On Jan. 1, the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), which is located in Goldbug, will get its second deputy director in the 16-year history of the facility.
Deputy Director Virginia Combs will retire on Dec. 31 after serving as the first and only deputy director in the facility’s history.
During the time she has been at the center, it has grown from a 45-person mail processing warehouse to a 450-person digital processing center.
“She has earned a break but KCC will miss her fierce dedication and huge heart for its people,” Kentucky Consular Center Director Chris Beard wrote in a release.
On Dec. 6, a reception was held in Combs honor, which was attended by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Consular Affairs Ed Ramotowski, Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison, the district office chief for Congressman Hal Rogers, and other local civic business leaders.
Kentucky Consular Center workers perform various tasks ranging from processing about 50,000 Diversity Visa applications that are randomly selected each year, to performing 40 million facial recognition tests on visa applicants annually.
Prior to working at the Kentucky Consular Center, Virginia played a large role in economic development projects in the Cumberland Valley and Lake Cumberland areas.
She served as Program Coordinator for the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation in its early years of business recruitment and strategic planning.
She was also an International Trade Development Specialist, promoting international commerce and job creation in four of our Area Development Districts.
As Executive Director of Corbin Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce, she paved the way for development of the 600-acre industrial site now known as the Southeast Kentucky Business Park, which boasts a regional partnership including Bell, Clay, Knox, Laurel, McCreary and Whitley counties.
During this time, she sparked the vision for a broader industrial portfolio in Southern and Eastern Kentucky, KCC officials said in a release.
“She sparked the vision for a broader industrial portfolio in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” Rogers noted in a release.