Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center
2005 Hellard Award Nominations Sought

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 14, 2005  
Contact Information:  Suzanne King (  

The Board of Directors of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center is again soliciting nominations for the Vic Hellard, Jr. Award. The award is given at the Center’s annual conference and this year will be presented on November 15th in Louisville, Kentucky. The deadline for nominations is September 9, 2005.

Given in recognition of service in the interest of Kentucky’s future, the annual award is being made in memory and in honor of Mr. Hellard’s long and distinguished career of public service. As Director of the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), Mr. Hellard was a tireless champion of legislative independence, considered by many to be the cornerstone of modern governance in Kentucky. He is also widely credited as the principal architect of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center. At the time of his death on September 17, 1996, Mr. Hellard, who had retired from his LRC post, was still serving as a member of the Center’s Board, contributing substantially to its guidance and to its efforts to shape a vision for the future of the state and a system for evaluating progress toward its realization.

Previous winners of the Award are Judge Anthony M. Wilhoit, retired Chief Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals and now Executive Director of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission; Joseph W. Kelly, who served as chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education from 1991 until April of 1998, a period of far-reaching change for education in Kentucky; Mary Helen Miller, a retired state government executive whose career began in the classroom and went on to include high-level posts in both the legislative and executive branches under two governors; veteran journalist Al Smith, a former newspaper publisher, editor, and reporter, and one of the state’s most engaging and enduring media personalities; renowned State Historian for Life, Dr. Thomas D. Clark, author of over 20 books, recipient of countless awards, and the founder of the Thomas D. Clark Foundation, a private, nonprofit foundation that provides financial support for the University Press of Kentucky; Virginia G. Fox, long-time Executive Director of Kentucky Educational Television and current Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary; Walter A. Baker, a Glasgow attorney with a reputation for public service that has extended to the international stage; and Robert M. (Mike) Duncan, an Inez banker with a national reputation for public service.

As prescribed by the Board, candidates for the Vic Hellard, Jr. award should be individuals, from the public or private sector, who have provided sound example and leadership that is likely to result in measurable or significant progress toward those goals envisioned by Kentuckians as set forth in Center publications focusing on Kentucky’s future, and who has shown a consistent commitment to one or more of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates vision, taking into consideration the long-term implications of activities and policies in order to promote the common good and the public welfare;

  • Demonstrates innovation, finding new ways to approach challenges that face government while at the same time fostering a reverence and appreciation for history;

  • Champions the equality and dignity of every person;

  • Enhances the processes of a democratic society by promoting public dialogue on issues, focusing on informing and educating citizens and decisionmakers and by fostering greater public involvement in civic activities, including promoting opportunities for youth and careers in public service; and

  • Approaches work with commitment, caring, generosity, and humor.

Written nominations must be submitted by September 9, 2005, to Hellard Award Selection Committee, Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center, 111 St. James Court, Frankfort, KY 40601, or may be submitted online.