CHATTANOOGA—Longtime Tennessee congressional staffer Helen Hardin and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center received the top awards given by the Tennessee Valley Corridor during the organization’s annual national summit held last week on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Hardin is senior policy advisory for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican, and she has been involved in the TVC’s activities since the first Summit was held in Oak Ridge in 1995. Todd May, manager for NASA’s space launch system program, accepted the award on behalf of MSFC.
The Corridor Champion Award recognizes individuals and organizations that provide leadership to enhance the TVC’s national visibility, high-tech economic development, and collaborative efforts within the region.
Past Corridor Champion Award winners include Fleischmann, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, former Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission Anne Pope, the Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Tennessee, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
“Helen has been a passionate advocate for the TVC since its beginning in 1995,” said Gerald Boyd, chairman of the TVC Board of Directors and former Corridor Champion Award winner. “Congressman Fleischmann says Helen’s talent, professionalism, and dedication to her job are unmatched.”
“NASA brought the TVC to Huntsville in 2000, and MSFC has been fully engaged ever since,” Boyd said. “We have held three national summits and two fall events during that period of time.”
Since the first TVC Summit was held in Oak Ridge in 1995, the TVC has helped link the science and technology assets in the Tennessee Valley into a nationally recognized regional economic development effort. The mission of the TVC is to sustain the region’s existing federal missions, to compete for new missions, and to leverage public/private relationships for high-quality job growth.