Howard W. Blackburn, Jr., MA, SPHR, is senior vice president, director of human resources for Community Trust Bank, Inc. A North Carolina native, Blackburn received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications Art, with a major in media advertising, from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and a Master of Arts Degree in Adult and Higher Education from Morehead State University. In his current position, Howard is responsible for the corporate-wide administration of employee benefits, payroll, training, and workforce development. With Community Trust Bank, Inc., since 1993, Blackburn has been in banking since 1977, holding various management positions in marketing and training with banking companies in North Carolina and Tennessee. He serves on the Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management (KYSHRM) State Council, and was the 2011 Lyle Hannah Spirit Award recipient. He serves as a director for the Eastern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, and is a member of the Morehead State University Prestonsburg Campus and National College Advisory Boards, the Big Sandy Region P-16 Council, and, until its dissolution, he was a steering committee member of the Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin) powered by the University of Kentucky.