Entrepreneurs from across southern and eastern Kentucky gathered Monday at Somerset’s Center for Rural Development for the 2008 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards, where Corbin businessman Terry Forcht took home top honors in the For-Profit Business category.
Forcht is an owner, President and CEO of Forcht Group of Kentucky, which is comprised of 94 separate companies employing more than 2,200 people, and Forcht Bank NA, which possesses assets of more than $1 billion, is one of the top 10 banking holding companies from Kentucky.
While accepting the award on stage, Forcht thanked those close to him for their support and hard work and gave some advice on what it takes to be successful.
“You have to have a good wife,” Forcht said. “You also have to have a good COO, which we have in Debbie Reynolds.
“We have a lot of good people and that’s what it takes to be successful,” he added.
After the ceremony, Forcht offered some advice on how to get started in business and how honored he was to be given the award.
“The entrepreneurial program is certainly important to us because that’s been the mainstay of what we have done over the past 35 years,” Forcht said. “Here in Kentucky we need to develop the local businesses help them grow. Our business has reached about 2,200 employees and 95 companies, so if you had to bring in a business like that, you would have to offer some incentives.
“I guess if you can home grow them, you get quite a bargain,” he added.
As for the advice, Forcht said to keep things simple.
“Education is important, but you need to work while you are going to school,” he added. “Try to hold down your debt while you are going to college and try to accumulate some stable investments as you go.
“You need to make a lot of down payments and just try to pay things off very quickly,” he added. “You also need to work some extra time to get your stake in, life established.”
Three nominees were on hand for each of the four business categories, including the above mentioned, For-Profit Small Business (25 employees or less), Start-Up Business and Non-Profit Entity.
A second Whitley County business was nominated as Brant Poore and Raymond Shears, President and Vice President, respectively, of Information Capture Solutions, LLC, in Williamsburg, were in the running in the Start-Up Business Category.
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