First-ever Appalachia Cyber Summit postponed

Organizers of the first-ever Appalachia Cyber Summit have announced postponement of the event in light of new and heightened recommendations from state and national health experts since Tuesday discouraging large gatherings in wake of COVID-19, or coronavirus.  The event was scheduled to take place on Monday, March 30, 2020 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Ky.


State health officials along with Governor Andy Beshear, who is a co-principal officer of SOAR, have strongly encouraged Kentuckians to avoid large gatherings in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus in the Commonwealth.


“The safety and well-being of our attendees is a top priority,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR).  “With attendees from multiple states, officials discouraging large gatherings, and employers implementing travel restrictions, we feel that postponing the event is the best option.”


The Appalachia Cyber Summit is presented by SOAR, the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Telephone and Technologies, and FOUR18 Intelligence and sponsored by Amazon Web Services.
While the event offered a virtual registration option, organizers believed shifting the one-day event to an all-virtual event would not have allowed those wishing to attend in-person the opportunity to adequately network.


“A big part of an event like this is the opportunity to network with one another—and experts—and exchange ideas,” said Michael Cornett, director of agency expansion and Teleworks USA at EKCEP. “Our agenda was intended to be very interactive and centered around the awareness of cybersecurity and the opportunities to address such threats, and we feel being able to attend on-site will be much more beneficial.”


Those already registered for the Appalachia Cyber Summit will remain registered for the event once a new date is determined and will be contacted as that date is announced.


“We will be monitoring the coronavirus situation and work with our partners to determine a new date,” added Arnett.


For more information, contact Joshua Ball, associate executive director of SOAR, at (606) 766-1160 or by email at joshua@soar-ky.org.