Chamber welcomes new staff member

Last Monday, our Chamber welcomed a new face. Hannah Thurman joined our team as our new events and communications coordinator.

Since graduating from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a master’s degree in recreation and sports administration, Hannah has been working in Owensboro, first at WKU’s Owensboro campus and then at O.Z. Tyler Distillery, where she hosted people from around the United States and the globe who are visiting Owensboro to see for themselves what all the buzz is about.

Hannah has already been active in our Chamber as a Leadership Owensboro Class of 2017 graduate and a leader in our Chamber Young Professionals, where she has led numerous philanthropy efforts such as weekly backpacks of food for schoolchildren, blanket drives, baking for Meals on Wheels and building with Habitat for Humanity.

Hannah fills the staff position vacated by Lauren Wood. Lauren had wanted to be a teacher, but she was discouraged by others to pursue that occupation. We hired her right out of college with a public relations degree. Her work ethic, conscientiousness and sweet spirit came through in all she did.

Through her work at the Chamber, she had opportunities to connect with our local schools. It was after a ribbon-cutting at Hager Preschool that Lauren came back to the office and was unsettled. Our staff sat down together and encouraged her to answer the call she was receiving. That day, she called her alma mater, Murray State University. Last week, she started classes and will be headed to a classroom before her 26th birthday. Lauren will change lives.

This staff turnover that has led us to celebrate Lauren’s next step and to Hannah joining our team is a little microcosm of why I believe deeply in what our Chamber is able to impact. The people of our community who make their way to us — whether it be through our committees, internships or employment opportunities — make us a stronger Chamber, and that builds a stronger community where people want to live, work and play.