Trailblazer: Guy Adams

Words by Rachel Ishee

Photos by Jamison Harper

“Nothing is more satisfying than when a CAP friend decides to give generously to help support CAP’s programs, and in so doing helps transform the lives of people in need in Appalachia,” Guy said.

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Guy Adams is president and CEO of Christian Appalachian Project (CAP), a nonprofit interdenominational organization committed to helping those in need in the Appalachian area through self-help human service programs. CAP works primarily with children, the elderly, and disabled individuals to provide them with basic human needs like food, clothing, and shelter.

Philanthropy has truly been his life’s work. He began his nonprofit career with CAP in 1982. After almost four years, life led him in a different direction—working for several other organizations, such as Mary Holmes College, Lindsey Wilson College, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

But Guy was about to return to his first love.

In February of 2010, Guy received a call from a human resource firm representative saying that CAP was looking for a new president and CEO. Because of his years of experience in all phases of philanthropy, Guy was the perfect fit for the job.

“After telling them three times I had no interest in the position, the Lord moved in a mysterious way and I returned to CAP 25 years after leaving,” Guy said.

The CAP cause is so special to him because the Appalachian region has the highest percentage of people living in poverty in the country. The organization strives to ensure that nearly all money donated goes directly to help people, with only a small portion going to the cost of fundraising and other necessities. As part of CAP’s board of directors, Guy gets to travel across the country to visit some of the organization’s most ardent and generous friends.

To Guy, CAP is more than just a job; it’s his life’s calling, as he gets to continue his charitable work while being surrounded by his dedicated co-workers.

“Our staff live Christian principles, have a servant’s heart, and are compassionate,” Guy said. “For me, each day leading CAP is a blessing.”