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.
Commonly heard among economic development and education professionals is that in this 21st Century world creative talent drives a community’s economy and makes it an interesting place to live, work and play. In many cases, such talent lives and plays locally, but their work is not confined to the local economy. “Live local, work global,” as the saying goes.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is driving home a second "car of the year" award. The vehicle manufactured at the Bowling Green General Motors plant has been named Autoweek's Best Car for 2014. Automobile magazine last month gave similar honors to the Stingray.
Tom Martin of the Lexington Herald Leader speaks with Kris Kimel, co-founder and president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, a non-profit that champions science, education, research and innovation in the Commonwealth.
Tom Martin speaks with Marty Canning, Executive Vice President of Lexmark International Incorporated and President of “Imaging Solutions and Services.”
He has held that position since 20-10. Prior to that, Mr. Canning headed Lexmark’s former Printing Solutions and Services Division. Much has changed since those days, including the expertise and skills the company now requires of its employees.
For years, hard rains in Lexington have caused sanitary and storm water sewer systems to overflow into streams and even homes.
These illegal “Sanitary Sewer Overflows,” are the basis of a 2006 lawsuit filed against the city by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Kentucky. A 2011 Consent Decree gives Lexington 10 years to fix the problem.
The agreement requires the city to establish a Capacity Assurance Program (CAP). It was developed by a seven-member task force that produced 19 recommendations for a plan submitted early this year to the EPA.
Tom Martin of the Lexington Herald Leader speaks with Margaret Levi, lawyer with the Lexington firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, and author of The Impact of Health Care Reform on Kentucky Employers, a 68-page booklet published by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Tune in for Tom Martin's Focus on Business reports Monday at 7:35 am and 5:45 pm on the WEKU Stations
Tom Martin, well known for his reports on the central Kentucky business scene, can now be heard on WEKU-FM. Martin’s “Focus on Business” report will air Mondays at 7:35 a.m. during Morning Edition and will be repeated on Mondays at 5:45 p.m. during All Things Considered.