Sarah here! Last week was the 127th Annual Dinner for the Christian County Chamber of Commerce. This was such a nice event for me, being “new” again to Hopkinsville, having been away for about ten years up until recently. The evening kicked off with a reception that was almost (I said almost!) long enough to make a pass around the room and see those that you would like to see that weren’t sitting at your table. Up next as the dinner kicked off…first, I must mention the James E. Bruce Convention Center – I’ve had several meals there in the past few months and they’ve all been delicious…award presentations began with the Christian County Young Professional of the Year (congrats Spencer Kilijan of The Center of Insurance) and Bob Kelso Ambassador of the Year (big congrats to my friend Melanie Noffsinger of Southern Springs Events!!). Following, we learned about some of the past years’ accomplishments within the Chamber and Hopkinsville-Christian County community.
For the keynote address, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky’s Wil James spoke. In addition to his impressive resume and laundry list of accomplishments, Mr. James educated the audience about some of the things (big things!) happening right here in the Commonwealth. Georgetown, Kentucky is home to Toyota’s largest North American manufacturing facility. The first Lexus produced in America will be produced in Kentucky. This will add 50,000 vehicles to the capacity of 500,000 produced today. In May of 2014, the Georgetown plant celebrated the 10 millionth vehicle made in Toyota’s Kentucky facility. All of these things, right here in Kentucky! Mr. James continued speaking about education initiatives as well as other topics interesting to the Chamber audience – all in all a great keynote address for the event.
Wrapping up the evening was the unveiling of the Business Plan Competition winner. Having attended the Entrepreneur Conference in February (read more about that here), this is something I was very much looking forward to hearing about. Even though we’re changing direction in 2015 to become more full-service, having been in business for 30 years Williams Advertising wasn’t eligible to compete. All the same, I was very interested to see who the winners were. Taking the top spot in the competition was The Bloomery, a local greenhouse.
To drive the theme home and featuring the guest speaker of honor, at each place setting guests found a car mint tin with car-shaped mints inside. These fun little promotional products were done by yours truly, Williams Advertising. These were such a unique (and seriously tasty!) giveaway. For those sponsors at the VIP tables, beautiful Cutter & Buck stainless steel tumblers were waiting.
All in all, this was a fantastic Kentucky event mixing both local and state-level focus for those in business in Christian County.