Showing Their Stuff

Louisville mayor to speak at
Oldham Showcase luncheon

He will discuss regional business ties

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(March 2012) – Well-known across the region as a businessman, entrepreneur and public speaker, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will soon be bringing new ideas to Oldham County. He plans to share information about the collaborations he has made with other like-minded individuals to develop a regional business plan to support job growth.

Greg Fischer

Greg Fischer

Fischer has recently teamed with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray on a new initiative called the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement, said Chris Poynter, Communications Director for Mayor Fischer’s office. Relying on businesses between Louisville and Lexington, it will hopefully grow jobs in the area, he said.
“Both Mayor Fischer and Mayor Gray are businessmen and entrepreneurs,” said Poynter. They have shown leadership and a willingness to collaborate, since both understand the importance of having a business plan for the region.
Fischer and Gray have decided to develop a joint regional business plan that will support the growth of high-quality jobs in advanced manufacturing while increasing export activity. With such existing businesses in the region as Toyota, Ford, Lexmark, GE and many more, they believe an opportunity exists to create what they term a “super-region” that will be able to compete on a global scale in the future.
Both mayors will be supported by The Brookings Institution of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit public policy organization. BEAM will use Brookings’ “Metro-politan Business Plan” as a framework to develop a comprehensive economic development effort designed to support manufacturers and their supply chains.
Fischer and Gray, along with community leader Jim Host, are assembling a board of directors composed of business leaders from both communities to oversee BEAM. An Advisory Committee has been created to raise $250,000 to provide capital for the project. Fischer has committed 25 percent of the recently received Bloomberg Grant for Innovation to the BEAM initiative.
Also helping raise funds will be Commerce Lexington Inc. and Greater Louisville Inc., the chambers of commerce in each community. Plans call for this project to be completed by mid-2012.

Showcase Schedule
At Oldham County
YMCA Soccer Blast,
20 Quality Place, Buckner, Ky.

Friday, March 9
• 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.:
Business representatives only with sneak preview of exhibitor booths
• 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Kickoff Luncheon with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Tickets $25
• 4-7 p.m.: Dining Showcase (open to public)
• 5-7 p.m.: Oldham Icon Auditions
Saturday, March 10
• 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Public is welcome
• 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Oldham Icon Finals
• Information: (502) 222-1635

Because there are many companies in surrounding counties that supply parts and services to Toyota, Ford and other factories, this plan will not only aid Louisville and Lexington. “Oldham County is part of this initiative,” said Poynter.
The 2012 Showcase Oldham County business expo luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the YMCA Soccer Complex, 20 Quality Place in Buckner, Ky. Also included will be a silent auction, live auction and announcement of the $25,000 Oldham County Business Plan Contest winner. The contest was an initiative by the chamber to solicit ideas for new businesses in Oldham County.
Fischer’s speech topic is a result of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce asking him to speak about regionalism, said Deana Epperly Karem, Executive Director of Oldham Chamber & Economic Development. “We thought having him here for Showcase would be a great way to introduce him to some of the best that Oldham County has to offer.”
Showcase Oldham County hours are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m on Saturday, March 10. The event features businesses, networking, entertainment, free health screenings, a car show and lots of family fun.
New hours and new features have been added to this year’s Showcase celebration, said Karem. On Friday evening the chamber will showcase restaurants and eateries from across the county.
Labeled as a Dining Showcase, “We’re hoping this will introduce Oldham Countians to some of our finest restaurateurs and draw a great crowd for the exhibitors. Oldham County has a number of places to eat and in the spirit of buying local, we hope this free event on Friday evening will give folks a chance to sample them.”
Also on Friday from 5-7 p.m., auditions will be held for the Oldham Icon singing contest. Contes-tants must sing acappela before a panel of judges. The top 10 contestants will compete in the finals, to be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday in front of a live audience. The winner will receive $350 cash and the runner-up will earn $150.
Karem said the chamber expects to have about 80 booths and about 800 to 1,000 visitors this year.

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