New non-profit private-public alliance to lead $2.5 million effort
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Private and public sector leaders from throughout Hardin, Meade, LaRue, Bullitt and Jefferson Counties publically launched a $2.5 million capital campaign to grow Fort Knox and the region’s economy at a special event today in Elizabethtown. Leaders also announced private and public organizations already have committed more than $1.5 million.
The newly established Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) is undertaking the capital campaign to fund an economic development initiative centered on three priorities:
Priority 1: Advocating for new missions and retaining existing missions at Fort Knox
Priority 2: Attracting and retaining defense-related business
Priority 3: Developing more public-public and public-private partnerships
Money raised will be used to fund KRDA’s advocacy, marketing and targeted business attraction activities. The establishment of KRDA is the result of a merger of the CORE Committee, Inc and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce’s One Knox Council.
The CORE Committee’s executive director retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron shared why an effort of this scale and a new organization is needed.
“While we’ve long advocated for missions at Fort Knox, it was never on the scale that other successful military communities had,” said Barron. “It’s time we go from a ‘C’ game to an ‘A’ game to set the conditions for growth at Fort Knox and new business growth in the surrounding communities.”
Barron noted KRDA would undertake a focused defense related business attraction effort. “All of that means more jobs and more opportunities for the people of this region,” said Barron.
At the launch event, Barron then introduced the capital campaign co-chairs: Dennis Johnson, President and CEO of Hardin Memorial Health and Ray Springsteen, President and CEO of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union.
Both organizations have pledge $250,000 over five years. Their investment along with 42 other public and private sector investors (full list attached) including the Swope Family of Dealerships, Farmers Capital Bank Corporation, Your Community Bank and The Cecilian Bank have already helped raise more than $1.5 million. Atlanta-based firm, POWER 10 Capital Campaign Operations, is overseeing the fundraising effort.
Springsteen thanked all of the investors and specifically touted the public sector investments from the City of Radcliff and Meade County. Of the numerous municipalities in the region, Radcliff had pledged the most at $125,000 over five years. Of the county governments, Meade County had made the largest investment of $75,000 over five years.
“Protecting and growing Fort Knox and related private sector business growth is everyone’s business,” said Springsteen. “Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is proud to join forces with all of these investors and contribute to this critically important economic development initiative,” Springsteen said.
Campaign Co-Chair Dennis Johnson emphasized the power of collaboration. “Together, public and private leaders can make a big difference for Ft. Knox. We can protect and grow this regional treasure and economic powerhouse,” said Johnson.
Johnson encouraged other private and public sector leaders to contribute to the campaign at the newly launched growknox.org.