Announcing New Board Leadership

Hindman Settlement School recently welcomed six new members to its board of directors and advisory board.

Five members were appointed to board seats:


Jared Arnett, a native of eastern Kentucky, has a heart for the people of the region and for the businesses of eastern Kentucky. In November of 2014, he began his role as the Founding Executive Director for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR), a special initiative launched by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) and Congressman Hal Rogers (R) in 2013. SOAR’s mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.

Olson Huff, MD FAAP, a Hazard, Kentucky native, has practiced pediatrics in North Carolina all of his professional career. In 1987, Dr. Huff established the child development program at Thoms Hospital in Asheville. This program was subsequently named in his honor by the hospital’s board of directors. In 1994 he became the Medical Director of the Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center at Mission Hospital. Under his leadership, Mission Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in Western North Carolina, was formed. The Olson Huff Center for Child Development became a part of the Children’s Hospital in 1996. Now retired from medical practice, he is a consultant to the Mission Hospital Health Care Foundation. He has authored three books and numerous articles on children’s health, development, and behavior.

Ouita Michel, a resident of Midway, Kentucky, is a nationally recognized chef and owner of numerous restaurants throughout central Kentucky. She has been a James Beard Foundation Award nominee as Outstanding Restaurateur and as Best Chef Southeast numerous times, competing against chefs in major metropolitan areas. Ouita is board member of FoodChain, a non-profit food incubator in Lexington, Ky., and Woodford Forward, a land-use advocacy group; and is a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a statewide citizens group working to improve education for Kentuckians. Recent honors include the Fayette Alliance Agricultural Excellence Award and the Bluegrass Tomorrow Josephine Abercrombie Award, the group’s most prestigious honor, given to a person who contributes tirelessly to improve quality of life in the Bluegrass.

Aimee Russillo began her career more than twenty-five years ago as a management consultant and has applied her business skills in the not for profit setting to make her difference in the world – helping organizations be more effective and efficient in delivering on their mission. Aimee has lived and worked in Latin America, Africa, and Europe, but she found her home in Berea, Kentucky after meeting her husband, a Kentucky native, working in Ecuador. She continues her consulting work as an international sustainable development expert working with governments, companies, and civil society organizations in the area of sustainable agriculture. Recent clients include the Fairtrade America, Ford Foundation, USAID, United Nations, and WWF. She has a BS in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth and a joint MBA-JD from the University of South Carolina and is managing partner for LiSeed Consulting.

Kayla Steltenkamp, Ph.D. has worked in education over the past 12 years. She has served in elementary and middle schools with both general and special education students. She holds a Ph.D. in Education and Social Change from Bellarmine University with a research interest in dyslexia. Kayla is passionate about advocating for students. She believes each teacher should find the strength of every child in the classroom and build on them as well as finding unique ways to teach and intervene with the areas they struggle. Kayla is an officer with the Kentucky Branch International Dyslexia Association.


New advisory board member appointments include:

Jane Venable Brown of Winchester, Kentucky is a cattle farm owner, NSDAR member, and strong supporter of numerous educational and not-for-profit institutions throughout the region.