Targeted Business and Industry Awards Banquet Celebrates Businesses and Growth in South Central Kentucky

Henkel Recieves 2018's John B. Holland Business of the Year

Published Wednesday, October 31, 2018 8:00 am

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce honored 18 businesses with awards Tuesday night at the annual Targeted Business and Industry Banquet held at the Sloan Convention Center. Henkel received the top award of the evening, the John B. Holland Business of the Year Award.

The banquet is held each year in conjunction with Targeted Business and Industry Month to recognize and salute targeted businesses and industries throughout South Central Kentucky for their accomplishments. South Central Kentucky has experienced great success in 2018 with projects totaling nearly $100 million in investments and the creation of over 400 jobs.

"Each year, the Chamber dedicates the month of October to celebrating the contributions and value that our targeted businesses and industries bring to South Central Kentucky," said Joy Hunt, 2018 Chair of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. "These companies employ thousands of people and invest millions of dollars in our region. The annual appreciation banquet is an opportunity for us as a community to recognize special achievements and milestones as well as to honor these businesses for the many ways they make South Central Kentucky the very best place to live and work in the Commonwealth."

"Our existing targeted businesses are what fuel the continual growth of our economy," said Ron Bunch, President & CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, "and it is a privilege to be able to support them every day. It's only fitting we honor the impact they've had through capital investment, job creation, and community engagement here in Bowling Green."

The John B. Holland Business of the Year Award, named to honor Mr. Holland and his dedication to business success in the community, was awarded to Henkel Corporation. Each year we celebrate a business that stands out within our community for their overall impact. This year's recipient is no exception, although they have quietly been investing since their purchase in 2016. This award publicly celebrated for the first time that Henkel Corporation has invested more than $100M at their plant in Bowling Green.

In attendance to accept the award was Darren Ericson, Vice President, Bowling Green Manufacturing at Henkel Corporation.

"We are honored and delighted to accept this prestigious award from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, as a reflection of our continuous investment to modernize our operations" said Ericson.   "It is a tribute to the dedication and passion that Henkel employees bring to making this community a great place to live and work and to putting our customers and consumers at the center of all we do. We are all proud to celebrate our growth in Bowling Green, and we congratulate the other award recipients who have also made the region an attractive place for industry growth."

Henkel is the largest operation in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park. Founded in 1876, Henkel operates three worldwide business units including laundry & home care, beauty care, and adhesive technologies. The company holds globally leading market positions both in consumer and industrial businesses and is well-known for brands such as Persil®, all®, Snuggle® and Dial®, amongst a myriad of others. It operates facilities spread across 75 different countries, currently employing over 53,000 people.

Henkel in Bowling Green is a noteworthy economic development engine in our community. Beyond its direct contribution, the company's supplier network, including major corporations in the transportation and packaging sectors, further magnifies the economic impact locally. Henkel provides more than 800 full-time jobs and nearly 170 temporary positions in house, and its suppliers provide well over 500 jobs locally, bringing the overall estimated number of local jobs supported by Henkel to more than 1,500.

The company operates on a large physical scale in Bowling Green. Henkel occupies two buildings in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park, one being 1.4 Million sq. ft. and the other being 950,000 sq. ft for a total of 2,350,000 sq. ft.

Not only does the company make a large economic impact on the region through jobs and investment, but Henkel stays involved in the community as well. Henkel is engaged in the annual SCK LAUNCH Experience event and was a major investor in creating the Robotics and Machine tool programs at Warren County Area Technology Center.

The Business of the Year Award was sponsored by President's Club Bronze Star Partner The Murphy Construction Group which includes Scott, Murphy and Daniel, Scott & Murphy, Inc. and Hartz Contracting.

The Chamber presented awards to targeted businesses in 5 other categories:

  • Healthcare Enterprise
  • New Comer - Sponsored by Chamber Partner Quality Personnel
  • Business Expansion - Sponsored by President's Club Bronze Star Partner Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Business Innovation - Sponsored by President's Club Bronze Star Partner Stewart Richey Construction
  • Green to Gold - Sponsored by President's Club Gold Star Partner BGMU

Joy Hunt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch were on hand to present awards.

Healthcare Enterprise Awards

For South Central Kentucky healthcare organizations that expanded operations in 2018, investing capital and creating new jobs for local residents.

Graves-Gilbert Clinic

Graves-Gilbert Clinic has provided over 80 years of care in Bowling Green. This year they invested $3,000,000 creating 11 new jobs. Graves-Gilbert Clinic is a multi-specialty, physician-owned practice of over 200 providers, that span multiple counties and more than 30 locations. Graves-Gilbert Clinic proudly employs over 1,000 people in South Central Kentucky.

TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital

Within the past year, TriStar Greenview has invested $12 million creating 212 positions, and will soon be celebrating the grand opening of their new Greenview Surgery Center later this year.  Their personnel include over 600 staff members and over 340 physicians. TriStar Greenview is committed to quality. 

Med Center Health

Med Center Health is South Central Kentucky's largest integrated healthcare system with over 3,600 employees. Med Center Health continues to make capital improvements to their facilities and in valuable lifesaving equipment, last year they spent over $33 million for new equipment and new construction creating 60 new jobs.

Newcomer Awards - Sponsored by Quality Personnel

For companies that are new to South Central Kentucky and have announced a location here within the past 12 months.

