Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, will be the speaker at the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards ceremony on Nov. 12 at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn.
Lawson will discuss CRD’s role in helping to transform southern and eastern Kentucky, including the installation of a broadband network throughout the region.
“The Center for Rural Development, under Mr. Lawson’s leadership — has played a primary leadership role in making in broadband possible for our region,” said Dr. W. Bruce Ayers, chamber official and board member at CRD.
“I don’t think anyone knows more about what the network will look like, where it will go, and what it can deliver, than Mr. Lawson, who has been at the forefront of this major undertaking for some time.”
Mr. Lawson’s remarks will highlight a program focused on recognizing outstanding individual and organizations for their contributions to Harlan County and to the region.
The awards and recipients are:
- Tony Turner Leadership Award: Jennifer Jones, longtime community activist from Bell County, who has filled a number of different service-related positions, including Chair of the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, membership on the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation’s Board of Directors, and serving as Bell County’s Judge-Executive;
- Business Award: SEKRI will be recognized for providing much-needed job opportunities for the region, with emphasis on the creativity that has allowed for the expansion of employment at it Cumberland Plant;
- Healthcare Award: Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital, together with the Daniel Boone and Tri-City clinics, for excellence in addressing the medical needs of the area;
- Roland Cornett Community Service Award: R. E. “Bob” Frazier Foundation for its financial support of organizations and activities throughout the region;
- Public Service Award: Lakis Mavinidis, Harlan County Solid Waste Department Director, for exemplary performance under several county administrations;
- Reecie Stagnolia Golden Apple Award: Nancy Wilder, retired English teacher and instructional leader at Cumberland High School;
- Civic Organization Award: Poor Fork Homemakers Club in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the community and longevity;
- Youth Organization Award: Club 180 for its continued excellence in designing and implementing programming for the youth of the area;
- Volunteer Award: Terri Roark for her initiating and carrying out beautification projects in Cumberland, Benham and Lynch.
Executive Director’s Award: To be announced.