For the past 40 years, the most distinguished award presented at the Lincoln Trail Area Development District annual meeting each year is the Palmer "Pete" Peterson Memorial Award. This award is presented annually in memory of Pete Peterson, a former staff member of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, to an outstanding member of the Board of Directors.
It was an honor to present this award to Morris “Mo” Miller at the annual meeting held Wednesday in Elizabethtown.
Each year, past winners of this award are charged with selecting the next recipient. Selection of the award recipient is always a daunting task when the board is comprised of so many talented and deserving individuals. Using the award selection criteria as its guide, the committee was clearly drawn to this year’s recipient, said Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger, who presented the award.
This year’s recipient is an Eagle Scout. There is special significance attached to becoming an Eagle Scout. It is a performance-based achievement and each recipient must advance through six ranks before achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Since 1912, only five percent of all Boy Scouts earn this rank. The goals of Scouting – citizenship training, character development and personal fitness are all part of the foundation for the man he is today.
He is an entrepreneur, a visionary, a dreamer, a doer, a risk taker, a change agent, a trailblazer, a consensus builder, a big picture guy. And most definitely, he is a return on investment guy. He is a fierce, competitive businessman. He is a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is a loyal friend and colleague. He is driven by his desire for change and change for the better. As he likes to say, he can certainly stay busy with his day jobs as President of MLM, Inc. and Riverside Construction, and Secretary-Treasurer of Stone Works, Inc. But his lifelong commitment to community service is varied, vast and quite impressive. To list just a few:
As a private sector member of the Workforce Development Board since 2005 and chair for the past five and half years, his stewardship and commitment has reaped many rewards for the Lincoln Trail region. The Board was awarded a $3 million BRAC grant and $5 million dollar WIRED grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Under his leadership, the board became one of the first to be named a high-impact board by the Commonwealth and our region was the first to earn certification for all of its Kentucky Career Center locations.
In the words of LaRue County Judge-Executive Tommy Turner, “when the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act came into play, he devoted an incredible amount of time and effort to ensure the best possible services and programs would continue to develop a skilled, talent pipeline that empowers our friends and families to find good jobs, help employers find the talent they need and grow, and attract new business investment.”
Most recently under his leadership, the board developed a strategic plan to address our region’s workforce supply crisis – supply is not meeting the increased demand for a skilled workforce. He clearly recognized a need for the board to develop a path for a solution to this crisis for generations to come. In its first year of implementation, there are three subcommittees consisting of major employers, community leaders in education, economic development and nonprofits are working in three areas to increase the number of people in the region who are looking to join the workforce: unlocking the potential ¬– investing in the workforce of today and tomorrow; growing business investment in the current and future workforce; and removing obstacles.
His life journey is testament to the lessons he learned long ago as a Boy Scout. His commitment to citizenship, character and personal fitness continue to this day. He is helping make our region a better place, you will find no better a man of character, he is becoming a budding artisan in leather goods, and more importantly remains a devoted and loving husband to Kay, father to Jeffrey and Stephanie and a doting grandfather to five amazing granddaughters – Miller, Elizabeth, Olivia, Georgia and Claudia.
Miller clearly stands tall among and now with the 40 recipients before him. While he is no longer a member of the Board, our committee felt him more than deserving of recognition for his leadership and contributions as the chair of Workforce Development Board.