Chamber announces 2014 Man of the Year

Terry E. Forcht
Terry E. Forcht

Terry E. Forcht

Terry E. Forcht, one of Kentucky’s leading entrepreneurs, is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Forcht Group of Kentucky, a shared services company that provides advisory and support services to the companies he founded. This group of companies now employs over 2,100 people in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

Forcht is a native of Louisville, and holds two degrees from the University of Louisville: a Bachelor of Science degree and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University’s School of Law.

He also earned a MBA from the University of Miami, FL. In 1964 he came to the Williamsburg area to serve as a chairman of the Commerce Department at Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands). Three years later he began a law practice in Corbin, KY. In 1972, Forcht purchased what is considered the first building block of the Forcht group – Hillcrest Nursing Home in Corbin. Today, First Corbin Long Term Care, Inc. owns nine health and rehabilitation centers in southeast Kentucky. 1972 was also the year he became involved in banking when he was appointed to the board of directors of Corbin Deposit Bank and Trust Company. As his interest in community-based banking grew, Terry and a group of investors founded Tri-County National Bank in 1985 with $1.5 million in assets. As a testament to his business acumen, that one community bank has grown to 30 Forcht Bank locations in 12 Kentucky counties, with total assets over $1 billion.

Today, the Forcht family of companies also includes 22 radio stations, 19 finance company offices, two insurance companies – Kentucky National Insurance and Kentucky Home Life, two newspapers, a pharmacy and diagnostic lab, a retail furniture and gift store, a construction company, real estate, and several other businesses.

Although no longer practicing law, Forcht remains a member of the Whitley County and Kentucky Bar Associations. He is a Past President of the Whitley County Republican Party and former candidate for a seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He is also a member of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and the University of Louisville Alumni Association, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Economic Development Board.

Forcht has received many awards through the years, including:

2004 City of Corbin Lifetime Achievement Award for Visionary Leadership

2004 Greater Corbin Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award

2005 Giving Spirit Award by the Kentucky Hemophilia Foundation

2006 Alumni Fellow by the University of Louisville School of Business

2006 Ira O. Wallace Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF)

2008 E.K.U. & Center for Rural Development Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award

2008 Ralph Gabbard Distinguished Kentuckian Award by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA)

2009 William Hacker Leader of the Year Award from Leadership Tri-County

2010 Kentucky Republican 5th District Hall of Fame Award

2011 Ronald Reagan Award from the Republican Party of Fayette County

2012 Junior Achievement Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame

2012 Boy Scouts Bluegrass Chapter Daniel Boone Visionary Award

2012 University of Louisville College of Business Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame

2012 Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

Forcht and his wife Marion believe in giving back to their church, schools, and community. In addition to being active members of Grace on the Hill Methodist Church in Corbin, their major gifts have included: $3 million to their alma mater, the University of Louisville, to establish the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business; $1 million to the University of the Cumberlands to fund the Forcht Medical Studies Wing of the science building; $300,000 to the State of Kentucky to finance the completion of the Capitol Rotunda murals in Frankfort; and $1 million to the Capital Campaign of the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business.

The Forchts have four children, Ted, Brenda, Laurie and Debbie, and are the proud grandparents of 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.