Hardin County United Launches Steering Committee

New Organization to Develop Platform Which Will Examine Recently Developed Community Strategic Goals

Elizabethtown, Kentucky – A new organization – Hardin County United – has been launched and has established a steering committee to see it through its initial development phase.

The development of Hardin County United (HCU) is the first action taken by community leaders since 24 strategic goals were announced earlier this month as the result of the Hardin County Vision Project. As of today, 28 community leaders have volunteered to serve on the steering committee (a complete list of steering committee members is below).

The intent of HCU is to develop a platform which will examine each of the 24 strategic goals and to develop recommendations as to how the community should proceed. It is expected that the steering committee will work to formally charter HCU into a formal, free-standing organization.  Hardin County Judge/Executive Harry L. Berry will serve as the Chairperson of HCU. Radcliff Mayor Sheila Enyart will serve as Vice Chairperson. In addition, Brad Richardson, Executive Director of One Knox, will serve as the Chairperson of the Community Development Subcommittee. Al Rider, President/CEO of the North Central Education Foundation, will serve as the Chairperson of the Education Subcommittee and Ken Howard, Hardin Circuit Court Judge, will serve as the Chairperson of the Governance Subcommittee.

“Hardin County United will serve as the springboard to fully examine each of the 24 community strategic goals and to implement those goals which will provide real dividends to the County,” said Hardin County Judge/Executive Harry L. Berry. “Each of these goals can make a real difference when it comes to such things as education, community unification, quality of place/quality of life issues, etc. Hardin County has always been one of Kentucky’s leading counties…HCU will help take us to the next level.”

Each of the 24 goals was established following a methodical visioning process conducted by L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC, a Louisville-based consulting firm, beginning in July 2009. Group interviews were conducted along with an examination of benchmark counties (select counties which align demographically with Hardin County in the Southeast). In addition, confidential key stakeholder surveys were submitted to 100 community leaders with over 70% responding. Two community leadership forums were held to review the survey findings and to develop the strategic goals.

“The formation of HCU is an important first step towards the examination and implementation of the strategic goals,” said Luke B. Schmidt, President of L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC. “All too often when visioning and strategic planning sessions such as this one are conducted, the goals are tucked away in a nice, neat report and placed on a shelf to gather dust. The community’s leaders have decided that in this case they would like to gain a complete understanding of the impact of each goal and work towards the implementation of those goals which make the most sense.”

In the end, the intent of the process is to make Hardin County even more competitive for future civilian and military investment Schmidt stated. The goals can assist in this process. The next step in the process will be to present the findings of the Vision Project to the first Community Forum, which will be held at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center at John Hardin High School (384 W.A. Jenkins Road, Elizabethtown) on Thursday, April 29th, [2010] beginning at 4:00 PM. The public is invited to attend.

Steering Committee Members, as of 4/26/10

  • The Honorable William Ash, West Point Mayor
  • The Honorable Harry Berry, Hardin County Judge/Executive
  • Michael Bell, Glendale Christian Church
  • Donna Broadway, Vine Grove Chamber of Commerce
  • Jo Emary, Radcliff Chamber of Commerce
  • The Honorable Sheila Enyart, Radcliff Mayor
  • Gary French, Elizabethtown Independent Schools
  • Rick Games, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation
  • Ron Harrell, Elizabethtown Community & Technical College
  • Rik Hawkins, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Chamber of Commerce
  • The Honorable Ken Howard, Hardin County Circuit Court Judge
  • James Jeffries, Hardin County Water District # 2
  • Greg Jenkins, Elizabethtown Industrial Foundation
  • Nannette Johnston, Hardin County Schools
  • The Honorable Garry King, Hardin County Commissioner
  • Mary Jo King, Elizabethtown Community & Technical College
  • Ben LaRue, LaRue Financial
  • Wendell Lawrence, Lincoln Trail Area Development District
  • Diane Logsdon, Hardin Memorial Hospital
  • Jim Long, Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau
  • Sherry Murphy, Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau
  • Brad Richardson, One Knox
  • Al Rider, North Central Education Foundation
  • Paul Rogers, Cardinal Health
  • Ben Sheroan, The News-Enterprise
  • Ron Stephens, Western Kentucky University
  • John Tindall, North Hardin Economic Development Authority
  • The Honorable David Willmoth, Elizabethtown Mayor

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