U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) was the keynote speaker for Leadership Tri-County's annual banquet on Monday, February 11, 2013 to honor the recipient of the "Dr. William Hacker Leader of the Year Award." This year, the organization selected Rogers' Chief Adviser and former District Administrator, Bob Mitchell, for his tireless leadership efforts and outstanding accomplishments in Laurel, Knox and Whitley Counties. More than 200 people attended the banquet at the Corbin Area Technology Center in Corbin, Kentucky.
"Bob Mitchell has dedicated more than 30 years and countless resources to improve his home region. Bob has been a steadfast advocate for the people of the Tri-County area, and all of the Fifth Congressional District, plowing new ground for jobs, flood protection, educational opportunities, tourism, and the war on drugs," said Rogers. "Bob's sheer tenacity and courage of conviction have certainly helped transform our region over the last three decades."
While serving as Rogers’ District Director, Mitchell oversaw dozens of regional projects that resulted in thousands of Kentucky families receiving access to clean water and improved flood protection, better road infrastructure, modern healthcare facilities, and opportunities for stable, good-paying jobs. Mitchell's guidance was instrumental in launching non-profit organizations like; the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation for job creation, Forward in the Fifth for education, The Center for Rural Development, TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky to promote tourism, PRIDE for environmental education and clean-ups, as well as Operation UNITE in fighting drug abuse.
"I can't call it work, because I enjoy it too much," said Mitchell during his acceptance speech. "It has been a pleasure to plan projects with Congressman Rogers to bring more opportunities to this region over the years."
Rogers and Mitchell applauded the regionalized work of Leadership Tri-County and the organization's efforts to provide unique leadership opportunities across county lines. Each year, Leadership Tri-County also offers a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior from each of the three counties it serves.