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David Lester

David Lester brings strong business acumen and exceptional leadership skills to the table as the lead independent director for Ballad Health.

A key member of the Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee business community for 40 years, Lester began his career with Dent K. Burk Associates, a certified public accounting firm in Bristol, Virginia. He worked there for five years before serving as a controller for United Supply Co., Cody Equipment and Flat Gap Mining.

In 1981, Lester began serving with the Nicewonder Group in Bristol, Virginia, as chief financial officer. For about 35 years, he played a key role in advancing Nicewonder’s strategic growth initiatives by serving as a shareholder and an officer in a variety of the company’s entities. Today, he is semi-retired but continues to serve the company as a managing member of Old Dominion Clay.

Lester previously served as a member of the Wellmont Health System board of directors for seven years and was chairman of its strategic options committee.

He was also a board of trustees member at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, for eight years and was chairman of the investment committee and a member of the executive committee for one year. In 20015, the college awarded him a service citation in recognition of his successful business entrepreneurship and civic leadership in the region.

He is a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting. He is married to Peg Lester and resides in Bristol, Virginia.