The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce named award winners in several categories and recognized previous winners today at the annual Excellence Awards Luncheon at the Knicely Conference Center.
Awards given include:
- John Higgins, 2016 Mid-Size Business Person of the Year
- Betsy Cooksey, 2016 Administrative Professional of the Year
- Danette Idlett, 2016 ATHENA Young Professional of the Year
The luncheon was presented by Chamber Board Chairman Mark Iverson and Excellence Awards co-chairs Michelle Gorman and Lindsey McClain. Keynote speakers included 2016 Small Business Person of the Year David Paschall of Batteries + Bulbs and 2016 ATHENA Shannon Vitale of Hilliard Lyons.
"We truly have such outstanding businesses in this community, and their dedication and willingness to serve others illustrate the essence of our community," said Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch. "Today's event honors and celebrates some of the many remarkable people in our region. Because of them and the businesses they represent, South Central Kentucky continues to thrive, and I want to thank each of them, along with our partners, for their support of our community."
2016 Mid-Size Business Person of the Year (Sponsored by Western Kentucky University)
This award recognizes an area mid-size business owner for making outstanding contributions to his or her employees and community. The for-profit business has 101 to 500 employees and the owner has financially invested his/her own money in the enterprise. The award acknowledges a business that has experienced recent growth and is involved in the development and growth of our community.
John Higgins, president of Bluegrass Supply Chain Services, began his business in 2002 at the Central Region ICC and now employs hundreds of people across the U.S. The third party logistics provider partners with local organizations to give back to the community, donating thousands of dollars each year to organizations such as the Abraham Project, Hope House Ministries, Meals Inc., along with sports teams and civic organizations.
2015 Administrative Professional of the Year (Sponsored by Gerald Printing)
This award recognizes an administrative professional who shows pride in his or her job, repeatedly exhibits excellent job performance, goes above and beyond expectations and displays a cooperative attitude with coworkers and the community.
Betsy Cooksey, executive assistant at Graves-Gilbert Clinic, has been in GGC's administrative department for 25 years, where she keeps executive personnel on track, coordinates events and meetings, performs secretarial tasks and recruits physicians. With dedication and focus, Cooksey performs duties that go beyond the scope of administrative responsibilities.
2015 Young ATHENA (Sponsored by Martin Dodge Jeep Chrysler RAM)
This award is presented to an area young woman who has emerged as a leader, demonstrates excellence and provides valuable service to her business, profession and community. This person exhibits initiative and creativity, exemplifies and upholds the goals of the professional woman and serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally.
Danette Idlett, an agent at Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, has been in the industry for 13 years, giving selflessly of her time and talents to many community organizations. Idlett is a Bowling Green native and graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2001. In 2015, Idlett and her husband Matt founded Life's Better Together in memory of her first husband, who died of Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma in 2011. LBT provides assistance to families who have a child or parent suffering from an ongoing illness.
About the 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 1,200 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.