It has been an honor to serve Owensboro and Daviess County as the Chair this past year of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.
This organization consists of not simply an extraordinary staff of professionals who work in the Chamber office led by the Candance Brake. The Chamber also is made up of the thousands of people who work with the hundreds of businesses, nonprofit organizations, health care entities, agricultural operations, professional service firms, educational institutions and others. In other words, the Chamber is made up of each one of us.
Ms. Brake and her talented team lead the execution of our community’s plans and the vision WE create for ourselves that is unique for Owensboro and our specific assets. Any community that spends too much time wishing it had something another community has is just wasting opportunity to move to its better and best days. Trying to be someone else or someplace else, in my view, can, if overemphasized, place your ceiling at “average.” Nobody really wants “average.” Anyway, someone else or someplace else are already taken. But if a community’s members unite as friends and colleagues to identify their unique assets and then use those to brand the community based on its own realities and possibilities, then “average” is gone and “extraordinary” is not just within reach but is actually a probability.
This we must continue to do in our business and professional sectors as well as in every corner of our great community … from the farm, to the pharmacy, to the large corporate, to the sole proprietor, to the teacher in the classroom, to the lawyer in the courtroom, to the physician in the examining room, to the accountant, to the pastor in the pulpit, to the director of the nonprofit. The responsibility for making Owensboro a place like no other by maximizing what we have that others do not lies with each of us as talented and committed community members. That results in the true joy of civic engagement — a more prosperous, engaged, connected, fun and welcoming community that others envy.
So, again, thanks to each of you for making Owensboro what it is and for making this Chamber the model in Kentucky and beyond. My outgoing challenge to each of us, individually and as a “family,” is to constantly remind ourselves and each other that what we have in Owensboro is special and is all we need to be all that we want for ourselves, our families, our friends and, yes, our business and professional interests. Let us continue with great leadership to be even more, so that even more communities have to talk themselves out of trying to be like us.