FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2013) — Leaders of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently embarked on a tour of Western Kentucky to take the pulse of the business community. Chairman Jim Booth, president of Booth Energy, President and CEO Dave Adkisson, board member Steve Lochmueller of CEO Lightyear Solutions, and Vice President of Membership Carlos Phillips met with business and community leaders in nine different cities over the course of three days to discuss issues facing various industries.
Adkisson organized the trip soon after Booth began his year as chamber chairman, when Booth, a native of Martin County in eastern Kentucky, mentioned that he had spent little time in western Kentucky. Booth, and Adkisson, a native of Daviess County in Western Kentucky, quickly decided to schedule a “listening tour.”
“The tour through the state was successful in familiarizing Jim with cities like Elizabethtown, Hopkinsville, Paducah, Bowling Green and Owensboro, but it was also successful as we spoke directly with members about issues they are confronting in their industries and communities,” Adkisson said.
During lunch meetings with business leaders in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Hopkinsville, Adkisson and Booth discussed the chamber’s priorities for the 2013 General Assembly and listened to members such as Helen Sims of Superior Care Home in Paducah, who voiced concern over issues facing the long-term care industry.
Members at nearly all stops on the Western Kentucky trip voiced concern over the Affordable Care Act, education issues and the state’s pension crisis.
During one of the last tour stops in Paducah, Booth applauded the hospitality he’d received during the trip.
“The hospitality has been exceptional,” said Booth. “Every community leader has such enthusiasm and passion for making their towns great places to live and work.”
Phillips said the member loyalty displayed during the visits was exceptional. Member companies Planters Bank (Hopkinsville), Hardin Memorial Hospital (Elizabethtown) and Atmos Energy (Owensboro) sponsored lunch meetings, while English Lucas Priest and Owsley (Bowling Green) hosted a reception and Vanguard Construction (Paducah) hosted a breakfast.
“The support shown by our members during this trip has been phenomenal,” said Phillips. “We’ve found that the business leaders support the legislative activities of the chamber on pensions, education, health care and tax reform.”