KRDA honors ‘Pie Lady’ at annual meeting featuring Recruiting, Post Commanding General
During their annual meeting, the Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) honored Barbara Proffitt with the second annual Greater Fort Knox Region Defense Community Champion award from the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). This achievement also means Proffitt is nominated for the national award, which will be presented to winners at the ADC National Summit in Washington D.C. this April.
“Barbara’s recognition as the Greater Fort Knox Region Defense Community Champion speaks volumes about her commitment to Fort Knox and the surrounding community,” said KRDA CEO Jim Iacocca. “Her welcoming spirit and dedication to Fort Knox Soldiers and their families sets an inspiring standard for us all.”
Affectionately known as the”pie lady,” Proffitt is beloved for her pecan delicacies that she bakes for every incoming and outgoing Fort Knox leader, in addition to the countless pies she’s gifted to Soldiers returning from deployments.
Alongside her late husband Ronnie, an Air Force veteran, Proffitt also hosted community partnership dinners on their family farm, fostering positive relationships between Fort Knox and the Greater Fort Knox Region. During her career with Baptist Health Hardin, she played a pivotal role in spearheading an adopt-a-platoon program for deployed soldiers.
Installation leaders selected her among the inaugural group of Fort Knox Gold Neighbors, an exclusive group of community leaders who go above and beyond in their support to Soldiers and families, who are invited to all major Fort Knox events.
It is an honor she takes very seriously even after retiring from her role as the community/guest relations coordinator for Baptist Health Hardin (then known as Hardin Memorial Hospital) in 2018. To this day, she remains a cherished and familiar presence at Fort Knox events and ceremonies.
Proffitt has also been active in several community organizations, such as the Radcliff Woman’s Club, the Vine Grove Woman’s Club, United Way of Central Kentucky, the Fort Knox Spouses and Community Club, the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and the North Hardin High School boys’ basketball team.
“Receiving this award is truly humbling. I’ve always believed in the power of community and giving back,” said Proffitt. “It’s an honor to be recognized for doing what I love – supporting Fort Knox, our Soldiers and their families.”
Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, Commanding General of U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Fort Knox, served as the guest speaker for the annual meeting, updating members on the state of recruiting and his outlook for Fort Knox’s future.
“It’s a privilege to address our local leaders and continue to foster the relationship between Fort Knox and our surrounding communities,” Maj. Gen. Davis said. “Our installation’s neighbors have long supported our Servicemembers and their families, welcoming them with open arms. As Fort Knox continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the Army and the Nation, this relationship will be more important than ever.”
During the meeting, Iacocca celebrated Fort Knox’s growing strategic value with Recruiting being elevated to a 3-star command and highlighted the anticipated opening of the Digital Air Ground Integration Range (DAGIR) – the only one of its kind east of the Mississippi. He also highlighted KRDA’s work to promote and protect the installation. KRDA board members – including Baptist Health Hardin president Rob Ramey, who replaced Baptist Health Hardin vice president and chief development officer Tracee Troutt, and Steve Laick, who is filling an ex officio position on the board in his role with the Fort Knox AUSA chapter – were also welcomed during the meeting.
“We proactively highlight what sets Fort Knox apart, from its ranges and training areas to its energy resilience, to our welcoming supportive community,” said Iacocca. “We also make sure to advocate for support where it’s needed, be it infrastructure investments, healthcare capacity on post, or fostering greater understanding and support off post, KRDA is committed to doing all we can to keep Fort Knox strong.”
Iacocca showcased the community-driven promotion of the U.S. Army Cadet Command Junior ROTC Raider Challenge National Competition as a testament to their support. Previously held in Georgia, the November event brought hundreds of high school JROTC teams and thousands of cadets and their families to the Greater Fort Knox Region.
“KRDA’s commitment to Fort Knox’s economic vitality is unwavering,” said KRDA Board Chair Marilyn Ford. “The developments and initiatives discussed today demonstrate our dedication to supporting the region’s growth and viability.”
To learn more about KRDA and its leadership, visit growknox.org.