Business, government and educational leaders gathered last week to celebrate the continued industrial growth in Corbin and surrounding areas at the 40th Annual Industrial Appreciation Banquet.
Held Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Corbin Civic Center, the banquet was one of the most well attended ever. Thirty-four businesses had information booths at the event, the most ever.
Awards were given to local businesses and business leaders for their success in the past year. The night’s two top honors were given to Corbin attorney and businessman Terry Forcht. He received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Forcht is only the third recipient of the Lifetime Achievement, and the first non-sports related person to get the honor. Former EKU head football coach Roy Kidd and former Corbin High School and Furman University basketball great Frank Selvy received the first two lifetime awards.
“Corbin has been good to us and it has been a good place to allow us to start several businesses,” Forcht said to the capacity crowd. “We not only feel like we do business in Corbin, but we want to export Corbin out to other areas.”
Forcht is President and CEO of First Corbin Financial Corporation. The group owns nine banks in 11 counties, eight nursing homes, 13 financial offices, 18 radio stations and three newspapers, among other endeavors. Forcht has businesses in all three of Kentucky’s major urban centers (Lexington, Louisville and Northern Kentucky) and employs about 1,700 – 1,000 in the Corbin area alone.
“He’s climbed some tall mountains in the business world when you look at the accomplishments of his companies,” said Bob Terrell, Corbin Director of Economic Development. “He’s shown the definite ability to keep his companies performing at a high level of standards. In a roomful of good business people, educators and government leaders, we all applaud the dedication, success and vision of Terry Forcht.”
Forcht was preceded by guest speaker Dr. Jack Early a former educator, including a tenure at Union College, executive and now motivational speaker.
Early excited the crowd with a high energy speech designed to encourage a positive outlook everyday. He also applauded the spirit of cooperation in trying to make the local business environment the best it can be.
“I applaud you for continuing to work and provide employment for people in the area,” Early said. “When you have a job to do, there’s dignity. I believe that’s the secret to many of the problems we face across America. We need to help people find a job and find dignity and worth for their own lives.”
Many businesses and individuals were awarded for their contributions to the community.
Awarded for new building beautification were: Barnhill Pediatric Dentistry, Gover Floral, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Institutional Pharmacy, the Corbin Technology Center, Eastern Kentucky University, the Heart Doctors, Pilot Station, Valley RV Sales and Wendy’s.
Awarded for revitalization beautification were: Angels and Wings, El Dorado Mexican Restaurant, The Dixie Cafe`, Wade Karr, Corbin Pre-School Center, O’Malley’s, The Vintage House, The Depot on Main and Spoone’s Cafe`.
The city of Corbin was awarded for its work on the Lynn Camp Creekwalk project in the category of environmental beautification.
Master of Ceremonies Don Estep, publisher of the Corbin News Journal, was given the Lorene Hodge Community Service Award.
Volunteer of the Year award for the Lake Laurel Horse Show went to Ken Jackson, Brian Blackwood for the NIBROC High School Rodeo Challenge and city employees Erin Blount, Dortha Weber and Roberta Webb for NIBROC.
Receiving awards for economic growth and development were: CTA Acoustics, Datatrac/SEIT, Kentucky Cabinet Corporation, Nucsafe, Oak Tree Hospital, Reusable Plastic Containers, Stidham Cabinet, TCO Automotive Castings, Kentucky Flatbeds, Consulate Center, Wynn’s Fire Equipment and Southeast Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries.
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