Bowling Green, Ky. (March 18, 2021) - Tonight the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce held its 86th Annual Celebration at the Sloan Convention Center. Local business leaders, elected officials, regional partners, and special guests gathered and were treated to a reception and program.
Greenwood High School junior and the 2021 Kentucky Youth Assembly Governor Sophia Koppensteiner served as the event’s emcee, leading the audience through recognitions, keynote address, ceremonies, and speakers that recognized the many accomplishments of the past year. This year’s event was much different from years past, featuring a stand-up style reception to align with COVID-19 guidelines. Attendees also had the option to attend in person or virtually. Additionally, this year’s program featured keynote speaker and New York Times Best Selling Author of The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey of the CoveyLink and FranklinCovey.
Mr. Covey spoke directly about his upcoming book and the new leadership message behind it. Attendees also had the exclusive option to purchase Mr. Covey’s book before it hits the shelves next spring.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 proved to be a year of steady economic growth for Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky with over $331M in capital investment in new and expanded targeted businesses, creating over 335 new jobs. There was also a much-needed investment in the area’s infrastructure. The completion of the Southwest Parkway has helped improve access, traffic flow, and commuting patterns to the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park and the over 4,700 people that work there.
Last year, Global Trade Magazine ranked Bowling Green second for “Top Cities in the United States for Manufacturing,” and 24/7 Wall Street named Bowling Green as the “Fastest-Growing City in Kentucky” for the second straight year.
In March of 2020, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce created a website (bgchambercovid.com) specifically for local businesses to have access to the most up-to-date guidelines and federal support offerings. Multiple conference calls a week were held to keep our local businesses abreast of changes and to answer questions.
“Of course, none of this could happen without the strong support of our partners and our business and community leaders,” said Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch. “Tonight we thank our Chamber partners, our elected officials, community leaders, and our many volunteers for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to growing this community.”
The Chamber’s long-standing tradition of the gavel passing ceremony took place ending with the new 2021 Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chris Thorn of Graves-Gilbert Clinic, taking the stage to give his 2021 Forecast Remarks.
“I am humbled and excited to serve as the Chamber’s 2021 Chairman,” Thorn said. “It's an incredible honor to work alongside my fellow Board members, our volunteers, Chamber Ambassadors, Chamber staff, and most importantly all of you, our 1,200 Chamber partners.”
In his address to the audience, Thorn thanked the Chamber partnership for making Bowling Green the progressive community that it is.
The Chamber was also recognized once again as one of the nation’s top areas for attracting corporate facility investment. The ranking is based on the number of projections won, and Bowling Green ranked sixth for high-performing metros among communities with populations less than 200,000. This is the eighth consecutive year for Bowling Green to be ranked as a top tier-2 metropolitan area in the United States.
The Chamber extends a special thanks to Graves-Gilbert Clinic for its generous title sponsorship. Additional sponsorships included:
- Reception presented by Murphy Construction Group
- Keynote Speaker presented by Bowling Green Metalforming
- Live Stream Production provided by Vid Monster Productions
- Printing provided by Gerald Printing
Also, Abound Credit Union, BKD, LLP, German American Bank, Houchens Insurance Group, Atmos Energy, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities, Henkel Corporation, Stewart-Richey Construction, Inc., Taz Trucking, Independence Bank, TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, US Bank, Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, BILSTEIN COLD ROLLED STEEL LP, and Deemer Floral Company.
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.