Susan Guess, senior vice president of marketing at Paducah Bank, was recently elected chair of the Murray State University Board of Regents. She will begin her duties on July 1.
Guess is a 1987 graduate of Murray State where she earned a bachelor of science degree in public relations. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Louisville.
Guess, who was appointed to the board in 2010, has served as vice chair of the Board of Regents for the past two years.
“Being a vital part of the leadership team for this extraordinary institution is one of the great accomplishments of my career,” said Guess. “I credit Murray State for preparing me for my professional career in public affairs and for my passion for activism. My time as a student equipped me with a set of skills which has served me well in my chosen profession, and the impact of many amazing professors empowered me for a life devoted to important cultural causes.”
Guess added that she is committed to fully engaging the MSU Board of Regents in future considerations of the university’s growth and development. “I want this collaborative body to think creatively about visionary leadership as well as our effectiveness and productivity within our governing process. Enrollment is, and will remain, one of our top priorities. The board is committed to and focused on bold leadership in the coming year in order to affect lasting and meaningful results for our university.”
Guess has a long history of community involvement. She was the second woman to chair the Paducah Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and only the second person to chair twice. She also chaired the Lourdes Hospital Foundation Board of Directors for six years.
She was named Kentucky’s top volunteer two times. The first time was in 1998 after she chaired a campaign to build a $100,000 memorial garden at Heath High School following the school shooting. In 2015, she received the award for her anti-bullying efforts throughout the state. She won a national HUD community service award after starting Girl Scout troops in Paducah’s public housing.
She contributed to the Applied Public Relations college textbook, which was authored by MSU professor Marcie Hinton. She has won nearly 20 Telly Awards for Paducah Bank television commercials and has been recognized nationally for her effective use of social media at Paducah Bank.
She and her 15-year-old daughter Morgan are the co-founders of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation. After lobbying the governor to appoint a statewide task force on the issue, both Guesses were appointed to the Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force. They lobbied for a bill to define bullying in Kentucky. Governor Matt Bevin invited the Guesses to join him for a ceremonial signing of the bill. It impacts all 1,233 public schools and 640,000 Kentucky students. They were both awarded the Kentucky Justice Association Consumer Safety Award in 2016 for their legislative work on the issue.