Last year, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce expected between 400 and 500 people for its annual Chamber Celebration at the RiverPark Center.
More than 600 actually came.
And Candance Brake, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, is expecting a big crowd for this year’s event Friday night at the RiverPark Center.
The reception starts at 6 p.m. with the program at 7:30 p.m.
One reason Brake is expecting a big crowd is that two new awards will be presented — for a total of eight.
The Manufacturing Business of the Year and the Rick Kamuf Agri-Business of the Year awards were created in an effort to include all segments of the business community in the awards program, she said.
“We have so many star manufacturers,” Brake said. “It’s great to celebrate their success and we want to honor them with an annual award.”
The Rick Kamuf Agri-Business of the Year award is designed to honor both agri-business and the memory of Kamuf, a chamber board member who died last year.
“Our community was founded on agriculture,” Brake said. “It’s important to celebrate our farming community. And we wanted to honor Rick, his memory and the impact he had on both the chamber and the community.”
Tickets are $50.
To order, call the chamber at 270-926-1860.
Brake said Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn will cater the event.
“Our members are ready to take on 2018,” she said. “It’s going to be an exuberant program.”
Kirk Kirkpatrick will be master of ceremonies “and he always finds ways to make people laugh,” Brake said.
The after-party will feature piano tunes ranging from Billy Joel to James Taylor to Motown, she said.
“Our members have weathered much, but they’re making great strides,” Brake said. “This is a way to celebrate all the great things happening in Owensboro.”
Bart Darrell, president of Kentucky Wesleyan College, is the incoming chamber chairman.
He will discuss the chamber’s plans plans for 2018, Brake said.
Fifty-two businesses are nominated for eight awards.
The list includes:
Emerging Business of the Year
Bella Ragazza Boutique
Byron & Barclay
CYO Brewing Company of Owensboro
Fastek Services, LLC
L. Ruth Interior Design
Lil Bit Sassy
The Dapper Dog, LLC
Wheatgrass Juice Bar
Advantage Eye Care
Diamond Lake Resort
Kidstop Children’s Boutique, LLC
Serene Relief Massage
Starbucks — Frederica
The Bakers Rack, Inc.
Vineyard Primary Care
Alpha Laser & Imaging, LLC
Evergreen Lawn Care Inc./Weedman
Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
May Electric Co., Inc.
O.Z. Tyler Distillery
Old National Bank
Owensboro Convention Center
Over 50 employees
Champion Ford Lincoln Mazda
WFIE TV 14
CASA of Ohio Valley
Community Dental Clinic
Green River Area Development District
Habitat for Humanity of Owensboro-Daviess Co.
Hospice of Western Kentucky
International Center of Kentucky
Matthew 25 AIDS Services
New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services
Owensboro Symphony Orchestra
The Daniel Pitino Shelter
Education and Workforce Development
Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Owensboro Innovation Academy
Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center
Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical
Sun Windows, Inc.
Swedish Match North America Inc.
Rick Kamuf Agri-Business
Cecil Farms Produce
Hill View Farms Meats, LLC
By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer