Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Recognizes Technology Innovators During Annual "Tech Day in Kentucky"

Press Release Date:  Thursday, March 01, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Tracie Rotermann
270-781-4320
 


Governor Recognizes Kentucky’s technology progress, announces 2007 recipients of the Governor's Technology Award

Connect KentuckyFRANKFORT, Ky. –  Surrounded by technology leaders from across the Commonwealth, Governor Ernie Fletcher today held press conferences in Georgetown, Brooks and Frankfort to celebrate “Tech Day in Kentucky,” a day to recognize Kentucky’s technology progress.

As part of “Tech Day in Kentucky,” Governor Fletcher presented the 2007 Governor's Technology Awards. The Governor traveled to the base operations at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown and Geek Squad City in Brooks to present each with an award. During an afternoon press conference at the Capitol, Governor Fletcher recognized a small business and two individual Kentuckians with awards.

“Today, we recognize forward thinkers in the Commonwealth who embrace, promote and advance technology in their businesses and their communities,” Governor Fletcher said. “It is an honor to recognize these Kentuckians for how they use technology. They are vivid examples of the successes brought about by the work of ConnectKentucky.”

The 2007 Governor’s Technology Award recipients are:

  • Corporate Citizen – TMMK, based in Georgetown
  • New Kentucky Business – Geek Squad City, based in Brooks
  • Small Business – Uncle Lee’s and Wings Supply, based in Greenville
  • Individual – Patricia Miron, Director of Joint Sales and Marketing, Intel Corporation
  • Student – Elizabeth Scoville, senior at the University of Kentucky

The 2007 Governor’s Technology Award for a corporate citizen was presented to TMMK in Georgetown, Toyota’s first wholly-owned and largest manufacturing plant in North America.  Toyota has given in excess of $28 million in charitable contributions and sponsorships since 1986.  This support has been directed toward organizations associated with education, civic groups, health and human services, culture and the arts, as well as the environment. 

Further benefiting the state is the fact that approximately 90 of their 350 U.S. suppliers are located in the Commonwealth.  Last fall, TMMK started production of the Camry hybrid, becoming Toyota’s first plant outside Japan to produce vehicles with hybrid technology.  Toyota has positioned the environment as one of its most important issues, and has been actively developing various new technologies from the perspective of achieving energy security and diversifying energy sources.  More information on TMMK, can be found at www.toyotageorgetown.com

Geek Squad City, based in Brooks, received the 2007 Governor’s Technology Award for New Kentucky Business. Geek Squad, the nation’s leading computer support provider and a Best Buy subsidiary, made Bullitt County its home in late 2006.  Known as Geek Squad City, the facility is the single largest Geek Squad computer repair site in the nation, employing more than 600 technically skilled employees.  The mission of the new facility is to drastically reduce the time customers wait to get their computers fixed.  The industry average is 27 days; Geek Squad’s goal is a three-day turnaround.  In addition to round-the-clock repair operations, Geek Squad City’s state-of-the-art, 165,000-square-foot facility also houses a new technology testing center.  For more information, visit www.geeksquad.com/geeksquadcity/.

The 2007 Governor’s Technology Award for Small Business was presented to Uncle Lee’s and Wing Supply, which is located in Greenville.  Uncle Lee’s, owned by Lee Fauntleroy, is the largest hunting and fishing store in the Commonwealth.  Uncle Lee’s adopted technology in order to provide customers with an extensive selection of merchandise.  The store’s Web site (www.unclelees.com) allows Uncle Lee’s to provide its customers with a seemingly unlimited amount of information about the merchandise available.  By tapping into the economy via the Internet, Uncle Lee’s provides services to customers around the world as far away as Saudi Arabia. 

Patricia Miron, Director of Joint Sales and Marketing programs with software developers at Intel Corporation received the 2007 Governor’s Technology Individual award.  Patricia has worked at Intel for more than 10 years and is responsible for creating awareness and demand with the top 15 software providers worldwide.  She is doing all of this from her home in Louisville, where she uses numerous technology resources to conduct business with clients all around the globe.  According to Miron, there are many advantages to working from home, both personally and professionally. Patricia is a Kentuckian who literally uses technology daily to telecommute around the globe.

Governor Fletcher also recognized Elizabeth Scoville, a senior Agriculture, Biotechnology and Chemistry major at the University of Kentucky, with the 2007 Governor's Technology Award for a student.  At age 13, Scoville realized many of her peers were missing out on the benefits of technology.  She began to collect, clean, repair and donate computers to people who needed them, all from her own home in London.  The program operates today with help from Student Technology Leaders across the state.  Approximately 300 student volunteers from 22 Kentucky schools have benefited from learning the skills of refurbishing computers.  For more information on the program, please contact Scoville at Computers_4_kids@hotmail.com.. 

During the day’s events, Governor Fletcher also released the 2007 ConnectKentucky Progress Report, which highlights the nationally recognized achievements of Kentucky's Prescription for Innovation. Governor Fletcher launched the Prescription for Innovation in late 2004 as a statewide initiative to accelerate technology literacy and use across all sectors of Kentucky’s economy and to make access to high-speed Internet, or broadband, available to all Kentuckians by the end of 2007.

Highlights of ConnectKentucky’s 2007 Progress Report:

  • Kentucky’s efforts to accelerate the availability and use of broadband have led the nation, with numerous public and private entities citing ConnectKentucky’s work as a model for the country. These independent third parties include: the White House, the General Accounting Office of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Governors Association, the Southern Growth Policies Board, Verizon, AT&T and numerous states across the country;
  • Since the launch of Prescription for Innovation, the availability of broadband across Kentucky has increased more than 50 percent. In 2003, about 60 percent of Kentucky households had the ability to subscribe to broadband. Over the last three years, coverage has grown to 91 percent, an addition of nearly 500,000 previously unserved rural homes.
  • Use of broadband has increased dramatically over the past two years, with gains of 46 percent for homes using high-speed Internet and 30 percent more business use.  
  • Through the No Child Left Offline program, ConnectKentucky and its partners have delivered nearly 2,000 computers and printers to the homes of middle school students who previously did not own a computer.
  • Every community in Kentucky has been engaged in the eCommunity Leadership process which provides a technology strategic growth plan for each sector of the local community in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

For more about the 2007 Governor's Technology Awards, the 2007 ConnectKentucky Progress Report, or technology policy in Kentucky, contact ConnectKentucky or visit www.connectkentucky.org


###


About ConnectKentucky: ConnectKentucky is leading the way into a new economy for Kentuckians. As a non-profit technology-based economic development organization, ConnectKentucky is working to ensure that Kentucky remains the place of choice to work, live, and raise a family. As a public-private partnership, ConnectKentucky partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities to accelerate technology in the Commonwealth.