Kentucky ‘s Ken Koch Honored for Decades of Service

September 22, 2009 – Long-time IAM activist Ken Koch was presented this week with the 2010 Labor Person of the Year award by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Koch has been active in the Louisville and Kentucky labor scene for decades. The 35-year IAM member is president of both District 27 and Local 681, in addition to serving as vice president of the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council and Vice President of the Kentucky AFL-CIO. He’s also a member of Gov. Steve Beshear’s Unemployment Task Force, and sits on the University of Louisville Advisory Board.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this recognition than Ken Koch,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Ken is everywhere in Kentucky, working for the IAM, the AFL-CIO, on issues ranging from housing for the elderly to retirees and unemployment. He works tirelessly for the working families of Kentucky, and the entire IAM family is very proud of Ken.”

Koch joined the IAM at Phillip Morris in Louisville, KY, and retired when Phillip Morris closed the Louisville facility in 2000. Retirement certainly hasn’t slowed down Koch, who also serves on the MNPL Planning Committee and remains very active in state political races, constantly campaigning for working families in Kentucky.

“The Unemployment Task Force is keeping me very busy,” said Koch. “This is not a standing committee for the state—it was formed last March and we plan to wrap up in October with a report to the Governor. He tasked us with the tough job of reorganizing the state unemployment system, to modernize it and bring it back to solvency.”

The Labor Person of the Year award has been awarded annually since its inception in 1987. Previous IAM members to receive the honor include District 27 DBR Ron Harsh and Local 681 President James A. Hinton.