug 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 eleven 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 | Gary Thrash Outstanding Ambassador Award
A 1981 graduate of Pikeville College, Kathi Belcher Fletcher spent 22 years as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Pike County School District. She assumed her current positon 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.
Kelly Wells | Honorary Alumni Award
In 2011, UPIKE men’s basketball coach Kelly 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. 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.
Kyle Sineath | Rising Young Alumni Award
As president and CEO of Paxeon Reconstruction, Kyle Sineath, a 2007 graduate of Pikeville College, oversees a company that builds best-in-class orthopaedic products, including derivative and emerging products. 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 Stanley | Volunteer of the Year Award
The daughter of longtime Pikeville College athletic director and coach, Paul Butcher, Sue Butcher Huffman Stanley 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.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an alumnus/alumna of the University. He/she must have been out of college for at least seven years. Nomination information should include specific activities, awards and promotions that demonstrate 1) professional prominence and 2) contributions made for the betterment of society, both of which bring honor and distinction to the University of Pikeville.
Rising Young Alumni Award
The Rising Young Alumni Award is presented annually to an alumnus/alumna who is 40-years-old or younger. Basis for selection includes 1) career advancement, 2) service to others, 3) loyalty and commitment to the University, 4) strong personal character, and 5) proven leadership in his or her profession.
Honorary Alumni Award
The Honorary Alumni Award is presented annually only if there is clearly a deserving and available candidate; and is normally limited to one recipient each year. Individual(s) must be a non-alumnus/alumna of the community-at-large. Nomination: Cite specific examples of 1) loyalty, 2) interest, and 3) service in the spirit of the University that are above and beyond the normal responsibilities of the individual. Honorary alumni have all the rights and privileges of traditional alumni of the University and become honorary members of the class graduating in the spring of the academic year in which the award is given.
The Gary Thrash Outstanding Ambassador Award is presented annually in named recognition of alumnus and longtime Alumni Association Board of Directors member Gary Thrash, for his commitment and dedication to the University and its students. The award is presented to those whose service to the University and the alumni association exemplifies Thrash’s dedication to the mission of the University of Pikeville.

The Volunteer of the Year award is presented in recognition of servant leadership, outstanding volunteerism and selfless commitment to the University of Pikeville.

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