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Lou Ann Moore selected as first woman to lead Chamber

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - It was an historic evening for Bullitt County.

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For the first time in the history of the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, a woman will lead the organization the next two years.

Long-time realtor Lou Ann Moore was introduced to a crowd of over 250 community leaders as the organization’s new leader.

It was also a night in which the business group honored a former state representative as its Citizen of the Year.

Before president Keith Griffee passed the gavel to Moore, he recapped some of his memories of the past two years.

“I wanted to see Bullitt County move forward and be recognized,” said Griffee, who is president of PBI Bank and a member of the Kentucky Lottery board. “I’m proud to be part of the Bullitt County business community.”

Griffee said he was fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Jesse Flynn, who was part of an aggressive time for the Chamber to spearhead economic growth.

When he took over the leadership role two years ago, Griffee said one of the main goals was seeing Jewish Hospital Medical Center South become a full-service facility. Approval was granted recently for the addition of 60 in-patient beds.

Griffee said he wanted to have the Chamber build a better relationship with the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority.

Having attended the meetings for the past two years, Griffee said that it has been a wonderful experience and the two groups do work well together.

The chamber wanted to see education, in general, and the community college, specifically, continue to move forward and Griffee knows that is happening.

And he said the Arla Foundation, which was set up to spur the community college efforts, must continue to grow and he hopes more in the public sector would get involved.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Griffee said of Moore’s new tenure as president. “She will do an excellent job.”

Moore looks to build upon the momentum in the Chamber and she hopes more members will be involved in the various activities.

She said there will be many events planned by executive director Kristie Walls and her staff for 2009.

Moore is looking for the Chamber members to be involved in as many of those activities as possible.

She complimented the Ambassador program where a group of volunteers work to welcome new members.

Her goals for the next two years include continuing the working relationship with the EDA, tourism and the school system.

She said the chamber must continue to support elected officials and the county must become more involved in the base relocation (BRAC) plans at Fort Knox.

Her goal is to offer each member of the Chamber something to cause them to want to be a part of the organization.

Awards presented

Each year, the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce board of directors select several members and community leaders for special recognition.

The Citizen of the Year was awarded to state Rep. Larry Belcher.

Brian Doheny, chief operating officer for Jewish Hospital, honored Belcher, who passed away Oct. 6, 2008, in an auto accident.

He credited Belcher and state Sen. Gary Tapp for their many hours of work in Frankfort to get the paperwork needed to allow Jewish Hospital to build an emergency room and out-patient facility in the county.

And on April 29, 2008, Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order that allowed the 60 in-patient beds to someday become a reality.

“Rep. Belcher’s spirit lives on with all of us,” said Doheny, who was followed by a video montage of photos of Belcher.

His wife, Linda, who was recently elected to serve as state representative over the next two years, accepted the award.

Greg Gentry, a Mount Washington city councilmember and manager of the First Citizens Bank branch in Mount Washington, was selected to receive the Barbara Cahoe Award for his service to the chamber.

And Denise Lafferty of Peoples Bank of Mount Washington was selected as the Ambassador of the Year.

Jeremy Kennedy, bourbon ambassador for Beam Global Spirits and Wines, was the guest speaker.

The Bullitt Central JROTC presented the colors and Robert Key sang the national anthem.

Students at Bullitt Central High prepared a video on the chamber activities.

Retiring directors - Niki Spies, Flynn and Doheny - were honored. New directors joining the board were Tammy Ott of Today’s Kids and Ellie Yerkes of Park Community Federal Credit Union.

For more information about the Chamber of Commerce, call 543-6727.