LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Their achievements speak for themselves — dedication to their communities, selfless service to achieve that goal, and a vision for a better southeastern Kentucky.
These are the goals depicting the three honorees of the Leadership Tri-County “Leader of the Year” awards, presented during a ceremony at the Corbin Technology Center on Monday night.
This year’s honorees were the founding fathers of the organization that celebrates its 25th year in 2014 — Hon. Tom Handy, Dr. William Hacker, and Dr. Jim Oaks.
Leadership Tri-County was born after the three men participated in Leadership Kentucky and formed the local group after traveling the state to identify many of the issues facing the residents of Kentucky.
London native Tom Handy was one of those three founding fathers. Handy said the formation of the local program was designed to include all three neighboring counties.
“Our neighborhood is the Tri-County areas and beyond,” Handy said.
“Great contributions have been made here,” he said of the LTC program. “We do not have to work alone.”
Handy outlined some of his achievements, crediting his family for their support in many ventures. He also spoke about the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board, which he helped establish.
“We have worked with the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board for the victims,” he said. “Victims deserve more attention than the violator.”
Handy said the key to success in the area is education and helping those in the community, which he said brings him the greatest peace and joy.
“Whether it is a homeless person or an outstanding person in the community, we need to help them,” he added. “The greatest joy I have is to give service to someone else.”
Dr. Jim Oaks, now a resident of Florida, spoke briefly of his time in Corbin, where he worked for the railroad.