2007 Showcase Oldham County

Louisville Mayor Abramson
to speak March 2

Oldham Chamber’s
13th annual expo offers family fun

By Don Ward

(March 2007) – Oldham County Chamber of Commerce members and guests will hear an update on several major projects ongoing in Louisville that are sure to have significant impact on Oldham County when Mayor Jerry Abramson speaks in Crestwood on March 2.

Jerry Abramson


Abramson will present the keynote address at the chamber’s annual Showcase Oldham County Business Luncheon on Friday, March 2. The luncheon serves as a kickoff to the Showcase on Saturday, March 3, which is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both events take place at the former Winn Dixie building inside Crestwood Station Shopping Center on Hwy. 146 in Crestwood. The center is located only few miles south of I-71 at the Buckner-Crestwood Exit 17.
The Showcase features nearly 100 exhibitor booths and a full day of entertainment and children’s activities, health screenings, home makeover tips and a new model auto displays outside. The event is designed to premiere businesses and services in Oldham County. Friday’s luncheon includes a preview of the booths for participants and offers a chance for chamber members to network with each other and with members of neighboring chambers of commerce.

Showcase Oldham County Schedule

• Friday, March 2: Oldham County Top Achievers Awards Luncheon, 11 a.m. at Crestwood Station Shopping Center. Tickets $25. RSVP.
• Saturday, March 3: Business expo from
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Crestwood Station Shopping Center, Hwy. 146, Crestwood, KY. Free admission. Exhibitor booths, live entertainment, children’s activities, food court, displays.

Entertainment Schedule

• 10 a.m.: Gillman School of Dance
• 10:45 a.m.: Chatterbox Quartet
• 11:30 a.m.: The Wow Quartet
• 12:15 p.m.: Jenna Clem, singer
• 1 p.m.: Matt McKiernan, magician
• 1:45 p.m.: East Oldham County
Middle School Dance
• 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Clown balloon artist in
Family Area
• All Day: Health Screenings; New Car Show; Pewee Valley Antique Fire Truck Display; South Oldham Fire Truck Display

• Information: (502) 222-1635

Chamber Executive Director Deana Epperly-Karem said the event is popular and should attract a large crowd on Friday for Abramson’s speech. She previously worked at the Greater Louisville Inc., which is Metro Louisville’s chamber of commerce, so her ties run deep with the mayor’s office and its connection to Oldham County.
“Mayor Abramson has been extremely supportive of regionalism and believes in working with businesses in Oldham County to expand job opportunities and grow our community,” Karem said. “Having Mayor Abramson kick off our Showcase is a testament to his commitment to regional economic development. We’re honored to welcome him and share out unique and prosperous business community.”
The mayor’s speech is also expected to touch on some major initiatives taking place in Louisville, such as the twin bridges, the new basketball arena and other commercial developments in downtown.
Abramson grew up working in his father’s grocery store in Louisville. His public service career began in the early 1970s. After graduating from law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and serving two years in the U.S. Army, Abramson returned to his hometown and was soon elected to the Louisville Board of Aldermen.
In 1985, after serving two terms on the board and two years as general counsel to Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown Jr., Abramson ran for mayor of Louisville. His tireless enthusiasm and strong vision for a better Louisville made him the clear choice for a city at a crossroads.
In 1986, Newsweek magazine named him one of the “most dynamic mayors in America.” A year later, U.S. News & World Report selected him as one of the “Top 20 Mayors in America.”
His leadership skills were recognized by his peers and he was elected president of both the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Kentucky League of Cities.
After twice being re-elected mayor by overwhelming margins, he was dubbed “Mayor for Life” by a local radio personality, a title that stuck. But in 1999, after three consecutive terms as mayor, the limit under Kentucky law, Abramson returned to private life – practicing law at Frost Brown Todd LLC in Louisville, one of the region’s largest law firms, and teaching at Bellarmine University.
In 2000, local civic and business leaders launched a campaign to merge Louisville and Jefferson County governments – to create a single, more efficient and effective government for our community. They turned to Abramson to head an unprecedented bi-partisan team that included U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Mayor Dave Armstrong, County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson and Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce. The Unity Campaign succeeded where three previous merger votes failed, convincing citizens to come together as one community under one local government.
Two years later, Abramson was the overwhelming choice of voters who elected him to lead Louisville Metro Government by a 3-to-1 margin. In January 2003, with his wife, Madeline, and son, Sidney, at his side, he was sworn in as the community’s first Metro Mayor. During the past 3 1/2 years, Jerry Abramson has followed through on his promise to create a more efficient and effective government for Louisville.
Friday’s luncheon will also be the occasion for the chamber to present its annual Oldham County Top Achievers Awards. These awards are presented to member businesses in several categories as judged by a chamber committee. Winners will be recognized and receive plaques. Nearly 30 nominees were submitted for the awards this year.
Also on Friday will be live and silent auctions, with proceeds to benefit the chamber.
Showcase Oldham County is sponsored this year by Baptist Hospital Northeast. The kickoff luncheon is sponsored by Norton Healthcare. The Rawlings Co., which is moving its headquarters to La Grange, also is a sponsor.

• Friday’s luncheon begins at 11 a.m. with exhibitor booths open until 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and reservations are required. To reserve, call the chamber at (502) 222-1635.

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