Tandy encourages people to be bold

Tandy encourages people to be bold

David Tandy, a 1991 graduate of Owensboro High School, has a long list of accomplishments in Louisville, including serving as president of the Louisville Metro Council and being a partner in Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, the world’s largest law firm with 12,000 attorneys in 81 countries.

But he told the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Rooster Booster Breakfast on Thursday that he dreams of a day when high school graduates no longer have to leave Owensboro to find success.

“I think about all the people who were born here, but live somewhere else,” Tandy said.

If the opportunities were here, he said, they might have stayed — or returned.

Tandy is a member of the Economic Development practice group, with an emphasis on public policy and community engagement.

He said Kentucky needs to think more about regionalism.

“The rubber meets the road on the local level,” Tandy said. “We (different cities) need to focus on what we have in common. We need to utilize our colleges and universities to attract and retain people in our cities. We need to attract a more diverse population.”

People, he said, aren’t as divided today as they are disconnected.

“We need to reach out to other parts of the state,” he said. “We’re not ‘other’ and you’re not ‘other.’ We’re all on the same path.”

Actively-engaged citizens can be in control of moving cities forward, he said.

“I’m a product of (former U.S. Sen.) Wendell Ford,” Tandy said.

Ford, he said, believed in compromise and worked hard to achieve it.

“Today, it’s all or nothing,” Tandy said. “It’s crazy. We have to fix it. We (the business community) have to change it.”

He said, looking across the German American Ballroom in the Owensboro Convention Center, that he could see a major change since he left in 1991.

“There are more people of color now,” Tandy said. “And more women.”

Great communities evolve over time, he said.

“We have to be bold,” Tandy said. “Most cities get very timid.”

He is vice chairman and general counsel for the Kentucky Science Center and chairman of the legal committee for the Boy Scouts of America’s Lincoln Heritage Council.

Tandy is also a board member of the James Graham Brown Regional Cancer Center Corporation, the Marilyn & William Young Charitable Foundation in Owensboro, the Owensboro Public Schools Foundation and the Henry Clay Center, housed in the University of Kentucky James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.

By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer