Focus on Business

Tom Martin’s “Focus on Business” reports air Mondays at 7:35 a.m. during Morning Edition, repeated on Mondays at 5:45 p.m. during All Things Considered. 

The segments, which will each run approximately four minutes, are excerpts from Martin’s new bi-weekly Q-and-A series in the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Business Monday section. The audio from the interviews is then edited for presentation as a podcast for Kentucky.com and for broadcast on WEKU.

Martin, who grew up in Morehead, has enjoyed a long career in broadcast journalism, serving as news anchor for KQV Radio in Pittsburgh, for AP Radio Network News, the RKO Radio Network and at WABC in New York. While serving with the AP in Washington, he won a Peabody Award for best radio news documentary.

For a number of years, Martin was a substitute for Paul Harvey on Harvey’s nationally syndicated broadcast. From 2005 until earlier this year, he was the founding editor in chief for Business Lexington.

He is also an accomplished musician.

With refugee immigration to the United States much in the news, Tom Martin talks with Dana Lea, community engagement coordinator for the Lexington Division of the Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

In his farewell speech, former President Obama spoke of the "relentless pace of automation that is making good middle class jobs obsolete.  Today, Tom Martin talks with Dr. Chris Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky's Center of Business and Economic Research, about the impact of automation on the workforce, now and into the future.

Tom Martin talks with Sam Perkins, CEO of Purgenix. The company produces ultraviolet technology to rid hospitals of the airborne pathogens responsible for antibiotic-resistant infections. The technology is now in use in the UK Medical Center surgical suite.

Focus On Business: Lisa Adkins on "On The Table"

Jan 16, 2017

On Wednesday, March 15th Lexington will be abuzz with hosted conversations all around the city - people talking about quality of life in Lexington. It’s a one-day event called “On the Table” being organized by the Blue Grass Community Foundation. The hope is that scores of people will sign-on to host small group discussions over breakfast, lunch, dinner, at workplaces, and other locations, throughout the day.

Tom Martin talks with Lisa Adkins, President and CEO of the Blue Grass Community Foundation, about an event she hopes will help shape Lexington's future. It’s called "On the Table."

Focus On Business: Lorie Bishop on Equine Drug Testing

Jan 2, 2017

This week, Tom Martin talks with Lorie Bishop, Laboratory Manager of LGC Science, Incorporated in Lexington.  Lorie has been at LGC since the lab opened in 2010.  She has a degree in forensic chemistry, has over 13 years of experience in equine drug testing and is a professional member of the Association of Official Racing Chemists.

After a recent injury that left him temporarily unable to drive, Tom Martin heard about the car service ITN-Bluegrass and decided to give it a try.  He quickly discovered what an important difference this nonprofit is making in so many lives in the Bluegrass area.  So, Tom sat down for a chat with executive director Laura Dake. 

Green Hills, Kentucky native Nathan Wright holds MBA and engineering degrees and an aeronautics certificate from the University of Kentucky. There was something very special about his time at UK and he talked with Tom Martin about how it led to the development of a satellite that could prevent dangerous space debris from falling to earth.

Focus On Business: Ron Gilkerson on GRW Consulting Firm

Nov 21, 2016

Today, Tom Martin talks with Ron Gilkerson who just retired after 25 years as president with G-R-W, the engineering, architectural, and geospatial consulting firm based in Lexington since 1964.

Today, Tom Martin talks with Lonny White, chief operations officer at Piramal Pharma Solutions Incorporated-Lexington, formally known as Coldstream Laboratories. The company, part of an international conglomerate, provides sterile drug product development and manufacturing services.

Tom Martin talks with Lexington attorney Jim Frazier, chair of the governing board of the new Downtown Lexington Management District.  Frazier also chairs the Lexington Parking Authority, so he has his eyes on much of what’s happening to improve Downtown Lexington’s attractiveness - not only as an interesting destination, but also as a place to live and work.

Focus On Business: Chris Stiles on Drone Delivery

Oct 10, 2016

UPS is testing drone delivery of urgent packages to remote areas, while Chipotle experiments with drone delivery of burritos on a college campus. How do these remote-controlled flying robots figure into your future? Tom Martin talked with Chris Stiles, president of Unmanned Services, a Lexington-based company providing drone services to all kinds of commercial and civil industries.

Focus On Business: Graham Rowles on KERI

Sep 26, 2016

Americans of the baby boom generation, the so-called “silver tsunami,” born between 1946 and `64, are now turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day and are entering what experts on aging refer to as The Third Age.” Today, Tom Martin discusses the implications with Graham Rowles (ROLLS), a professor in the Graduate Center for Gerontology in the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and director of the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative.​

 Tom Martin talks with Dave Tatman, executive director of the Kentucky Auto Industry Association. He is also associate vice president for advanced manufacturing at Western Kentucky University. Dave and his team are getting ready for "AutoVision," the association’s annual conference coming to the Lexington Center September 12th and 13th.

  Today, Tom Martin talks with Steve Kelly, executive vice-president of marketing and sales at Lexington-based Central Bank. The subject: credit card fraud and the shift to a new generation of high-tech debit and credit cards known as “chip cards.”

Lynne McNees is vice president of the Lexington-based Associations International and president of one of its nine member organizations, the International Spa Association.  In this week’s Focus on Business, she talks with Tom Martin about the business of serving the many needs of a variety of interests.

Seventy-nine percent of present-day college students believe education should include some form of professional experience, according to a study by Northeastern University. And in today’s economy, professional life is increasingly entrepreneurial.  That’s the focus of the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking, or iNet – an undergraduate academic program in leadership and entrepreneurial thinking for all University of Kentucky students, regardless of major.

Seventy-nine percent of present-day college students believe education should include some form of professional experience, according to a study by Northeastern University. And in today’s economy, professional life is increasingly entrepreneurial.  That’s the focus of the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking, or iNet – an undergraduate academic program in leadership and entrepreneurial thinking for all University of Kentucky students, regardless of major.

Tom Martin talks with Clive Pohl, a principal of the Lexington architecture firm Pohl-Rosa-Pohl. He is a proponent of “Natural Capital Accounting,” a method of measuring and assigning values to the world's natural assets as a way to assign a cost to environmental destruction. 

Why does the expansion of the Panama Canal have people talking in Western Kentucky?  And what can be accomplished when Republicans and Democrats work together toward a common goal? Tom Martin posed those questions to Jonathan Miller, the former state treasurer. Now a principal of CivicPoint, the public affairs affiliate of the law firm of Frost-Brown-Todd, Miller works in support of an economic development strategy for the 4 Western Kentucky River counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, and Fulton.

In early May, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky convened a variety of stakeholders in Kentucky’s Medicaid program to gather feedback on Kentucky’s plan to apply for a federal waiver that allows states to test and evaluate new ways to provide Medicaid. Tom Martin talked about the outcome of that gathering with Foundation President and CEO Susan Zepeda.

This week, Tom Martin talks with Mary Claire O’Neal, author of “Becoming What You Want to See in the World”.  Her book has won 3 national book awards and has been translated into several languages and sold in over 30 countries. It is now in its second edition. As a consultant and coach, O’Neal has worked with Fortune 500 companies, healthcare and educational organizations, nonprofits and individuals.

“One: The Alltech Ideas Conference” opens on May 22nd featuring keynotes by Apple computer developer Steve Wozniak, former Ford Motors CEO Alan Mullally and UK Coach John Calipari.  Alltech founder and president Pearse Lyons talked with Tom Martin about the unique annual conference his company will host for a 32nd year at the Lexington Center.

Focus on Business: Rodney Vinegar on Human Resources

May 10, 2016

During his 18-year professional career, Rodney Vinegar has been responsible for recruitment, training, professional development, human resources leadership, and labor relations with such global companies as UBS Investment Bank, Colgate-Palmolive, Pepsi and Scripps Network Interactive.  Rodney recently returned from New York to his home state of Kentucky and joined Tom Martin to discuss some HR issues common in today’s workplace.

Focus On Business: Rodney Vinegar on Human Resources

May 2, 2016

During his 18-year professional career, Rodney Vinegar has been responsible for recruitment, training, professional development, human resources leadership, and labor relations with such global companies as UBS Investment Bank, Colgate-Palmolive, Pepsi and Scripps Network Interactive.  Rodney recently returned from New York to his home state of Kentucky and joined Tom Martin to discuss some HR issues common in today’s workplace.

Focus On Business: Kathy Plomin on "100 Women"

Apr 18, 2016

What can be accomplished in a community when you pool the brainpower and resourcefulness of 100 businesswomen?  We’re about to find out.  Tom Martin talked with former United Way of the Bluegrass President Kathy Plomin, now one of three directors of the organization, “100 Women.”

Focus On Business: Vincent Smith on SCORE

Apr 4, 2016

Tom Martin talks with Vincent Smith, chair of the Lexington Chapter of “SCORE,” an organization of volunteer business mentors helping small businesses and startups work through business issues.

Focus On Business: Neil Goldsmith on Biotechnology

Mar 21, 2016

What does a grapefruit have in common with a deer tick? Tom Martin found out in talking with Neil Goldsmith, co-founder of Evolva, a Swiss-based biotechnology firm with a significant relationship with Lexington and the University of Kentucky.

A new stage for live music performance in Lexington is about to open. With a new business partner and relocation from North Broadway to a larger space on Southland Drive, “Willie’s Locally Known” is now just days from throwing open the doors.  Tom Martin talks with the “Willie” in ‘Willie’s Locally Known,’ creator, owner and operator, Wilson Sebastian.

Alyssa Faith Ericson is co-founder of both Kentucky Hempsters and United Hemp Industries.  She talked with Tom Martin about the move to revive hemp farming and hemp production in Kentucky.

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