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Inside Information: September–December 2001 Issue

Legislative Update

ARC 2002 Funding Approved;
Reauthorization Legislation Under Way

Congress and the president have completed action on the Appalachian Regional Commission's funding for fiscal year (FY) 2002, providing $71.3 million for the Commission's nonhighway programs. (That total includes a special $5 million earmark for a project in Alabama.) Funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System totals roughly $600 million.

In news on ARC's reauthorization, Congress is moving forward with legislation that would reauthorize the work of the Commission through FY 2006. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a five-year reauthorization bill, H.R. 2501, on August 2. Senator George Voinovich introduced a similar measure, S1206, in the U.S. Senate in July, and the bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in late September. Action by the full Senate is expected in early 2002.

Kentucky Hosts Regional New Appalachia Conference

More than 800 people from the 13 Appalachian states gathered in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, November 7–8 to examine community-based collaboration and capacity building as linchpins to sustainable, "homegrown" economic development in Appalachia's rural areas. The conference was hosted by 2001 ARC States' Co-Chairman Paul E. Patton, governor of Kentucky. Stephen R. Covey, author of the bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, provided the keynote address, "Lessons in Leadership and Courage: Principles to Get You and Your Community Moving." During luncheon remarks, Federal Co-Chairman Jesse L. White Jr. joined Patton in emphasizing ARC's unique federal, state, and local partnership, which has significantly boosted the economic vitality of Appalachia and has become a model emulated in other areas of the nation. The New Appalachia Conference also featured presentations on the latest "ideas that work"—best practices of innovative community economic development projects pioneered across the Appalachian Region.

Tennessee Governor Sundquist Elected 2002 States' Co-Chairman

Governor Don Sundquist of Tennessee has been selected by the governors of the 13 Appalachian states to serve as the 2002 ARC states' co-chairman.

"I look forward to working with my fellow governors and with economic development leaders in the Appalachian Region," Sundquist said. "ARC has a history of making critical investments in states that need it the most, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition."

A former businessman and entrepreneur, Sundquist was first elected governor in 1994 and reelected in 1998. His public service also includes six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two years in the U.S. Navy. As governor, he has initiated reforms in the areas of welfare, crime, and government, while placing special emphasis on expanding economic opportunity; creating programs to benefit children; and improving public safety and the environment. Sundquist's current initiatives include a focus on basic education, targeting reading instruction and early childhood education as well as teacher development.

New Pennsylvania Governor Joins ARC

Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, who took office in October, is the newest member of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Schweiker had served as Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor since 1995.

A native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Schweiker graduated from Bloomsburg University in 1975 and later earned a master's degree in administration from Rider University. After college, he advanced to executive positions at Merrill Lynch and McGraw-Hill, and later operated his own management consulting firm.

Schweiker was first elected to public office in 1979, serving as Middletown township supervisor until 1987, and then as Bucks County commissioner until 1994.

As lieutenant governor, Schweiker directed state initiatives including PRIME, an effort to make Pennsylvania's state government more efficient.

Division Director Jack Russell Retires

Director of Customer Relations and External Affairs Jack Russell will retire from ARC in January 2002, after 21 years of distinguished service. During his career with ARC, Russell pioneered numerous innovative programs and strategies, such as the Commission's ongoing summer math and science institute for high school students, a leadership management program for state and local officials, and a telecommunications strategy. Russell was selected in 1994 to lead ARC's strategic planning effort.

ARC Executive Director Tom Hunter praised Russell "for his extraordinary service and innovative contributions," describing him as a "true social entrepreneur."

ARC Welcomes New Public Affairs Director

In November, Louis S. Segesvary, a former U.S. Information Agency and State Department official, became the Appalachian Regional Commission's new public affairs director. He filled the position previously held by Mike Kiernan. Segesvary has held senior communications assignments at the State Department, and has been the recipient of numerous commendations, including two Foreign Service Meritorious Honor Awards. He holds a master's degree from the University of Southern California.