The South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council has agreed to amend its bylaws to include two additional school administrators as ex-officio members of the EDC board.

EDC Board Chairman Lee Conrad explained during the group’s meeting on Monday that he and EDC Executive Director Carter Hendricks thought it would be good to include superintendents of the Todd and Trigg County public school systems given that Chris Bentzel, superintendent of Christian County Public Schools, is on the board.

Including the two superintendents required no action from the group, according to Conrad, who noted that the amendment to the bylaws will be presented at the council’s next board meeting in September.

“We thought it would be appropriate to at least consider it,” he said, explaining importance of the school systems to economic development.

Currently, Mark Thomas is superintendent of Todd County Schools, and Bill Thorpe is superintendent of Trigg County Public Schools.

Conrad also welcomed three new members to the EDC board, Kevin Atwood of the Trigg County Industrial Foundation, Mayor Theresa Jarvis of Oak Grove and Greg Moore, chairman of the board for the Hopkinsville-Christian County Chamber of Commerce.

Hendricks announced that Kristie Darnall has been promoted to vice president of marketing and events at the chamber, while Amy Rogers is the chamber’s new director of membership and fundraising.

During Monday’s EDC meeting, it was also noted that Derby Fabricating Solutions in Cadiz received General Motors’ Superior Quality Excellence Award in 2019, recognizing its superior performance to the company last year.

Additionally, Riken Elastomers in Hopkinsville was recognized with the Governor’s Safety and Health Award for achieving 818,031 hours worked without experiencing a lost time injury or illness.

TRAD recently donated 100 face shields to Jennie Stuart Health and Pennyroyal Hospice.

In other business

  • The council approved financial statements for June and July, with the district’s total assets for June at $411,285.06 and at $492,014.60 in July.
  • The council also accepted a recommendation for the following to serve as 2021 officers for the EDC: Lee Conrad, chairman; Alan Gates, vice chairman; Billy Bingham, secretary; Elizabeth McCoy, secretary; and Eston Glover, who is the past chairman for the group.
  • Conrad noted that Glover had been re-appointed to the EDC board by the City of Guthrie and has been a very valuable resource to the group.
  • Officials said June unemployment rates in the region were 12.2% for Christian County, 7.4% in Todd County and 4.5% in Trigg County.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or

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