Chamber announces the 2018 ATHENA, Small Business Person of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipients

Published Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:30 am

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2018 ATHENA, Small Business Person of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipients.



Janette Reed Boehman, a Marketing and Digital Specialist with WBKO television, has been named the 2018 recipient of the ATHENA Award, given by the Chamber and Martin Dodge Jeep Chrysler RAM.  Janette has been in the marketing field with WBKO for 21 years, providing customized marketing plans for area businesses utilizing television and digital mediums.

Janette fully embodies the spirit of the ATHENA Award through her community service. Her volunteer activities include: Crime Stoppers board member since 1994, Chamber Ambassador since 1995, recognized as Ambassador of the year in 2000 and 2016, Rotary Club member since 2008, WKU Marketing Advisory Council, Leader in Me Campaign, Leadership Bowling Green, SKyPAC Volunteer, and BRACAC Board member to name just a few.

"This is a tremendous recognition of someone who cares so deeply about her community," said Bowling Green City Commissioner Sue Parrigin, PhD and 2012 recipient of the award. "Janette certainly personifies the attributes of the ATHENA Award in all she does in our community."

The nominees for the 2018 ATHENA were: 

  • Janette Boehman
  • Lisa Dunn
  • Lorri Hare

The ATHENA Award honors the local businessperson who contributes most greatly to the community and advancement of women in the business world. ATHENA International is dedicated to recognizing individual leaders who have opened doors of opportunity for women in the workplace and beyond. The prestigious ATHENA Award celebrates these positive role models - more than 7,000 women and men to date -on a local, state, national and international level. 


2018 Small Business Person of the Year
Todd Matthews, President of Scott & Murphy, Inc. has been named the 2018 Small Business Person of the Year presented by the Chamber and Citizens First.

Raised in Barren County, Todd learned the value of putting one's self into their work and embracing a strong work ethic - which he still holds today. After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a Civil Engineering Degree in 1998, Todd joined Scott & Murphy, Inc. and would serve as a project manager for the next two years. After a short stint with Bell South's construction and engineering division he returned to Scott & Murphy, Inc. as its Commercial Concrete Division Manager and Vice President. Since returning, his division has doubled its revenues, added over 30 employees, and expanded the main offices and warehouse facilities.

As a Chamber Board member, Todd is an active member of the community and involved in several charitable causes including - United Way of Southern Kentucky, Bowling Green Christian Academy, Salvation Army, among many others.

"We are pleased to celebrate Todd's accomplishments," said Regina Webb, Owner of Regina Webb Salon & Spa, member of the selection committee and 2011 recipient. "Todd is a valued member of our business community who has played an integral role in the growth Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky is experiencing today."

The nominees for the 2018 Small Business Person of the Year were: 

  • Tony Bishop - Owner, Hot Yoga
  • Neal Clayton - Owner of The Firemen Moving Company
  • Christina Dawson - Founder, SOKY Jobs, LLC
  • Jeff Fields - CEO, J. Warner Ventures / Cheetah Clean Auto Wash
  • Todd Matthews - President, Scott & Murphy, Inc.

Since 1985, the Chamber has annually named a community member the Small Business Person of the Year. The award recognizes a business leader who is associated with a for-profit company that has experienced recent business growth, employs 100 or fewer full-time employees and is involved in the development and growth of the Bowling Green community.


Entrepreneur of the Year
Tori Gerbig, co-founder and CEO of The Pink Lily Boutique, has been named the recipient of this year's special Entrepreneur of the Year award.

As the fastest growing city in the State of Kentucky, Bowling Green is host to many companies locating and expanding their operations here.  A vital part of our continued success as a community requires us to have a business environment to breed entrepreneurship.  Growing our entrepreneurial ecosystem is a key goal in our community's Engaged Strategic Plan.

Pink Lily, a local start-up, began operations as a Facebook Group in 2013 selling a limited selection of women's boutique clothing and accessories to the Bowling Green market. Within the company's first six months of operations, company owners Tori and Chris Gerbig knew product demand was quickly outgrowing fulfillment capacity and was born in January 2014. In the e-commerce site's first year, sales doubled each month, growing from a projected $50,000 in revenue for the year to $4.1 million. By the end of year two, would grow by 300 percent.

"I cannot think of a finer example of entrepreneurial spirit." Said Steve Sheldon, CEO of Sheldon's Express Pharmacy and Real Estate Developer. "Tori has taken a dream of hers and turned it into a major enterprise right here in Bowling Green.

The award recipients will be the keynote speakers at the Chamber's Excellence Awards Luncheon on May 22 at 11:30 am at the Knicely Conference Center. The event is the highlight of Small Business Appreciation Month and will also include the announcement of Administrative Professional of the Year and ATHENA Young Professional. Registration is required at or by calling 270-901-4605. Individual tickets are $32, and corporate sponsor tables of eight are $300.