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Business leader Bobby Hudson said he was honored to receive the 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Lincoln Heritage Council of Boy Scouts.
The award is in its third year, and the well-attended presentation, held Thursday night at Claudia Sanders Dinner House, included the first two recipients, Ray Leathers and Gary Walls, who presented the award to Hudson.
“The criteria is citizenship and involvement in the community,” Walls said.
“That was really nice; over two hundred people showed up, and I was just really bowled over,” Hudson said. “Martha Layne [Collins] was the speaker. I was so pampered; it felt great!”
The award encompasses community service and leadership, and as president of the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundaton for many years, Hudson has been instrumental in bringing a great deal of industry to Shelby County, and through his leadership, has done much to promote the business climate in the county, Leathers said.
“Bobby Hudson is known as ‘Mr. Shelbyville,’” he said. “With the amount of businesses that he has attracted to our community over the years as president of the industrial foundation, he is responsible for creating thousands of jobs in Shelby County.”
Hudson was raised on a farm in Waddy and went from bagging groceries as a teen, to selling insurance to starting to work at Shelby County Trust Bank when he was 21 in 1960, later becoming bank president in 1990. The bank became known as Commonwealth Bank and Trust in 2003, and he remains on its board of directors.
Leon Mooneyhan, a former Shelby County Public Schools superintendent who is currently CEO of the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, said Hudson’s work in the business sector has been invaluable to the community.
“I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving than Bobby [to receive the award],” he said. “His community leadership; he has been the backbone of the industrial foundation for many years and is also a leader in the Metro United Way.”
Hudson is still on the advisory board of MUW; he was campaign chair three years ago.
He reflected on what it takes to be as successful in the business arena as he has been.
“It takes somebody that can get involved and be in the know in city and county government, as well as state government,” he said. “You also need to have compassion for others and enjoys what you’re doing. Me, I enjoy helping people. How many people can say that?”
He chuckled, then added with a slight emotional tone, “It says a lot when the bank thinks enough of you, that after you retire, they bring you back.”
Hudson said he feels privileged to have had “two good jobs,” heading up both the bank and the industrial foundation.”
“All I had to do was walk down the street; I had an office there, too,” he said.
Another key to success?
“The support of my wonderful wife and family has been such a blessing; and the people I’ve worked with, I just can’t say enough about,” he said. “I tell you, if you surround yourself with good people, that’s invaluable,” he said. “I’ve had a great career and am still having it. I’ve had many opportunities to go someplace else, but I wanted to stay right here. The people here, they’re so caring, like we raised at least twenty-six thousand dollars for the Boy Scouts this year.”
Leathers said that Hudson’s commitment and integrity make him an excellent choice for an award administered by Scouts.
“He represents all the qualities and characteristics that Scouts, and everyone, should aspire to be,” Leathers said. “He’s an excellent role model for Scouts, and for young people everywhere.”