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Are you looking for a great way to get involved in your community? Commerce Lexington Inc. offers wonderful opportunities for you or your company to get involved and serve on various planning committees or assist with the formation of the organization’s public policy statements. Commerce Lexington’s success depends on the many volunteers that participate in the variety of events, programs, and services that are presented each year – from our Ambassador Program to the Winner’s
Circle resource development program. Volunteers like you are absolutely necessary for Commerce Lexington and the community to achieve its long-term goals. All of Commerce Lexington’s volunteer choices not only provide you with great networking opportunities, but also your company with wonderful visibility within the community.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A LIST OF COMMERCE LEXINGTON INC. COMMITTEES
Finalists Named for 2014 Ambassador of the Year Award
The Ambassador of the Year Award winner will be announced at the 2015 Commerce Lexington Inc. Annual Dinner presented by Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance on Thursday, February 5th.
Bill Marshall, The Lane Report / Kentucky Gazette
Bill Marshall is a marketing consultant for The Lane Report/Kentucky Gazette, which recently formed a partnership for targeted issue advocacy communication. This unique configuration allows trade associations, for example, and other interested parties to build grassroots support for positions on issues in an efficient and cost effective manner, with total market saturation.
Born and raised in Lexington, Marshall said, "Being able to see this fine city continue to grow and prosper makes me proud, and to have some small part in the welcoming of guests here is job satisfaction at its best."
Of his time on the Ambassador Committee, he said, “It’s amazing what a wonderful and diverse membership Commerce Lexington has, and to get a chance to meet so many interesting people is a real honor. Lexington has so much to offer, and the teamwork and camaraderie of the good folks at Commerce Lexington makes the journey from startup to establishment much smoother sailing. I especially like the legislative and other support updates, which regularly keep me up to speed on issues.”
Todd Sallee, Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance
A Lexington native, Todd Sallee spent nearly 17 years in the banking industry before joining Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Kentucky. Providing coverage to more than 23,000 policyholders in all 120 counties, KEMI has maintained an “Excellent” rating from A.M. Best since 2001, was selected as one of the Ward’s 50 for financial stability and responsible business practices, and has been ranked first nationally as a Best Place to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance Magazine.
As a business development manager, Todd’s main responsibility is community development, networking and establishing strong relationships with agents and policyholders. He also oversees KEMI's continuing education class offerings. Sallee said, "The thing that impresses me most about KEMI is the work culture here. They truly believe that faith and family are #1, and that type of culture is not easy to find today. Serving others is at the core of KEMI’s vision, mission, and values. I feel very blessed to work at KEMI."
“Serving as an Ambassador is truly an honor,” said Sallee. “It is very satisfying to know that we are put in front of key businesses across Central Kentucky to make sure they are getting the most out of Commerce Lexington and utilizing all of the many resources that they have to offer.”
Mark Wiemer, Your Community Bank
Mark Wiemer joined Your Community Bank in December 2013, after having spent the previous 25-plus years working in the financial services industry. As the assistance vice president/financial center manager for the Tates Creek location, Mark works with individuals, families and businesses to help them solve their financial needs and concerns. He said, "Working for a bank that is able to tailor products and incorporate 'outside the box' thinking, when necessary, provides for an environment of success."
A native of Southern California, he has called the Bluegrass home for the last twenty years. "The color blue is in my blood," added Wiemer. "Even as a transplant, I get chills when I hear the song My Old Kentucky Home."
"One of the most satisfying experiences I have as an Ambassador is being able to share with companies the benefits that they may not have been aware of that provide real value. I am passionate about what Commerce Lexington has to offer and proud to share the great things the chamber is doing to market the Bluegrass. This is very evident with all the national recognitions the chamber has earned. The entire chamber team is dedicated to helping the Bluegrass grow and its companies prosper," said Wiemer.
