Don Bloomer receives the 2024 Master Musicians Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

‘It’s about community’: Former Citizens National Bank President Don Bloomer receives the 2024 Master Musicians Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

Story by Jed Keith

SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (July 9, 2024) — Headquartered in Pulaski County, Citizens National Bank (CNB) has been a cornerstone of the Lake Cumberland region for decades, providing the area’s residents with a host of banking services. However, team members at this institution are not just concerned with meeting customers’ financial needs. They care about contributing to the community’s heart.

head shot of older man wearing glasses and a suit
Don Bloomer

This spirit of service has long been at the forefront of Don Bloomer’s thoughts and at the center of his work. Bloomer, who recently retired as CNB’s president and CEO, has been selected to receive the 2024 Master Musicians Festival Lifetime Achievement Award for his servant leadership and contributions to this community event celebrating its 31st year.

“CNB has been in the county for over 100 years,” Bloomer said when discussing the bank’s role in the Somerset-Pulaski County area. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to help bring the type of entertainment that MMF has brought to Pulaski County over the years, to help its people enjoy the beautiful surroundings of our area.”

Bloomer retired from CNB at the end of February after serving as president and CEO for 16 years and working with the bank for nearly 50. It’s clear to those who worked with him how much MMF and Somerset-Pulaski County mean to him.

“Don’s love for our community was evident in his generous, yet humble spirit,” said Lindsey Roberts, assistant vice president and marketing director for CNB. “He’s always been proud of the fact that CNB is a true community bank, and [he] would say that the bank is successful because we give back to those who have given so much to us.”

Shawn Daugherty, who succeeded Bloomer as president and CEO in March, echoed those sentiments.

“If a bank is doing its job, it’s helping to build community,” Daugherty said. “We’re so proud to have been able to support the good people of our community. And Don set the tone for the bank to support the community at every turn.”

Bloomer long supported the bank’s efforts to contribute to MMF, including, in recent years, CNB’s sponsorship of the festival’s second stage.

“With our role in the community of Pulaski County and our love of its people, we want to make sure that CNB was a part of bringing that fun that MMF brings,” Bloomer said.

Bloomer’s forward-thinking view of MMF extended to how the festival impacted Pulaski County year-round.

“Don wanted to see the festival succeed and prosper, and one of the best ways to support it was to give financially on an annual basis,” Roberts said. “MMF brings tourist dollars into our community, and gives Pulaski County residents something to look forward to and be proud of each summer.”

Similarly, Daugherty added, “It’s events like the Master Musicians Festival that make us what we are here in Somerset. Like Don, we [at CNB] realize how important it is to have fun as a community.”

Tiffany Finley, executive director of the Master Musicians Festival, stressed how fundamental CNB has been to the festival’s success.

“The Master Musicians Festival strives to provide arts and culture to our community right here at a price point residents can afford,” Finley said. “We cannot accomplish this without the unwavering support of our community. You would be hard-pressed to find another community that supports an event the way ours supports MMF.”

To that end, Finley added, “I can’t think of another business that has contributed more to MMF’s success and longevity than Citizens National Bank.”

Of course, Bloomer isn’t just a supporter and booster of MMF; he attends the annual community celebration and experiences firsthand the fruits of CNB’s commitment to the festival.

“I’ve been to the festival almost every year,” Bloomer said. “My favorite part is being able to be with friends, some of whom I only get to see and see there once a year. That’s always a thrill.”

Talking to Bloomer, his modesty is front and center. In fact, when asked about his reaction to being named this year’s recipient of MMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, his reply was one of humility.

“I was surprised, of course,” Bloomer said. “But very appreciative.”

Roberts can attest to that humility.

“[Don] was incredibly philanthropic during his time at CNB,” she said, “both professionally and personally, and did not like recognition for his gifts.”

And it wasn’t just representing the bank that was on Bloomer’s mind when considering MMF.

“I’m originally from Pulaski County. I grew up here,” Bloomer said. “It was a service to be able to make sure CNB was part of MMF to bring people together.”

His passion for MMF and recognition of its value to the community led the festival’s board of directors to select Bloomer for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“The Citizens team has always understood that MMF is more than a festival,” Finley said. “It provides quality of life for our region.”

Finley shared what Bloomer means to her personally and what his commitment to the festival meant during one of its most trying times in recent years.

“Don Bloomer has been a role model to me since I was 16 years old,” Finley said. “He has always been there to offer advice, encouragement, champion new ideas, and lend support. After the storm that abruptly ended our festival in 2019, Don and Citizens National Bank provided a safety net so we could form a plan to rebuild.”

This care for MMF and Somerset-Pulaski County made selecting Bloomer to receive the award an obvious choice.

“MMF is stronger today because of that support,” Finley said. “Don has been one of our biggest champions. We appreciate his commitment and are honored to present him with the 2024 MMF Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Don Bloomer will be honored with the MMF Lifetime Achievement Award at 5:20 p.m. Saturday, July 20, on the Horse Soldier Bourbon main stage.

Held annually in July, the Master Musicians Festival has been named Southeast Tourism Society’s Festival of the Year and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Outstanding Community Arts Organization. In addition to two days of eclectic, diverse music, MMF offers a wide variety of art and food vendors and recognizes a Kentucky artist whose festival-themed work is auctioned and featured on merchandise. The 31st annual festival, presented by Lake Cumberland Tourism, is July 19-20, 2024, at Somerset Community College’s Festival Field. Learn more at