Rhenus Automotive Operations, LLC

Rhenus Automotive Operations, LLC, was the Kentucky Transpark's first new tenant for 2018 and invested nearly $7 million and created 62 jobs in Bowling Green. The company's Bowling Green investment included equipment and employee training, and produced four different automotive chassis and interior modules for companies in close proximity to the South Central Kentucky region.

American Leather Direct, Inc,.

This year they broke ground on their new distribution facility, located on Central Avenue in Bowling Green. The $2.8 million project included the construction of a 46,410 square-foot facility and brought 11 new jobs to Warren County. American Leather Direct was formed in 2010 when the family-owned and operated tannery, purchased its distributor of more than 26 years.

Crown Verity USA Inc.

In 2018, they located their first U.S. Manufacturing facility in Warren County. This project was a $3.6 million investment and created 25 new jobs in South Central Kentucky. The multi-phase project in the Kentucky Transpark initially included a 60,000 square-foot warehousing and distribution center and will grow to include a vertically integrated supply chain for Crown Verity's fabrication, assembly and packaging operations.

Business Expansion Awards - Sponsored by President's Club Bronze Star Partner Tennessee Valley Authority

For South Central Kentucky companies that expanded operations in 2018, investing capital and creating jobs for local residents.

Owl's Head Alloys, Inc.

This year Owl's Head Alloys, Inc. expanded their facility investing $3 million and created 16 new jobs in South Central Kentucky. For this project, Owl's Head constructed a new material storage facility, expanded their current facility to house a fourth furnace, which increased processing capacity by an additional 60 million pounds annually, and they hired and trained new employees.

The Pink Lily Boutique

The Pink Lily Boutique doubled the footprint of their state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bowling Green's South Central Kentucky Industrial Park this year to more than 50,000 Sq. ft. of office and industrial space. This project was a $2.05 million investment that will create up to 56 new jobs over the next five years.

Berry Global, Inc.

This year Berry Global, Inc. announced plans to expand their existing facility including the addition of two new blown film extrusion lines approximately $16.46 million, creating 20 new jobs over the next five years. This is Berry's second expansion at this location in the last five years.

Stryker Logistics

Stryker Logistics relocated their international headquarters to 308 Dishman Lane. Since operations began in 2015 with one employee, they have experienced explosive growth. This project was the first new construction for the company and was a $1.45 million capital investment creating 50 new jobs. In three years, Stryker Logistics has grown to employ 14 people.

Afni, Inc.

Afni, Inc.'s second expansion in Bowling Green added 86 new jobs and invested $315,800 in their office space, including the installation of new equipment. Afni currently employs 230 people. Afni will add 86 customer service representatives to its Bowling Green contact center in support of a new premier-brand client in the retail industry.

Bowling Green Metalforming, LLC

Bowling Green Metalforming, LLC, 2017's Business of the Year Awardee, expanded their over one-million square-foot facility on Cosma Drive in the Kentucky Transpark in 2018, investing $14,200,000 and creating 27 new jobs. BGM serves customers like General Motors and Ford Motor Company and currently employs over 1,600 people at the Transpark - representing 70 percent of the park's total employment.

Alpla, Inc.

Austrian-based Alpla, Inc. expanded their Bowling Green operations with a $6.9 million project including the addition of new equipment, 100,000 square-feet of warehouse space and 24 new jobs. Alpla's original announcement in 2013 included the creation of 72 new jobs, $22.4 million in capital investment and the purchase of the Bowling Green Area Economic Development Authority's Speculative Building IV in the Kentucky Transpark.

Reinhart Foodservice, LLC

Reinhart announced plans for an expansion at its 70,000 square-foot facility in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park this year. This project more than doubles Reinhart's existing footprint and includes $14.2 million in capital investment and the addition of 50 new jobs. Reinhart employs 250 people in its two Kentucky facilities, including 99 employees at their full-service Bowling Green facility.

Precision Strip, Inc.

Precision Strip, Inc. announced the expansion of their facility on Scotty's Way this year. This project was a $16.2 million capital investment, adding 16 new jobs and 80,000 square-feet to their facility. This is their first expansion in Bowling Green since locating in Scotty's Industrial Park in 2016 and brings their total investment in Warren County to $31.7 million and 31 new jobs.

Business Innovation Awards - Sponsored by President's Club Bronze Star Partner Stewart Richey Construction

For South Central Kentucky companies that - through product or process - best exemplify innovative leadership.


Building on government and military network defense techniques, they have scaled the world of cyber defense down in order to make it accessible to businesses of all sizes. Blake-Philips' personnel partake in many different classified cyber defense research and development projects, while also providing real-time network defense for large-scale joint military exercises. They're also the main provider of Advantage Kentucky Alliance, giving their manufacturing clients excellent cyber security training and support.

Green to Gold Award - Sponsored by President's Club Gold Star Partner BGMU

For companies that - through product or process - best exemplify "green" leadership as it pertains to the region's goals to become a leader in this emerging field.

Fruit of the Loom

 Fruit of the Loom was one of the first companies to join the Cotton LEADS™ program, an initiative focused on sustainability, transparent supply chains, and best practices.Cotton LEADS™ is committed to improving farm production practices, environmental stewardship and the circulation of best practices throughout the world's cotton producing countries. Fruit of the Loom joining Cotton LEADS™ shows they've set their sustainability standards high.

Finally, the Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to each of our sponsors for making the 2018 Targeted Business and Industry Banquet a success. In addition to the award sponsors listed above, the following Chamber partners sponsored a portion of the event:

  • US Bank
  • CGS Machine & Tool
  • Gerald Printing
  • Warren County Water District



About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,300 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.