What a crazy week at the Ashland Alliance and in our community. From Monday on, there was something substantial every day of the week. Although we can’t tell what season it truly is outside, we do know things are changing in our region. Thank you for your role and support in helping lead the way for a new Ashland and a stronger Northeast Kentucky.
Monday held the FIVCO 50th Annual Meeting at the newly remodeled Greenbo State Resort Park. This event highlighted the progress that our area has seen in infrastructure development over the last 50 years. FIVCO does much more than just infrastructure, however. It touches our lives in many ways; from local planning, meals on wheels, and GIS mapping. Each of these involves representatives from five counties and cities to come together for a regional good. That, in my view, is the secret sauce of the organization.
Tuesday, I had the honor to speak to the first session of the Youth Leadership Group at Carter Caves Resort Park. Each year I make time to set the stage of what they are going to see and how they can use what they learn to move forward. For many, this may be the first time they truly start the discovery of who they are and what they want to be. This opening meeting felt different. I was able to share with them how they will have opportunities that prior classes didn’t have. By the time they graduate, there will be new opportunities and they may be the first class that has the pathway to take advantage of it. All and all this is a pretty cool message to be able to deliver.
Wednesday was the Ashland Alliance Board of Directors Meeting. This bi-monthly gathering of business and government leaders was a chance to review what was happening in the region, how we are planning to take advantage of the activity and parlay it to even more. On top of that, we discussed how to make the November 20th Ashland Alliance Annual Dinner and Celebration the best event we have ever had. We have confirmed Governor Matt Bevin and Braidy Industries President and CEO Craig Bouchard as our featured speakers… This one will be great!
How do you top the first three days of this week? You host Senator Rand Paul and have a major announcement in the same day! Senator Paul has been in Ashland 4 times in the last year and a half. The Alliance has been lucky enough to help or host each one of these visits. Again, this visit was different. He came, in part, to learn about what is going right in the region. We still are working diligently on issues that we face on other fronts but he saw firsthand how we are reinventing the region.
On the same day as the Senator's visit was what The Daily Independent called “A Monumental Day for Downtown Ashland.” The Ashland Plaza Hotel officially sold and its remodel has begun. The City of Ashland and its leadership should feel proud. Jim Nizzo and Andy Spiros are not newcomers to this community and once again dove headfirst into a project that will make the community better, and stronger for years to come. We are proud to have played a small part in this. Like many projects it has taken years to make happen. I appreciate the dedication of those that carried the water for this to take place.
This is where you get a break. It is still early on Friday. Let’s see what can happen in this community to top this past week. The paper quoted Sen. Rand Paul as saying it's “an exciting time to be in Ashland” I think he has said it perfectly….
Thank you for the opportunity to serve your business and build a stronger region for all of us.
—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance President and CEO