Friday, May 20, 2011

Public and Private Investment in Economic Development Paying Dividends for Owensboro

The 2010-2011 EDC Annual Report shows that public and private investment supporting the work of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation is paying dividends for the Owensboro region.

Over the past two years the $650,000 has been invested by local government and $260,000 has been invested by private sources through the Investment 2020 program supporting the operating expenses of the professional economic development staff and growth strategy for the region. This financial support has lead to over $104 million in direct private business investment by firms supported by the EDC.

Every dollar spent in support of the EDC translates to nearly $50 spent in the community. In terms of public money, every public tax dollar used to support the EDC translates to an $83 return on investment in private business investment.

Visit EDC Annual Report on the web.

Sazerac revives Glenmore name for Owensboro plant

OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY (May 20, 2011) – The former Barton Brands Ltd. is now officially The Glenmore Distillery again. Known by locals for years as “Glenmore,” the iconic distillery on East Fourth Street is going back to its roots by reclaiming the Glenmore name.
            Purchased by The Sazerac Company in 2009, The Glenmore Distillery employs 173 people working two shifts a day bottling such iconic distilled spirits brands as Mr. Boston, Fleischmann, Firefly Ready-To-Drink Cocktails, 99 Brand, Chi-Chi’s and many more. 
Since the Sazerac purchase two years ago, the company has spent $2 million dollars in capital investments for the facility, including new machinery and storage tanks. In addition, the company has moved over the bottling of several brands from other facilities to take advantage of Glenmore’s modern bottling facility, resulting in the addition of a second shift. The Distillery is responsible for an economic impact of $17.8 million to the Owensboro area.
            “We are committed to staying in the city of Owensboro, as evidenced by our investment of additional monies to add new jobs and bring more business to the community,” said Mark Brown, president and CEO of Sazerac Company.  “In fact, we are even discussing a long term plan to add tours of The Glenmore Distillery in the future, which will bring in even more revenue in the community through tourism dollars.  This site, linked with our tour operations at our distilleries in Bardstown (Barton 1792 Distillery) and Frankfort, Ky. (Buffalo Trace Distillery) will make quite an interesting bourbon trek for bourbon fans and historians.”
“We’re excited to be called ‘The Glenmore Distillery’ again, since in our hearts that’s what we always thought of ourselves as,” said Don Kelley, vice president, plant manager for The Glenmore Distillery.  “But we’re even more excited by the investments already made and the future plans for our plant. We plan to remain a vital part of the Owensboro community for many years to come.”

About The Glenmore Distillery

The Glenmore Distillery has been a fixture in the Owensboro Community since the late 1800s. Originally called the Monarch Distillery, James Thompson re-named it The Glenmore Distillery after the Glenmore Castle near his birthplace in County Derry, Northern Ireland. During Prohibition, The Glenmore Distillery was fortunate enough to be one of four distilleries in the country allowed to operate on a limited scale for medicinal necessity.
Surviving tragedies such as flood and fire, the distillery went on to fill its two millionth barrel of whiskey in 1946. In 1973 it was producing 540 barrels a day.  Although distilling operations ceased in 1973, bottling and warehousing continued at The Glenmore Distillery.
In March of 2009 the Sazerac Company purchased the distillery and reprised the name The Glenmore Distillery. The Distillery boasts one of the largest and most modern bottling facilities in the country and continues to be a sizable employer in the city of Owensboro, Ky. For more information visit

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 site makes debut

By Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:01 AM CDT is now live.

This new website — touted as an economic development marketing tool — brands Owensboro as an exciting and safe college town and puts a lot of information about its four partner colleges in one place, officials said Tuesday.

Representatives of Western Kentucky University-Owensboro, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro Community & Technical College and Brescia University joined Nick Brake, the president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp., in officially launching their partnership at a news conference in the Commerce Center.

A small crowd of educators, business and community leaders and public officials attended the launch.

“Economic development has long been based on the location decisions of companies,” Brake said. “The overall goal of our partnership is to focus on the location decisions made by college students and their parents.”

The EDC is continuing to pursue a strategy that educational attainment drives the new economy. The goal of this partnership is to boost the community’s college enrollment to 10,000 from its current number of nearly 8,000, he said.

