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The Greater Owensboro Magazine is a publication of the Greater
Owensboro Chamber of Commerce
Greater Owensboro CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
with advertising and editorial content produced by the Messenger-Inquirer.
Making Owensboro Greater
Angela Mayes, Advertising Director Holly Hayden Sam Howard Shelby Mays Lynn Saffran
Jodi Keen, Special Publications Editor Renee Beasley Jones Bobbie Hayse
Devinn Winkleman DESIGN
Maegan Saalwaechter PHOTOGRAPHERS
Alan Warren, Photography Editor Greg Eans
Maegan Saalwaechter Greater Owensboro U.S.A.
is published annually by the Greater Owensboro
Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 825
Owensboro, KY 42302 This edition was produced by the
Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro’s daily newspaper. No part of this publication
may be reproduced in any form without
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Greenwell Chisholm GREATER OWENSBORO
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF Candance Castlen Brake, President & CEO Shelly Nichols, Vice President Hannah Thurman, Director of Talent Programs, Communications and Events; Executive Director of Leadership Owensboro Susan High, Business Manager Martha Michael, Communications and
Welcome to Greater Owensboro — one of the best small cities in the United States! We take pride in our safe streets where you will be greeted by smiles and hellos. But our people are not the only great thing we have to offer in our designated All-American City. We have one of the Top 10 parks in the world and have been named to the Top Towns in Southern Markets that Foster Technology and the Top Ten Communities in the U.S. for Millennial Home Ownership. Here are a few of the reasons why: • An arts, entertainment and dining scene unparalleled in communities our size • The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, known around the globe for its ROMP festival and weekly concerts • Green River Distillery and some of the choicest collections of bourbon right here in our local restaurants • Sports and recreational events and activities for every age and interest • Exemplary public and private schools nationally recognized for fine arts, innovative technology programs and academic excellence • A downtown that is thriving, growing and expanding • Owensboro Health Regional Hospital’s iconic campus, focused on patient care and ranked in the top 2% in the nation in quality • A vibrant agricultural community that leads with innovation and entrepreneurship • World-class colleges and universities with diverse programs to advance our higher education as well as workforce development and training opportunities • Tremendous growth in the innovation, research and development sectors • Owensboro Convention Center, flanked by new hotels on each side and a breathtaking riverfront park, encompassing one of the top 10 playgrounds in the world • Job growth, business expansions and income growth exceeding our peers • New transportation networks being constructed to get more people and goods in and out of our community, including access to the new Interstate 165 There is something new happening every day. We hope you enjoy your stay and encourage you to consider calling Owensboro your home.
Events Coordinator Lydie Boone, Administrative Assistant 270-926-1860 • chamber.owensboro.com
Candance Castlen Brake • Chamber President and CEO
W. Clay H. Ford, Partner, EM Ford • 2021 Chamber Board Chair
TABLE OF CONTENTS 6
Owensboro at a Glance
Making Things Happen
Businesses of the Year
Three B’s - Bourbon
Three B’s - Barbecue
Three B’s - Bluegrass
By the Numbers
on the cover PHOTO BY AP IMAGERY
In late 2020, Owensboro celebrated the unveiling of a state-of-the-art LED lighting system on the city’s iconic “blue” bridge. A long-awaited community effort, the dazzling display cascading over the bridge showcases shimmering colors, electric waves and dancing lights, energizing an already lively riverfront and giving Owensboro’s crown another gem.
DAVIESS COUNTY LOCAL POPULATION UNEMPLOYMENT
SBORO AT A GLANCE
$48,392 MEDIAN INCOME
$135,300 16.1 mins. MEDIAN HOME PRICE
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp., U.S. Department of Laborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bureau of Labor Statistics
Owensboro’s industrial might has a far reach
Our area is a national and worldwide leader in many regards. Greater Owensboro is where valuable global products are made, health care reaches new
Daviess County is home to a strong, enviable group of manufacturers. From tens of thousands of uniforms produced annually at UniFirst, to 100% of the bottles of Bertolli and Ragu that are made by Mizkan America and sold in North America, these products and more roll off the production lines here. But why Greater Owensboro? Tax incentives and a high quality of life for employees plays a large part, as does Owensboro’s strategic transport location at the crossroads of America. Whatever the product — be it brake pedals for Toyotetsu Mid America, high-quality hams for Specialty Foods Group or True Sampler automated sampling equipment from Hollision Technologies — it can be made and shipped in Greater Owensboro. Just how significant is manufacturing to the local economy? Look no further than neighboring Hancock County. Just to the east of Daviess County, the hospitable
land along the Ohio River hosts about an additional dozen manufacturing facilities, encompassing 55-65% of the county’s employment. According to Mike Baker, director of the Hancock County Industrial Foundation, “seventy-two to 73% of every payroll dollar here is in manufacturing.” Facilities there include an aluminum mill for Aleris Rolled Products (which was purchased in 2019 by Novelis); a pulp and paper mill for Domtar; a wire and cable manufacturing facility for Southwire Company and a plant for Century Aluminum. Those four locations account for about 2,300 jobs regionally. Owensboro Riverport Authority also recently had a booming year. Supplies stopped moving when manufacturers temporarily shut down production worldwide in spring 2020 but, because smelters continued operations, those shipments of supplies had to be stored somewhere. Owensboro Riverport
lengths, good times are had and tomorrow’s leaders are educated.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OWENSBORO HEALTH
Owensboro makes things happen. Here’s how.
Authority opened its storage yard — which typically holds about 150,000 tons of metal a year — and welcomed 25,00035,000 tons of aluminum per month in the spring. A record 55,000 tons was received in May — the highest amount of metal the Riverport had handled in one month since summer 2017. The additional revenue helped put the Riverport Authority’s 2019-20 fiscal year ahead by more than $2 million. As the Riverport Authority’s president Brian Wright said, the riverport “plays a critical role in these types of events for a lot of different industries.” And although Owensboro Municipal Utilities stopped producing electricity in May 2020 after 119 years, its power is now being purchased from another PHOTO COURTESY OF AP IMAGERY
Greater Owensboro Chamber member — Big Rivers Electric in Henderson, which itself plans to expand into solar power through the construction of a 1,700-acre solar farm in Henderson County. Read more about our innovative companies in our Businesses of the Year section, pages 29-37.
Small-town vibe meets industry-leading standards When it comes to health care, rural areas can suffer because of a lack of resources, physicians, funding and innovation. But not in Greater Owensboro. One of the region’s top employers is Owensboro Health, which counts more than 4,000 people as employees. The health system serves around 300,000 people in and around Owensboro and has expanded its reach the past few years with healthplexes throughout western Kentucky and the 115,000-square-foot Healthpark in the heart of Owensboro. In summer 2020, Greater Owensboro was able to check off one of its community priorities by establishing a family medicine residency program in partnership with the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Seven residents — out of a staggering 639 applicants — began rotations July 1, training for three years with OH specialists and treating patients at the residency clinic. Six residents are scheduled to join the program each year. With only seven students, the program provides more individualized training, but with U of L’s partnership, extensive research and specialist resources are within reach. The program’s goal is to address a shortage of primary care physicians, but an economic benefit is that, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 39% of medical residents remain within 25 miles of their programs when they’re finished. Also in summer 2020, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital opened the Greater Owensboro
region’s only epilepsy monitoring unit, which provides advanced neurology services such as continuous video electroencephalogram testing in a stable environment. Greater Owensboro doesn’t just attract top health care professionals from around the nation. It also invests in its residents and nurtures a sense of home in them — one that leads them to stay on and reinvest in their hometown. An example is Dr. Matthew Kolok, an Owensboro native who attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and served as a U.S. Air Force flight doctor at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Dr. Kolok is one of the seven inaugural members of Owensboro Health’s family medicine residency program. For the stories of two other health care professionals who chose to practice in their hometown of Owensboro over anywhere else, see pages 78-80. 9
Bourbon, barbecue and bluegrass are just the beginning Greater Owensboro is known for lots of things, but namely the three B’s — once called the “killer B’s” by Kentucky Travel Industry Association President & CEO Hank Phillips, because of the hefty punch they pack. Barbecue, bourbon and bluegrass are tightly hemmed into Owensboro’s history and culture, and they serve as a launchpad for Owensboro’s many entertainment offerings. An example: In September 2020, the Bourbon Review included Owensboro on its list of bourbon-themed weekend getaways. Building on its bourbon history, the magazine used bourbon as the reason for travelers to visit, and then highlighted Owensboro’s museums, restaurants and attractions as a reason to stay the night. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Bourbon Review thinks so highly of Owensboro for those seeking a bourbon-themed weekend trip,” said Dave Kirk, Visit Owensboro’s destination management director. “The Bourbon Review is perhaps the most respected bourbon-themed travel publication in the world.”
the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, increasing annual production to more than 90,000 barrels and quadrupling the number of job positions at the distillery. And now, the addition of several new lines of spirits has expanded the distillery’s portfolio.
and thousands of others who attended weddings, dinners and meetings in the building. The hall of fame has branched out with movie nights at Woodward Theatre and continued its educational programs and jam sessions.
After four decades, the International Bar-B-Q Festival continues to attract thousands of visitors to Owensboro and yet also evolve, with “backyard” cooking teams making more of a dent in consumer spending than in past years and more vendors and activities stretching along the riverfront. Meanwhile, its “big three” barbecue restaurants — Old Hickory, Moonlite and Ole South — continue to serve up tasty mutton and mouthwatering burgoo and incite a spirited debate among locals about who has the best recipe.
The three B’s have put Greater Owensboro on the map. But while no one can deny their heavy impact on the local economy and the area’s prestige, the region is known for more than just barbecue, bourbon and bluegrass. With increased coordination between the city, county and Visit Owensboro, more than 100 special events are staged in Greater Owensboro each year, from awareness walks, ice skating and small business shopping days to national conferences, sports tournaments and holiday extravaganzas. And the list of accomplishments keeps growing: After hosting a geocaching weekend in August 2020, Daviess County was awarded the hosting gig for 2021’s Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure mega event, set for Memorial Day weekend. It’s expected to draw more than 1,200 people from across the country and have an economic impact of around $250,000.
With Green River whiskey coming home in 2020, Owensboro’s bourbon legacy added another jewel to its crown. Since being revived in 2016, the site has gone from strength to strength: joining
The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s celebrated new facility opened in 2018 in downtown Owensboro. In its first year, it drew 35,329 visitors from 47 states and 15 other countries: Australia, Netherlands, France, Canada, England, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Ecuador, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland and New Caledonia. The facility also counted 12,000 to 15,000 people who attended 36 concerts, 7,031 who paid to tour the museum
Owensboro has a rich bourbon history, once being home to 18 distilleries. Green River Distilling Company has been producing Bourbon Whiskey since 1885 and is the only local distillery open to the public and on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Our one-of-a-kind, state-of-theart cultural center pays tribute to bluegrass pioneers including the “Father of Bluegrass.” The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is home to interactive exhibits, memorabilia and provides live entertainment and education for the city.
Festivals and picnics revolve around the city’s history of barbecue and community celebrations. Competitions name the best barbecued mutton and burgoo; two distinguishable Daviess County foods that are available any day of the week at respected restaurants.
Read more about out Owensboro’s shopping, dining and entertainment options starting on page 60.
