Keynote Speakers

Major Dan Rooney

Major Dan Rooney

USAF



A Major in the Air Force Reserve and a decorated military aviator, Maj. Dan Rooney is a two-time recipient of the Top Gun award and was honored with the Spirit of Attack award as a top graduate of F-16 training. He has received many decorations to include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Anti-terrorism Medal, Combat Readiness Medal and Air Expeditionary Medal. Major Rooney continues to fly fighters as an aggressor pilot in the 301st Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB in Destin Florida. Maj Dan “Noonan” Rooney is the founder of the Folds of Honor, a F-16 Fighter Pilot with 3 combat tours in Iraq, and a PGA Golf Professional. He founded The Patriot Golf Club, American Dunes Golf Club, and is the author of A Patriot’s Calling—Living Life between Fear and Faith. He was the motivational team speaker for two US Ryder Cup teams. This is an honor often reserved for U.S. Presidents.

From humble beginnings above his garage, Major Rooney started the non-profit Folds of Honor. Its singular mission is to provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of wounded or killed military service members.

For his service and patriotism—Rooney was presented the White House's “Presidential Volunteer Service Award” by President George W. Bush, the Air National Guard's “Distinguished Service Medal”, the Air National Guard’s “Directors Service Award” and the Ellis Island “Medal of Honor”. Major Rooney is a Kansas University Distinguished Alumni, Significant Sigma Chi, and recipient of the Oklahoma Medal of Freedom. He was honored at The Masters Invitational with the “William D. Richardson Award” for his outstanding contributions to golf and received the PGA of America's first-ever “Patriot Award”. He has been recognized as one of People Magazine's “Heroes of the Year”, Money Magazine’s “Hero of the Year” and ABC World News Tonight's “Persons of the Year.”



U.S. Representative

Congressman Hal Rogers

SOAR Principal Officer



Serving Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981, Hal Rogers has been elected to 20 consecutive terms representing the people of southern and eastern Kentucky, and is the longest serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office. Focused on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drug use and preserving the natural treasures of Appalachia, Rogers has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the interests of the region where he was raised. 

Born in rural Kentucky and representing one of the poorest Congressional Districts in the nation, Rogers’ vision for a stronger region spurred some of the greatest success stories in southern and eastern Kentucky.  Organizations such as Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Operation UNITE, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED), The Center for Rural Development and Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) have brought local communities together by revitalizing the environment, providing hope in the fight against drugs, building small businesses, and creating jobs by increasing tourism in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

Nationally, as Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee from 2011 to 2016, he reduced the size and scope of government by reining in federal spending, conducting rigorous but thoughtful oversight of federal agencies, and restoring fiscal discipline and transparency to our budget process. Rogers led Congress to reduce discretionary spending by a historic amount, cutting $126 billion in discretionary spending since 2010. During his tenure, Chairman Rogers led the way for regular order, conducting 650 oversight hearings and considering more than 2,000 amendments to appropriations bills on the floor.

With more than 30 years of experience on the Appropriations Committee, he has served on eight different subcommittees, including leadership roles as Chairman or Ranking Member of three. Notably, Rogers was tapped in 2003 to lead the first Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Through this important role, Rogers fought to ensure our first responders received necessary funds to protect against terrorist threats; demanded tough answers from FEMA in the wake of federal responses to wildfires, hurricanes and flash floods; and insisted on enforcement of our country’s immigration laws and stronger border security. 

Whether Rogers is on Capitol Hill ensuring the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars, fighting to secure the homeland, scrutinizing federal government agencies, or home in southern and eastern Kentucky working to make a difference in the lives of the individuals he represents, Rogers remains committed to being a strong voice in Congress for fiscal responsibility, economic development, a strong national defense, and a prosperous future for America.

 

This biography was retrieved from https://halrogers.house.gov/biography



Governor of Kentucky

Governor Matt Bevin

SOAR Principal Officer



Matt Bevin was elected in 2015 as the 62nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is a husband, father of nine children, US Army veteran and successful small business owner.

Growing up, Bevin and his family of eight lived in an old farmhouse, sharing three bedrooms and one bathroom. The humble home stood on a farm where the family raised crop and livestock, instilling in their children a strong work ethic and solid Christian values.

Bevin later attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia on an ROTC scholarship. Upon graduation, he served on active duty as a US Army officer and left the service having achieved the rank of captain.

After his military service, Bevin worked for many years in the financial industry. A job opportunity brought him and his wife Glenna, a registered nurse, to Kentucky in 1998, where they decided to settle down and raise their family.

Bevin founded several companies in Kentucky and invested in a number of others in the Commonwealth and in other states. He managed and expanded multiple businesses, ranging from manufacturing and software to investment management and medical devices. His businesses created hundreds of well-paying jobs for hard-working Americans.

Governor Bevin has served on many non-profit boards, including Chairman of the Board for the American Red Cross, Louisville Area Chapter. He has permanently endowed several scholarship funds, grants and centers that provide educational opportunities for young people with limited financial resources.

This biography was retrieved from https://governor.ky.gov/about/governor-matt-bevin/