The idea is for the community to be able to continue to retain at least two out of three graduates to live and work in the community.

The web portal is the primary marketing tool the partners will use to “Enroll, Engage and Employ” students who choose Owensboro.

The site lets the institutions sell themselves and lets parents see what the colleges and the community have to offer.

Links to the colleges as well as to social media and other sites also are plugged into OwensboroU.

“Our hope is that this initiative will help us work together as a region and recognize the role that higher education and a baccalaureate degree play in economic development,” Brake said.

As the partnership continues, other organizations will be engaged to tie the college population together, he said.

The new website and partnership provides a way to demonstrate the collaborations the four colleges already have and an opportunity to continue those relationships, said Gene Tice, Western’s Owensboro campus director.

The four leaders have been meeting regularly for a number of years.

“Parents are very interested in the community where their students will live,” said Cheryl King, KWC’s president. “This gives us a chance to showcase our community for its safety and amenities such as our emerging downtown which is exciting to students and to show that we are a community that will care about them.”

The partnership shows that more may be achieved through collaboration, even though each college is different, King said.

Jim Klauber, president of Owensboro Community & Technical College, likes the idea of each institution sharing the message that it’s an exciting time to be a college student and to come to Owensboro. That message rings true for OCTC as it is creating niche programs to help students pursue their careers, he said.

Bringing together both the message of quality education with quality of place in Owensboro is important to Brescia, said its president, Rev. Larry Hostetter.

“Our students who come here do tend to stay,” he said

Brake said city and county officials support the idea that “education is about preparing for work, but it also is about making your life better.”

Lyn Cooper, president and CEO of First Security Inc., said the partnership and website is a unique collaboration among the colleges and EDC.

“It promotes knowledge of what we have in Owensboro,” Cooper said. “And we especially like it because on one site, students and families can compare the institutions. I applaud the EDC, and I think this is a great move in the right direction.”

Students, including existing college students, will find information links about internships, activities and housing.

Parents have their own sections with separate links to a number of data points including crime statistics, arts, jobs, housing and night life.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tri-state economic leaders visit Washington to support I-69 and energy policy

A delegation of chamber of commerce and economic development executives from Henderson, Southwest Indiana, and Owensboro visited Washington, D.C. earlier this week to push for federal help with Interstate 69 funding more job-friendly energy regulations, and responsible fiscal policy,

Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce President Jody Wassmer and EDC President Nick Brake joined Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Schneider, Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana President & CEO Matt Meadors, Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana Board Chairman Jeff Deig and Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana President Greg Wathen to make the trip.

On Tuesday, May 3 the group was briefed on the status of energy, workforce and transportation legislation by U.S. Chamber of Commerce policy experts , then attended meetings with Kentucky congressmen Ed Whitfield and Brett Guthrie, Indiana Congressman Larry Bucshon, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. On Wednesday, May 4 the delegation met with Indiana Senator Dan Coats and also got a briefing on transportation issues from staff members of the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors.

"I-69 and energy are two of the most significant large-scale economic issues the communities of the Tri-State share in common," Henderson Chamber's Brad Schneider said. "So it's important that we take a regional approach to advocacy efforts on those subjects. The lawmakers we visited appreciated that and encouraged us to continue to work together."

Brake said the feedback from lawmakers was similar in each meeting. "We delivered a powerful message about how our region works together," he said.

"They all support the construction of I-69 in Indiana and Kentucky, and they all understand the importance of a new bridge to link the two states," said Wassmer. "Funding is the problem, especially with the debate about the budget deficit now under way in Washington and the reauthorization of the federal highways bill still in limbo. But we hope our lawmakers can help get the I-69 bridge in the bill in some form or fashion, and in our meetings we discussed some ways that could happen."

"As for energy, all the legislators we met with are dedicated to reign in unreasonable EPA regulations that threaten not only coal and power producers in our region but all the manufacturers and other businesses that rely on our relatively low energy prices. We told them we wholeheartedly support them."

This is the second straight year area chamber and EDC officials have travelled together to Washington to tout I-69, energy policy, and responsible fiscal policy.