Kenton County recognized one of the 2018 Pioneer Award Honorees. Ralph Drees was presented a proclamation for his outstanding community leadership at the Fiscal Court Meeting on April 30th. 

Drees is Chairman of the Board of The Drees Company, one of the top 25 home builders in the nation.  During his career, he has been honored with the three premier national housing awards: “Builder of the Year”, “America’s Best Builder”, and the “National Housing Quality Award”.

Ralph Drees has always demonstrated community leadership, including service as Councilman with the City of Erlanger, two-time President of the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky, Chairman of the Area Planning Commission, President of the Home Builders Association of Kentucky, Chairman of the Kenton County Airport Board, Chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Regent for Northern Kentucky University, Board Member for Thomas More College, and Judge/Executive for Kenton County from 2004 through 2010.

To mark The Drees Company’s 75th anniversary in 2003, the Drees Pavilion at Devou Memorial Overlook, valued at $2 million, was donated to the City of Covington, resulting in revenue generation of nearly $5.5 million to date to support Devou Park improvements.   

Drees resides in Crescent Springs with his wife of 60 years, Irma.  Together, they have five children and thirteen grandchildren. 

Established in 2017, the Kenton County Pioneer Award honors living residents of Kenton County who have a record of outstanding service to the community and exemplify the highest standards of personal integrity.  The Pioneer Award honors those who demonstrate servant leadership combined with awareness of the needs of fellow residents.

A committee, composed of the members of the Kenton County Ethics Commission, reviewed the nominations, identified five deserving individuals, and forwarded their names to the Kenton County Fiscal Court for consideration and approval. The 2018 Pioneer Award recipients are Ralph Drees, Mer Grayson, Robert Hoffer, Kim Kitchen, and Ed Schroeder. They also recommended special recognition for Parker Willman as a “Young Pioneer”.