PHOTO BY ALAN WARREN
Leading the way at all levels From its award-winning K-12 programs to its nationally recognized higher education institutions, Owensboro’s academic scene is thriving and offers vital education for students of all ages. In 2020, both Kentucky Wesleyan and Brescia were feted by U.S. News & World Report for their online bachelor’s degree programs and as two of the best regional colleges in the south. Brescia was also recognized as a Best Value School, while Kentucky Wesleyan was named to the Top Performers in Social Mobility list.
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
Enrollment at Kentucky Wesleyan College has increased each of the last six years, and most notably the pandemic didn’t stop that: At the start of the 2020-21 academic year, both Kentucky Wesleyan and Brescia University again reported increased enrollment. Both institutions benefit Greater Owensboro through their students’ activism, passion for the community and drive to better their collegiate hometown. Read more about Kentucky Wesleyan’s and Brescia’s impact on Owensboro on pages 66-67.
PHOTO COURTESY OF AP IMAGERY
Although Owensboro Community & Technical College experienced a slight decrease in enrollment this academic year — likely on account of the pandemic — its certification programs and workforce development partnerships are going strong. And with good reason: Employers are looking for workers displaying critical soft skills and hands-on training. So area employers and OCTC have teamed up to offer technological and manufacturing training that is essential to area business. City and county officials, too, are investing in cultivating tomorrow’s workers and leaders. Read more about OCTC’s workforce development programs on pages 12-13.
At Owensboro Public Schools, its Innovation Academy has seen tremendous growth and change, from the establishment of the initial academy in 2015 at 1010 Allen St., to the addition of the iMiddle campus in August 2019 at 2631 S. Griffith Ave. iMiddle is modeled after OIA and is part of the district’s existing innovation program, acting as a sister school and feeder to the OIA. Now, both programs have been combined under one roof to form a complete Innovation Academy at the former Owensboro Middle School South building. Although students in the innovation program share the building, one half is devoted to the high school and the other to the middle school. Read more about the Owensboro Innovation Academy campus on pages 76-77. Greater Owensboro
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
Meanwhile, the city, county and Catholic school systems continue innovating through campus evolutions. Daviess County Public Schools is in the process of a multi-phase expansion at Apollo High School, while construction on a new Daviess County Middle School is imminent. At Owensboro Catholic Schools, alumnus Charlie Kamuf donated two lots worth an estimated $420,000 that are adjacent to Owensboro Catholic High School, with the hope that the land will aid OCHS with future expansions. Kamuf said he was led to buy the properties and make the donations because of his family’s longstanding relationship with and positive experiences at OCHS.
PHOTO BY ALAN WARREN
OWENSBORO COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE
A leader in Greater Owensboro’s workforce development written by Jodi Keen
Through its variations since its inception, Owensboro Community & Technical College has remained a premier vocational school and grown to meet the area’s industry demands. And its efforts to develop its students into highly-skilled members of the community workforce have produced resounding success.
Manufacturing remains a staple in Greater Owensboro, and area employers are increasingly looking for prospective workers with a solid industry acumen. OCTC has stepped up to help fill the gap by offering manufacturing, logistics, welding, construction technology and robotics programs to put area students on the cuttingWhether helping high schoolers earn edge of industry standards and within reach dual credits, training students through of well-paid jobs. On-the-job training, job apprenticeships, helping employers recruit placements with local manufacturers and skilled workers through job placements or partnerships through GO FAME — the strengthening the business acumen of area Greater Owensboro chapter of the Kentucky workers, OCTC’s programs bolster Greater Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Owensboro’s skilled workforce in spades. Education, which sets up apprenticeship-style training programs to develop a highly skilled EARLY COLLEGE workforce — have both strengthened and OCTC’s commitment to quality education expanded the program to include business begins with high schoolers through its Early administration and medical assisting in College program, a collaborative partnership addition to manufacturing. with area high schools. Participants use their GO CAREERS junior and senior years to earn dual credit at their school and OCTC. Upon completion of An offshoot of GO FAME, GO CAREERS the program, graduates earn an Associate provides a work-and-learn opportunity of Arts or Science degree in addition to their benefitting both employers and their workers; high school diploma — saving students and employees get to hone their skills and invest their families tens of thousands of dollars in in their careers, while employers can cultivate tuition and related education costs. more engaged workers who lead by example. “It’s a safe environment to earn college credit,” Amanda Jerome, the college and career readiness coordinator for Daviess County Public Schools, said in December 2019. School officials have also noticed a positive change in students once they begin taking courses on OCTC’s campuses. “It amplifies their confidence that they can handle college-level material,” she said. “They know what to expect. It improves their confidence, and they typically do go on to some type of post-secondary education afterward.”
surprised at how successful this program has been,” Cindy Fiorella, vice president of OCTC Workforce Solutions division, said in 2020. “Not only do we offer concierge-style support throughout, but the cohort model creates a dynamic and supportive learning environment for the participating students.” E3@OCTC INITIATIVE To strengthen the workforce development offerings, OCTC announced in August 2020 its new E3@OCTC initiative, which bolsters the program’s hands-on learning. “We are going to provide more active, experiential project-based learning across our entire curriculum,” OCTC President Scott Williams said. “We are going to increase the number of co-ops, practicums, internships and similar programs, as well as implementing more service and civic-based learning opportunities and injecting more active and project-based learning in our curriculum.” Given that a high volume of OCTC graduates remain in Greater Owensboro, the idea of developing a well-rounded workforce is attractive to area officials. The initiative found support from the City of Owensboro and Daviess County Fiscal Court, which are each investing $25,000 to help get the program started. With assistance through a three-year, $2 million Title III grant, the program aims to use the endowment and matches to provide a foundation to the program, build it through partnerships and donations, and by the end of the three-year federal grant, be self-sufficient.
In its first three years, GO CAREERS held a 96% retention rate among students who “The great thing is that it helps the completed the program. For area employers, students and provides instruction to the faculty that statistic holds especially impactful weight. to better train these students as they partner “GO CAREERS blends the job success and with and expand workforce development to development with the educational knowledge create a highly-qualified workforce through and experience to build our leaders right here intensifying and broadening the scope of in Owensboro,” says David Little, executive learning,” Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson vice president of consumer banking & said upon the initiative’s announcement, with business operations at U.S. Bank. Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly “OCTC was the first in the state to expand adding, “The aid of the county and the city is simply continuing our commitment to this model beyond manufacturing, and we knew it had great potential, but even we were education and a well-educated workforce.”
IN STEP WITH TECHNOLOGY written by Devinn Winkleman
Hayden Farms leads the
way in agricultural innovation When Daniel Hayden bought Hayden Farms in Whitesville from his father, Martin, he wanted to do more with the property than just raise chickens and cattle. He wanted to transform it into a company that innovated in agriculture. He did so with his wife, Danielle, by building the poultry education center — and the results have led to Hayden Farms becoming a notable leader in agricultural innovation. The center features a glass wall built into the side of a chicken house so that visitors can see how the chickens are raised. This idea came from his wife after Perdue Farms granted him the opportunity to build four more chicken houses in 2017 on top of the four he initially owned with them. (The Haydens have raised chickens for Perdue for nearly 25 years.)
PHOTO COURTESY OF HAYDEN FARMS
“And that turned into a classroom essentially attached onto one of the chicken houses with essentially a glass wall inside of it to where you can see directly into the chicken houses,” he said. “And alongside with it, we’re going to build what we call an education center, which is a separate building, where we can host groups for presentations.” The Haydens have also innovated the farm by incorporating the latest
Hayden Farms timeline 1983
Hayden Farms is established by Martin and Joan Hayden, who raise cattle and grow tobacco 14
Hayden Farms begins raising chickens for Perdue Farms
Joan and Martin Hayden Joan and Martin’s start the Daviess County youngest son, feeder calf project Daniel, purchases program, which is among the family farm the most successful such and becomes the programs in Kentucky farm manager Greater Owensboro
2018 Hayden Farms opens its poultry education center
Jan. 2020 Daniel Hayden joins the State Board of Agriculture
June 2020 Daniel Hayden is featured on the sixth episode, “The Farmer, the Mechanic and the Bus Driver,” of Amazon’s “Regular Heroes” documentary series
technology. Each of his chicken houses is controlled by a computer that’s linked to the internet. “I can control everything in those chicken houses just from my cellphone, just as long as I have internet access,” Hayden said. If anything unexpected happens, such as a slight temperature change, the computers will alert him with full details either through a text message or a phone call. He then can use an app to monitor the full range of data of each of the chicken houses, such as how much food and water they’ve consumed to how much electricity each house is using. The resulting education center has attracted visitors from nearly 30 countries to the farm in Whitesville to see the curious masterpiece. Such innovations were not lost on Perdue; when Amazon approached the company looking for a farmer to highlight in its 2020 documentary series “Regular Heroes,” Perdue knew just who to recommend. Hayden called his appearance on the show “a very humbling experience for me. I hope I represented my community and farmers well. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” But these innovations aren’t a stopping point for him or the farm, because he’s constantly trying to learn new ways to better himself and his business through continual education. That includes attending poultry and cattle educational events, being active in the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and reading the latest research from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. “As a farmer, we try to continually learn” Hayden said, “not just from our own experiments that we have at our own farm, but experiments that are more broad that are done with more funding to have more accurate data produced and harvested, so that we can make an accurate and good decision when it comes to management practices.”
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Jodi Keen contributed to this story. Greater Owensboro
REPRESENTATION IN FRANKFORT The Chamber makes frequent trips to the state capitol to lobby for Greater Owensboro’s interests. Locally, the Advocacy Committee works on promoting a pro-business and pro-Owensboro position related to state and federal policy.
The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce
Greater Owensboro is also represented each year in Frankfort at the West Kentucky Thank You Night, in which Kentucky chambers of commerce show appreciation to state leaders for their help with legislation.
concerns itself with more than just business. Its leaders
“As the largest community in the alliance, we need to have a big
believe that robust civic education and engagement make Owensboro’s position stronger among state and national policymakers. To that end, the Chamber’s
include a focus on voting, community priorities and making Greater Owensboro’s voice heard in Frankfort. 16
PHOTOS COURTESY OF OWENSBORO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
crowd of Owensboroans there to demonstrate our engagement and our interest in what is going on in Frankfort,” Chamber President Candance Castlen Brake says. Greater Owensboro representatives have long traveled to Frankfort on behalf of the area. For example, in 1994, the RiverPark Center and what was then the International Bluegrass Music Museum sponsored a Bluegrass & Bar-B-Q Bonanza event at the Frankfort VFW Hall to present their case for $4 million in state aid. More than 500 legislators, lobbyists, state officials and bluegrass fans attended.
COMMUNITY PRIORITIES Every other year, the Chamber, the Economic Development Corporation, the City of Owensboro and the Daviess County Fiscal Court collaborate to create the Greater Owensboro Community Priorities list, which outlines regional capital and transportation projects. Input is sought from area businesses and residents to help identify and prioritize what should be included. Recent capital priorities have been establishing a family residency program at Owensboro Health and creating a family court judge position, while transportation priorities have included upgrading the William H. Natcher Parkway to I-165 and completing a new downtown parking garage.
