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Lee Murphy Named Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist

RICHMOND, KY, May 16 , 2000  -- Chapel Communications Services, Inc., a rapidly growing Internet Services Provider and CLEC providing broadband communications and data services, today announced that J. Lee Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Communications Services, was selected as a regional finalist in the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year program. Now in its 14th year, The Entrepreneur of the Year(R) program, sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP, recognizes innovative, talented and determined founders of entrepreneurial companies whose contribution and leadership is vital to the success of the region's economic future.

Lee Murphy commented, "Iím very happy to have been nominated, much less chosen as a finalist.  I think it is a great honor to be selected for such a prestigious award. Our focus has been on quality service while implementing cutting edge technology into markets that are normally overlooked by the larger voice and data carriers.  The Internet has a lot to offer the small to mid-size business.  They just need to know where to start and who is there to assist them.  Thatís where Chapel comes into play.  Chapel is determined to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit while at the same time settling into a position as the one of the Southeastís most progressive integrated communications companies.  We are looking forward to long-term growth throughout the South while keeping a close guard on the needs of our employees and customers."

Chapel Communications Services was founded by Lee Murphy in 1995 and was the first Internet provider to introduce 56K access into the central Kentucky market.  Chapel has recently begun the deployment of high-speed wireless Internet access to parts of central Kentucky as well as a DSL network build-out expected to be finished in mid August of this year.  During 1999, Chapel successfully executed the first stage of its business strategy, the expansion of its local dial access services to a national client base.  Chapel now maintains network access to over 2000 cities throughout the United States.  Chapel currently services commercial web hosting clients in over 14 countries and 47 US states.  Under the second phase of Chapelís Millennium Strategy, it is seeking out ISP acquisition candidates in an effort to speed its product offering.  By the end of the year, through an agreement with local telephone carriers, Chapel expects to have, in place and operational, telco equipment that will strategically connect to incumbent central offices (CO's) in under-served parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Program

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP and nationally co-sponsored by USA Today, CNNfn and CNN, the Nasdaq-Amex Market Group, and the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the awards are sponsored locally by Citibank Private Bank, Merrill Lynch and William Gallagher Associates.

Awards in 46 major markets will be given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Regional award recipients are then eligible to compete for one of several national award categories, including the 2000 National Entrepreneur of the Year.

National Entrepreneur of the Year award recipients are selected by an independent national judging panel in several general and industrial categories, as well as the overall National Entrepreneur of the Year. All regional Entrepreneur of the Year winners are eligible for the national honor. National finalists and award recipients in all categories will be announced at the Entrepreneur of the Year International Conference in mid-November. All of the National Entrepreneur of the Year award recipients will be featured in a special section of USA TODAY, in the annual issue of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year magazine, as well as on CNN and CNNfn. Past National Entrepreneur of the Year honorees have included Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Computer (1989), Robert Levine and Craig Benson, founders of Cabletron Systems, Inc. (1990), Cecil Ursprung, President of Reflexite Corporation (1991), Jerry Ehrlich, founder and CEO of Wabash National (1992), Robert E.M. Nourse, President and CEO of The Bombay Co (1993), Robert Basham, Tim Gannon and Chris Sullivan of Outback Steak House (1994), Allen Breed of Breed Technologies, Inc. (1995), Henry Yuen of Gemstar International (1996), Jack and Andy Taylor of Enterprise-Rent-A-Car (1997), Edward Iacobucci of Citrix Systems, Inc. (1998), and Richard M. Schulze of Best Buy (1999).

For more information on Chapel Communications Services:

Please visit our offices at 527 Leighway Drive, Richmond, KY 40475 (859) 623-1500, or visit our website at:

Entrepreneur of the Year(R) is a registered service mark of Ernst & Young LLP. Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Services is dedicated to accelerating the success of the world's best entrepreneurs. Recipients of the Entrepreneur of the Year award become lifetime members of the Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame.

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