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Alltech to Honor Gen. Colin Powell


General Colin Powell will receive the Alltech Medal of Excellence during the AlltechREBELation, a conference exploring innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas in Lexington, Ky., May 17-20.

The Medal of Excellence is Alltech’s highest distinction, awarded annually to someone of great achievement and character. Previous honorees include scientists such as Dr. Eugenia Wang for her pioneering work in microRNA and agricultural leaders such as Norman Borlaug, the “father of the Green Revolution.”

A four-star general who served four U.S. presidents in various roles, including national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ 65th secretary of state, Colin Powell is a strategist, diplomat and leader. On Monday, May 18, Powell will be sharing his insights on leadership with the international attendees at the official opening session of the Alltech REBELation.

“What is the number one thing missing from agriculture and business today? Leadership, and when I think of leadership, General Powell comes first to mind,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.

“He is decisive, courageous and a ‘force multiplier of perpetual optimism.’ He broke down barriers as the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and brought stability to tumultuous situations though his ability to build trust and develop alliances. For inspirational leadership, we need not look any further than General Powell, and, for this reason, he is the ideal recipient of our 2015 Medal of Excellence,” added Pearse.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell grew up in South Bronx, New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and then dedicated 35 years of service to the U.S. Army. After serving as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor, Powell became the youngest officer, first Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduate and first African-American to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. Under President George W. Bush, he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the position of secretary of state.

The highly respected general has been the recipient of numerous U.S. military awards and decorations, as well as civil awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom. He has also been recognized with awards, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood (Great Britain), from more than 24 countries.

Several boards and organizations continue to benefit from his leadership, including the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York; America’s Promise Alliance for children; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm; Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company utilizing fuel cell technology; Salesforce.com, the world’s largest provider of Cloud-based customer relationship management software; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.

He is the author of two bestselling books. “My American Journey” has been published in more than a dozen languages, and “It Worked for Me” was an instant New York Times bestseller. He and his wife, Alma Vivian Johnson, have three children and four grandchildren.

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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