First Annual meeting of investors highlights KRDA’s efforts, Fort Knox’s positive position
The Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) honored retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron at the organization’s first annual meeting of investors today. KRDA board chairman Ray Springsteen called Barron a tremendous leader who was pivotal in the establishment of the organization that is charged with protecting and promoting Fort Knox.
“General Barron’s steadfast leadership in establishing KRDA and as the longtime executive director of the CORE Committee has been instrumental in protecting this region’s most significant economic engine – Fort Knox,” said Springsteen. “Today we take a moment to express our gratitude for General Barron’s contributions to this organization and most importantly to our community.”
In 2016, Barron oversaw the KRDA capital campaign. In 2017, he served as the newly established organization’s interim CEO, leading the search for a permanent senior executive. When the board selected retired Brig. Gen. Jim Iacocca for that position, Barron then served as KRDA’s vice president for army affairs throughout 2018.
Springsteen said in addition to helping the region’s economy continue to prosper, Barron has demonstrated an unmatched commitment to soldiers and their families, always lending his expert counsel to the various community endeavors in support of them.
“I call it an affair of the heart,” said Barron. “I love this community and our soldiers. It has been an honor to serve both.”
Barron said the community’s long-standing support to Fort Knox soldiers and families was why KRDA nominated the region to be designated a 2018 Great American Defense Community (GADC). When the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) selected the Greater Fort Knox Region as one of only five in the nation, Barron said, he couldn’t have been prouder.
“I was thrilled to shine a national spotlight on the region,” said Barron. “A welcoming and supportive community is critical to ensuring military installations retain and grow their missions. I knew this community was among the best in the nation and this recognition confirms that in a big way.”
Barron was part of a delegation of community leaders who attended ADC’s national summit in Washington, D.C. this past summer where the 2018 GADC communities were honored.
Iacocca expressed his appreciation for Barron’s years of service and shared that Barron will continue to serve the organization in a volunteer capacity on the KRDA board of directors.
“Our nation benefited from General Barron’s 38 years of military service, and this region has been the beneficiary of his extraordinary community service for the past 15 years,” said Iacocca. “I was privileged to have General Barron by my side during my first year on the job as we worked to protect and promote Fort Knox and grow defense-related business in our region.”
During the annual meeting, Iacocca also shared highlights of KRDA’s work in 2018 that put Fort Knox in a better position for growth.
He pointed out the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows Fort Knox to tout its successful energy resilience efforts and provides $26 million in funding for the digitization of Fort Knox’s Yano Range, the first phase of a $52 million project.
Iacocca worked closely with state and federal officials to add the language about Fort Knox’s energy program.
“Fort Knox’s world-class energy resilience efforts makes it more attractive for growth, most especially for data and cyber security missions,” said Iaccoca. “With the 2018 NDAA, Fort Knox has greater latitude to promote its energy program and KRDA will certainly do so as well.”
Iaccoca thanked the investors for their support to KRDA.
“Your commitment to this work speaks volumes,” said Iacocca. “It sends a strong message to the Department of Defense and our elected leaders that this community takes the future of Fort Knox seriously. I am excited about our continued progress in the coming year.”