Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award for the Leader In Me

Published Monday, October 27, 2014 12:00 pm

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce recently received a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2014 project in the category of Human Capital for communities with populations of 25,000 - 200,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for their work with The Leader In Me.

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Monday, October 20, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held October 19-22, in Fort Worth, Texas. Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch and Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon were on hand to accept the award. 

"Economic development efforts have long been a keystone in the quest to bolster the economy and improve quality of life in every locality across the country," said Bill Sproull, IEDC chair. "As the nation continues to tackle challenges in the midst of global uncertainty, these efforts have taken on an even greater significance. With this award, we laud trendsetting organizations like Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce for leading the charge."          

The Leader In Me prepares the future workforce by teaching children about leadership, accountability, and teamwork – all integral skills for talent development. The initiative recognizes that all children have strengths and the potential to lead.  In 2010, the Chamber began collaborating to implement The Leader In Me in both our city and county school districts. The Leader In Me integrates Dr. Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into the school’s existing curriculum.  This initiative will differentiate our community from others as our workforce gains more skills that help companies compete in the global economy. Recently, the Chamber celebrated over 200 investors who contributed $1.4 million to ensure The Leader In Me program is implemented in every public school in Bowling Green and Warren County, K-12.  To date, all 19 elementary schools and all 5 middle schools have implemented the program, with 2 elementary schools already achieving the self-sustaining Lighthouse Status. 

According to Chamber Board Chairman John Mark Fones, “Talent is our number one priority here at the Chamber.  We believe a well-qualified workforce is vital for economic development and the future of our local economy.  We are so fortunate to have a business community that is committed to our children and to our future workforce.  We can’t thank them enough for their hard work and generosity, and I am delighted to see their work recognized by the IEDC.”

“The Leader In Me has been nothing less than a paradigm shift in the education of our local children.  I look forward to following these children and their careers as they fuel our local economic engine well into the future.  The Leader In Me is one of the most important things the Chamber has done for the future of Bowling Green, and I am delighted that they have received recognition on the international stage,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

“It was an honor to be able to be on hand to accept this award.  The Chamber’s focus on talent, even at the earliest stages of education is a testament to their commitment to the future of this community,” said Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon.


About Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce             

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,100 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,400 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base.  From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.