(Louisville) – With a focus on innovation, Greater Louisville Inc.- the Metro Chamber of Commerce kicked off Annual Meeting at The Palace Theatre on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017.
“Innovation is the lifeblood of business evolution and evolve we must to fly high enough to escape the gravity of the status quo,” GLI President & CEO Kent Oyler told the audience of more than 1000 business, civic, and community leaders. “Winning means attracting and growing the industries of the future.”
Founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, gave the keynote address and answered questions from the Founder and President of Wicked Sheets, Alli Truttmann.
“If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not innovating,” Schnatter said. “I have 120,000 employees, I want them all to think like entrepreneurs, to think and innovate. We have a culture where it is okay to make a mistake, learn from it, and go on.”
Both Governor Matt Bevin and Mayor Greg Fischer sent video messages to the audience in their absences. The Governor focused on his Red Tape Reduction initiative, which has reviewed 28% of the regulations on the books in Kentucky in its first six months.
“We’ve tried to bring that innovative thought process to Frankfort,” Governor Bevin said. “You are going to see Kentucky begin to shine… Buckle up. There are good things to come.”
Mayor Fischer focused on developing the workforce of the future with his SummerWorks initiative, which aims to give high school students their first job experiences.
“All together our city is benefitting from $9 Billion in capital investments since 2014,” Mayor Fischer said. “Pay it forward and help us with our SummerWorks program.”
In addition to the speakers, GLI presented the Thomas A. Edison Award posthumously to Muhammad Ali. Donald Laserre, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, accepted the award on behalf of Muhammad Ali’s family.
“The Alis had homes in many different places, but the one thing they never forgot was that Louisville Kentucky was home and Louisville, Kentucky produces champions. I believe that one day Louisville, Kentucky will be known as the home of champions,” Laserre said.
Two Silver Fleur-de-Lis Awards were also presented at Annual Meeting to the organizers behind the Muhammad Ali Life Celebration and the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. The Silver Fleur-de-Lis was created by GLI to recognize outstanding commitments and achievements over the past year in making the Louisville community a better place in which to live and work.
2017 marks the 20th year for GLI.