136 Second Street, Suite 500
Henderson, KY 42420

Chamber News

May 2019

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” - John Maxwell


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Professional Dress 

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Conversation - the art of speaking and listening

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MAY 6, 2019
The Chamber of Commerce recently recognized outstanding educators in the community that have made an impact on student achievement. Recognition was divided in four (4) categories.

• Veteran (Experienced) Educator – an educator who has taught for more than five (5) years in Henderson County. ( currently employed as an educator)
• Rookie Educator – an educator who has taught less than five (5) years in Henderson County.
• Post-Secondary Educator – an educator who teaches at the post secondary level in Henderson County
• Education Supporter – a person who may or may not work for the educational system that has provided direct educational support and encouragement to students to enhance student educational attainment in Henderson County.

The award winners were presented with the award at their school during an assembly with staff and students. The award winners will also be recognized on individual billboards located in Henderson County during the month of May.
The following persons were recognized for their outstanding contribution to education in Henderson County.

Brian Sullivan 2
Brian Sullivan – Henderson County High School Math Teacher
2019 Veteran Educator of the Year
Quotes from nomination letter: “Mr. Sullivan is simply the best teacher I have had the privilege to know. He works tirelessly to ensure that his students are fully challenged in their math studies. Mr. Sullivan is an extremely intelligent man and by example, he has convinced these kids that “smart = cool.” I believe that Henderson County High School , its students and our entire community are blessed to have him as a teacher, coach, mentor and role model. He genuinely cares about all of his students and strives to make them all smarter, more responsible and better people.”

Reid Thomas teacher one
Reid Thomas – East Heights Elementary Fifth Grade Teacher 
2019 Rookie Educator of the Year
Quotes from nomination letter: “ Mr.Thomas spends many hours outside of school time adjusting his curriculum to fit each individual child’s needs. He spend many summer hours developing a challenging and comprehensive reading program not only to bring his struggling readers to grade level but to challenge his proficient readers as well to new levels of engagement.”

Tony Fanok
Tony Fanok – Henderson County High School - Attendance Specialist
2019 Support Educator of the Year 
Quotes from nomination letter: “Mr. Fanok has impacted student achievement in many ways. He was the first school resource officer in Henderson County. He was with the police department for 22 years and has been with the Henderson County School system for 12 years. He was on the forefront of the safe school initiative. Tony just has a way about him. Tony has the ability to bring people together regardless of circumstance and make them feel special. Not only does he help student while they are students, they know they can come back for help in attaining jobs.”

Kara Becker
Kara Becker – Henderson Community College – Associate Professor of Chemistry 2019 Post Secondary Educator of the Year
Quotes from nomination letter: “Ms. Becker is one of those great instructors. When you walk into her classroom she always makes you feel welcome. She encourages all of her students. She has a noticeable passion for what she does. Students’ call her “Becker.” They have since high school when she taught at HCHS, and it carried over to the college and it is truly an endearment. While many students show trepidation about taking college chemistry, they always leave “Becker's” classes feeling good about their accomplishment. Kara is more than a teacher, more than a chemist, as an advisor as well, Kara inspires her students.”

Thank you to our sponsors for the 2019 Educator of the Year awards:
• Pittsburg Tank and Tower
• Alexander, Thompson, Arnold CPA Firm
• Independence Bank
• Evansville Teachers Credit Union

April, 2019

Drennan2 headshot Jennifer Drennan has been named President, Lexington Market of Field & Main Bank. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer and formerly as Chief Retail Officer. Drennan brings 16 years of banking industry experience to the position, including in the areas of retail, lending, operations, information technology and regulatory examining. She has been with Field & Main since 2013 (then BankTrust Financial).

In her new role, Drennan will provide the leadership necessary to maximize the growth and development of the Field & Main financial services brand in the greater Lexington area. She will as well be fully vested in representing Field & Main as it fulfills its corporate culture of faithful community stewardship.

Drennan earned her undergraduate degree and Master of Business Administration from Murray State University. She is a graduate of the FDIC University and is currently attending Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI. Drennan currently serves as the Vice President of Midwest Central User Group with Jack Henry & Associates. She has also been actively engaged in her community serving on the Downtown Henderson Partnership Executive Board, as a Downtown Henderson Master Plan committee member and the chair of the Henderson Boys & Girls Club, set to open in August of this year. Drennan resides in Henderson, KY, but will soon be relocating to Lexington, KY.

Heather Stevens

April, 2019

Heather Stevens has been promoted within the Field & Main Insurance team as a benefits insurance agent in the company’s Henderson office. In this role, she’ll conduct risk assessments, evaluate insurance programs and recommend insurance coverage. Previously, Stevens served as receptionist and bookkeeping assistant for the agency.

Stevens previous experiences in long term care, home care and service coordination sparked her interest in the industry and will be a benefit to the customers she will serve. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Services in 2001 form University of Southern Indiana.

Stevens resides in Henderson, KY with her husband Kirby and their two sons.

March, 2019

Donna Crooks is stepping down after nearly seven years of overseeing the economic development functions of Kyndle.

Crooks, who is a native of Henderson county, plans to pursue a new career in commercial and industrial real estate development. During her tenure at Kyndle, Crooks was involved with the merger of the regional economic development organization and the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. During this time, Crooks has facilitated the development of two shovel-ready sites and Kentucky’s first build-ready site at the 4 Star Industrial Park, two new websites for Kyndle, and a new website for the 4 Star Industrial Park. Crooks recently secured a state grant of over $50,000 to assist with the opening of Henderson’s first-ever entrepreneurial center, HEATLab.

"For the past seven years, Donna has been the face of Economic Development for Kyndle”, said Tony Iriti, CEO of Kyndle. “We are selfishly saddened by her moving on but extremely happy for her as well. She has been a professional in every sense of the word but most importantly, a major part of our Kyndle family. Donna is very well respected by our colleagues at the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. She will be very hard to replace."
Before joining Kyndle, Crooks worked as a Director of Economic Development for Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville. Crooks started her Economic Development career in 1997 when she was hired by the Henderson Economic Development Council. Afterwards, Crooks worked as Business Development Director for EDAWN, regional economic development agency for Greater Reno for five years.
Crooks graduated from the Henderson Community College with an Associate Degree and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada-Reno. Crooks also is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and is a member of International Economic Development Council.
“It has been a privilege to serve the Kyndle region over the past several years and work with so many outstanding local community leaders, utility providers, business and industry leaders, and others who care about the development of this region”, said Donna Crooks. “This was a difficult decision to make but I believe it is time for me to begin a different direction in my life.”

“We will be evaluating our service delivery before beginning a replacement search. In the interim, feel free to direct all inquiries to me, said Tony Iriti, CEO.”