Bowling Green Area Chamber Celebrates the Many Successes of 2017 at Annual Dinner

Published Friday, February 9, 2018 8:00 am


Thursday evening the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated a successful 2017 during its Annual Dinner at Sloan Convention Center. More than 600 business leaders, regional partners, and special guests attended the event.
WNKY morning host Caroline Ford emceed the dinner presented by title sponsor Graves Gilbert Clinic.
 
During the dinner the Chamber recognized two legislators who are ending their tenure as State Representatives. Rep. Jim DeCesare and Rep. Jody Richards have a combined total of 56 years of public service to the community and state. Rep. DeCesare was instrumental in the repeal of prevailing wage and passage of Right to Work legislation and is an advocate for the business community of South Central Kentucky. Rep. Richards played a significant role in securing funding for the Transpark and its interstate connection, a community asset that has been the catalyst project for the region’s economic development success.
 
The Chamber also recognized Bowling Green City Manager Kevin DeFebbo who is retiring after 12 years of service to the city. Through his leadership he has impacted nearly all aspects of city government especially in the areas of community safety, fiscal responsibility, and economic development.
The Herb Smith Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to former Fruit of the Loom President and CEO, John B. Holland for his service to the community, leadership, and generosity.
 
Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch spoke about the many successes of 2017.
 
“Last year’s economic development announcements represent $271.5 million in investment and 784 new jobs for our community,” said Bunch. “In January of 2017, we celebrated the sale of the last lot in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park and the $9.5 billion economic impact it is generating. We also recognized the Kentucky Transpark’s impact and the $5.9 billion it is generating.”
 
The Chamber ended the year 1,337 partners, with the largest number ever, unveiled 16 economic development announcements, and garnered national attention about its continued focus on talent development for the region.
 
“Our relentless focus on talent pervades all we do and those efforts are increasingly gaining national recognition.” said Bunch. “SCK Launch is a K-12 initiative focused on leadership and career immersion.”
 
Bunch recognized nine schools that are participating in the Leader in Me Program and have achieved the self-sustaining Lighthouse Status: Alvaton Elementary, Briarwood Elementary, Cumberland Trace Elementary, Dishman-McGuinnis Elementary, Natcher Elementary, North Warren Elementary, Plano Elementary, Rockfield Elementary, and W.R. McNeill Elementary.
 
Other accolades for the Chamber include being ranked 2nd in the nation by Site Selection Magazine as being among the Top 10 Metro Areas for New and Expanded Facilities and was one of four finalists for the American Chamber of Commerce Executive’s Chamber of the Year. This is the 3rd time in four years the Chamber received the latter honor.
 
Joy Hunt, BB&T Senior Vice President, was officially named the 2018 Chairman of the Board.
 
The Chamber would like to offer a special thanks to the many businesses and organizations that sponsored the event:
 
Sponsors:
 
Title Sponsor: Graves Gilbert Clinic
Murphy Construction Group
Gerald Printing
Citizens First Bank
Western Kentucky University
Vid Monster Productions, LLC
Bowling Green Metalforming
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
Stewart-Richey Construction
Bowling Green Municipal Utilities
Houchens Insurance Group
TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital
Independence Bank
Scotty's Contracting
US Bank
Bluegrass Supply Chain Services
BILSTEIN COLD ROLLED STEEL LP
Henkel
 
To learn more about the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, visit www.bgchamber.com.
 
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 1,300 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.
 
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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 1,300 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. Learn more about South Central Kentucky's advantages at www.southcentralky.com