Community Action Council hires new leader from within

Malcolm Ratchford, previously the manager for neighborhood and community services at the Community Action Council, will be the Lexington-baed organization's next executive director.

Ratchford was selected by the council's board, it was announced Tuesday.

The executive director will oversee 275 employees, supported by more than 600 volunteers, along with an annual budget of about $25 million.

Ratchford will be the council's fourth executive director since its founding in 1965. He replaces retired director Jack Burch.

Ratchford graduated from Talladega College in Alabama in 1992 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and pre-law. He later received a master of science degree in family studies focusing on early childhood education from the University of Kentucky. He has more than 16 years of community action agency experience and more than 12 years of senior management and middle management experience, the agency said.

"Our communities face numerous challenges, and I could not be more delighted to be the next executive director charged with the responsibility to create solutions to eliminate poverty," Ratchford said in a news release.

The community action council serves Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas counties, supporting low-income people through advocacy, service delivery and community involvement.