WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Fort Polk Progress Chairman Mike Reese presented Ivan Bolden, Chief of Army Partnerships for the U.S. Army, with the Military Leadership Award from the Association of Defense Communities in a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., at the 2019 Defense Communities National Summit.

Bolden--whose active-duty and civilian Army career spans 45 years--received the honor for his exemplary leadership in supporting over 25 Army installations and their surrounding communities.

This includes spearheading the Army's Community Partnership and Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) Programs, which have established partnerships between active Army, National Guard, installations and defense communities.

These partnerships have benefited the Army and defense communities in many ways by enhancing readiness, producing cost savings and increasing access to land assets to meet civilian community goals.

"Bolden has made a true difference as a champion of Army community partnership," said ADC President Bill Parry. "Many of our defense communities have benefited from his expertise and vision."

Bolden's work has resulted in successful partnerships across both the Department of Defense enterprise and defense communities across the country.

He founded the Joint Services Partnership Committee to increase collaboration between the services, and was instrumental in working with Congress to amend 10 USC 2670--extending IGSA term limits from five to 10 years and creating incentives toward defense community partnerships.

The success of his efforts is evident in Fort Polk, Louisiana, as the installation has three prosperous IGSAs with its surrounding communities--working with the City of Leesville for Vegetation Control, Vernon Parish Police Jury for Solid Waste Management, and Town of Rosepine for Custodial Services-resulting in a cost savings and cost avoidance of $22.5 million annually.

Fort Polk and these communities went on to receive the Department of the Army's 2018 Army Community Partnership Award in December at the Pentagon for their IGSAs.

"The successes we have achieved in the Fort Polk region with IGSAs are a direct result of the personal attention and confidence that [Bolden] placed in our community partners," Reese said. "His actions and selfless desire to promote partnerships will have a permanent and lasting effect on building and sustaining our defense communities across the nation."

Vernon Parish Police Jury President, Jim Tuck, complimented the support and leadership Mr. Bolden has provided during the IGSA process with the Jury. "The Vernon Parish Police Jury participated in the very first IGSA with Fort Polk, and we relied heavily on the advice and support of Mr. Bolden," Tuck said. "Mr. Bolden's confidence in our ability to meet the needs of the Army was invaluable in the process."

City of Leesville Mayor Rick Allen expressed his appreciation to Bolden.

"The IGSA agreements between Leesville and Fort Polk have been a game-changer for our community. Where we are geographically located, you have to be creative to generate revenue and that's exactly what we have done," Allen said. "Ivan has made several trips to Fort Polk to encourage the community to pursue these agreements, and without his support these may have never come to reality."

Town of Rosepine Mayor Donna DuVall also thanked Bolden for his efforts in her community.

"Ivan Bolden has been exceptional with the hand-in-hand partnership with the Town of Rosepine. The town entered into a 1.7 million-dollar IGSA contract [with Fort Polk]," DuVall said. "It's certainly like Mr. Bolden stated, 'It's a win-win situation, for the installation and the town.' We are blessed that Mr. Bolden has made us a part of this innovative partnership. We are truly thankful that he is a part of the great state of Louisiana, our culture and our community."