Born March 14, 1945, in Louisville, Mississippi, the son of Roane and Sudie Lovorn. Mr. Lovorn was a U.S Army Air Corp pilot while Mrs. Lovorn was an at home mom.
Grew up in the south attending public schools in Mississippi and Florida while Mr. Lovorn was an electrical engineer with the various AT&T, Bell system companies. When Mr. Lovorn retired with 42 years of service with AT & T, he and the family had lived in five states during those years including Kentucky when Charles was in college and in the US Navy Reserve. Mr. Lovorn, now 91 years old is still very active and well, living in Atlanta, GA.
During his father’s career, and before his own work career, Charles lived in 4 states and 8 different cities in those states. He graduated from High School in Orlando, Florida and from Mississippi State University, BS (1968) Industrial Management, College of Business and Industry. While in college, he enrolled in the U.S. Navy Reserve Officer Program and when he graduated he entered the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. during the final years of the Vietnam war campaign. When it was learned that he was colorblind and couldn’t become a Naval Officer he completed his two years of required active duty with the Navy in Keflavik, Iceland.
After discharge from the Navy in 1969, his parents were still living in Louisville, Kentucky and he began interviewing for work. At that time, he had intentions of a career in some type of manufacturing or plant operations career as a result of his Industrial Management degree and interest in tinkering with automobiles and equipment. Within two months of the Navy discharge, he started with Valvoline Oil Company, a Division of Ashland, Inc., working with their plant operations and bulk oil supply and marketing operations at their headquarters, then located in Ashland, KY. Little did he know that this beginning of ordering bulk lube stocks and inventory analysis for rail, barge and transport logistics would be the beginning of a lifetime career focused on transportation related issues. He was moved from Valvoline to the Ashland Petroleum Refining and Marketing Division in 1973 working with the Executive Staff of the petroleum company, went back to the Valvoline Division in 1978 as Executive Assistant to the President of Valvoline and then returned to the Petroleum Marketing Division in 1979. From then until 1995 he worked with various petroleum marketing divisions of Ashland with the last 9 years as Group Vice President of Marketing responsible for four separate departments marketing gasoline, diesel fuels, asphalt and specialty products in 26 states at more than 200 terminal locations. In those years he was involved in association management experience both as a member company and as an officer in state and national association organizations such as the Ohio Petroleum Council and the American Petroleum Institute where he was the Vice President of the Marketing Committee for two years in Washington. He participated directly in state legislative organizations in 7 key states for Ashland’s marketing programs attending legislative sessions and testifying before various legislative committees and panels. The participation was usually about the marketing practices or tax issues concerning the petroleum industry both as a refiner/marketer but also a supplier to customers who were in the business of retail stations, commercial delivery of fuel to railroads and transportation entities and the highway construction industry. In his early years with Ashland Petroleum he worked with R. H. “Dutch” Chatfield, the Vice President of Ashland’s Asphalt Marketing Division as a participant in the initial organization of Kentuckian’s for Better Transportation. Mr. Chatfield was one of the original Board of Directors in the formation of the Articles of Incorporation in 1977. Ashland was a primary financial sponsor for the formation of KBT. Charles was part of an early retirement program in 1995 that eventually lead to the sale of Ashland Petroleum Company to Marathon Oil Company.
Those 26 years at Ashland were closely related both to KBT interests as well as what was to occur for the next 19 years. In 1997, Arthur Walker, Jr. contacted Charles asking him if he would be interested in the Executive Director position at the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors. Many of the members of KAHC had been customers of Ashland that Lovorn had worked with. And so the next chapter of life in Frankfort began for the Lovorn family when he began as Executive Director of KAHC in April 1997. In the past almost 19 years, in addition to direct involvement with highway construction industry issues at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the legislative level, Charles has participated with ARTBA, the national organization for KAHC serving a Chairman of the Council of State ARTBA Executives in 2006/2007. He has served on the KBT Board of Directors for 18 years including five years as Treasurer of KBT and on special committees for KBT. He has announced his plans to retire at the end of April 2016 after more than 46 wonderful years of working with great people dedicated in various ways to all modes of better transportation.
Charles married Carolyn Smith from Ashland in 1970. They have two daughters, Erin Hester, married to Jeremy Hester, who live in Vine Grove, KY with their three children and Sara Lovorn, who lives in Frankfort. Charles and Carolyn live in Frankfort and have a condo in Hilton Head Island, SC where they plan to spend more time at in the future.