The exchange, organized by the nonprofit LeadersLink, is designed to give Mayfield Mayor Kathy O’Nan and Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton ideas for how to rebuild their communities as well as inspiration that successful recovery is possible.
Louisville Mayor Will Hill first spoke with the mayors in January 2022 when he agreed to participate as a volunteer “disaster mentor” on a LeadersLink virtual call one month after the EF4 tornado ripped across western Kentucky, killing 57. Afterwards, the group agreed to a future visit by the participants to Louisville, which has bounced back well from its deadly EF4 tornado, would be helpful to their recovery.
Mayor Hill says he is honored to host the Kentucky leaders. “Although no two cities are the same, we experience similar issues in response, rebuilding and long-term recovery efforts. It is my sincere hope to be an encouragement to my newfound friends.”
The mayors, accompanied by their chiefs of police, will arrive in Louisville Feb. 26 and spend Feb. 27 touring the community and meeting with city officials, leaders of the recovery, local business people and citizens.
“Our goal is to hear from those who have lived through disasters and learn from their experiences,” said Mayor Cotton who is aiding the nearby community of Dawson Springs, Kentucky in its recovery.
The Maryland-based nonprofit LeadersLink harnesses and shares elected officials’ disaster lessons learned and uses them to help other communities better prepare for and recover from crises. The free peer-to-peer mentoring includes visits financed by LeadersLink for leaders to see firsthand what a successful disaster recovery looks like.
Kathleen Koch, LeadersLink