"My role as an Ambassador has allowed me to meet many great individuals in business, education and government. There are so many people doing great things to make the Bluegrass a truly wonderful place to live and work"
Ambassador Spotlight (December 2014): Sue Miller, Al Torstrick Insurance Agency
This month's Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Spotlight features Sue Miller, an account executive for Al Torstrick Insurance Agency. The Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, native has worked at Al Torstrick for 28 years. She attended the University of Kentucky, and after moving to Murray, Kentucky following college, she moved back to Lexington in 1986.
Sue said she enjoys her role with Commerce Lexington Inc., because she always enjoys meeting new people and finding out about the different types of businesses in the Lexington area. Sue added, “I get to meet people I might not meet otherwise, and I enjoy telling them about the many services Commerce Lexington has to offer.”
Contact Sue Miller at (859) 233-1461.
Ambassador Spotlight (November 2014): Jacob M. Sizemore, Sizemore & Sizemore, PLLC
This month's Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Spotlight features Jacob M. Sizemore, CPA/ABV, MBA, owner of Sizemore & Sizemore, PLLC, which offers accounting, tax, payroll, and business valuation services. It provides the convenience of a one-stop for business owners, and the firm has a significant amount of experience servicing closely-held businesses and their owners as well as a strong estate planning practice.
Jacob works with business owners to help educate them about today’s tax laws and planning opportunities. He also leads the firm’s business valuation practice. The combination of his tax background and valuation experience allows him to provide a unique perspective to business owners.
Originally from High Point, North Carolina, he practiced professionally in Charlotte before relocating to Lexington. After the birth of their first child, Jacob and Emily (his wife and business partner) decided to relocate to Kentucky to be closer to Emily’s family. They've been here for about 18 months.
"This is my first year as an Ambassador, and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience," said Jacob. "As a business owner myself, I have been able to take advantage of many of the programs Commerce Lexington has to offer. Being new to the area, the chamber provides a forum for me to make contacts that would otherwise be difficult. As an ambassador, I get the opportunity to connect with other local business, to help them access the same benefits that have really helped my business."
Contact Jacob Sizemore at (859) 514-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ambassador Spotlight (October 2014): Shawn Blades, BB&T
This month's Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Spotlight features Shawn Blades of BB&T. The Pikeville native began her banking career in 1996. She said, “I have been very proud to work at BB&T since 2005, and graduate from The BB&T Banking School at Wake Forest in 2011.” She has had a variety of roles at BB&T, ranging from Teller to Operations Manager to her current role as a Market Leader.
As the Market Leader of the Beaumont area, Shawn specializes in small business and consumer relationships. She works very closely with clients to manage banking and lending needs, as well as provide solutions to help customers through all phases of their financial life.
She said she made the decision to move to BB&T after being given a copy of the BB&T Philosophy book. "After reading through it several times, I found that the passion that BB&T has for helping clients achieve economic success and financial security by providing them with the right products and services was exactly what I wanted to do," she added.
“I’ve lived in Lexington for the past 20 years,” Shawn said. “One of the things I find most exciting is seeing the revitalization of locally-owned businesses. Being an Ambassador has given me the opportunity to reach out to those that have followed their dreams and offer my support. It is a pleasure to share the many opportunities Commerce Lexington has to offer business owners.”
Contact Shawn Blades at (859) 224-3412 or email@example.com.
Ambassador Spotlight (September 2014): Mike Runyon, Missing Link Managed I.T.
This month's Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Spotlight features Mike Runyon from Missing Link Managed I.T. Like many small businesses, Mike wears a number of hats at Missing Link, depending on the day, from general manager and sales and marketing director to a tech and dispatcher.
A Lexington native, Mike Runyon left as a child in 1979 and and returned as an adult to a “new and different” Lexington in 1999 mostly to help care for his grandmother, who was suffering with Alzheimer’s. Prior to his time at Missing Link Managed I.T., Mike spent time in the U.S. Army, worked as a security contractor with the government, and more recently as a contractor at Lexmark.
