Gerry Seavo James traces his path in founding #explorekentucky and The Explore Kentucky initiative, making a conscious choice to avoid “chasing clout” and focusing on causes, projects and initiatives that promote environmentalism, outdoor recreation and preservation of natural resources.

About the speaker

Gerry is the founder of The Explore Kentucky Initiative (EKI) which was was borne out of the Instagram @ExploreKentucky & #ExploreKentucky hashtag he created in 2013 from his college dorm. EKI’s mission is to uplift Kentucky’s people by embracing environmentalism and outdoor recreation through events, media, and action campaigns that strive to preserve the natural resources of the commonwealth’s 120 counties. Since 2011, Gerry has helped to further the field of adventure tourism and community & cultural exploration across Kentucky. His work has found him embedded in many rural Kentucky communities and counties for various initiatives that include outdoor recreational events, branding initiatives, conservation projects, advocacy, and more. He is also an avid paddler who is certified by the American Canoe Association in the Stand-Up Paddleboard and Canoe disciplines and received the ACA’s national leadership award in 2018. Gerry is also a storyteller who uses photography, cinematography, and journalism to tell stories about the landscapes and people he encounters in his travels across the Commonwealth and beyond. Additionally, he is a past steering committee of the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange and board member for the Kentucky Conservation Committee. In 2017, Gerry was awarded by Lexonomics as the most impactful artist in the Bluegrass.

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