In 1977, Nelda Lambert Barton-Collings, at 48 years old became a widow. Mother of five, she was determined to support her family and continue the business started by her husband, she acquired a business partner; returned to school; and became a licensed nursing home administrator. The business grew to encompass numerous nursing homes in eastern Kentucky. Other ventures included: banks, rental properties, newspapers, a cinema and pharmacy. Barton-Collings, a diversified business owner, utilized her knowledge and skills by serving her community, state, and nation. A five-time Kentucky delegate/28 year Committee woman to the Republican National Committee, she was the first woman from Kentucky to address the RNC and call the meeting to order. She was the first woman elected Chair of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Institute of International Affairs. President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the Federal Council on Aging and President George H. W. Bush appointed her to the President’s Council on Rural America. A resident of Corbin, Barton-Collings serves on numerous boards, including the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership, UK Center on Aging, and University of the Cumberlands Board of Visitors. Barton-Collings has received multiple awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of the Cumberlands, John Sherman Cooper Distinguished Service Award from Kentucky Business and Professional Women, and the Dwight David Eisenhower Award. As the President and Chairman of the Board of Bretara, LLC and Tri-County Cineplex, LLC, Barton-Collings exemplifies the qualities of a leader and continues to generously support various educational institutions, civic endeavors, and charitable organizations.