Mike said that his experience in the Army translates well to what he does now. Part of that time was spent as a CounterIntelligence Agent. He said, “There are skills, attributes, and character traits that parlay well into the managed services approach that we employ now.”
He said that his time serving as an Ambassador has been "rewarding on multiple levels." He added, "We are called on to represent the business community at ribbon cuttings and grand openings, serve at special events, and connect with new and existing members to see if they have any feedback for Commerce Lexington Inc., advise them of upcoming events, and ask if there's anything that I or Missing Link can do for them."
Mike said that it is important to be involved in Commerce Lexington Inc. and the community, because "we all have a stake in our community's success. I'm involved through Missing Link, because it's important that we serve, volunteer, and contribute where we live, work and play, and hopefully positively impact our quality of life here in the Bluegrass."
Contact Mike Runyon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ambassador Spotlight (August 2014): Catherine Clements, Marriott International
This month's Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Spotlight is Catherine K. Clements, a sales executive with Marriott International. The Springfield, Kentucky, native began her hospitality career 12 years ago here in Lexington, and has now worked at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa for three years.
Catherine assists groups in securing meetings and conventions at both the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa and Courtyard Lexington North on Newtown Court. She added, “There are so many rewarding aspects about working in the hospitality industry, but my favorite would have to be the opportunity to meet and work with new people on a daily basis. The Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa is such a unique and truly beautiful venue that attracts visitors from all over the world and really demonstrates what Lexington hospitality is all about.”
She said, “I enjoy the Ambassador role, because I have been able to forge relationships with members of Commerce Lexington in all sorts of roles and industries, that I might not otherwise have met. I really enjoy attending ribbon cuttings and learning more about new businesses in the Lexington area. I feel much more connected to my community, because I see firsthand all that Lexington has to offer, not only members of Commerce Lexington Inc., but all of our citizens.”
Contact Catherine at email@example.com.
Ambassador Spotlight (June 2014): Sarah Mattingly, Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C.
This month's Ambassador Spotlight is Sarah S. Mattingly, an associate attorney with Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C., (M&P) a full-service law firm representing large and small financial institutions, businesses, and individual clients throughout Kentucky and Indiana. It provides the experience found in large firms with the level of service found in smaller firms. It also successfully combines cost-effective, experienced legal representation with the highest level of personal service and attention.
Sarah moved to Lexington in 2008 to attend law school at the University of Kentucky, and fell in love with Lexington. While in law school, Sarah clerked for M&P and found that it was a perfect fit for her. "Lexington is small city feel mixed with a successful and vibrant economy," she added.
As an associate attorney, Mattingly concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial transactions, including commercial loan documentation, commercial litigation, real estate and banking regulations. She seeks to provide advice tailored to the needs of the client in a cost effective manner.
When she spoke about serving on the Commerce Lexington Inc. Ambassador Committee, she said, “As part of the business community, I believe it is important to understand the people and businesses involved in supporting and making Lexington a success and personally contributing to that success.”
Contact Sarah Mattingly at (859) 226-5294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ambassador Spotlight (May 2014): Scott Green, Sonitrol of Lexington/Bates Security
This month's Ambassador Spotlight is Scott Green, a security consultant with Sonitrol of Lexington/Bates Security, a locally-owned and operated security company, specializing in the installation, monitoring and servicing of burglary, video, access and fire systems. Bates Security was Commerce Lexington’s 2013 Small Business of the Year.
A former member of the U.S. Air Force and a native Lexingtonian, Scott moved back to Lexington to work in the safe and vault industry where he met Jeremy Bates of Sonitrol back then. The company Scott worked for became a customer of Sonitrol. Years later, he reconnected with Jeremy, who recognized Scott’s past security experience and offered him an opportunity as a security consultant.
As a security consultant, Scott meets with new businesses to listen and discuss their security needs, while supporting existing clients to make sure they are getting the excellent support that they expect.
“After seeing first-hand how Commerce Lexington supports the business community, I felt it was important to share this experience with other businesses,” he said.
