Friday Closing Luncheon
Opening Luncheon Keynote
Bluegrass Ballroom 2
Rep. Rocky Adkins
House Democratic Leader
Kentucky State House of Representatives
D-District 99 | Sandy Hook, Kentucky
Currently serving as the House Democratic Leader and the state representative for the 99th District in Elliott, Lewis and Rowan counties, Rocky Adkins has been a diligent advocate for the people of Eastern Kentucky and the Commonwealth for 31 years.
Rep. Adkins is a graduate of Elliott County High School and Morehead State University, where he also received his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.
In 1986, Rep. Adkins was elected to the 99th House District at the age of 26, making him one of the youngest members ever elected to serve in the Kentucky legislature. Rep. Adkins quickly accumulated legislative responsibilities and served on a number of influential committees, including the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation where he served as chairman. As a member of House Leadership, Rep. Adkins serves on the Rules Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the Legislative Research Commission. From 2003-2016, Rep. Adkins served as Majority Floor Leader.
Rep. Adkins has sponsored and helped secure passage of a number of visionary energy policies built around the Commonwealth’s rich supply of natural resources, including Kentucky’s $6 billion agricultural industry. He has been called “the South’s lead legislator on energy” and served an unprecedented eight terms as vice-chair of the Southern States Energy Board. His efforts have been recognized as a national model by the Council on State Governments, a region- based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.
Additionally, Rep. Adkins served as the lead sponsor of innovative legislation that created the Kentucky Tourism Development Act. This initiative was established to entice private investment that has helped attract more than $1 billion in tourism development in the Commonwealth since its passage in 1996. He has also emerged as a leader in efforts to advance opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industry, which serves as Kentucky’s number one export industry, with the state generating more than $11 billion in aerospace parts and products in 2017.
Rep. Adkins is the chairman of the Eastern Kentucky Workforce Development Board and is a member of the Southern Legislative Conference’s Energy and Environment Committee. He serves on many boards and commissions, including the King’s Daughters Health Foundation and St. Clare Foundation. He is a recipient of MSU’s highest honor, the Founders Award for University Service, and is a member of the university’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Other awards include the Junior Achievement Tri-State Business Hall of Fame, the East Kentucky Leadership Conference Public Servant Award, the FIVCO Area Development District President’s Award and the Ashland Area Labor Management Council Award.
Rep. Adkins is married to Leah McCormick Adkins and has three children— Kristen, Branden, and Tori; and two grandchildren—Jaxon and Abram.