Targeted Business & Industry Awards Banquet Celebrates Businesses and Growth in South Central Kentucky

Published Thursday, October 3, 2019 8:00 pm

General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant Receives 2019 John B. Holland Business of the Year Award

BOWLING GREEN, KY. (October 3, 2019) – The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce honored 16 businesses with awards Thursday night at the annual Targeted Business and Industry Awards Banquet. General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant received the highest honor of the evening, the John B. Holland Business of the Year Award. The event was held at the Sloan Convention Center with Julie Milam, General Manager of WNKY-TV, serving as the evening’s emcee.

The banquet is held every October, in conjunction with Targeted Business and Industry Appreciation Month, to recognize and celebrate targeted businesses and industries throughout South Central Kentucky for their accomplishments and the impact they have in the community. South Central Kentucky has experienced great success in 2019, announcing $349.6 million in capital investment and over 900 new jobs year-to-date.

“This is one of our favorite nights of the year because we get to honor all of the contributions that our targeted businesses and industries bring to South Central Kentucky," said Steve Davis, 2019 Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman. “These companies employ thousands of people and invest millions of dollars in our region. This annual banquet is an opportunity for us as a community to appreciate and recognize special achievements and milestones, as well as the overall impact these businesses bring to South Central Kentucky, making this area the very best place to live and work in the Commonwealth."

“Our existing targeted businesses are what fuel the continued growth of our economy,” said Ron Bunch, President & CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. “It is a privilege to be able to support them every day and only fitting we honor the impact they’ve had through capital investment, job creation and community engagement here in South Central Kentucky.”

The John B. Holland Business of the Year Award, named to honor Mr. Holland and his dedication to business success in the community, was awarded to General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Each year the Chamber celebrates a business that stands out within our community for their overall impact. General Motors has been a vital part of the South Central Kentucky business community ever since they began producing the Corvette in Bowling Green in 1981. This year is no exception. Not only does this award celebrate the new jobs the company created, it also recognizes and celebrates all the effort that went into redesigning the Corvette. 

In attendance to accept the award was Kai Spande, General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant Director.

“It’s an honor to be able to accept this award on behalf of the plant,” said Spande. “The generous men and women of Bowling Green Assembly never fail to donate their time, money, and energy to this area, and the economic growth ensured by the eighth generation Corvette is further guaranteeing that we can continue to give back and make a positive impact in this community.”

General Motors is one of the largest employers in Warren County and the addition of 400 new hourly jobs will only make their footprint in the community larger. Since 2011, General Motors has invested more the $900 million into Bowling Green. The entire Assembly Plant in Bowling Green is a tremendous asset to the region and is an integral part of the commonwealth's thriving economy, as its annual economic impact includes more than $76 million in state wages and $15 million in income tax.

The John B. Holland Business of the Year Award was sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner The Murphy Construction Group which includes Scott, Murphy and Daniel, LLC, Scott & Murphy, Inc. and Hartz Contracting.

The Chamber presented awards to targeted businesses in 5 other categories: Healthcare Enterprise; Newcomer; Business Expansion; Business Innovation and Green to Gold. Steve Davis, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Ron Bunch, Chamber President and CEO were on hand to present the awards. The Pink Lily was also recognized at the event for receiving the 14th annual CiCi Award for Community Impact by Trade & Industry Development earlier this year.

Healthcare Enterprise Award:
For South Central Kentucky healthcare organizations that expanded operations in 2019, investing capital and creating new jobs for local residents.

Graves-Gilbert Clinic

Graves-Gilbert Clinic is a multi-specialty, physician-owned practice of approximately 200 physicians and physician extenders that span multiple counties. With more than 30 locations, Graves-Gilbert has been ensuring people receive quality healthcare for over 80 years. In the last year, Graves-Gilbert Clinic has added 40 jobs to the community and over $3.1 million in capital expenditures across all counties with $2.7 million of that here in Warren County. The company also partnered with Bowling Green Independent Schools to place health professionals at each school and provide walk-in care service at Bowling Green High School.

Fairview Community Health Center

Fairview Community Health Center has been built by community initiatives to fill a gap in healthcare serving the working poor, the uninsured, the medically under-served and many high risk and vulnerable populations. On average they serve over 12,000 area residents annually. In June 2019, they moved all their staff and services into their new facility as part of a $13.2 million capital investment and they now employ 88 people.

Med Center Health

Med Center Health, South Central Kentucky’s largest integrated healthcare system with over 3,600 employees, invested approximately $25 million in capital this year. Additionally, The Medical Center at Bowling Green, which is the flagship hospital of Med Center Health, has received the Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital

TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital is committed to providing the highest-quality healthcare to residents of Warren County and the Greater Bowling Green area. This commitment to quality was demonstrated this year by their $8 million investment towards capital improvements and the creation of 123 new jobs.

Newcomer Award – Sponsored by Luttrell Staffing Group:
For companies that are new to South Central Kentucky and have announced a location here within the past 12 months.

