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200 East Third Street, Owensboro, KY 42303 • (270) 926-1860

Emerge Owensboro

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Applications for the 2014-2015 class will be accepted from July 1 - July 31.

The Emerge Owensboro Program is a joint program of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation focused on educating and engaging individuals to reach their potential and maximize their impact in the community.

Objectives of the Program:

  • Improve the quality of life in the Greater Owensboro region by training future leaders 
  • Identify key individuals with demonstrated leadership qualities and concern for Owensboro’s future 
  • Develop a systematic educational program to familiarize these participants with our community’s opportunities, needs, problems and resources 
  • Expose participants to a wide variety of current local leaders and notable persons through various types of networking opportunities 
  • Encouraging independent thinking, fresh perspectives, and approaches 
  • Acquaintance with relevant community issues, their history, and future possibilities 


Each year, 25 individuals are selected through an application process to be a part of the Emerge Owensboro program. Emerge Owensboro, and its predecessor, Leadership Owensboro, have an alumni base of more than 700 civic, business and education leaders.

Program Sessions
The program includes 10 sessions from September to May each year. Sessions are a full day class, with topics including:


  • Expanding Leadership in Owensboro
  • Human Needs and Services
  • Education – Pre-K through Adult Learning 
  • Innovation, Agriculture and Our Economic Development Strategy
  • Issues in Local Government 
  • Healthcare in Our Community
  • State Capitol Visit
  • Crime, Drugs and Jails 
  • Arts & Tourism in our Community 
  • Changing Your Community (class presentations) 
  • Graduation Celebration and Alumni Reception


In addition to the classes and exposure throughout the community, class participants work in groups to research a

need in the community and present solutions for implementation. The presentations are judged by elected officials and business leaders, and voted on by peers for

which project to champion for implementation.

Current Emerge Owensboro class

2013 - 2014 Emerge Owensboro Class


Audrey Lillpop First Security Bank of Owensboro AVP, Electronic Banking Manager
Blake Hayden Remax Professional Realty Group Realtor
Brian Newman BB&T Business Services Officer
Bryan Kuegel Flat Lick Farms Farmer
Dr. Elizabeth Martin RiverPark Eye Care Optometrist
Dr. Marty Traylor Owensboro Family Eye Care President & Optomentrist
Heather Montgomery US Bank Home Mortgage Mortgage Loan Officer
Jeff Johnson Van Meter Insurance Commercial Insurance Advisor
Jeff Sorce Owensboro Catholic Elementary School 6th Grade Science Teacher
Katie Vincent  Owensboro Community & Technical College  Team Mgr. Career & Professional Development 
Kelsey Mann E.M. Ford & Company  Financial Advisor 
Kennan Fritz Independence Bank Senior Retail Lender
Krista Niehaus Fifth Third Bank  District Manager 
Lane Orton Domtar  Senior Financial Analyst 
Malissa Troutman American Red Cross Area Manager
Matt Mason Daviess County High School Principal
Matt Schell Century 21 Realtors Realtor
Paula Roberts Owensboro Public Schools Asst. Superintendent of Instruction
Rob Leesman Owensboro Municipal Utilities Director of Power Marketing
Shannon Sandefur Daviess County Public Library Public Services Manager
Susan Free Western Kentucky University - Owensboro Student Services Coordinator
Susan Silva Childrens Advocacy Center of Green River District Executive Director
Terri Higdon Brescia University Assistant Director of Admissions
Tim Clothier Owensboro Police Department Police Lieutentant
Tim Kline Stoll, Keenon, Ogden Attorney
Victor Cernius RWRA Director of Operations