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February 2017


You know you’re 50 when you’re in an elevator and your favorite song comes on.

You know you’re 50 when your back goes out more often than you do.

You know you’re 50 when you have a party and the neighbors don’t even notice.

You know you’re 50 when a kid you once babysat is now your lawyer.

You know you’re 50 when someone offers you a seat on the bus and you don’t refuse.

That’s how my 50th birthday card from my wife, Mary Lynn, read.  If you’re wondering about good things that can happen when turning 50, remember that everyone deals with aging differently. It’s easy enough to get down on yourself, but a brighter perspective can make you realize that 50 is a time of celebration and acceptance. If you’ve been lucky enough to live a full and enjoyable life, you are fortunate. Turning 50 might mean it’s time to create some new goals for the next 50 years.

Well, KAED has had many good things happen in the past 50 years and what a great time to celebrate our organization! We continue to achieve our goals to educate, advocate and connect our membership-a membership that covers all parts and aspects of the industry in Kentucky, from rural to urban areas.

Time to break out your bow ties! I get excited every time I talk with our KAED chair, Madison Silvert, and his team in Owensboro.  As you will read below, the Spring Conference in Owensboro on April 19, 20 and 21 has a growing agenda and with the IdeaFestival involved it will truly be three energizing days of Innovation and Disruption in Economic Development.   Please register today., If you have any questions, contact the KAED office.
The KAED Public Policy team has witnessed giant steps in economic development in Kentucky. Read the story below from our KAED Public Policy co-chair Tyler Glick, and you will see that KAED is very involved in many important pieces of legislation during this short session of the General Assembly.

I look forward to the many opportunities I have to speak this month about KAED and economic development to groups in Mt. Sterling, Flemingsburg, Owensboro, Bardstown and Jeffersontown.  It is also an honor to travel with our KentuckyUnited team to Japan in March and be accompanied by Economic Development Secretary Terry Gill and Commissioner Mandy Lambert to market Kentucky.

It’s been a great 2017 so far.  If you are a member, thank you.  If you are not a member of KAED, I invite you now to be a part of Kentucky’s premier organization that is dedicated to promoting and facilitating economic development in the Commonwealth.   Please contact me if I can help you with anything.  Have a great February.



Spring Conference
Online Registration Open!


KAED Spring Conference
Owensboro, Kentucky
April 19-21


As the list of consultants and invited speakers continues to evolve, KAED is excited to announce that Ankur Gopal, Jeff Pappas and Scott Polikov will be among the presenters at the 2017 Spring Conference.

Ankur Gopal is a Serial Technology Entrepreneur and the CEO of Interapt, an award-winning “innovation as a service” company specializing in mobile and wearable technology solutions. Selected by Google as one of only 10 global companies for their Glass at Work partner program, Interapt also won the 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor Award. Ankur received the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was inducted into the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jeff Pappas, Managing Director for E Smith Realty in Dallas, TX, represents corporate clients on a national and international basis, managing their global real estate strategy through location advisory and labor market analytics. Recently, Jeff was the lead consultant for California-based Alorica who announced in September 2016 its plans to establish an 830-job customer engagement center in downtown Owensboro’s former BB&T building, making it one of the city’s largest-ever economic development projects.

Scott Polikov is a national leader well known for his work in unlocking the true value of neighborhoods while focusing on public-private partnerships to fund lasting design. Scott is President of Gateway Planning Group, a national town planning practice focusing on the marriage of walkable places and the economics of transportation. In 2013, Gateway Planning formed a joint venture with Balfour Beatty for projects involving comprehensive design implementation, P3 finance, major infrastructure investments and construction management. Scott was recently elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP).

Be sure to register by March 17 to take advantage of early registration rates and discounted hotel room rates.  Register here. We look forward to seeing you there!

KAED Public Policy Update


KAED Public Policy Committee members will be on hand Wednesday at the Capitol for the HB1 (Right to Work) Bill Signing.  KAED was invited to the ceremony in recognition of the organization’s tremendous efforts supporting the bill.

State of the Commonwealth

Governor Bevin delivered his State of the Commonwealth last week. Bevin celebrated early legislative achievements this session and said medical review panels and tort reform are coming soon. Bevin discussed the pension hole, an $82 billion shortfall — $19,000 for every Kentuckian.  He said the system is insolvent and hard decisions will be made in a special session later this year.  The Governor wants to address pensions and taxes together and wants to shift from taxing production to taxing consumption.  He said the plan may not be revenue-neutral.

On education and workforce, the Governor said our workforce participation (47th) is far too low and performance-based funding is coming.

Short Roundup from Last Week

The second part of the General Assembly’s 2017 session began last week.

