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Passing Lane: June 2015

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Louisville Forward Among Top U.S. Economic Development Groups

Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development organization formed last July, has been recognized as one of the Top U.S. Economic Development Groups for 2014 by Site Selection magazine. Since its creation, Louisville Forward has supported businesses in investing more than half a billion dollars to create nearly 3,500 new jobs.

Earlier this year, Site Selection named Louisville a Top 10 Metro for business activity in 2014. The city also was named one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Cities” by Entrepreneur.com and one of America’s “Breakout Cities for 2014” by CNN Money.

“Quality companies are investing in Louisville, resulting in one of the highest employment rates ever for our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This recognition is proof that Louisville is thriving and the hard work of our economic development team, led by Chief Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, is paying off and setting a trend for years to come.”

Louisville Forward was formed to unite economic development efforts and build environment functions, allowing business owners to go from concept to permit in one streamlined agency. It focuses on quality of place issues, too, such as the arts, parks and community amenities such as connectivity, schools and being a welcoming, international city.

Site Selection’s recognition of Louisville Forward is based on four objective criteria: jobs, capital investment, jobs per capita, and investment per capita. Subjective criteria considered include creativity of development strategy, depth and breadth of project activity, ability to generate impactful deals, and ability to document organization work as it relates to real results.

“This year’s Top U.S. Economic Development Groups are recognized for their ability to leverage their community’s assets to reach new markets while making sure existing industries have what they need to thrive,” says Patty Rasmussen, senior editor at Site Selection magazine, who authored the Top Groups report. “As we talked with corporate executives looking to relocate or expand, we found that they’re looking for more than incentives or inexpensive land. Livability is an important differentiator and communities that invest in quality of life infrastructure are seeing that investment pay off.”

The city partnered with Greater Louisville Inc. for business attraction and expansion efforts for the first half of 2014, before being brought under the Louisville Forward umbrella. In total, there were 70 announced projects in 2014, representing 5,369 jobs and $700 million in investment. This includes 48 projects consisting of 2,126 jobs and $213 million in investment that GLI worked on in the first half of the year.


Beaumont Inn Receives James Beard Award

The Beaumont, founded by Glave and Annie Bell Goddard in 1919 and still operated by their descendants, is set in a former women’s college built in 1845.

Harrodsburg’s landmark Beaumont Inn received the James Beard Foundation 2015 America’s Classic Award at last month’s “Oscars of the food world” ceremony in Chicago. The annual event recognizes the best chefs and restaurants across the country, while upholding the Beard Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage.

Beaumont Inn has been a Kentucky favorite since 1919. Fourth- and fifth-generation owners, Chuck and Helen Dedman with son Dixon Dedman, received the award.

“In an ever-changing culinary landscape, our foundation is proud to honor those whose restaurants have stood the test of time,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Our honorees from different cities around the country have the unique ability to bring neighborhoods together as they celebrate the authentic and unique flavors of America’s food scene.”

Four other restaurants also received 2015 America’s Classics Awards: Archie’s Waeside in Le Mars, Iowa; Guelaguetza in Los Angeles; Sally Bell’s Kitchen in Richmond, Va.; and Sevilla Restaurant in New York City.

The Beaumont, founded by Glave and Annie Bell Goddard in 1919 and still operated by their descendants, is set in a former women’s college built in 1845. Today it is the state’s oldest family-operated bed and breakfast, with 31 rooms and suites. The menu is rooted in Kentucky products, including Weisenberger meal, Meacham hams and the state’s top bourbons, with core recipes for dishes like corn pudding, pound cake and fried chicken. The Dedmans continue serving two-year-old country ham matured in their aging house.

Pioneering food critic Duncan Hines told a reporter in 1949 the Beaumont was “the best eating place in Kentucky.” It has a long history of awards and media recognition.

“The inn’s feature in Life magazine in 1957 really put us on the national map,” said Helen Dedman. Garden & Gun magazine last fall named Dixon Dedman’s revival of the family Kentucky Owl Bourbon its “Made in the South Drink of the Year.” The inn is a stop on the popular Kentucky Bourbon Trail and aficionado Dixon Dedman holds tastings almost daily for guests from around the world.

In addition to the historic main dining room inside the inn, Beaumont is also home to the Old Owl Tavern and Owl’s Nest Pub, which has a more casual menu and extensive bourbon list, of course.


Town Square Bank Donates Greenup Burial Mound Site

Town Square Bank donated a large prehistoric Native American burial mound recently identified in rural Greenup County to The Archaeological Conservancy in May in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Month.

The elliptical earthwork – about 20 feet high and 80 feet long – was recorded with the Office of State Archaeology after Stuart Nealis, a University of Kentucky doctoral student, did a geoarchaeological investigation of the site. A preliminary survey shows the mound dates from 500 to 2,500 years ago.

“This mound is very intact, which is unusual, so there is a great deal it might be able to tell us about early Native American culture,” said Josh McConaughy, associate director of the conservancy’s Midwest regional office.

It is now named the Town Square Mound in honor of the bank’s transfer of a deed for the site and two additional parcels totaling about five acres to the national nonprofit, which is dedicated to acquiring and protecting endangered archaeological sites.

“The board thought it would be in the community’s best interest to help protect and preserve a valuable piece of our area’s history,” said Bruce VanHorn, president of the 125-year-old bank, which has locations in Boyd, Greenup, Jessamine and Lawrence counties.

The deed transfer occurred in a public event with local officials, State Archaeologist Dr. George M. Crothers and others, McConaughy said, and “in hopes that others might recognize a similar feature on their own property and take action to protect it.”

Town Square Bank’s board voted unanimously to donate the property after becoming aware of the Native American mound.

“We do recognize this is a sacred, spiritual space associated with funerals,” VanHorn said. Future study of the site by professional archaeologists will not be invasive, he said.

The Archaeological Conservancy has preserved more than 465 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites across the nation, including 12 in Kentucky.