VOTING A major event in the Chamber’s advocacy plans is its Red, White and Blue forum, held during election years. Candidates for local, state and federal office are invited to attend, giving Greater Owensboro residents a rare opportunity to meet and hear directly from those who would potentially represent them in government. Begun in 1958 as what eventually became a politician’s stopping point at Red’s Place in Sorgho, it was regrouped as Red, White and Blue and moved to O’Bryan’s Bar & Grill in West Louisville, then Reid’s Orchard near Thruston, and finally to the Daviess County Courthouse lawn, its present location, in 2014. The Chamber also partners with the Messenger-Inquirer every election year Greater Owensboro
on a Voters’ Guide, covering races, candidates and statewide measures on that year’s ballot. For the 2020 election, the Chamber also presented a virtual forum featuring candidates for Owensboro mayor and state representative for the 13th District and hosted a web meeting with Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams about issues related to the general election. When Adams relayed that the state was facing a shortage of poll workers because many were older and more at risk of contracting COVID-19, the Chamber mobilized its Young Professionals program members to volunteer at the polls in Greater Owensboro. All of these measures factor into the Chamber’s efforts of increasing local voter turnout, with the goal of exceeding 50%. 17
Membership Amidst all of the big picture items happening in Greater Owensboro, our team at the Chamber is here proudly serving our members. We talk daily about our membership — how to serve them better, how to offer valuable tools they need, opportunities to connect with different markets and a ready workforce. Many times we are celebrating recent successes of our members. Those moments are the best. So one of the toughest questions to answer is “what do I get for a membership?” It isn’t a tough question to answer because I don’t have an answer. I could talk for hours about why investing in any Chamber is good for any business. It’s tough to answer because I see it every hour of every day — and I have seen it play out in our community since I was 18 years old in Owensboro and started paying attention to things going on in my great hometown. Chambers are good for business. Period. What do our members in the Greater Owensboro Chamber get for their investment? They have a group of people who wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night thinking of ways to help their business or organization find new markets. They have an organization that watches trends and regulations, that works to communicate these things to them and connects with city hall, the courthouse, Frankfort and Washington D.C. on items that impact their bottom line. They belong to an association of nearly 1,000 other businesses and organizations that believe that together, our voice is stronger and that prosperity and success are contagious. The bottom line is the Chamber needs each member. We have very active members, and we have members so busy that they’re unable to break away and participate in events. Regardless, each is important. Through the years, our Chamber has been a driving part of some of the most exciting, groundbreaking and time-tested community change, projects, initiatives and ideas. Just imagine if no one invested and our Chamber was no longer here. Our members make us happen. They inspire us every day. Editor’s note: This column by Candance Castlen Brake, president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, was originally written for the Oct. 16, 2019, business section of the Messenger-Inquirer.
Talent & Engagement The recruitment, development and retention of talent has long been identified as top priorities to Greater Owensboro’s growth by local leaders. Whether in business, health care or government, the innovation, ideas and experience of talented professionals strengthens Owensboro’s economic core and increases its opportunities. Leadership Owensboro was formed as a means to help develop that talent while educating participants about Owensboro’s specific successes and needs. Class members attend monthly workshops, seminars and onsite visits with local leaders in health care, government and policy, civic organizations, the justice system, education and agriculture, learning about each area’s role in and impact on Greater Owensboro. As participants gain a deeper understanding of what moves life in Greater Owensboro, they’re challenged to engage their own experiences and perspectives to develop fresh ideas on how to meet needs and grow opportunities in the region. A goal is also for each class to address a community issue by cultivating and presenting a resolution throughout the course of the nearly yearlong program. “Leadership Owensboro is the chamber’s proven talent development program. It continues to cultivate leaders and expose them to challenges and opportunities in our community,” Chamber president and CEO Candance Castlen Brake said upon the announcement of the 2021 class. “Our goal for the class is that they graduate with a clear plan on how they can make Owensboro a better place.” In Leadership Owensboro classes, you’ll find participants can be everyone from Fulbright scholars to small business owners, educators to financial executives, law enforcement personnel to Realtors, farmers to marketing and media specialists. Many are patrons, volunteers and board members of community organizations and nonprofits, sparking their interest in bettering their community. And with between 25 and 40 annual graduates, the overall network of Leadership Owensboro alumni is vast. Sara Hemingway, executive director of the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation and a member of Leadership Owensboro’s curriculum committee, said, “This spirit of giving back and making a difference is one of the things that makes Owensboro and Daviess County such a great place to live and work.” Greater Owensboro
COME STAY PLAY
Transportation OWENSBORO-DAVIESS COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT 2200 Airport Road Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 685-4179 owb.net
Owensboroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city-county airport offers travel on two commercial airlines and rental car services. The airport also serves as a home base for recreational pilots and freight flights and a training base for military exercises. ALLEGIANT AIR 2200 Airport Road Owensboro, KY 42301 (702) 505-8888 allegiantair.com
Allegiant Air operates roundtrip commercial flights between Owensboro to Orlando Sanford International Airport in sunny Florida. CAPE AIR 2200 Airport Road Owensboro, KY 42301 (314) 616-9730 capeair.com
Cape Air offers several daily commercial flights, typically aboard a light aircraft such as a Cessna, to St. Louis and Nashville. UBER uber.com
This popular ride-sharing app has drivers available in Owensboro. Request a ride and then head out wherever you want to go. LYFT lyft.com
Make exploring easy for yourself: Leave the car at home or the hotel and get a Lyft instead. 20
OWENSBORO-DAVIESS COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 215 E. Second St. Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 926-1100 visitowensboro.com
LIMOS BY KNIGHT 2921 Frederica Street Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 684-4688 limosbyknight.com
Limos by Knight has been Owensboro’s premier limousine service since 1998. Its fleet of luxury vehicles ranges from a Cadillac Escalade and a Lincoln Town Car to 14-passenger superstretch limousines and limobuses. Limos by Knight also offers rentals for special events, and it celebrates Owensboro with wine and bourbon tours. OWENSBORO TRANSIT SYSTEM
OWENSBORO AIR SHOW
5710 Kentucky 144
INTERNATIONAL BAR-B-Q FESTIVAL
Owensboro, KY 42303
The annual River of Music Party, put on each summer by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, features four days of concerts, jam sessions, workshops and food at Yellow Creek Park. Past headliners include Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, John Prine, The Punch Brothers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Every second weekend in May, Owensboro’s riverfront draws thousands to its famed celebration of barbecue. Cooking teams vie for the Governor’s Cup, and spectators sample savory treats and enjoy live music, carnival rides, arts and craft sales, a car show and more. DAZZLING DAYLILIES 25 Carter Road
1328 Griffith Ave.
Owensboro, KY 42301
Owensboro, KY 42301
The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden presents this annual festival each June featuring hot air “Balloons Over the Garden,” a Walk and Talk, plant sale and more.
In late summer, First Presbyterian Church hosts an exploration of diversity in Owensboro and a celebration of cultures that educates the public through dance, music, the arts and international cuisine.
ALL AMERICAN FOURTH OF JULY
LABOR DAY FIREWORKS (at Panther Creek Park)
5160 Wayne Bridge Road
430 Allen Street Owensboro, KY 42303 transit.owensboro.org
The City of Owensboro operates a regular bus service MondaySaturday (except holidays). Fares are $1 for adults and 50 cents for seniors, the disabled and youths; children ride for free. Daily tokens or passes are available. Exact routes can be found on the service’s website. TROLLEY Downtown Owensboro
Want to catch a show, tour a museum, visit Smothers Park or sample Owensboro’s famous bourbon and cuisine downtown? Don’t get bogged down trying to find the perfect parking space — let the downtown trolley take you where you want to go. For times and routes see page 60.
OWENSBORO MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL
The City of Owensboro throws an Independence Day party on the riverfront that includes live music, food vendors, free activities and inflatables for kids and a spectacular fireworks display. DAVIESS COUNTY LIONS CLUB FAIR
Owensboro, KY 42301
Daviess County celebrates Labor Day with festivities that include inflatables, food vendors, live music and a spectacular fireworks show. ESCAPE TO THE MOUNT WEEKEND 8001 Cummings Road
6191 Kentucky 54
Owensboro, KY 42301
Philpot, KY 42366
The Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph offer their annual picnic over one weekend in September. On tap is a weekend full of arts and crafts, food vendors and a children’s tent, all with free admission.
The annual fair is held each July at the Daviess County Fairgrounds and features tractor pulls, rides, food, pageants, talent show and competitions.
An aircraft display and a twoday show of breathtaking aerial demonstrations at the riverfront make this event one of Owensboro’s newest favorites. REID’S ORCHARD APPLE FESTIVAL 4812 Kentucky 144 Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 685-2444 reidorchard.com
Reid’s Orchard has been celebrating apples and the fall season for more than two decades. Visitors can sample a variety of apple-themed treats and take part in family activities. BOO FEST 7301 Hobbs Road Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 229-4900 diamondlakeresort.net
Diamond Lake Resort hosts an annual Boo Fest the last three weekends in October, with hayrides, pumpkin painting, crafts, games and lots of candy. OWENSBORO-DAVIESS COUNTY CHRISTMAS PARADE ChristmasParade.net
Held the Saturday before Thanksgiving and featuring lighted floats and a grand marshal, the parade is one of the largest in the area. CHRISTMAS AT PANTHER CREEK PARK 5160 Wayne Bridge Road Owensboro, KY 42301
Drive through lighted holiday displays put on by Daviess County. Area organizations benefit from donations collected each week. 21
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Accommodations BEST WESTERN PLUS 1018 Goetz Drive Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 689-0939 bestwestern.com
Owensboro’s newest hotel opened in November 2018. Conveniently located near the Frederica Street exit on the U.S. 60 bypass, this 63-bed facility includes a heated indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, free WiFi, express check-in and complimentary hot breakfast for guests. COMFORT SUITES OWENSBORO 230 Salem Drive Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 926-7675 choicehotels.com
All rooms are stocked with a microwave, refrigerator, flat-screen TV, coffee maker and free Wi-Fi. Upgraded suites offer a sofa bed, wet bar and partial room dividers. Amenities include an indoor heated saltwater pool and hot tub, free weekday newspaper, complimentary breakfast, business center, meeting rooms, laundry service and fitness center. PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLIDAY INN – OWENSBORO RIVERFRONT
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT OWENSBORO 3120 Highland Pointe Drive Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 685-4140 marriott.com
All rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, coffeemaker and work station. Select suites also include sofa beds, a wet bar, microwave and two rooms. Amenities include a fitness center, pool, meeting rooms, a bistro and coin laundry.
3720 New Hartford Road
HAMPTON INN OWENSBORO SOUTH
HOLIDAY WORLD & SPLASHIN’ SARAFI
Owensboro, KY 42303
615 Salem Drive
452 East Christmas Boulevard
Owensboro, KY 42303
Santa Claus, IN 47579
Enjoy mobile check-in, an outdoor pool, same-day dry cleaning, and the complimentary Daybreak breakfast bar.
Rooms include a work space, coffee maker, free Wi-Fi and LCD TVs, while two-room suites include a mini-kitchen and separate living area with sleeper sofa. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, business center, laundry service, fitness center and outdoor pool.
Indiana’s famed family-friendly amusement park also offers overnight accommodations. Enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, family suites and laundry facilities at Santa’s Lodge or the one- and two-bedroom options at Santa’s Lakeside Cottages. Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort offers a restaurant and a free shuttle to the park, while all accommodations are either onsite or a short drive away.
