Press release from Erica Lynne Cook, Marketing & Communications Director
The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning announced today that Shayla Lynch has been appointed new executive director. An experienced nonprofit professional and fundraiser, Lynch will succeed Neil Chethik and assume responsibilities on May 23, 2022. Chethik, who served as the executive director from 2012—2022, retired in March.
Lynch served as the executive director for Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center from 2019—2022. Prior to leading Ampersand, Lynch was the assistant director for the Lexington Fair Housing Council, Inc. from 2012—2019. Lynch's background as a non-profit executive director, combined with a deep passion for promoting community-based programs, will help to further advance the mission of the Carnegie Center that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
“Shayla impressed us with her strong Lexington nonprofit experience, and a clear understanding of what it takes for Carnegie to be the best it can be in the long term future,” said Paige Bensing, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Carnegie Center Board of Trustees. “Shayla will be a wonderful representative to the broader public as she gets immersed in the literary community. We look forward to bringing in her energy and passion to the Carnegie Center,” Paige explained.
While at Ampersand, Lynch led successful fundraising efforts, hired and managed staff, and built upon a strategic plan, all during a global pandemic. During this time, Lynch was recognized by the Community Action Council as an “Unapologetically Woman” and was featured in the Lextropolis’ 2021 Special Edition “HerStory”.
Lynch received a Bachelor of Arts from Centre College in 2001 and a Juris Doctorate from Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 2004. She is an active member of the Lexington community, serving on the LFUCG Ethics Commission and as a board member for both the Lexington Habitat for Humanity and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs. Lynch is a 2017 graduate of Emerge Kentucky.
Lynch says, "I am so excited to be joining the dynamic team at the Carnegie Center. I look forward to working with the staff and board to continue the legacy of providing community-centered services both locally and statewide. I want the world to feel welcomed, seen, and included every time they cross our threshold.”
About the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning: Since 1992, the non-profit Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning has been meeting the educational and artistic needs of Lexington, Kentucky. Located in a former Carnegie Library building, the center seeks “to empower people to explore and express their voices” through writing, reading, and the arts. The Center serves thousands of Kentuckians annually with classes for lifelong learners; unique tutoring and mentoring programs; accessible community space, and imaginative learning opportunities.