KRDA updates investors, shares plans for future
Brig. Gen. Andy Munera painted a positive picture of Fort Knox’s growing importance within the Department of Defense and national security at the Knox Regional Development Alliance’s annual investor meeting today.
Munera, the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command, cited new programs and expanded missions at the installation, including the Army’s Battalion Commander Assessment Program, or BCAP. The program evaluates officers competing for battalion command across multiple areas including physical fitness, written and oral communications, and cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
Munera described battalion command as one of the most significant leadership roles in the Army where officers at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel lead upwards of 500 soldiers.
“The Army chose Fort Knox as the location for the program given its central location as well as the talent management and leader development expertise that resides on post,” said Munera. The program is in its third week and will run through Feb. 9, with more than 800 candidates being assessed.
According to Munera, among the Chief of Staff of the Army’s highest priorities is talent management, and Fort Knox’s missions are at the center of that work. He added that the installation’s world-class training areas and ranges as well as its energy security make it well-suited for a broad range of missions.
Munera said the community’s support of Fort Knox cannot be overstated. “This community, this region is remarkable in all that you do. That makes Fort Knox stronger, and it makes our Army stronger.”
Following Munera’s remarks and his departure, KRDA investors received an update on the organization’s work in 2019 and its plans for 2020. KRDA Chairman and Fort Knox Federal Credit Union CEO Ray Springsteen praised the progress KRDA has made in promoting Fort Knox and our region and positioning it for growth.
“Every day KRDA is singularly focused on proactively setting the conditions that help make Fort Knox and our region an ideal choice, whether it’s new missions or new defense-related business or new partnerships,” said Springsteen. “KRDA is making sure we are ready to compete.”
KRDA CEO Brig. Gen. Retired Jim Iacocca said the community is instrumental in KRDA’s success. “The support of this community to Fort Knox Soldiers and Families is second to none,” he said.
Iacocca pointed to ECTC’s coding academy as a great example of how the region rises to the challenge.
“Our contractor partners shared their challenges and needs with us, and our partners at ECTC found a way to respond so quickly that high school students graduating this spring will be able to attend the first coding academy and graduate on time,” said Iacocca. “That means we’ll have high school seniors who will be competitive for high-paying jobs right here in our community. That’s a win for the student, for our region, for Fort Knox and for our Army.”
Iacocca added that initiatives like the coding academy and other community efforts create a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting new missions. Iacocca and Springsteen also recognized outgoing KRDA board member Dennis Johnson, CEO of Hardin Memorial Health, for his instrumental work in establishing KRDA. Johnson and Springsteen co-chaired the initial $2.5 million capital campaign to fund the organization through 2020.
As the organization enters its fifth year, KRDA board member and business owner Luke Schmidt announced the public launch of KRDA’s second capital campaign to fund the alliance through 2025.
Schmidt, who is chairing the capital campaign committee, shared that 100 percent of board members have recommitted to financially supporting KRDA and encouraged all investors to do the same. He emphasized the importance of having an organization that is proactively working to protect and promote the region’s $2.6 billion economic engine.
“We have to remain proactive. We have to keep Fort Knox and our region top of mind with key decision makers because we know other military communities with similar organizations are doing the same thing,” Schmidt said. “That’s why it’s my honor to chair the next capital campaign to fund KRDA from 2021 – 2025.”
The goal of the campaign is to raise $2.25 million over five years. Schmidt said the committee is also seeking new investors to support KRDA.