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Young Professionals Thrive in Owensboro

CYP board members Taylor Deveaux, Sarah Fleischmann, Erica Yartz, Louise Murdock, Andrew Howard, Jenna Mitchell, Jessica Kirk, Dave Kirk.
CYP board members Taylor Deveaux, Sarah Fleischmann, Erica Yartz, Louise Murdock, Andrew Howard, Jenna Mitchell, Jessica Kirk, Dave Kirk.

The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce honors “40 Under 40” individuals each year through its Chamber Young Professionals group. CYP was formerly known as Greater Owensboro Young Chamber (GOYC) and Connecting Young Leaders of Owensboro before being rebranded in 2016. The group has 150-plus members who network with one another and participate in three branches of the organization: social, philanthropy and professional development.

“We also have entered the advocacy branch that’s brought services like Lyft to Owensboro,” said CYP chair-elect Dave Kirk, himself a member of the 40U40 class of 2017. Kirk has a background in TV journalism, marketing and communication, and now works in tourism. He is in charge of destination management at Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Our tourism industry is thriving with the incredible conventions, shows and world-class hotels,” he said. “The downtown is thriving with great local restaurants, bars and boutiques. There’s constantly construction around the city, which represents change and new developments.”

Kirk credits his involvement with Chamber Young Professionals for helping him learn about all the unique attractions in Owensboro so he can market them to convention attendees.

“It’s taught me to think outside the box in creating custom social events,” he said. “CYP also serves as a great focus group for me in promoting events that millennials are interested in.”

The New York-based website Business Insider recently put Owensboro on a list of 11 cities millennials are moving to.—Kathie Stamps


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  • The future of Owensboro continues to look bright with such a strong group of thriving young professionals.
    Mark Calitri

  • Everyday Owensboro touches the world! says Mark Calitri. During last week’s Kentucky Travel Industry Associaiton spring conference Pure Michigan VP (#1 most recognized marketing campaign in United States) says Owensboro’s Brand USA video is his favorite. It tells a story that resonates with the viewer!
    “Pure Michigan is the model,” says Calitri. The Brand USA video featuring Owensboro creates a connection with viewers. As of May 2019, the video has over 4,000,000 views. That means that 4,000, 000 people have seen the Owensboro story and our message. With additional marketing resources the video has the potential to reach several more million this year alone.
    Visit Owensboro is continuing to build a destination that is attractive to visitors.