"In my short time as an Ambassador, I have met with a variety of professionals that I would not have had the opportunity otherwise," added Scott. "My contact with existing members has allowed me to promote the many programs to our members. This informs them of how Commerce Lexington could assist them throughout the year."
Contact Scott Green at (859) 225-7386 or email@example.com.
Ambassador Spotlight (April 2014): Kie VanderHorst, KnightHorst Shredding
This month's Ambassador Spotlight is Kie VanderHorst, a partner with KnightHorst Shredding, LLC - established in 2004 to provide on-site document destruction for businesses and residents throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Originally from Richmond, Ky., the University of Kentucky graduate has lived in Lexington since 1982. "Married with three children (ages 19, 17 and 8) keeps me busy, but having held a job since age 13, I'm still passionate about my work," said Kie.
VanderHorst is responsible for Kentucky sales and account management, as well as accounts receivable for all three states. "With identity theft, HIPPA and other privacy laws, it's critical that we provide safe and secure measures to protect our clients, as well as their customer's or patient's information," said Kie. "We pride ourselves on prompt and personal service that is unmatched in this industry."
This was Kie's first year as an Ambassador for Commerce Lexington Inc. She said, "Its been wonderful reconnecting with friends from my past and meeting new ones along the way. Commerce Lexington provides me with the opportunity to not only strengthen my business in Lexington, but also help others by networking for a common goal. Whether I'm attending Business Links, ribbon cuttings or various meetings, I always meet someone new to share ideas or business contacts."
Contact Kie VanderHorst at (859) 230-4482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ambassador Spotlight (March 2014): Jennifer North, Time Warner Cable Media
As an account executive for Time Warner Cable Media, Jennifer partners with local businesses to help them increase brand awareness through digital and cable advertising. She said, “Working with one of the nation’s largest Fortune 100 companies provides me with the support and know-how to help my clients target the right consumers for their products and services."
"As a former business owner myself, I understand the value of working with a company that listens and provides me with a successful ROI. Every dollar spent to advertise needs to count. This is why I love working with Time Warner Cable Media. We truly focus on understanding the specific needs of our clients (partners-as I like to call them) and can customize their reach across our top websites and high-rated networks/shows to put their business in front of the audience they want to reach most. I find it very rewarding when my clients come back to me after a campaign to say their sales are up and business is growing," added North.
“This will be my second year as an Ambassador, and I was also on our Winner’s Circle team this year as well," said North. "As Ambassadors, we get the great pleasure of celebrating with new business owners at their Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings, networking with influential members of our community and local business owners, supporting our local businesses at Business Links and making many new friends along the way.”
Serving as an Ambassador has also helped her reconnect to Lexington. The University of Kentucky graduate had moved away for a while and returned to the area a couple of years ago. "I am very excited to be back in the Bluegrass State, supporting my Kentucky Wildcats as well as being involved in the community through Commerce Lexington Inc."
Contact Jennifer North at (859) 351-5125 or email@example.com.
Ambassador Spotlight (February 2014): Kristie Woodrum, Hilton Lexington Suites
As director of sales for the Hilton Lexington Suites located in Lexington Green off Nicholasville Road, Kristie Woodrum handles events such as weddings, reunions, tour and travel, sports teams and the University of Kentucky market for the hotel, which has 1,500 square feet of meeting space to accommodate various meetings and events.
Now in her sixth year serving as a CLX ambassador, Kristie is the 2014 chair of the committee. She said, “It is very rewarding to be an ambassador and get to educate new and existing member companies of all that Commerce Lexington has to offer. Being an ambassador has also allowed me the opportunity to meet so many people in the industry that would not have been possible otherwise.”
Ambassadors serve as a liaison between Commerce Lexington and its membership, while also representing the organization at a variety of events, from ribbon cuttings and grand openings to networking functions and open houses. Contant Kristie at (859) 271-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.