During their annual meeting, the Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) recognized outgoing Board Chair Ray Springsteen for receiving the inaugural Greater Fort Knox Region Defense Community Champion award from the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). This achievement makes Springsteen eligible for nomination for the national award, which will be presented to winners at the ADC National Summit in Washington D.C. in March.
“This is a well-deserved recognition for a staunch proponent of Fort Knox’s success and viability,” said KRDA CEO Jim Iacocca. “Without Ray’s strong leadership and passion for Fort Knox, KRDA would not be what it is today.”
Springsteen, who is the President and CEO of Abound Credit Union, has served as Board Chair for KRDA since 2018 and also co-chaired KRDA’s initial capital campaign. In presenting the award, Iacocca noted that Springsteen’s support to Fort Knox Soldiers and their families extends far beyond his service with KRDA. Under Springsteen’s leadership, Abound Credit Union committed more than $1 million to expand access to healthcare at a primary care clinic located just outside of Fort Knox. This includes expanding access to behavioral health, community resources, social workers, and financial counseling. The credit union also supports USA Cares, a national nonprofit that aids military families in financial crises and provides job placement services to transitioning service members and veterans. Additionally, the credit union has organized workshops for prospective veteran entrepreneurs and facilitated financial literacy initiatives for schools on and adjacent to Fort Knox.
“It is a distinct honor to receive the Greater Fort Knox Region Defense Community Champion award, just as it has been an honor to contribute to KRDA’s vital mission,” said Springsteen. “Fort Knox is the cornerstone of our regional economy. With $1.3 billion in annual payroll and a $4.8 billion annual economic impact, the success of Fort Knox is vital to our region’s future. That is why having an organization like KRDA dedicated to supporting Fort Knox is incredibly important.”
Marilyn Ford will succeed Springsteen as the new Board Chair for a two-year term. Ford previously served as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect for KRDA.
“Ray has set an exceptional precedent as Board Chair and through my new role, I am excited to help KRDA carry on the great work that has been done thus far,” Ford said.
KRDA’s annual meeting was attended by more than 70 investors from the private and public sectors. At the meeting, KRDA leadership provided updates on Fort Knox and shared information about KRDA’s plans for 2022 and their positive outlook for 2023. The organization anticipates several positive announcements, including new missions and community development projects in the coming year.
The completion of Fort Knox’s Digital Air Ground Integration Range (DAGIR) in late 2023 or early 2024, is also much-anticipated. The third such range in the world and the only one of its kind located east of the Mississippi River, DAGIR will connect air and ground combat assets to provide a more comprehensive training experience.
Fort Knox Deputy Garrison Commander Jim Bradford was the featured speaker during the meeting.
“The addition of the DAGIR to our world-class training areas and ranges, coupled with our energy resilience and capacity for additional missions, makes Fort Knox well-positioned for growth opportunities,” Bradford said.
During the meeting, incoming and outgoing board members; new officers; and new emeritus board members were also announced. New board members include Jennifer Swope and Hardin County Judge/Executive Keith Taul; outgoing board members include Harry Berry, Brandon Fogle, Brad Richardson, Carl Swope and Leslie Stith; new emeritus board members include Richardson and Swope; and Brian Kerr was selected as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect.
To learn more about KRDA and its leadership, click here.