Cincinnati, Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman received the Henry M. Mann Award during a special presentation at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments’ (OKI) annual luncheon held at Norlyn Manor in Batavia.

Senator Portman was keynote speaker for the event held on Friday, Sept. 17. The occasion marked OKI’s first annual luncheon in two years, due to the pandemic.

“Senator Portman, it is fair to say, better than anyone, your life embodies the qualities of dedicated, selfless service and high ethics for the betterment of all,” said OKI Board President David Painter, who presented Portman with the award. “That, sir, is true for this region and that, sir, is true for this nation.”

Portman was instrumental in negotiating the passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in the U.S. Senate. He used today’s keynote to highlight this historic investment and how it “will repair and upgrade our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.”

The Henry M. Mann Award is OKI’s most prestigious honor. Not an annual award, it is reserved for those individuals whose service and dedication to the OKI region spans a lifetime.

The award’s namesake, Henry M. Mann, was a member of OKI’s Board and its Executive Committee for more than 20 years. He also served as president of OKI in 1986. He was a school teacher, World War II veteran, business executive and mayor of Lakeside Park.

Portman said he “enjoyed addressing OKI’s members at today’s annual luncheon. The work that this organization does for the tristate area is critical for our region as we continue to tackle pressing infrastructure, economic and environmental needs.”

Nearly 400 people, including local elected officials, as well as representatives from the non-profit and private sectors, attended the sold-out event.

OKI is a council of local governments, business organizations and community groups committed to developing collaborative strategies, plans and programs to improve the quality of life and economic development potential of the Tri-State.