It was in the late 1960s that my wife and I decided that we wanted to have our first Will written. So, we started looking for a lawyer and stopped at the office of Terry Forcht on Kentucky St. in Corbin. That was the first time I had ever met him, but not the last.
About 20 years later I sat in his office discussing the possibility of becoming the publisher of the Whitley Republican. And 33 years later I still hold that position.
Thus, in reading the newly released book about him, written by Gary West and Eddie Woodruff, I have an up front and personal knowledge, an amazement of his journey.
You know Gary West. Gary is the author of the popular book, “The Boys from Corbin.” And Eddie Woodruff is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Forcht Group of Kentucky.
The book is titled, “Start Right. End Right.” Although I have been with Terry for 33 years and watched him climb the ladder of success, I learned much more about this man than I had ever known from reading this book..
Jim Host, former CEO of Host Communications said, “Terry Forcht is one of the great Kentuckians of all time.” I think most of us knew that and would agree with that statement. Senator Mitch McConnell called him, “a model Kentuckian and indeed, a model American.”
By reading this book you’ll find out that Terry sees his life as a journey, not a destination, and for the scores of people who have taken the trip with him, they have been rewarded.
For those of us who live in this area we have been rewarded in that he has chosen to live here and he has invested greatly in our area. By reading this book you will find out what led him and his family here to a small town after growing up in Louisville and why he chose to be an instructor at Cumberland College rather than stay in his hometown and work in a law firm.
“We arrived in Williamsburg in 1964 with very little money,” Terry said. “We had four children and a dog—all in a VW Beetle. We were packed in there pretty tight, so there was no need for seat belts.”
Terry grew up in a loving home of modest means. He developed his entrepreneurial skills at an early age. I was delighted to read that he had a paper route. He has always shown an appreciation for this newspaper and our association has been splendid. But this newspaper is only a grain of sand on the Forcht beach of 93 businesses.
By reading the book you will find out Terry’s business philosophy. His success has come by steadily building block on top of block.
I can’t cover all the things I want to share in this column like his college days, his meeting his wife Marion, their trips on a Greyhound bus, the many millionaires he has made, his devotion to the Republican Party, and the millions he has given to worthy causes.
Also, the many people he has been associated with like Joe Patrick, the Browns, Dr. and Nelda Barton and so many others in this area.
Terry said the key to success is summed up in three words, “work, work, work.”
Humorously, on his tombstone it was said these words could be written, “I wish I could have worked one more day.”
Many people grudgingly go to work each day. Not Terry. Nobody outworks him. As Roger Alsip said when he first joined the company, “I found out early that I wasn’t going to outwork Terry Forcht.”
The title of the book, Start Right. End Right. is one of what his friends, family and colleagues have affectionately called “Forchtisms.” There are several more in the book.
Sen. McConnell said, “Terry’s work ethic can serve as a model for motivating others in any undertaking.”
The book concludes, “Terry and Marion still live in the same house in Corbin, conducting business as usual.”
You’ll want to read about this man who is one of us and has pulled off an incredible entrepreneurial success.
You can purchase a copy at terryforcht.com, amazon.com and acclaimpress.com
This week Terry is celebrating his 82nd birthday. Happy Birthday boss!