3365 Hayden Road
FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES BY MARRIOTT OWENSBORO 800 Salem Drive Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 688-8887 marriott.com
Recently renovated rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, workstations, minifridge, microwave and coffeemaker. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, convenience store, fitness center and an indoor pool. HAMPTON INN & SUITES DOWNTOWN/WATERFRONT 401 W. Second Street Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 685-2005 hilton.com
Luxury suites feature a living area, walk-in closet, garden tub and commanding views of the Ohio River. Amenities include a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool, 24-hour business center, meeting rooms, beauty salon, coin laundry, convenience store, complimentary breakfast, snack shop and clothing store.
HOLIDAY INN – OWENSBORO RIVERFRONT 701 W. First Street
QUALITY INN, OWENSBORO
Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 683-1111
3136 West Second Street
laundry facility, outdoor pool, business center and free Wi-Fi. This hotel is a pet-friendly facility.
Owensboro, KY 42303 (270) 594-1002 marriott.com
A 102-room extended stay Marriott hotel in the Gateway Commons development at the crossroads of Kentucky 54 and U.S. 60. Includes a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, complimentary hot breakfast, sundry/convenience store, in-room wireless internet and two meeting rooms. WINGFIELD INN & SUITES
Owensboro, KY 42301
Each room offers a flatscreen TV, mini-refrigerator, microwave, Keurig coffee maker and Wi-Fi. Suite upgrades include a king bed, sofa bed, separate living room and wet bar. The north side of the hotel offers commanding views of the Ohio River. Hotel amenities include a heated indoor pool, fitness center, business center, dry cleaning and self-laundry service. On-site restaurant Burger Theory specializes in hand-crafted gourmet burgers and sandwiches, offers specialty bourbons and craft beers, and offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service.
Owensboro, KY 42301
Amenities include free breakfast, laundry facility, heated indoor pool, business center, game room, fitness center and free Wi-Fi. This hotel is a pet-friendly facility.
THE CREME COFFEE HOUSE CONDO
QUALITY INN, LEWISPORT 9040 U.S. 60 Lewisport, KY 42351 (270) 295-3234 choicehotels.com
3220 W. Parrish Avenue
All guest rooms feature a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, iron and free weekday newspaper. Studio suites offer a sitting area, pullout sofa and two TVs. Amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, free high-speed internet, complimentary breakfast, dry cleaning, self-laundry services and 24-hour business center.
Guest rooms offer coffeemakers, microwaves, refrigerators and irons. Amenities include complimentary breakfast,
Find Owensboro on Airbnb
109 E 2nd St Owensboro, KY 42303
Eclectic condo in the heart of downtown Owensboro sitting above The Creme Coffee House. Smothers Park and Lazy Dayz Playground, one of the nation’s top-rated parks, is just out the back door. The Owensboro Museum of Science and History is across the street, and next door is the Riverpark Center. It’s also just 3 blocks or a trolley ride away from the convention center. There are nearby shopping options, food-and-drink neighbors and nightlife. Greater Owensboro
Caring for Our Community Since 1913. “We are grateful to the members of this community that we are allowed and trusted to serve their families in times of need. Thank you.” Billy Boyle, III President
John Hill Vice President
3009Frederica Frederica Street 3009 Street••Owensboro Owensboro••(270) (270)683-5377 683-5377 •• davisfuneralhome.com davisfuneralhome.com 26
Welcome to the community.
2 70 - 6 8 3 -15 0 5 Greater Owensboro
w w w. g l e n nc a r e s .c o m 27
The Owensboro Health Healthpark exists to heal the sick and to improve the health of our community. Our greatest achievements are found in the victories we share with you each and every day. From medical-based programs designed to help you get healthy, to excellent exercise facilities, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re proud to support your wellness journey.
Thank you for making the Healthpark a part of your life! OwensboroHealth.org/Healthpark
W G R E AT E R O
f o the s s e Y is n
O C HAM
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Each year, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce presents awards to local businesses and organizations for their outstanding services, support, efforts and involvement in the community. The awards celebrate businesses of all sizes, and awards are presented by the prior year’s winners, ensuring a cyclical network of local businesses and organizations working together for Owensboro’s future.
Tanner + West
PHOTOS BY GREG EANS
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1 -1 0 Em ployees
Tanner+West is an award-winning, full-service
advertising, branding, graphic design, website development, photography and video production. They pride themselves on executing ideas that inspire, motivate and move people to act and in the process help brands build loyalty and authenticity. Founded by Jason Tanner and Taylor West, Tanner+West is the creative force behind the promotional products and advertisements for many well-known area businesses, including a new catalog for revered barbecue establishment Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn; a touching commercial for Glenn Family Services; and refreshed branding for Kentucky Wesleyan College athletics. A regular nominee at the annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards, in 2020 Tanner+West received 10 award nominations and secured two wins, for best photography and best lighting.
Front: Andrea Roberson, Graphic Designer; Jason Tanner, Owner; Ashley Gleason, Account Director; Middle: Monica Smith, Ad Designer; Eric Bivens, Creative Director; Back row: Josh Albers, Bookkeeper; Brock Quinton, Account Director; David Grinnell, Video Producer; Jamie Alexander, Photographer
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Greenwell Chisholm 11 -5
0 E mployee
Greenwell Chisholm has been serving Owensboro since 1919 and recently celebrated its centennial year in service. With the latest in computer-to-plate technologies, new generation printing presses and full Internet capabilities, Greenwell Chisholm has grown from a company that printed on “paper” to a company that can put your logo on virtually anything, from four-color brochures to pens, shirts, jackets, signs, banners — nearly anything you can imagine. One thing has hasn’t changed in the last century is its commitment to quality and customer service. Carl and Brian Greenwell are thirdand fourth-generation Greenwells to run the business and oversaw the company’s expansion at its Parrish Avenue facility. As Brian said in late 2019, “We’re setting the stage for future growth.” In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Greenwell Chisholm shifted gears and began manufacturing face shields in spring 2020, selling thousands and donating many, too. Philanthropy and community service run strong at Greenwell Chisholm, with the company routinely sponsoring events such as Friday After 5 and even donating a Nissan Quest van to Puzzle Pieces. From left: Brian Greenwell, Vice President; and Carl Greenwell, President
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
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Boardwalk Pipelines 51+ E
Boardwalk Pipelines is a limited partnership operating in the midstream por tion of the natural gas and natural gas liquids industry, providing transportation and storage services for its customers. Boardwalk understands that its success depends upon creating value for its customers. Its assets connect important supply resources to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids. Boardwalk has the experience, knowledge and flexibility to design service offerings and create system enhancements tailored to its customers’ needs. A champion of community outreach. Boardwalk Pipelines regularly donates its time and resources to local causes, including Habitat for Humanity, United Way of the Ohio Valley, the RiverPark Center, Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. Most recently, Boardwalk Pipelines has partnered with other energy companies and the Station Family Foundation to bring Energy On Ice to McConnell Plaza in downtown Owensboro. Reminiscent of “Winter Wonderland” years ago at the plaza near the RiverPark Center, the companies footed the bill to bring back the popular ice skating event and reimagine it for the 2020s.
eY e ar
Rowland Family Dentistry
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
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t usi ness of
Rowland Family Dentistry offers service for complete dental needs, including cleanings, extractions, fillings, aesthetic smile makeovers and tooth whitening products. The Rowland Family Dentistry team is empowered to help patients make decisions about their oral health and is able to provide patients with the information needed to make educated decisions about the latest products and technologies in dentistry. The practice hosts community care days where it offers free dental care to residents in need. The event in October 2020 provided about $4,000 in free dental care. Dr. Janet Rowland also serves as the clinical director of God Smile Ministry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping patients receive dentures and dental work after recovery from addiction. “The mission of our practice is that we would serve our patients, serve our community and serve one another,” Rowland said in a January 2020 interview with the Messenger-Inquirer. “So when (ministry founder and director Michael Magan) presented an opportunity to provide dentures to people who have been in recovery, and a past they would like to move forward from, that really meets our mission.” Dr. Janet Rowland, Owner
PHOTOS BY GREG EANS
siness of th u e B New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services Non- Profit New Beginnings Sexual Assault
Support Services was recognized as the 2020 Nonprofit of the Year at the 2020 Chamber Celebration. One of 13 rape crisis centers in Kentucky, New Beginnings offers free, confidential crisis and therapy services to sexual assault survivors and their family and friends. The
informational programs to help prevent sexual assault and victimization. A new initiative seeks to educate the public — particularly adults — about the ways abusers groom children prior to sexual assault. It’s the nonprofit’s first such training program for adults in the community. “A vital, crucial piece that has been missing is teaching adults what to look for,” New Beginnings’ advocacy coordinator Terri Crowe said in an October 2020 interview, “to let them know that they are being groomed, too. ... The burden shouldn’t be completely on the child to report. Adults need to learn and be aware. … Any awareness we can raise, in general, is good.”
From left: Karla Ward, Executive Director; Julie Campbell, Assistant Director; Becky Roby, Clinical Coordinator
a ti o
Daviess County Public Library
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f k r o n& W
Daviess County Public LIbrary was recognized as the 2020 Education and Workforce Development Institution of the Year at the 2020 Chamber Celebration. More than a place to check out books, DCPL also provides notary publ ic s e r v ic e s , ho mewo rk hel p , mobile printing services, internet access, instrument rentals, extensive genealogical records, decades of the Messenger-Inquirer newspaper on microfilm and free delivery to homebound residents. Its storytelling events and reading prog rams al lows par tic ipants to earn prizes and encourages a love of reading in young children. DCPL has also partnered with other agencies in Owensboro to provide experience passes to activities in the area.
Erin Waller, Director
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
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Specialty Foods Group, LLC Ma
Specialty Foods Group LLC, makers of Kentucky Legend, was recognized as the 2020 Manufacturer of the Year at the 2020 Chamber Celebration. SFG meats are made from time-tested recipes. Its Kentucky Legend product line includes smoked turkey breast, center-cut choice pork chops and delicious sliced sandwich meats. The company’s focus on delivering great-tasting meats is why its whole hams and turkey breasts are the largest-selling products in their class in the United States. Founded in 1914 as the Field Packing Co., the company has continued to call Owensboro home; SFG even moved its headquarters here in 2014 after acquiring the company. It’s now the third-largest private employer in Daviess County. With such deep roots, Specialty Foods Group gives back to the community through its event sponsorships, such as the International Bar-B-Q Festival and the All-American Fourth of July fireworks display. It’s especially known for its popular Oink for Owensboro fundraiser, in which local companies design fiberglass pig sculptures to raise money for area nonprofits. The threeyear initiative raised $100,000 and was retired in 2020. From left: Kevin Clark, Director of Human Resources; Miranda Zunun, Superintendent; Matt Head, Superintendent; Eric Sheiss, President
PHOTO BY ALAN WARREN
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Farm Credit Mid-America m u f A g ri b u s
Fa r m
M i d -Ame r i c aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s
purpose is to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture. An agricultural lending cooperative owned and controlled by its customers, it is one of the largest associations within the Farm Credit System serving customers throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Farm Credit System provides more than $191 billion in credit and related services to farmers, agribusinesses and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives. Its Rural 1st consumer division also extends loans to homeowners. Farm Credit Mid-America regularly donates to Farms To Food Banks, an initiative linking farm-fresh products with communities in need. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Farm Credit ramped up its efforts and donated more than $100,000 to cover emergency assistance and increased needs at food bank distribution centers in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
From left: Matt Keller, Financial Officer; Jenny Shultz, Consumer Loan Officer; Brandon Gilles, Regional Vice President-Crop Insurance
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Amber Lost 104 Pounds And Found Her Best Self. Struggling with weight gain for many years kept Amber Thompson from enjoying her life. She tried all sorts of diets and exercise programs, but nothing seemed to help. Everything began to change for her when she reached out to the Surgical Weight Loss Center at Owensboro Health. With guidance from bari bariatric surgeon Ravi Alapati, MD, and his experienced, supportive staﬀ, she learned healthier habits to prepare for her weight loss surgery in October 2018. mo than a year, Amber had lost 104 In just more pounds and is now maintaining her weight loss, living the healthier, happier life she has always wanted.
