Lexington, KY – Both Dr. Pearse Lyons and Mr. Jim Host received the first-ever Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Commonwealth Legacy Award Thursday night. Host and Lyons were honored particularly for their pivotal roles in large economic projects in the state of Kentucky in 2010: the building of the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, respectively.
“The Alltech World Equestrian Games and the KFC Yum! Center have left a profound impact – and a lasting legacy – on Kentucky, which is why we are here tonight to honor Dr. Pearse Lyons and Mr. Jim Host. Over 500 government, education and business leaders from throughout Kentucky are in Lexington to recognize two amazing accomplishments and to honor two dynamic leaders who made them possible,” said Deb Moessner, chairwoman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Commenting on Dr. Pearse Lyons, former Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. declared him the “Thomas Edison of agriculture.” Others to speak on Dr. Lyons’ impact on Kentucky included Lonnie Ali, co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center; First Lady Jane Beshear; and John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park.
Throughout the evening, speakers including Governor Steve Beshear, former Governor Ernie Fletcher and University of Louisville provost Shirley Willihnganz shared stories on Lyons’ and Host’s loyalty and leadership in Kentucky. Speakers commented on how these gentlemen’s accomplishments, fueled by international partnerships and enduring relationships, have been recognized the world over and are forged in the interest of the Bluegrass State and its citizens.
“Though I was not born in Kentucky, I have made it my home for more than 30 years. I have raised my family and grown my business right here in the Bluegrass,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “When Jim Host came to me with the opportunity to sponsor the 2010 World Equestrian Games, I knew it would be an amazing chance to put Alltech and, ultimately, Kentucky on the world’s stage.”
During his address to dinner attendees, Lyons also reiterated his plan to host a legacy equestrian event this fall at the Kentucky Horse Park to commemorate the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.