Holley Performance Products

Holley’s headquarters has been located in Bowling Green since 1994, with manufacturing in Bowling Green since 1952. However, due to several new acquisitions of motorsports performance companies this year, Holley invested $10.2 million towards building a new 187,000 square foot facility in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park. The new facility will allow Holley to manufacture additional product lines, creating 134 new jobs.

Business Expansion Award – Sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Tennessee Valley Authority:
For South Central Kentucky businesses that expanded operations in 2019, investing capital and creating jobs for local residents.


ALPLA announced a $50 million capital investment, partnering with Henkel Corporation, to build infrastructure, including a new bottle production area onto the Henkel campus. Following the construction of the new 170,000 square foot packing operation, ALPLA will hire and manage 60 employees bringing specialized expertise and training to their expanding staff at the new operation.

Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake

In addition to creating 53 new jobs in 2018, Bendix broke ground on a 130,000 square foot expansion to their Bowling Green facility. The $65 million investment includes the installation of a new production line to meet customer demand and will add approximately 94 new jobs. Once this new project is complete the facility will total 432,000 square feet, and with favorable market conditions, employment is expected to reach more than 500 at full capacity.

Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations, LLC.

Georgia-Pacific has been a valuable and integral member of South Central Kentucky’s business community for over 25 years. This year, they made a nearly $100 million capital investment to their facility in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park, which will add an additional 80,000 square feet and create 50 new jobs.

Johnson Equipment, LLC

Johnson Equipment has firmly planted roots in the safety equipment industry that has grown for nearly 60 years. In 2018, these roots were able to grow in Bowling Green as Johnson Equipment made a $2.6 million investment that created 8 jobs for the people in our area.

Kobelco Aluminum Products and Extrusions

Kobelco created 115 new jobs for our community as part of a $48.5 million investment into their Bowling Green plant. This expansion marks their second major investment in their operations in our area. It will also allow for Kobelco to better support the robust and growing demand for their aluminum products.

LORD Corporation

LORD Corporation has been developing adhesives and countless other products for over 90 years across the globe in 26 countries. Between 2018 and 2019, they invested $4.9 million into their facility in Warren County and created 90 new jobs for people in our area.


For over 50 years, Pan-Oston has been a leader in retail technology solutions. Their most recent project in our area saw the company make a $3.15 million capital investment to purchase a new building in the Transpark and create approximately 30 new jobs. The facility they purchased will allow Pan-Oston to stage, assemble, and ship their products all from one location.

TAZ Trucking, Inc.

TAZ Trucking continued to expand and invest in Warren County this year. In addition to creating 57 new jobs in Warren County, the company invested $7.3 million towards the purchase of 30 new trucks, 60 trailers and shop equipment, plus road and parking lot expansions. Since its founding in 2004, TAZ Trucking has been on the move growing beyond 90 employees and over 80 trucks that transport goods to all the states in the continental U.S.

Business Innovation Award – Sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Stewart Richey Construction:
For South Central Kentucky companies that – through product or process – best exemplify innovative leadership.

Constellium Bowling Green, LLC

Through an international collaborative effort, Constellium has been able to overcome significant challenges as a greenfield start-up. With an average operational workforce age of 24, and minimal experience in the aluminum and automotive business, they have achieved significant operational excellence in a very short timeframe. During the last 12 to 18 months, the organization has demonstrated an annual 30 percent improvement in utilization year since 2017, and in parallel, achieving a 30 percent improved product recovery over the last 12 months. This has allowed the organization to increase delivery of our finished product by over 70 percent and become recognized as a world-class supplier of aluminum automotive sheet to the North American marketplace. 

Holley Performance Products

As a result of Holley’s acquisitions, the company added 2,600 new part numbers to their already vast product line, outpacing all other companies in the performance aftermarket. Additionally, Holley recently announced another $13 million investment project to further expand their existing Bowling Green footprint, bringing another 80 new jobs to the area. In 2019, Holley has invested a total of 23.2 million dollars in capital and created 214 new jobs.

Green to Gold Award – Sponsored by President’s Club Gold Star Partner Bowling Green Municipal Utilities:
For companies that best exemplify “green” leadership as it pertains to the region’s goals to become a leader in this emerging field.

Henkel Corporation

Henkel invested $20 million to implement environmentally friendly processes at their Bowling Green facility. This includes transitioning to a CIP Method versus steam, resulting in reduced energy usage. The installation of 6 new highly efficient Ronchi fillers has resulted in reduced wastewater and product savings. Henkel also added a Reverse Osmosis Water System which is 10% more efficient.

Finally, the Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to each of our sponsors for making the 2019 Targeted Business and Industry Banquet a success. In addition to the award sponsors listed above, the following Chamber partners sponsored a portion of the event:

  • ADT Security Services, Inc.
  • Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.
  • Atmos Energy
  • Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
  • Gerald Printing
  • Industrial Controls Automation
  • US Bank
  • Warren County Water District
  • Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation


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. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as the driving force for South Central Kentucky’s business community providing valuable services and resources to over 1,300 partners, advocating a positive business environment and stimulating economic development for the area. 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.