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GREEN RIVER WHISKEY COMES HOME written by Jodi Keen
The last six years have been nothing short of a whirlwind at 10 Distillery Road. Since its purchase by Terressentia Corporation in 2014, the site in western Owensboro has hosted nearly nonstop activity and some of the most exciting developments in Greater Owensboro in the 21st century. It is hallowed land, to be sure, as it’s the original home of the early-20th century makers of famed Green River Whiskey — billed in the early 1900s as “the whiskey without a headache.” A fire in 1918 devastated the campus, and it never truly recovered its prestige. Until now. After operating for six years under the name O.Z. Tyler Distillery and building its brand of curiously innovative yet traditional spirits, Terressentia acquired the rights to the Green River brand, and the company was brought back home to 10 Distillery Road. (Although its tagline was updated to “the whiskey without regrets.”) There was no feeling more euphoric than when Terressentia CEO Simon Burch and Green River director of operations Jacob Call (himself a thirdgeneration master distiller and a driving force behind the distillery’s success) unveiled the Green River Distilling sign in September 2020. Burch himself called the unveiling “a moment of happiness and celebration in a challenging year.”
The distillery has garnered increasing accolades from bourbon fans and critics alike, not least of which was its addition in 2018 to the prestigious Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Last September, Bourbon Review magazine included the distillery in a flattering feature on Owensboro. Reviewers were impressed by the facility’s sizable campus as well as its adherence to respecting the craft of bourbon while experimenting with new innovation. The Green River Distilling team takes care to balance its cutting-edge processes with deep respect for the crafting of bourbon. During renovations, the team salvaged existing structures and rescued as many original materials as it could. It includes local corn in its mash. And, true to the tradition of Kentucky bourbon, its spirits age in charred oak barrels for at least one year and one day. Green River Distillery produces 90,000 barrels of bourbon and rye a year and in early November 2020 released Yellow Banks Bourbon, a collaboration between the distillery and the Kentucky Corn Growers Association. The distillery is also eying the release of a four-year aged Green River Bourbon in 2021, a sign of big things to come in the company’s first year under its original mantle. As the distillery marches further into the 21st century, it truly embodies a motto of having no regrets.
FYI The Green River name is used for whiskies produced for Green River Spirits, the parent company. When the distillery is producing whiskey for others — such as Wheel Horse Rye for Latitude Beverage Co. — it uses Owensboro Distilling Co. for its name. Among the many brands it produces, the distillery makes Terry Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, for Bradshaw Bourbon, and Duke Bourbon and Duke Rye, for Duke Spirits (both whiskeys are made from handwritten recipes by movie legend John Wayne). Green River Distilling Co. 4 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon is anticipated to be available in 2021. “DSP-KY-10” is the Green River distillery’s official site number.
Green River Distilling Co. Timeline PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
J.W. McCulloch moves his recentlypurchased distillery to Owensboro and renames it Green River Distillery.
A fire destroys much of the distillery. Although the property is rebuilt, Prohibition takes the wind out of its sails, and the company eventually moves away from Owensboro.
2014 After decades of changing ownership and attempts at renovation, Terressentia Corporation buys and renovates the property at 10 Distillery Road. Greater Owensboro
Terressentia opens O.Z. Tyler Distillery, named for the founder of the company’s revolutionary rapid distilling process.
O.Z. Tyler joins the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail, becoming its westernmost point.
O.Z. Tyler Distillery is renamed Green River Distilling Co., returning the distillery to its roots. 49
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‘OUR CLAIM TO FAME’
How barbecue restaurants put Owensboro on the map written by Keith Lawrence
BARBECUE PUT OWENSBORO ON THE WORLD MAP Google “Owensboro” and “barbecue” and you’ll get more than 145,000 hits. Foodies frequently make pilgrimages to the self-styled “barbecue capital of the world” to try the local delicacies. A lot of barbecue joints have come and gone through the years, but three remain and have staked out a solid reputation for themselves. Old Hickory Bar-B-Que, 338 Washington Ave., is the oldest, founded in 1918. Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, 2840 W. Parrish Ave., is the largest, with 325 seats. And Ole South Barbeque, 3523 Kentucky 54, which opened in 1995, is the newest. But it’s carving out its own space.
Ken Bosley’s parents — Hugh “Pappy” and Catherine Bosley — bought Moonlite, a 14-year-old barbecue joint with 30 seats, including stools at the counter, from Sonnie and Sadie Bertram and J.C. and Betty Stinson for $50,000 in February 1963. “It’s just a good family atmosphere,” Bosley says. “We’re the biggest draw in restaurant tourism in town. A lot of people come because they saw us on TV. We’ve had a lot of luck getting free TV. Andrew Zimmern was great.” He estimates that about 50% of Moonlite’s business comes from Daviess County, 28% comes from Indiana, 8% is from other states and the rest from other places in Kentucky. The restaurant has served such celebrities as former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former second lady Marilyn Quayle, Jim Nabors, Bill Monroe, William Shatner, Kevin Costner and Emmylou Harris. “Our buffet is our claim to fame,” Bosley said. “Mutton has dropped off,” he said. “But Owensboro is the only place you can get mutton. It really sets us apart. And people who like mutton come to Owensboro.”
The owners say all three cook their meat the same way. There are no trade secrets, and each is considered a family restaurant. But they each have their fans.
Eight years ago, Greg Floyd got tired of the automobile business and bought Ole South for a change of careers.
‘LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS OF OWENSBORO’ “This is one of the legendary restaurants of Owensboro,” John Foreman, the fifth-generation owner of Old Hickory, said recently. “If I didn’t own the restaurant, I’d still eat here three or four times a week,” he said. “There’s just so much variety to choose from.” Although the restaurant has fed customers from every continent through the years, “we’re known as the place local people eat,” Foreman said. One thing that sets Old Hickory apart is that it has never had a buffet in the 102 years since Charles Foreman began barbecuing in his blacksmith shop at the corner of Frederica Street and Washington Avenue. Through the years, Old Hickory has been featured on a number of cable cooking and travel shows and has been on a number of “best” barbecue lists. “We’ve never changed anything,” Foreman said. “Most of the recipes go back to the beginning, as far as I know. The sauce, the dip, even the chili,” Foreman said. “Tradition is everything with this place. I try to keep everything the same. I try not to change anything.” PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
‘WE EMPHASIZE HOME COOKING’
“We get locals and people from out of town too,” he said. “We have a breakfast buffet, lunch buffet and dinner buffet. On Fridays and Saturdays, we have fiddlers and fillets. And we’ve catered some big events.” In 2019, Louisville’s Frazier History Museum, which is considered the start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, featured an Owensboro night. O.Z. Tyler made specialty cocktails. The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum provided a bluegrass band. And Ole South supplied the food. Floyd said, “All barbecue in Owensboro is about the same, but we really emphasize pulled pork — chopped and sliced.” He said, “We emphasize home cooking. We sell a lot of fried chicken. And it’s crazy how many sides we sell. We make our own cobblers too.” Since 1995, when the restaurant opened, Kentucky 54 has become the growth area of the county. “It’s a great location,” Floyd said. He estimates that “90% of our customers are familiar with Kentucky barbecue. But we have to explain it to some. People from out of the area aren’t familiar with burgoo (a meat stew famous in Kentucky). We have to explain the ingredients.”
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吀栀攀 挀漀洀瀀愀渀椀攀猀 琀栀愀琀 戀甀椀氀搀 愀渀搀 最爀漀眀 伀眀攀渀猀戀漀爀漀Ⰰ 眀攀爀攀 戀甀椀氀琀 愀渀搀 最爀漀眀渀 爀椀最栀琀 栀攀爀攀 椀渀 伀眀攀渀猀戀漀爀漀⸀
伀甀爀 瀀攀漀瀀氀攀 洀愀欀攀 漀甀爀 挀漀洀瀀愀渀椀攀猀 猀琀爀漀渀最 挀漀洀洀甀渀椀琀礀 瀀愀爀琀渀攀爀猀⸀ 吀栀攀礀 猀攀攀 漀瀀瀀漀爀琀甀渀椀琀礀 ☀ 攀洀戀爀愀挀攀 挀栀愀氀氀攀渀最攀猀 琀漀 洀愀欀攀 愀 搀椀昀昀攀爀攀渀挀攀 椀渀 圀攀猀琀攀爀渀 䬀攀渀琀甀挀欀礀 ☀ 戀攀礀漀渀搀⸀ 圀攀ᤠ爀攀 挀漀洀洀椀琀琀攀搀 琀漀 伀眀攀渀猀戀漀爀漀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 眀攀ᤠ爀攀 樀甀猀琀 最攀琀琀椀渀最 猀琀愀爀琀攀搀⸀
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
THE BLUEGRASS MUSIC HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM Celebrating bluegrass musicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s western Kentucky roots
may well be curious about the
WHY OWENSBORO? The birthplace of bluegrass
building at 311 W. Second St.
The popularization of bluegrass
The Bluegrass Music Hall of
music is credited to musician
Fame & Museum has resided
Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass
in Owensboro since the
Boys. Hailing from Ohio County,
1990s and opened its much-
Monroe built a collective of talent
celebrated facility on Second
that included Lester Flatt, Earl
Street in fall 2018 as the
Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers.
world’s only site dedicated to
Although the Bill Monroe
the history and preservation
Homeplace is located in Jerusalem
of bluegrass music. But why
Ridge, Kentucky, bluegrass
is it in Owensboro? The hall
migrated north to Owensboro
of fame’s tagline is “American
with the establishment of
Roots. International Treasure,”
the International Bluegrass Music
and visitors may well be
Association in 1986. Plans for a
surprised to discover its
permanent facility dedicated to
western Kentucky roots run
bluegrass music grew from there.
Those visiting Owensboro
very deep. PH O TO CO S TE UR
FA LE X
ROOTS AND BRANCHES The appeal of bluegrass
Bluegrass is a fusion of Americana
and African-American jazz and blues, while also drawing influence from country/western and folk music. Traditional bluegrass is more folksy; progressive bluegrass, or “newgrass,” involves more electric instruments and takes inspiration from rock ‘n’ roll. Bluegrass music’s famed
ROMP Unending spirit
jam sessions lend to its ability
Originally created as the River of Music Party, the annual ROMP festival at Yellow Creek Park serves as a yearly celebration of bluegrass music while paying homage to the genre’s resurgence. After falling out of style in favor of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s and ‘60s, the bluegrass festivals of the 1970s re-energized its music, brought in new fans, and introduced new adaptations of the genre. ROMP celebrates the spirit of those
to attract players of all different kinds of music. Whether musicians are holding a mandolin, fiddle, guitar or banjo, bluegrass music’s fluidity of genres makes it compelling and easy for others to pick up and join in.
festivals while showcasing the evolution of bluegrass music. Greater Owensboro
TOGETHER. MAKING OWENSBORO GREATER. We’ve never lost sight of putting others ﬁrst.
