Recognizing the Achievement of David L. Kolbeby Representative Tim Ryan
Posted on 2015-12-11
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 11, 2015
Mr. RYAN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend David L. Kolbe
of Howard, Ohio for his induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
this year. A veteran of the Vietnam War and former fire fighter, David
has dedicated his life to both those he served with and served for,
returning to Ohio to start a career in public service.
Kolbe was elected Damascus Township Trustee at the age of 33 and later served as Henry County Commissioner for four years, where he helped secure funding for the Henry County Veterans Memorial in 1989. Later, Kolbe helped elect President Bill Clinton in 1992 as Northwest Ohio coordinator for the Ohio Democratic Party.
As a union ironworker by trade, Kolbe has supported unions throughout his life, serving as Political and Legislative Director for the Ohio AFL-CIO in 1994 where he championed reform on issues from campaign finance reform to prescription drug pricing. He also excelled in the realm of community service, working with the United Way and the Red Cross State Council during his time with the AFL-CIO, later earning an appointment by Governor Bob Taft to the State Community Service Council.
Throughout his life, helping veterans find employment has been David's core focus as a public servant. He has recently worked closely with Helmets to Hardhats, a non-profit organization that helps connect recently returned veterans to employment in the construction industry. In his current role as political and legislative director for the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, David builds upon his forty year membership in the Iron Workers Local 55 union by serving on the Union Veterans Council executive committee, which he helped found in 2009.
David was nominated for induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame by Bob Kane of McClure, Ohio and was inducted on November 5, 2015 at the Lincoln Theater in Columbus, alongside eighteen other distinguished veterans. As a Hall of Fame member, David joins the ranks of an impressive list of distinguished Ohioans, including astronauts, police officers, Medal of Honor Recipients, and former Presidents of the United States.
I could not be prouder of the work David Kolbe has done for veterans in the state of Ohio. I see his career of service as an inspiration. I hope you will all join me in congratulating David and his family for being recognized with this great honor.