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Oldham County Chamber winners

Oldham County businesses honored
in second annual 'Top Achiever' awards

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (March 2004) – Main Street USA was the theme of this year’s Oldham Community Showcase, presented on Saturday, Feb. 7, by the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce in the former Wal-Mart building at Crestwood Station. A magic show with Dave Cottrell, a prom style fashion show, the Oldham County Singers, live and silent auctions, children’s activities, a food court and more than 100 local business, service and nonprofit organizations were featured.

Ky. cover 3-04

Ky. edition cover
of the March RoundAbout.

A preview and luncheon on Friday, Feb. 6, kicked off the 10th annual event, along with presentation of the Oldham County Top Achievers awards. Bill Samuels, president and CEO of Maker’s Mark and Oldham County resident, was the keynote speaker.
“I was wondering on the drive over here, ‘why did they pick me? I make whiskey,’ “ Samuels began, lightheartedly referencing the county’s former “dry” status.
But rather than speaking about whiskey and whiskey marketing, “the only two things I know anything about,” he said, Samuels chose instead to focus on the importance of managing growth.
Comparing the substantial growth of his company to that of Oldham County, Samuels noted that staying true to core values is more important than “growth for the sake of growth.”
According my father’s value system, “quality trumped quantity” anytime the two were in conflict, he said. Samuel’s father, Bill Samuels Sr., introduced in 1958 Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey. Produced in Loretto, Ky., in small batches, distinctively bottled and hand sealed with red wax, it has since become a “very successful American icon brand,” according to Samuels Jr., who took over as head of the company in 1975.
Important to the county’s future is leadership that focuses on long-term results and quality of life, Samuels told those gathered for the luncheon. “I’m certainly willing to help, and I hope you are, too,” he concluded.
Following his address Samuels was presented with a first edition Oldham County tourism T-shirt, a caricature drawn by artist Denny Wahlen and a bourbon pound cake.
Also on Friday, for the second consecutive year the chamber presented its Oldham County Top Achievers awards. The following were recipients:

Oldham County Singers

Photo by Don Ward

The Oldham County Singers perform.

"Bedford Bank” Community Service Award & Non-profit of the Year Award: Oldham County Business and Professional Women. BPW president Debbie Newhouse accepted on behalf of her organization both the community service and non-profit of the year awards. Non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian, self-governing and member supported, BPW-USA was founded in 1919 by Kentucky native Lena Madesin Phillips as a result of the need for a coordinated women’s effort during World War I. The Oldham County chapter, founded in 1991, is one of the state’s newest clubs. The club holds monthly meetings featuring a variety of topics of interest to working women, including political, environmental, workplace and educational issues.
While political issues are the focus of many BPW clubs, “Our group decided to focus on the Oldham County community,” said Newhouse. That includes fund raisers to help support local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Apple Patch Community, Tri-County Community Action Agency, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Oldham County YMCA. Last year the club’s annual Fall Ball charity event raised $15,000 for the LaGrange H.O.S.T. House, a program of Home of the Innocents. The club also provides each year a scholarship to an Oldham County college-bound, senior woman from each high school. The club will raise funds this year for that purpose on March 20 by holding an “All About Me” tea.

Prom show

Photo by Don Ward

A Prom Fashion Show model at the Oldham Showcase.

Oldham County BPW is currently 40 members strong, but “a lot of women don’t know about the group,” said Newhouse. She hopes the OCTA recognition will boost community awareness of the club and encourage more women to become involved.
“BellSouth” E-Business of the Year Award & Home-Based Business of the Year Award: Oldham County On-Line. The husband and wife team of Lambert and Terri Franklin accepted both the e-business and home-based business of the year awards for Oldham County On-Line. Founded by the couple in 1997, the company’s services include website design and hosting, domain registration, search engine registration, ongoing consultation, graphic design, digital photography, on-line credit card acceptance, logo design, and advertising.
Oldham County On-Line also owns and operates “community” websites for Oldham, Hart, Warren, Barren and Metcalfe counties. These sites provide information about county schools, churches, businesses, government, services, and events as well as local news, weather and sports. Most recently, the company has introduced Oldham “business sites” for companies and individuals searching the web for information about Oldham County. These include: OldhamCountyHomes.com; ThinkOldhamCounty.com; OldhamCountyVotes.com; OldhamCountyTourism.com; ShopOldhamCountyKY.com; OldhamCountyJobs.com; OldhamCountyEBusiness and OldhamCountyE-Commerce.
“Our biggest goal is trying to be a community service and an information source for people coming to the county and people who live here,” Lambert Franklin said.
Business of the Year Award, Large Business Category (25-plus Employees): Coldwell Banker McMahan Co. Jerry McMahan of Coldwell Banker McMahan accepted on behalf of his company the business of the year award, large business category.
The McMahan family has since 1953 dominated the Oldham County real estate and development market. Jerry McMahan entered the family business in 1972, and in 1991 the company joined forces with the national strength and reputation of Coldwell Banker.
Now the No. 1 Coldwell Banker company in the state, McMahan Co. features 12 offices and more than 300 sales associations. In addition to Oldham County, the company serves real estate markets in Jefferson, Bullitt, Shelby and Henry counties, Lexington, Frankfort, Winchester, Elizabethtown, Ft. Knox, Bardstown and southern Indiana.
McMahan Co. also received the chairman’s “booth” award, presented by Showcase chair Jon Bednarski.

Sylvan Learning booth

Photo by Don Ward

Michelle Wright (sitting) greets a visitor
at the Sylvan Learning booth.

Business of the Year Award, Small Business Category (1-24 Employees): Presentation Solutions, Inc. & Woodfield Homes, Inc.
Joe and Carol Powell of Presentation Solutions and Ron and Donna Fonk of Woodfield Homes shared top honors for business of the year, small business category.
Presentation Solutions was founded in 1990 by Oldham County native Joe Powell and his mother Carol Powell. Beginning with just one product line marketed from a home-based office, the company now has four product divisions, its own building in Buckner, 17 employees, and branch territories in Louisville and Lexington, Ky., Cincinnati and Nashville, Tenn.
“I think it’s been the best of everything,” said Joe Powell about operating a business in Oldham County. Carol Powell agreed. “It’s been a wonderful location for us,” she said.
Presentation Solutions’ products include LCD multi-media projectors; large format printers, and industrial labeling and signage systems. The company also provides presentation services that include production of and/or instruction in PowerPoint presentations.
“To be recognized where you live is really rewarding,” said Carol Powell regarding the OCTA award. The company also has received at state and national levels awards from Business First, Techno-Vision, Better Business Bureau, Ernst & Young, and Business-Family Partnership.
Woodfield Homes was founded in 1993 by Ron and Donna Fonk. The company specializes in single-family, custom designed and quality built homes. All design work is done in-house using CAD software. Woodfield has built homes in Jefferson, Shelby and Henry counties but concentrates mostly on Oldham County construction.
Of last year’s business, 73 percent came from repeat customers and referrals, according to Ron Fonk, who said he is proud to be among the conscientious builders serving the Oldham County community. “We’ve been incredibly blessed,” he said.
Ron Fonk serves as chairperson of the Oldham County Council, an extension of the Home Builders Association of Louisville, and as member of the Oldham County Chamber board of directors.

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