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One of the most robust economic development incentive rates in the industry Proven reliable service to large industrial customers Greater Owensboro
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
Downtown Trolley STOPS The trolley takes about 20 minutes per roundtrip and stops at these locations:
HOURS APRIL-OCTOBER M-Th, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-8 p.m.
* Friday service extends route to Kentucky Wesleyan College
Owensboro Convention Center
F-Sat, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-10 p.m., with break scheduled 7:20-8 p.m.
Holiday Inn - Owensboro Riverfront
Third and Walnut
T-Th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.;
Third and Locust
F-Sat, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Third and Frederica Third and St. Ann
live map transit.owensboro.org/trolley/downtown
Second and Crittenden
Second and Daviess
JR Miller Blvd.
St. Ann Street
St. Elizabeth Street
reet Second St
Hampton Inn & Suites - Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront
Second and St. Ann
vd. Veterans Bl HAMPTON S INN & SUITE
Second and Allen
Second and St. Elizabeth
OWENSBORO CONVENTION CENTER
GARY H. CLOVER BRIDGE
Third and Daviess
Watching A Game
In short order, The Pub on Second (116 W. Second St.) has become a local favorite for handing out, enjoying some trivia and watching a game. The Pub on Second likes to air local high school football games so alumni can cheer on their home teams while enjoying a pint.
There’s no place like downtown Owensboro for Christmas. Lined with holiday decorations and featuring a lovely lit tree at Smothers Park, a perfect time to enjoy the festive scene is during the annual Holiday Stroll, when downtown merchants often extend their business hours to accommodate shoppers. In the works is Energy On Ice, a partnership between Southern Star Central Gas Pipepline, Atmos Energy, Boardwalk Pipelines and the Staton Family Foundation to install a synthetic ice rink at Smothers Park.
You can’t top award-winning Smothers Park (199 W. Veterans Blvd.), with its internationally recognized Layz Days Playground and splash pad and mesmerizing fountain display. Snag a breeze and discover the perfect place to fly a kite. Enjoy pockets of live music that always pop up along the river, or sit down at the park’s upright piano and create your own. At Shelton’s Memorial, honor Owensboro’s sons and daughters who have fought for America’s freedom. And venture inside the Owensboro Museum of Science & History (122 E. Second St.) to learn about Owensboro’s roots as — and evolution of being — an industrial river city.
Girls’ Night Out
It’s never been easier to grab a quick gift or a stylish new shirt while in downtown Owensboro. Fine boutique finds are at Rayelle Collection (120 W. Second St. Suite A), where everything from women’s casual wear, jumpsuits, handbags and jewelry can be found. Look to Byron & Barclay (121 E. Second St. Suite 100) for custom suits and dresses, men’s grooming products and leather goods. Simply Chic Home Accents (101 W. Third St.) has clever, thoughtful gifts and decorative home goods.
Whether wanting to impress a new beau or treat your longtime love to a night out, downtown Owensboro has your evening planned. For dinner, enjoy the fare at hometown favorite Colby’s Fine Food & Spirits (204 W. Third St.) After dinner, take in a lively Broadway production at the RiverPark Center (101 Daviess St.) or catch a rousing show at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum (311 W. Second St.) or stop by The Miller House’s Spirits Lounge (301 E. Fifth St.) for a nightcap.
When gathering the girls for a night out, downtown Owensboro is the place to be. Park the car once and walk everywhere you need to go. Sample an adventurous entree at Bar Louie (234 Frederica St.), try a specialized slice (and enjoy craft brews) at Fetta Specialty Pizza & Spirits (118 St. Ann St.) or go for a more casual meal at Mellow Mushroom (101 W. Second St.). Afterward, head over to SIP (101 Frederica St.) and sample its extensive list of fine wines and spirits.
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OWENSBORO REGIONAL FARMERS’ MARKET photos provided
Commercial & Industrial General Contractor LOCATIONS Farmers Market Pavilion May-November 1205 Triplett St. 8 a.m.-noon Thursdays and Saturdays
June-August Owensboro Health Regional Hospital 1201 Pleasant Valley Road noon-4 p.m. Wednesdays For specific dates and times, visit owensbororegionalfarmersmarket.org
Effectively and Efficiently Meeting Our Community’s Wastewater Needs 1722 Pleasant Valley Rd. • 270-687-8440
Preparing Leaders, Achievers, & Believers OCS serves students and families ranging from K-12th grade l
Dedicated, caring and effective faculty and staff
Instills value of service to church and community
Emphasis of faith teachings with academic excellence
Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market
The 100-by-60-foot covered pavilion has been open since 2019 The Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market
Contact Nicollette Vizuet at 270.686.8896 to learn more.
Owensboro’s celebrated farmers market offers a front-row seat to the culinary delights that await you from our farms and restaurants. From savory steaks and heavenly baked goods to local honey and juicy, fresh fruit, experience firsthand the tastes that make Owensboro special.
Browns Valley Vineyard Chambourain and Norton red wine grapes, and Marquis and Reliance seedless grapes
Cecil Farms Produce Vegetables and fruit, honey, plants, flowers and lavender, and branded merchandise
Hill View Farms Meats USDA-grade steaks, filets and prime angus beef, brisket, bacon, sausage links and pork cutlets
Browns Valley Vineyard
Niko’s Bakery & Café
Riney Farms Produce
Pastries, sandwiches and wraps, fresh-baked bread and take-home desserts
Fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, local honey and pure sorghum
Farm-fresh vegetables and fruit including peppers, onions, eggplant and tomatoes
COLLEGE TOWN written by Christie Netherton
Colleges succeed in bringing
students, community together Local colleges Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College strive to create an inclusive community for students and give back to Owensboro.
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
Father Larry Hostetter, president of Brescia University, said the school brings new, diverse groups of people to Owensboro every year, both students and faculty, many of whom make lives for themselves in Owensboro after graduation.
PHOTOS BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
S T U D E N T SPOTLIGHT
Hostetter said much of the faculty and
Ofelia Vilchiz-Moreno Brescia University
Jessica Shelton Kentucky Wesleyan College
Ofelia Vilchiz-Moreno, a 20-year-old junior from La Vergne, Tennessee, said she was originally drawn to Brescia due to its perfect proximity to her hometown, but her first impression during her college tour was what really sealed the deal. “Initially when looking for colleges, I knew that I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too far away from home and wasn’t too close,” she said. “When I came and I visited campus, I just liked how everyone was very inviting.” Vilchiz-Moreno said she has felt genuinely cared for during her time at Brescia. She said the small class sizes help enhance the learning environment and make it easier to receive one-on-one time with professors. “I got to experience hands-on how genuinely it seemed people cared for you here,” she said. “It’s been a great experience.”
Jessica Shelton, a 22-year-old senior at Kentucky Wesleyan College and an Owensboro native, said applying for college at KWC was always in the books for her. “My father is an alum, so I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid — like, in diapers,” she said. “Come college time, it just was one of my No. 1 things to apply to. I applied here, got in, got a great scholarship for the education program, and I just knew right away that it was a great fit.” Shelton said her experience at KWC has made her into someone she never imagined she could be — a leader. “It’s taught me so many leadership skills that I never had before,” she said. “I’d never think I’d be a leader on campus or I’d be doing these things. It just really brought me out of my shell and taught me how to be a leader.” Shelton is an education major serving as president of the Student Government Association at KWC and is a former president of the Kentucky Education Association Aspiring Educators and her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi.
staff at Brescia are heavily involved in contributing to the Owensboro area with many of them holding seats on different boards tasked with aiding progress in the community. Students, he said, are also regularly encouraged to stay involved and engaged with community activities and are regularly connected to alumni that have remained in Owensboro through the Alumni Mentoring Program. The program was created to help students network with graduates that are working in or pursuing work in the same field. “We have an alumni association that is pretty active, and part of what they do is to ensure that our alumni stay engaged after graduation,” Hostetter said.
Additionally, he said the school wants to continue working to increase diversity on its campus of students, faculty and staff. “We want to create a diverse community that focuses on removing barriers that prevent students from learning,” he said. KWC President Thomas Mitzel said the school has been successful because of the people of Owensboro. He said KWC is grateful for the support it receives from the community. “We don’t want to just be an institution in Owensboro, but an institution for Owensboro, and I think the action of our students and our faculty and staff show this,” Mitzel said. “Our students really are part of the lifeblood of the community.” Faculty and staff are involved with many
community organizations in Owensboro, and more than 50% of KWC students remain in Daviess County after graduation and build their lives here, Mitzel said. He said KWC also tries to create an inclusive environment for both students and staff, as well as the community that fosters diversity. Mitzel said students at KWC come from at least 36 states and all types of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. “I think one of the things a college has to do is really foster diversity of thought,” he said. “On campus, we have a large number of student groups and organizations, so our students can have their voices heard in various settings and we try to make sure nobody is left out.”
Isaiah Calalang Kentucky Wesleyan College
Dillon Porter Brescia University
Isaiah Calalang, 19, moved from Las Vegas to attend Kentucky Wesleyan College in search of small-town charm. “I always knew since my junior year of high school that I always wanted to go to a school away from the city and to try and stay in smaller towns,” he said. “And now I honestly love it so much.” Calalang said his experience at KWC has taught him a lot about himself and has helped him to open up to others and be a leader. “I’ve always liked to just kind of stay in the shadows. All through high school, I just kind of coasted through it without really making waves,” he said. “But now that I’ve kind of taken the time to step up and become a student leader, it’s honestly helped me grow into a much better person.” Calalang is pursuing a major in criminal justice at Kentucky Wesleyan College and a minor in psychology and communication.
Russellville native Dillon Porter, 20, said the opportunity to play baseball brought him to Brescia, along with the warm welcome he received during his tour of the university. “On my tour, the people I met were just so friendly, so nice, and then also baseball had a little bit to do with it. I knew I had an opportunity to play here,” he said. Porter said his time at Brescia has provided him with an opportunity to network with Brescia alumni working in finance through the Alumni Mentoring Program organized by the school. “At Brescia, they set me up with an alum who’s graduated from Brescia and is in my field of study, and so I get to go learn all about their job and make lots of connections,” he said. “The mentors that I’ve had so far have been super helpful. We’ve done resumés. They looked over my resumé, gave me some tips. They kind of just showed me the ropes.” Porter is a junior at Brescia pursuing a degree in economics and finance.
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Jennifer Bartley, Territory Representative 100 Ellis Smeathers Rd., Owensboro • 270-929-0273 firstname.lastname@example.org RepublicServices.com
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www.dcps.org Greater Owensboro
1622 Southeastern Pkwy. Owensboro KY 42303 270-852-7000
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McCarty’s Towing & Automotive Repair Inc. 24 Hr. Towing Available 927 Crabtree Ave.
Herbert Mccarty, President Anthony McCarty, Vice President
270-683-1118 Owensboro, KY Fax: 270-688-8641
“Your hometown sewing and vacuum store” - Sewing Machines Serving the - Vacuums Community - Service Since 1945 420 Triplett St. • Owensboro • 684-5566 Monday- Friday 9am-5pm • Saturday 9am-12pm
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450 Griffith Ave., Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 686-1000 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
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Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Petits Fours, & Doughnuts too! For Ordering or Info: 270-684-1108 DRIVE THRU
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Making Owensboro Greater. Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront is the premier accommodation and meeting location in Owensboro, Kentucky. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Burger Theory, our in-house restaurant for our Start Fresh breakfast, hand-crafted gourmet burgers and a wide selection of craft beer and bourbons. The hotel restaurant features a signature dining experience with outdoor and indoor seating, offering the best views in Owensboro. Whether you are traveling to the area, or hosting a meeting, we truly mean it when we say...."we are glad that you are here!" We look forward to seeing you soon!
