LaShana Harris is a mother, a lawyer, a business professional, and an award winning entrepreneur. She’s the founder of Babylocity, a Frankfort-based company that is developing innovative baby products for on-the-go moms.
Tom Martin talked with LaShana about the challenges and the rewards of having an idea for a business and then shaping and preparing that idea for the marketplace.
Frogdice is an independent game development studio in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 1996 by Michael Hartman, Frogdice creates online and digital download games of the role-playing or "RPG" variety. Tom Martin talked with Michael about his company and about gaming.
Charles Martin is Director of Lexington’s Division of Air and Water Quality. He manages the city’s settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency to bring Lexington into compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act. In essence, when it rains hard, the city’s storm sewers flow into its sanitary sewers. The resulting overflows have not been pretty.
The city is now well into the process of fixing this. Tom Martin spoke with Mr. Martin (no relation) about this enormous project in November, 2013. Now, one year later, time for an update.
November 17th begins a week of focus on innovation and entrepreneurial inspiration during the 4th Annual Lexington Global Entrepreneurship Week. In his role as director of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, Warren Nash is one of those overseeing the event. He sat down with Tom Martin.
Bobby Clark is founder and president of Sustainable Business Ventures, a non-profit working to develop businesses, social enterprises, environmental literacy training and entrepreneurial training. In part one of his conversation with Tom Martin, Clark discusses his work to help a Kentucky community overcome tragedy.
The Breeders’ Cup will take place in 2015 at Lexington, Kentucky’s Keeneland Race Course - the spot where this prestigious international thoroughbred racing event was conceived - but before now, has never been held.
The horse racing will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 30th and 31st of next year. But planning is now underway to begin the party well before October 30th.
Kip Cornett chairs the 2015 Breeders’ Cup/Keeneland Host Committee and he spoke with Tom Martin.
Deirdre Lyons is, with her husband Pearse, co-founder of the international animal nutrition and health company Alltech, based in Nicholasville, Kentucky and operating in 128 countries. She talked with Tom Martin about the company’s creative efforts to deliver innovation and jobs to Eastern Kentucky through brewing and distilling, as well as poultry and fish production.
In 1982, Hospice of the Bluegrass was known as Community Hospice of Lexington serving up to eighteen patients in Fayette County with a staff of five plus several dozen volunteers.
Today, Hospice of the Bluegrass serves nearly 700 patients in 32 Kentucky counties with a staff of more than 400 and a volunteer-base of nearly 1,000. This growth and expansion has occurred on the watch of Gretchen Brown, regarded one of the most successful, innovative, and respected leaders of the American hospice movement.
Going from finding herself a 20-year old unwed mother with only a 2nd grade education - who had just received custody of her six younger siblings - to earning a spot among the 20 winners of USA Today’s 2013 All-USA Community College Academic Team, as well as a Coca Cola New Century Scholar, and graduating this year from Bluegrass Community and Technical College with a 4.0 GPA and associate degrees in Science and the Arts. Intrigued? This is the story of Ebony Nava. She spoke with Tom Martin.
Tom Stultz is president of San Diego-based JMI Sports. The Greenup native has more than forty years professional executive experience negotiating and securing more than a billion dollars in multimedia and sponsorship rights agreements with major universities - agreements like the 15-year deal announced in late June between JMI and UK valued at $210 million. Tom Martin talked with Stultz to find out what the deal means to UK...and to Cats fans.
Science is creating jobs in Lexington. Seikowave is a technology company focused on three dimensional scanning. The company is a working example of the University of Kentucky’s efforts to establish a high-tech sector of the central Kentucky economy. Here’s Tom Martin’s conversation with Seikowave founder and CEO, Matt Bellis.
Nicholasville is the fifth fastest growing city in Kentucky and Jessamine County was the tenth fastest growing county, according to the latest U.S. Census. What does this growth look like and mean?
Discussing it with Tom Martin is Amy Cloud, CEO of the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Cloud is on the forefront of many issues raised by the expansion Jessamine is now experiencing.