(KAED Endorsed) House Bill 72
Development projects across Kentucky are being held up in the court system for several years while developers are unable to make investments in the communities. Time often kills development projects, such as the recent Wal-Mart in West Louisville.  To deter frivolous appeals, HB 72 requires the filing of a bond when appealing a circuit court decision related to planning and zoning. The bill allows the judge to set a bond in order to recover costs associated with delay. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee and is awaiting a vote on the House floor.

Please contact your legislator and ask him/her to support HB 72.

Senate Bill 2 is aimed at making state retirement system transactions more transparent. The legislation would hold state retirement systems accountable when contracting out services. It would also codify a reorganization of the Kentucky Retirement Systems board that was called for in an executive order issued by the Governor last year. The Senate approved the bill on a 37-0 vote and sent the measure to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 50 would give school districts more flexibility when setting school calendars. Districts that choose to start the school year no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 would not have to meet the state’s 170-day requirement for the school year, as long as students were still receiving 1,062 hours of instruction each year, which is considered the equivalent of 170 school days. The bill passed the Senate on a 33-1 vote and has been sent to the House.

House Bill 174 is aimed at helping farmers transport their goods by extending a 10 percent weight tolerance for vehicles carrying poultry, livestock, meats, crop products or feed for livestock and poultry on state roads other than interstate highways. The measure was approved by the House Agriculture Committee and sent to the House Chamber for consideration.

The Week Ahead

Expect action this week on Criminal Justice Reform, Workers Comp Reform, and Medical Review Panels.  Bills must move this week if they hope to be standalone items.


Feb. 16: last day for New Senate bills to be filed

Feb. 17: last day for New House bills to be filed

Feb. 20: Presidents Day, no Session

Mar. 9-10, 13: Recess/Work Days (not counted as one of the 30 legislative days)

March 14-15: Concurrence Days (the two chambers can only vote to agree or not agree with action the other chamber has taken on a bill; of course they can also “suspend the rules” and continue passing their own bills, and have done so in the past.)

March 1-18, 20-25, 27: Veto days

March 30: Adjourn Sine Die

KAED Chair-Elect
Chuck Sexton
Selected as 40 Under 40
Award Winner


KAED Chair-Elect Chuck Sexton, President & CEO of One East Kentucky, was recently selected by Development Counsellors International (DCI) for its 40 Under 40 Award. The award was designed to discover the rising stars of the economic development profession.

Chuck, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, has been an economic development professional for seven years. During this time, Sexton has successfully assisted in the recruitment of 1500 new jobs and nearly $100 million worth of investment in Kentucky.

In his role at One East Kentucky, his efforts are helping redefine the region’s ability to attract industry with a massive 27-County Workforce Study to prove that nearly 10,000 available former coal workers can easily transition into automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing industries with their broad base of skills.

Following the Workforce Study, Chuck and One East created an AEROready certification to attract aerospace and aviation industry, worked closely with leaders on the new eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute and announced a 120-job transportation manufacturing facility in the county with the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth.


I Think I Need a Lean Transformation

By Tim Vickers, Project Manager
Advantage Kentucky Alliance


Decision makers in medium to large companies do not make all decisions. Those that are successful are able to effectively delegate to teams and people close to the problem for the best results. The boss “decides who decides” and if they have been effective in hiring those with skills that complement the business, good results will follow.

So when needing to implement a new product, process or policy, the guy at the top needs to evaluate as to whether his team has the tools and experience to make it happen, or if training and facilitation is needed.

Lean Manufacturing has a very specific, time proven set of tools such as Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Quick Changeover, Kanban, TPM, Lean 101, Kaizen, etc. Do we, as a company, possess enough experience with the tools to teach them to others and to integrate them into our operation?  If the answer is NO, then it may be time to have an expert Lean Facilitator come in for a “no cost” visit and subsequent proposal.

All Lean Tools work best if taught to cross-functional teams that are given the time to learn and implement them. Management’s job is to decide who’s on the team and what goals the company has for the team to achieve. This is accomplished by forming a steering committee. Management also attends the Lean Team’s presentations and reserves the right to approve or dis-approve Action Items from those Teams.

Here’s a simple 4-step process that works for most Lean Transformations. Read more here

Tim Vickers has 15 years of experience with lean manufacturing projects and would be delighted to have that discussion with those personnel at the company involved. Tim is part of the Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) team, which specializes in helping Kentucky manufacturers uncover their problems, create solutions for those problems and implement change so those problems are minimized or eliminated. For more information about the Advantage Kentucky Alliance feel free to contact Tim Vickers, Project Manager, at 859-236-3167 or via email.