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1027 Goetz Dr, Owensboro, KY 42301 • (270) 685-3388 Greater Owensboro
CUTTING-EDGE EDUCATION written by Bobbie Hayse
City schools’ innovation
programs an asset to the community, Kentucky
Owensboro Innovation Academy opened its doors in August 2015, and along with that historical addition of a new high school came a shining spotlight on not just the area’s school systems, but also the city of Owensboro. The STEM-based high school features students from Owensboro and Daviess County public school systems, as well as Hancock County Schools. A prominent feature of the school is its project-based learning for students. In December 2019, then-Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis said the Owensboro Public Schools district is a Kentucky treasure, specifically for its emphasis on innovation and implementation of new schools to highlight STEM programming. For the efforts of OPS district leaders, the school system was given an award during the 2019 State of Education address. Three other districts across the commonwealth were also given the Innovation & Excellence in Educational Leadership Award at that time, and Lewis said it was important to call attention to Kentucky schools and districts that are stretching their boundaries and showing good results in the process. OIA is “absolutely one of those places,” Lewis said in 2019. “I believe it’s one of the most innovative high school ideas in the state,” he said. “It took incredible leadership on the part of the board and the district’s administration to move in that direction.”
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
OIA came out of an idea to make the city schools district one of innovation. In 2014, the school was accepted into
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
PHOTO BY ALAN WARREN
the California-based New Tech Network, making it the first in the state to have such an affiliation. The New Tech Network is a nationwide consortium of more than 200 schools in more than 30 states. OIA specializes in project-based coursework and offers hands-on learning as a way to immerse students in subject material. From robotics and engineering to STEM-driven curricula, OIA cultivates an educational environment that emphasizes collaboration and leadership. Due in large part to the success of the original academy, Owensboro Innovation Middle School was developed and opened in 2019 as a feeder school to the OIA. The Innovation Middle, or iMiddle as it’s often referred, is modeled after OIA in that it also provides project-based learning for students. It is located at the former site of Owensboro Middle School South — previously known as the 5-6 Center — at 2631 South Griffith Ave. The district completely renovated the school and made room for OIA students, who first entered the newly-remodeled
classrooms in the 2020-21 school year, thus creating a full Owensboro Innovation Campus.
that needed upgrades, a new roof, new
The $13.3 million project included energy and other mechanical items
for the innovative curriculum that takes
HVAC and new lighting. It also includes a complete re-design of the school, fitting place there. 77
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skills in the health of their hometown, and they haven’t looked back. These are their stories.
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DR. JACOB HODSKINS Owensboro Health written by Renee Beasley Jones
graduate of Daviess County High
County to practice
During college, the rapidly
returns to Daviess medicine
Two life-changing events pointed Dr. Jacob Hodskins toward a career in medicine. As a child, Hodskins suffered from a blood disorder. Then, he watched his grandfather succumb to lung cancer.
School. developing and evolving field of oncology intrigued him. The patient bonds and relationships that are formed during cancer care drew Hodskins to the specialty. On OH’s website, one patient wrote this about Hodskins: “I sincerely believe if there were more people in his field that
Hodskins specializes in hematology and oncology at Owensboro Health Medical Group. He works at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.
cared the way he does then
After finishing medical school at the University of Kentucky and a fellowship at the UK Markey Cancer Center, Hodskins could have chosen any city nationwide to live and practice medicine.
that you are my doctor. May
However, the Philpot native came home. He established his first practice at OH in 2016.
to be part of such a community
“It was always my intent to return to where I came from and provide the best care possible to the area I love,” he said. “There’s something very special about caring for people from your hometown. You certainly feel a connection to each and every one of them.”
widespread issue,” he said. “I’m
1999 Jacob Hodskins graduates from Daviess County High School.
greater. I believe in you Dr. Hodskins. Trust and admire you and give thanks each day God bless you and your sincere efforts. I love you for being you.” Coming home to practice was the right move, Hodskins said. “It has truly been a privilege and care for the folks in this region where cancer is such a very thankful for the opportunity to raise my children in the area I grew up. The best part has been the patients by far and
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
Hodskins is also a 1999
the medical field would be far
all of the genuine (and) sincere relationships I have been able to establish with so many great people throughout such a difficult journey in their lives.”
Hodskins earns medical degree from the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Hodskins completes a hematology and oncology fellowship at UK Markey Cancer Center and returns to Owensboro to establish his first practice at Owensboro Health.
DR. JESICA MILLS
Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness written by Renee Beasley Jones
Pharmacist turns down jobs elsewhere to
return to her roots When it came to jobs, Dr. Jesica Mills turned down plenty of opportunities elsewhere to return to Owensboro. Before moving here, Mills, pharmacist and owner of Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness, received offers to join leading Louisville hospitals. She also turned down multiple offers from pharmacies in Louisville and throughout Kentucky. “I chose to return to Owensboro because it was the community I grew up serving in the pharmacy,” Mills said. “My parents had built an amazing business, and I wanted to continue that legacy and work with them.
Mills bought her parents’ pharmacy in 2016 and changed the name to Owensboro Family
1985 Don and Daisy Thomason open The Medicine Shoppe at 1213 Frederica St. 80
The new clinic — Owensboro Family Wellness — offers primary care, an infusion clinic, holistic products and other services. Danny, Mills’ husband, is a nurse practitioner and the clinic’s owner. “Returning to my hometown to work was a very rewarding experience,” Mills said. “Honestly, knowing that I would be coming back home and starting my professional life here kept me motivated in pharmacy school through the long nights and tough days.” To attract and retain up-andcoming young professionals, Mills said a city needs affordable housing, after-hours entertainment and family activities. When out-of-towners visit her family in Owensboro, it’s a pleasure to showcase Friday After 5, Smothers Park and the city’s many restaurants.
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
“My husband has loved Owensboro since the first weekend I brought him with me, and it is the perfect place to pursue our dreams of buying a house and starting and raising a family. I wanted to bring the knowledge and experiences and new services to our community that I had learned in Louisville.”
Pharmacy and Wellness. From the beginning, she wanted to create a health-care destination. And in early 2020, Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness opened a primary care clinic next door to the pharmacy, helping Mills realize part of that dream.
“Having affordable, safe and unique events to visit and be proud of made us very certain to plant our future here,” she said.
2005 The Medicine Shoppe moves to 720 W. Byers Ave. and is renamed Don and Daisy’s Pharmacy Plus.
2014 Don and Daisy’s daughter, Jesica Thomason Mills, graduates from Sullivan University College of Pharmacy. Greater Owensboro
2016 Jesica Thomason Mills buys her parents’ business and changes its name to Owensboro Family Pharmacy & Wellness.
2020 The pharmacy opens Owensboro Family Wellness, a primary care clinic, next door.
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ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS Owensboroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s city and county parks departments oversee more than 20 green spaces and recreational facilities in Greater Owensboro: OWENSBORO PARKS AND RECREATION
Edge Ice Center
Adkisson Greenbelt Park
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Cap Gardner Park
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Old Germantown Park
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DAVIESS COUNTY PARKS
Panther Creek Park
Waymond Morris Park
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FIND MORE ONLINE 84
City Parks owensboroparks.org/discover-owensboro-parks/list-of-parks-and-facilities/ County Parks daviessky.org/departments/parks-recreation/
ADKISSON GREENBELT PARK
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trails WEST TRAIL Joe Ford Nature Center to Shifley Park SOUTH TRAIL Higdon Road to Shifley Park HORSE FORK TRAIL Higdon Road to Miller’s Mill Road EAST TRAIL East Byers to Lagoon Lane
parking WEST TRAIL Joe Ford Nature Center, Jack C. Fisher Park and Shifely Park SOUTH TRAIL Shifely Park and Hidgon Road HORSE FORK TRAIL Higdon Road, Miller’s Mill Road and Yewell-Heritage Park EAST TRAIL Haywood Court and Lagoon Lane
bike trails SOUTH TRAIL Higdon Road to Shifley Park SOUTHWEST TRAIL Third Street to Shifley Park SOUTHEAST TRAIL Third Street to the east side of Owensboro County Club
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THEATRE WORKSHOP OF OWENSBORO Serving up a wealth of local talent
Where performing arts are concerned, Greater Owensboro enjoys impressive offerings. From Broadway shows and orchestral performances to rock concerts,
To find a wealth of riches in Owensboro’s performing arts community, look no farther than downtown Owensboro, where the Trinity Center and Empress Theatre play host to the long-running Theatre Workshop of Owensboro. From dramatic stagings, lively comedies and musicals, to drama clubs and concert series, the nonprofit has expanded the arts in Owensboro ever since its launch more than 40 years ago. “There’s an energy that goes on with live theater, and the actors can feel it,” says Todd Reynolds, the group’s executive director and himself a product of the organization. Its annual Owensboro’s Got Talent event — part fundraiser, part community outreach — has grown in popularity each of its five years. Although it mostly attracts singers and musicians, there have also been hula-
community theater and dance performances, a wide variety of performing arts events is open to Greater Owensboro. Take a look here.
hoopers, dancers and dramatic readings in past auditions. Through it all, the event links the community with the TWO organization. “It’s a great show, and we always have fun with it,” Teresa Wills, one of the organizers of the event, said in early 2020. “Everyone seems to have a good time, and it’s a good way to showcase all the talent in the community.” In early 2020, TWO branched out by hosting a country songwriter series at the Empress Theater. Modeled after a similarly intimate event at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, Six String Song Machine: Country Hit Makers Songwriter Series’ first show featured Dave Pahanish, a three-time No. 1 hit Billboard Country songwriter behind Toby Keith’s “American Ride,” Keith Urban’s “Without You” and Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now?” Like many organizations, TWO endured a
PHOTO BY ALAN WARREN
succession of cancelations in its 2020 lineup, including final performances, fundraisers, its drama club and even whole productions. But TWO used the opportunity to rest and rethink its productions, such as “Something’s Afoot,” which was originally scheduled for spring 2020 and ended up being staged in the fall. Between balancing the needs of the show with health and safety guidelines, the resulting production was a curious reimagining of the original plan: Actors were separated into their own spaces onstage, which were then decorated to reflect the personality of each actor. Reynolds called it reminiscent of “Hollywood Squares.” In-person seating was limited, and the show was also streamed for ticket-buyers who wished to remain at home.
OWENSBORO DANCE THEATRE
TWO also collaborated with the Owensboro Convention Center to stage “The Haunting of Hill House” in the larger venue, allowing for a more expansive stage and more room for performers, volunteers and attendees alike to maneuver. The production also collaborated wth Ghostly Productions, a Halloween shop in downtown Owensboro, on props and costumes.