Lexington’s downtown has come a long, long way in recent years; restaurants, music venues, the farmers market and Thursday night live. But, we still hear people say they avoid downtown, and it usually has to do with uncertainty about parking. That’s the focus of Tom Martin’s conversation with Robert Wagoner, a retired commercial real estate and development professional whose projects include the Tates Creek, Palomar and Lexington Green shopping centers.
To be in the communications business these days requires staying up to date on the latest developments in the endless evolution of digital technology. It’s the focus of Tom Martin’s conversation with Ron Mossotti, President of Lexington’s Hammond Communications.
Tourism contributed more than $12 billion to Kentucky's economy in 2013. Tourism was responsible for more than 175,000 jobs in Kentucky last year, and those jobs generated more than $2.8 billion in wages. Bob Stewart is secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. He talked with Tom Martin about some of the latest trends in Kentucky tourism.
Kip Cornett is president, CEO, and namesake of Lexington’s advertising and creative agency, “Cornett.” His firm employs 52 and is just a few months away from its 30th year in business.
May 19th was a big day at Cornett. The firm has won the Webby “People’s Choice” Award in the “Professional Services” category - recognition in what amounts to the “Oscars” of the Internet, presented annually since the late 1990’s.
Tom Martin talked with Kip Cornett not only about this distinction, but also about Lexington’s creative culture.
Lexington tourism officials are investigating introducing two new tours; one with a rural focus, the other urban-centered.
The Blue Grass is known for its horse farms, but getting an up-close experience has typically been challenging. Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau President Jim Browder told city leaders this week there's interest in a new approach to horse farm tours.
Toyota is closing its Erlanger headquarters and moving almost 1,600 jobs out of Northern Kentucky as part of a nationwide consolidation of the company's operations.
Company officials gathered employees at its Erlanger offices Monday afternoon to tell them the news. All workers there will be offered jobs either at Toyota's new headquarters in Plano, Texas, or at an expanded technical center in Michigan.
Most of the talk about moving forward with plans to re-work Lexington's Rupp Arena and build a new convention center has come from local and state government officials. But, the business sector in the Bluegrass region also has a stake in downtown development.
Ron Crouch is Director of Research and Statistics, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet in Frankfort. He oversees the development of databases on demographic, social, educational, workforce, and economic issues and trends relating to life in the Commonwealth. He spoke recently with Tom Martin about the numbers flowing across his desk and what they mean to us.
Mukang Cho is CEO of In-Rel Properties, a privately held Florida real estate investment firm founded in 1985 with approximately $500 million in assets under management. Chase Tower on East Main Street in downtown Lexington is the firm’s first Kentucky acquisition.
It is among more than 6 million square feet of office and retail properties throughout the United States owned by In-Rel. With transactions to his credit valued at more than $100 billion, Cho is an expert on real estate financing.
Chris Young is a member of the Bluegrass Angels, a seed funding organization of some of Kentucky’s most accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Tom Martin’s conversation with Young begins with something new for The Bluegrass Angels: a “Launch Fund” – Chris’ concept of a competition to provide funding to entrepreneurs who have interesting business ideas, but are not yet far enough along to present them to the Bluegrass Angels group. As a result of its first competition, held recently, the Fund awarded $25,000 investments to each of four finalist companies.
Eight cars that fell into a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green last week will be getting a little tender loving care. The prized sports cars were damaged when a 40 foot wide by 25 foot deep sinkhole swallowed them early last Wednesday.
Paul Coomes is a retired Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Louisville and a consultant for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced economists in the Commonwealth. He spoke with Tom Martin about current economic conditions.
While Lexington and Louisville remain rivals in many areas, the mayors of both cities continue to move forward on a mutually beneficial economic partnership. They formed the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM). They commissioned the Washington, D.C. think tank, The Brookings Institution, to conduct a study into the feasibility of creating a 22-county economic region, anchored by Lexington to the east and Louisville to the west.
In this week's Focus on Business, Tom Martin discusses some of the study's findings and its vision with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.