Beshear Chief of Staff, Adam Edelen, scores national award as one of top ten young americans

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Adam H. Edelen, his chief of staff, has been named one of the 2008 Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees). The presentation of the 70th annual black-tie awards ceremony will be held Sept. 27, 2008, in San Diego.

“I’ve known for some time that Adam is an outstanding young Kentuckian and American,” said Gov. Beshear. “The energy and leadership he has brought to my administration has been invaluable, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Many notables have been honored as Outstanding Young Americans in the past including Presidents John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, and Vice Presidents Al Gore, Dan Quayle and Richard Cheney. Also honored were Howard Hughes, Orson Wells, Elvis Presley, Nelson Rockefeller, Ted Kennedy and Christopher Reed.

Edelen, 33, has served in many important leadership roles. From his previous government experiences as one of the youngest-ever aides to a governor and his tenure as the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to his career as a business executive, a commitment to service is the defining characteristic of his career.

As a two-term gubernatorial appointee to the board of Kentucky Educational Television, Edelen was the driving force behind the “Be Well Kentucky” initiative—an acclaimed effort which addresses Kentucky’s public health crisis. While vice-president of the Lexington Chamber, Edelen was responsible for the nationally recognized New Century Lexington Reports on Community Livability, which used private sector inspired metrics as a model for measuring Lexington’s quality of life. Edelen, who also chaired the United Way of the Bluegrass Annual Campaign, currently serves as vice-chair of the Urban League and is a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Edelen has received many awards and recognitions. In 2002 he was a recipient of the Lexington Young Professionals Association “Rising Star” award. He was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation in 2007 and was the presented the 2008 Outstanding Young Kentuckian Award by the Kentucky Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Edelen and his wife Catherine live in Lexington with their twin sons.

The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, The United States Jaycees has sought out the ten young men and women who best exemplify the finest attributes of America’s youthful achievers.

The TOYA selection process begins in the spring of each year. Following the submission deadline, all nominations are forwarded to a panel of screening judges who, working independently, select and rank their top twenty choices. The top twenty point getters become the finalists. The finalists’ nominations are forwarded to a panel of finalist judges who rank their top ten choices. The task of judging the nominations is arduous.

Each nominee’s accomplishments and contributions are also judged in relation to the Jaycee Creed: “…That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality, and that service to humanity is the best work of life.” Nominees also must meet certain qualifications: age (18-40, inclusive), American citizenship (or application therefore), and agree to attend the TOYA Awards Ceremony.


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