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LRC announces finalists for 2018 Vic Hellard Jr. Award honoring nonpartisan legislative staff

Though their job duties varied greatly during careers at the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), Gordon Adkins, Joyce Honaker, and Jim Swain all now share a common distinction: Each was announced today as a finalist for the 2018 Vic Hellard Jr. Award, the highest honor given by LRC.

The Hellard Award is given each year to someone who served the LRC with skill, dedication, professionalism, integrity, and dignity. The award alternates annually between past and current LRC staff members. This year’s award honors a past LRC worker.

The award’s namesake, Vic Hellard Jr., was director of the LRC staff for 19 years before retiring in 1995. He passed away in 1996.

Seven nominations were received for this year’s award before a selection committee narrowed the list down to the three finalists:

Gordon Adkins, served as the LRC’s Telecommunications Supervisor until he passed away last year.

• Joyce Honaker served LRC as the Committee Staff Administrator for State Government until her 2003 retirement.

Jim Swain was LRC’s Chief Information Officer until his retirement in 2016.

“The nominees for this year’s Vic Hellard Jr. Award read like an All Star Team of LRC alumni,” said LRC Director David Byerman. “The selection committee struggled to narrow this extraordinary field down to these three finalists. These three finalists truly exemplify everything that is special about LRC employees: their love of the institution, indefatigable attitude, and commitment to public service inspire us all.”

Additional information on the 2018 finalists, including excerpts from their nomination letters, can be viewed online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Ellen Hellard, the widow of Vic Hellard Jr., served as chair of the selection committee for the 2018 Vic Hellard Jr. Award. Past award winners Sally Everman (2015), Scott Payton (2016), and Sheila Mason (2017) served on the panel, along with LRC Director David Byerman and LRC Deputy Director for Committee and Staff Coordination Robert Jenkins.

The 2017 Vic Hellard Jr. Award will be presented during House and Senate floor sessions March 22nd at the State Capitol. All finalists will be honored at a reception at the Capitol.

The Vic Hellard Jr. Award goes each year to someone who embodies the values that longtime LRC Director Vic Hellard Jr. brought to his long career: A public servant of vision, appreciating history while finding new ways to do things, someone who champions the equality and dignity of all, nurtures the processes of a democratic society and promotes public dialogue while educating and fostering civic engagement, approaching that work with commitment, caring, generosity, and humor.

Hellard was known as a champion of legislative independence who played an instrumental role in the modernization of the legislative institution and nonpartisan staffing. Serving nearly two decades at the helm of LRC, he was known not just for his contributions to an independent General Assembly, but also for his wit, appreciation of history, and his mentoring of hundreds of young people who now serve the people of the Commonwealth and carry on his legacy.

From Legislative Research Commission

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