Chamber Celebration to present 8 awards

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

Preservation Station

The Dapper Dog, LLC

Wheatgrass Juice Bar

1-10 Employees

Advantage Eye Care

Diamond Lake Resort

Kidstop Children’s Boutique, LLC

Riverfront Appraisals

Serene Relief Massage

Starbucks — Frederica

Studio Slant

The Bakers Rack, Inc.

Vineyard Primary Care

11-50 Employees

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

Canteen/Conti Corporation

Champion Ford Lincoln Mazda

Kentucky Legend

UniFirst Corporation

US Bank



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

MentorKids Kentucky

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