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avatar for Guy Adams

Guy Adams

Christian Appalachian Project
President and CEO
Lexington, KY
Guy Adams, President and CEO of the Christian Appalachian Project, Inc., (CAP) has spent most of his career in mission-driven, non-profit organizations. A native of Louisville with roots in Appalachia, Adams felt the call to ministry while a student at Berea College.  As he thought and prayed, he realized God was calling him to the ministry of philanthropy.

Adams’s first fundraising position was with CAP in 1982, where he served as assistant director of development.  From there he moved to Texas as assistant director of resource development for the national office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He later served three church-related, independent colleges in Appalachia:  Mary Holmes College, a historically Black two-year college in West Point, Mississippi, as vice president for development; Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, as director of development; and Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, as vice president for development. In 2005 Adams achieved a long-held goal when he became a consultant for Gonser Gerber, a nationally known firm based in Naperville, Illinois, that specializes in providing comprehensive advancement counsel to nonprofit organizations.

Adams expected to spend the balance of his career helping non-profits strengthen their advancement programs, but in 2010, the unexpected happened.  CAP contacted him about returning, this time as president and CEO. Twenty-four years after the Berea College graduate left CAP, he returned home to Kentucky to lead the 18th largest human services charity in the nation and the largest focused solely on serving people in need in Appalachia.

With a work force of 160 employees, 45 long-term volunteers, more than 1,000 short-term volunteers, and 1,100 partner agencies, non-profits, and churches, CAP directly impacts the lives of more than 20,000 different individuals in Eastern Kentucky through its human services programs every year. CAP also ranks 212th among more than 1.1 million U.S. public charities in terms of philanthropic impact. Individuals in all 13 Appalachian states, stretching from southwest New York to northeast Mississippi, benefit from Operation Sharing, a corporate gift-in-kind program that redistributed $54 million in products to people in need in 2014 alone.

With more than 30 years of experience working and volunteering in philanthropy, Adams' personal mission is to encourage philanthropy and personal development.