Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Henderson Chamber, Northwest Kentucky Forward Close to Merger Agreement

 

Henderson Chamber of Commerce 300HENDERSON, Ky. (8/14/13) – A full Chamber vote and some finalized language are the last steps to completing a long-studied merger of the Henderson Chamber Commerce and the four-county economic development corporation Northwest Kentucky Forward.
 
Henderson Chamber President Brad Schneider, who was also appointed earlier this year to oversee Northwest Kentucky Forward as talks of a merger progressed, presented details of the plan at a Chamber “Brown Bag” luncheon on Monday.
 
Studies of 20 merged organizations were looked at as part of the proposal, and two were similar in nature to the concept here.
 
Paramount to the discussion of a merger, Schneider said, was the question of whether it was even worth it to do. He noted that past proposals to merge had been rejected out of hand, and that only the recent departure of Northwest Kentucky Forward CEO Kevin Sheilley prompted the discussion to move beyond the suggestion stage.
 
“Why would it be good for the Chamber to do this?” Why screw up a good thing,” Schneider said the members of a feasibility study committee asked themselves as part of the process. Of course, NKF board members were faced with the question regarding their regional agency.
 
Ultimately, the merger was determined to be an idea with promise, though. Schneider said the group conducting the study determined that the two agencies duplicate a number of services, and that Henderson Chamber has the opportunity to lead the region in economic development. He said most other chambers in the counties served by Northwest Kentucky Forward – Henderson, Union, Webster, and Hancock counties – operate as volunteer organizations with little to no staff. He said once the merger is completed, the new unified organization will reach out to those Chambers and invite them to be more involved in determining the direction of economic development. He said embracing regionalism means embracing the philosophy of strength in numbers.
 
“Regionalism is a growing trend and it is absolutely effective,” Schneider said.
 
The merged organization would have a series of boards and committees layered throughout, including a “big picture” policy board as well as an investors board made up of the top 21 investors and the four county judge/executives. The policy board would consist of people elected by the day-to-day operations board.
 
When asked about what would happen to money collected by Northwestern Kentucky, Schneider said the new organization would honor agreements and campaign initiatives through their tenure. One example was the recent “opportUNITY 2016 campaign,” a Northwest Kentucky Forward initiative to raise $5 million and create 500 new jobs by 2016. After the luncheon, Schneider told SurfKY News the campaign is on track to meet that goal. He said almost 150 jobs have been added so far as a result of the campaign.
 
On the Chamber side of things, Schneider noted that it will mean big changes for the Henderson Chamber as well. Most significant of all is the fact that the Henderson Chamber would essentially be dismantled, including its name. He said a new name for the merged organization would be chosen to distinguish it from either of the two existing organizations.
 
Before any of that can happen, however, a Chamber-member vote is required to approve the merger proposal. Twenty percent of the Chamber members must file a vote and it must have 60 percent approval to be adopted.
 
When asked about the plan to reorganize if the merger fails, Schneider said he wasn’t thinking in those terms.
 
“When I asked my wife to marry me, I didn’t have a ‘plan B,’” he said. “I still don’t have a ‘plan B.’ If you go in thinking about an exit strategy, you’re doing it the wrong way.”
 
If approved by the Chamber, the merger would be effective Nov. 1.
 
Dennis Beard
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 12705

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 25, 2014 8764

Gift Returns Done Right

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 25, 2014 6249

Arrests Made After Dulin Avenue Christmas Eve…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
December 25, 2014 4397

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - December 25, 2014

in Video by Crime Stoppers
December 23, 2014 4152

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 22, 2014 3994

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 22, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3613

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3236

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 23, 2014 3020

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight
December 26, 2014 2996

5-Year-Old Boy Kills Buck/Doe

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Randy Adams

Stories Trending Today

December 27, 2014 2022

John Prine to be Recognized at Grammy Awards

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 1523

2014 Concludes with Record Investments for…

in Top News For All Sites by Angela Blank
December 26, 2014 1131

Simple Ways to Maintain Your Mental Acuity

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 1032

Four Time Management Tips for the New Year by…

in General News For All Sites by David Taylor
December 27, 2014 958

How to Live as a One Income Family

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 892

The Dangers of Belly Fat

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 888

Women's Heart Attack Symptoms Can Differ from…

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 879

What to Look for in An Investment Property

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 828

Hooked on Science - 'Water Bottle Egg'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
December 27, 2014 819

Keeping the Faith - 'The Puzzles of the Past'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss