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Bennie Garland

Bennie Garland has stepped down from his position as Executive Director for the Russell County Industrial Development Authority Board.

Family health concerns were given as the primary reason for his departure announced at the July RCIDA board meeting. “I’m at a point in life where I need to start refocusing on family,” he said in addressing the Board.

Originally from McCreary County, Kentucky, Garland has served the public interest in industrial and community development for decades, and began working with the RCIDA in 2016.

Garland has helped guide the board through a number of foundational accomplishments over the last few years, including:

  • Filling the Russell Springs Business Park to capacity.
  • Obtaining “Food and Beverage Shovel-Ready Certification” for the Lake Cumberland Regional Industrial Complex Site One.
  • Obtained a $70,000 planning grant for a retail study in Russell County.
  • Organized and facilitated Russell County’s first Business Symposium.
  • Obtained a comprehensive workforce analysis report for Russell County.
  • Assisted the Russell County Board of Education in a $5,600,000 workforce grant to build the new $12,000,000 Lake Cumberland Regional College & Workforce Center.
  • Rebranded the county’s industrial locations.
  • Lobbied for and received $307,692 in TVA funds enabling the purchase of additional industrial property.
  • Expansion of the Lake Cumberland Regional Industrial Complex Site One and development of a new master plan for the park.
  • Applied for and awarded $1,478,973 in ARC funds and $376,000 in USDA funds to build the Lake Cumberland Regional AgriTech Training Facility.
  • Negotiated pending options with an agritech company to locate and purchase 35 acres in Site One.
  • Completed a $220,000 water mitigation project for Site One.

In announcing his departure, Garland told the board “It’s been a pleasure to work with every one of you. I wish you God’s speed.” Garland expressed his appreciation to DUO Broadband and staff, particularly Penny Stephens, Stephanie Foley, and Tom Preston for their assistance and hospitality during his term as Executive Director.

“On behalf of the board, we’ve been grateful, we’ve been lucky, and with those accomplishments, we do have a lot of things in place,” said Clint Voils, RCIDA Board Chairman after Garland’s announcement. “Bennie has guided us with diligence and a lot of hard work. We’re appreciative and certainly lucky to have had you the last few years.”

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