SSU’s David Kilroy named as Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellow

Staff report

David Kilroy

David Kilroy

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has named David Kilroy, Program Director of the Shawnee State University Kricker Innovation Hub, to participate in the 2021-2022 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute.

As an Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellow, Kilroy will participate in an extensive, nine-month series of skill-building seminars featuring regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. The program begins virtually in October and culminates with the Class of 2021-2022’s graduation in July 2022.

“I am honored to congratulate the 2021-2022 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows. These phenomenal Appalachians are the driving force of change in their communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The work of this new class of fellows – and the ones who came before – gives me hope to the future of our region and is a testament to all that can be accomplished when Appalachians work together.”

Kilroy will work directly with public policy, community development, education, investment, and other professionals who live and/or work in the region to: 1) identify and implement best practices and strategies to inspire positive change in their communities, 2) build a robust network of leaders across the region, 3) integrate community assets into long-lasting economic development strategies, and 4) appreciate the diversity and commonalities of the 13 states in the Appalachian Region.

“I am excited to represent Shawnee State to this network and to the broader Appalachian region,” said Kilroy. “I think there’s a lot to be learned. Not just from the Appalachian Regional Commission, but from the rest of the class and from the organizations that is partnering to deliver this curriculum.”

Since starting at SSU in 2017, Kilroy has played a vital role in providing leadership and innovation opportunities for the area. His work has focused on development of new non-academic entrepreneurship programs, building relationships, and securing funds for regional entrepreneurship initiatives. Through the Kricker Innovation Hub, he organized the first Startup Weekend Portsmouth, brought exciting speakers to campus through the Entrepreneurship Journey Speaker Series, and announced SSU’s acceptance to the selective 2020 cohort for the Rural Innovation Initiative.

The ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. Their mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. More information on the ARC’s Appalachian Leadership Institute can be found at

The Kricker Innovation Hub is a regional leader in entrepreneurship and innovation whose mission is to help businesses and entrepreneurs grown and bring their ideas to tomorrow’s market. To learn more about their services, visit

David Kilroy Kilroy

Staff report