Working to preserve the ‘treasure’ of dance
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
Nothing can so captivate an audience quite like the mesmerizing skill of a graceful dancer, and Owensboro Dance Theatre sees to it that the residents of Greater Owensboro experience the joy and wonder of the world of dance. A longstanding staple of the organization’s annual program is a Broadwaystyle performance. 2020’s production centered around “The Lion King,” while 2021’s performance is slated to feature “The Little Mermaid.” ODT is also well known for its beloved performances of “The Nutcracker” each December, and its annual Dance Battle Extravaganza is an extremely popular fundraiser, with local competitors forming dance teams and dueling for cash prizes while also raising money for their own causes. ODT also provides intermediate and advanced master classes with professional dancers (often from the Giordano Dance Chicago company), with students saying they enjoy the fresh perspective such classes bring to choreography. Joy Johnson, ODT’s managing artistic director, has said the organization offers master classes to area dance students because it gives access to high-level courses in their own town. Greater Owensboro
“It’s wonderful for students to be able to take classes like these here at home and then decide they would like to go to these larger cities and pursue a career,” she said in February 2020. After being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, ODT pivoted and began offering digital dance classes via Zoom, ensuring students and instructors alike had a way to keep their skills sharp and an outlet during stay-at-home mandates. ODT’s Rising Stars: Adaptive Needs Dance Therapy program also utilized virtual means to continue providing therapeutic instruction to area families. The organization was also able to continue its Dance/Movement/LEAN program, which teaches proper nutrition and hydration to area residents and a guided chair-based movement program for people with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. “Johnson’s Dance and Owensboro Dance Theatre rallied together and adapted our programming and classes, seeing this as an opportunity to encourage movement and dance to our students,” Johnson said in spring 2020. “As we enter this uncharted territory, we should not lose sight of the bright light within that makes dance a treasure.” 89
PHOTO BY MAEGAN SAALWAECHTER
OWENSBORO SYMPHONY Running full steam toward innovation With Troy Quinn at the helm as conductor since 2017 and Gwyn Payne leading as CEO, the symphony has undergone efforts to modernize its program and refresh its look. Quinn has worked to inject livelier fare into its traditional repertoire in order to appeal to new attendees as well as symphony regulars. The organization staged arguably its most ambitious production in those efforts in February 2020; a spin on the music of the James Bond movie series included signature movements from the original scores mixed in with movie clips. Likewise, its March 2020 concert was dedicated to the music of Elton John featured Grammy and Tony-nominated vocalist and pianist Michael Cavanaugh and his band. Quinn called it “definitely an experience as close 90
to a rock show as we’re gonna get.” When the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic ground its spring 2020 plans to a halt, the symphony began a “Meet the Musicians” web series to introduce the public to its performers and help patrons stay engaged with the organization. As the pandemic labored on, the symphony didn’t fold plans for its 55th season and go home; instead, it adapted its schedule to maintain social distancing guidelines while still providing music to the people. While delaying its 55th season by one year, the symphony opted to fill the gap by offering a Symphony Stroll in Smothers Park, streaming a holiday concert and presenting ensembles at smaller events throughout fall 2020. “We are so happy to get back out in the community and perform for people, and Greater Owensboro
kind of give people what they have been missing,” Payne said prior to September’s Symphony Stroll. To celebrate its efforts to adapt to new music and changing times, in fall 2020 the company nixed “orchestra” from its name and refreshed its logo. “Since the addition of Troy Quinn a music director/conductor, we have seen an increase in audience and community engagement,” and the new look celebrates that, Payne said in September 2020. In February 2020, she called Quinn a “master” when it comes to mixing traditional orchestral sounds to popular music, something that is drawing newer crowds to the symphony more than ever. “I was talking to a couple of people recently who are relatively new subscribers,” she said at the time. “The gentleman said years ago he could never have seen himself attending symphony concerts and that people have no idea what they are missing.”
Performing arts with all-encompassing programming It’s almost hard to imagine now, but Owensboro didn’t always have a world-class performing arts venue. Over decades, residents and theater lovers labored hard to revive downtown Owensboro and fulfill a need in regional performing arts, culminating in the christening of the present venue in September 1992. In the time since, the venue has branched out its programing by welcoming local productions, traveling shows and awards ceremonies to its 100,000-square-foot facility. And its courtyard overlooking the Ohio River serves as both an eastern anchor to Smothers Park and the site for the largest stage at Owensboro’s Friday After 5 summer concert series. Just to show how varied the RiverPark
Center’s programming is: Its 202021 season is scheduled to feature the Broadway show “Waitress”; Artrageous, a visual art and music performance; a production by the Jabali African Acrobats; a staging of the interactive game show “The Price is Right Live”; “Friends the Musical Parody,” a song-and-dance take on the popular sitcom of the same name; a Winter Dance Party with a Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper tribute group; a Pink Floyd laser light show set to the English rock band’s music; “That Golden Girls Show,” a puppet show paying homage to the beloved TV series; and concerts by Jefferson Starship, The Guess Who, Lonestar, Ted Nugent and Blood Sweat and Tears. The RiverPark Center also regularly hosts performances for local performing arts groups such as the Owensboro
Symphony and Owensboro Dance Theatre; performing arts camps for children; and annual collaborative events such as Hops on the Ohio and Taste of Owensboro. Like the Owensboro Symphony, the RiverPark Center has sought to expand its offerings in order to attract and welcome audiences who may not usually choose to visit a performance hall. In his statement soon after being brought on board as the new RiverPark Center executive director in October 2019, Rich Jorn detailed his plan for “expanding what we do and kind of putting the foot on the gas pedal and making it go forward,” Jorn said at the time. “... I’m looking forward to serving the community with fantastic entertainment so that people will think about the RiverPark Center first when they say, ‘What are we going to do this weekend?’” “We want to add to what we do, so everybody can feel like there’s something for them here at the RiverPark Center,” he said.
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
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Foundations • Containment Structures Concrete Demolition • Site Grading Retention & Storm Drainage
Beaver Dam Amphitheater
By the Numbers POPULATION SUMMARY POPULATION SUMMARY POPULATION SUMMARY
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UNEMPLOYMENT
9% 9% 400,000 400,000
8% 8% 7% 7%
6% 6% 200,000 200,000
5% 5% 4% 4%
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 10%2018 2018
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 117,987 99,937
Owensboro MSA Daviess County Labor Market 9%County Owensboro MSA Daviess Labor Market 10% Labor Market includes: Butler, Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg and Labor includes: Daviess, Hancock, Ohio Counties, as wellMarket as Gibson, Posey,Butler, Spencer, Vanderburg andHenderson, Warrick in Indiana. Labor Market includes: Butler, Daviess, Hancock, McLean, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties, as wellHenderson, as Gibson, Posey, GDP ALL INDUSTRIES 8% McLean, Muhlenberg andVanderburg, Ohio Counties, well asinGibson, Spencer, andas Warrick Indiana.Posey, GDP ALL INDUSTRIES 9% GDPVanderburg, ALL INDUSTRIES Spencer, and Warrick in Indiana.
Owensboro MSA Owensboro MSA
Daviess County Daviess County
$40 $40 $20 $20
Made with Made with
2019 2018 2018 2019 Kentucky
Made with Made with
$80,000 $120,000 $160,000 $822$200,000 0
IAN HOUSE PRICE
$822 $120,000 $160,000 $200,000 $40,000 $80,000 $40,000 $80,000 $120,000 $160,000 $200,000 $1,042
MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
Labor Market $49,836 Daviess County
AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE
00 $40,000 $40,000 $80,000 $80,000 $120,000 $120,000 $160,000 $200,000 $40,000 $200,000 $80,000 $120,000 $120,000 $160,000 $160,000 $200,000 $200,000 00 $160,000 $40,000 $80,000 KY
$725 $852 $813 $802 $913 $890
$822 $954 $900 $1,042 $1,237 $1,152
2016 2018 2020
AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE
$866 Daviess County
$822 $879 $1,048 $1,111
$813 $852 $725 $890 $913 $802
$900 $954 $822 $1,152 $1,237 $1,042
MEDIAN MEDIANHOUSE HOUSEPRICE PRICE
HOUSE OUSE PRICE PRICE
AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE
$879 $822 $1,111 $1,048
$725 $813 $852 $802 $890 $913
$822 $900 $954 $1,042 $1,152 $1,237
$200 $718 $790
$50,748 $50,748 2018 2016 2020
0 $200 $718 $790 $802
$802 $866 Daviess County $822 $879
0 $200 $400 $790 $718 $866 $802 Daviess County
$50,748 $50,748 2020 2016 2018
Labor LaborMarket Market
OLD OLDINCOME INCOME MEDIAN MEDIANHOUSEHOLD HOUSEHOLDINCOME INCOME
$49,836 $49,836 $890
AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE
Labor Labor Market USA KY KYMarket Daviess DaviessUSA County County
Daviess DaviessCounty County
AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE
PHOTO BY GREG EANS
O’Bryan Contracting & Leasing..........................................................64
EM Ford.................................................................................................................................. 27
Ohio Valley 2-Way Radio..............................................................................70
Envision Contractors.......................................................................................... 55
Owensboro Catholic Schools..................................................................64
Evergreen Lawn Care.......................................................................................68
Owensboro Community & Technical College..........................
The Family Bakery................................................................................................. 72
......................................................................................................... Inside Front Cover
Gardner Engineering & Consulting......................................15, 47
Owensboro Daviess County Regional Airport...............64
Gene’s Health Food................................................................................................82
Advanced Cardiology of Owensboro..........................................62
German American Bank.....................................................................................1
Owensboro Health.......................... 28, 41, 81, 92, Back Cover
Allergy & Asthma Specialists...............................................................69
Glenn Family Services...................................................................................... 27
Owensboro Municipal Utilities...................................................44, 71
Green River Appliance..................................................................................... 45
Owensboro Public Schools......................................................................... 72
Axiom Architecture.............................................................................................. 85
Green River Distilling Co.............................................................................. 43
Owensboro Symphony..................................................................................... 83
Bank of England Mortgage.......................................................................26
Greenwell Chishom................................................................................................... 3
RBS Design Group..................................................................................................82 Red Wing Shoes.........................................................................................................40
Haley McGinnis Funeral Home............................................................50
Big Rivers Electric Co....................................................................................... 59
Hampton Inn................................................................................................................... 38
Regional Water Resource Agency...................................................64
Hartz Contracting................................................................................................... 93
Richard Good, MD.......................................................................................................2
Home Realty Inc........................................................................................................47
River Valley Behavioral Health........................................................... 73
Century 21 Partners............................................................................................. 38
James H. Davis Funeral Home..............................................................26
Rowland Family Dentistry...........................................................................46
Century Property Management........................................................... 39
Kentucky Wesleyan College..................................................................... 59
Daviess County Farm Bureau.................................................................44
Lanham Brothers General Contractors................................... 83
South Central Bank.............................................................................................. 23
Daviess County Public LIbrary.............................................................71
L. Steve Castlen Realtors............................................................................. 23
Summit Obstetrics & Gynecology, PSC.................................. 72
Daviess County Public Schools............................................................68
Super 8.................................................................................................................................... 75
Daviess County Teachers Federal Credit Union.........47
LinGate Hospitality Group......................................................................... 75
Marcus Bosley and Associates............................................................. 54
Tony Clark Realtors..............................................................................................15
Mayfield Hodges Automotive Service.......................................68
McCarty’s Towing.................................................................................................... 72
Western Kentucky University................................................................70
White Chateau at Cecil Farms.............................................................63
Edward Jones................................................................Inside Back Cover
Murphy Sewing Machine.............................................................................. 72
Winsupply of Owensboro............................................................................. 85
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