It seems like just a short time ago that Dave Roberts took the gavel from Bart Darrell and became the 2019 Chamber Board Chair.
This past year has flown by. Last year, Dave Roberts addressed the 750-plus crowd and listed Downtown Livability and Workforce and Education as two of his personal goals as board chair. His leadership challenged our Chamber to roll.
We led and financed the Downtown Placemaking Report Card visit, which has been the catalyst for many projects in the works that we believe put us on a trajectory to continue our economic and population growth.
A third hotel with apartments will add to the excitement and energy already happening.
Work on lighting the Blue Bridge starts next month.
And as lead on advocacy, our Chamber and local elected leaders executed a very fruitful DC Fly-In and meetings with top national leaders as well as state-level influence makers.
Our talent and workforce programs are continuing to change lives and transform our economy. Teachers in the Workplace and Community Campus connect education and business for students, as does, most recently, the collaboration between OCTC and Unifirst called GO Females that Dave cultivated as an employer.
We were selected to host the YP Summit, where young professionals from all over the state came to see what Owensboro has to offer. And we launched Engage Owensboro, an interactive web-based tool that is connecting people to service and leadership opportunities in the community.
These things don’t happen in communities our size without a Chamber of Commerce. When we are not directly serving members, planning events for members to connect, or building programs to retain or recruit talent, we are developing strategies to accomplish community priorities.
Owensboro native and CEO of Logitech Bracken Darrell served as our YP Summit keynote. In his speech, Bracken talked about goals and the critical role they play in building success. Bracken was right.
As our 2019 Board Chair, Dave set a path to accomplish critical community goals that have positioned our 2020 Board to go to higher heights.
Our Chamber has been around since 1913. Since then, two World Wars have passed and times have certainly changed, yet this organization continues. And we really stand for the same thing we stood for over 100 years ago. Our Chamber exists to grow our economy and make Owensboro a community that can compete globally.
We will use 2020 to continue our goals for placemaking and addressing our members’ workforce needs. We will continue to work behind the scenes to move things forward. And we will continue to find ways to make our Chamber membership add value for our small businesses, to our nonprofits and to our largest employers.
Our board is made up of people in this community moving things forward. And the 22,000 people who make up our membership are out there every day making their portion of Owensboro greater.
Let’s keep the momentum going! The best is yet to come.