News

ConventionSouth Again Presents the Owensboro Convention Center with the Readers’ Choice Award

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, are honored to announce they have received the 2020 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multi-media resource for planning events in the South.  This is the fifth time the venue has received this award.

Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated meeting sites that provide exemplary service for group events. Over 3,000 meeting destinations were nominated.  The nominated sites were then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best.

“We are extremely honored to be one of 14 hospitality organizations across the state of Kentucky to receive this award, and I am personally proud of our team at the Owensboro Convention Center for continuing to provide excellence service for our planners and their guests,” stated Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager.

ConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that the Owensboro Convention Center has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouth Associate Publisher, Ashleigh Osborne.  “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that the Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2020 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.  A complete list of 2020 Award Winners can be found online at:  https://conventionsouth.com/2020-readers-choice-award-winners-announced/

Spectra Announces New Team Member for the Owensboro Convention Center 


Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is pleased to announce a new addition to their Owensboro staff.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA and a hospitality veteran, David DiSalvo has joined the team at the Owensboro Convention Center as the Director of Sales.

Dave brings decades of experience to the role having had positions in Catering, Event Management and Sales. He most recently served as the Director of Sales at the Kalahari Resort in Mount Pocono, PA.  Prior to that position, he was back in the Bluegrass state as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

“When looking at candidates for this position, Dave really accelerated to the top of the list with his vast experience in multiple areas of tourism. He truly understands what it takes to lead a successful team, and we look forward to working with our hospitality partners to bring quality events to Owensboro,” commented Laura Alexander, General Manager.

“Dave brings a strong resume of successful experience.  I look forward to working with him and General Manager, Laura Alexander to bring more business to Owensboro and create an economic impact to our community,” stated Mark Calitri, President and CEO of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

With his 20 plus years of knowledge gained from working with various hotels to urban settings to destination resorts, Dave looks forward to successfully developing new strategies for the Owensboro team.

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center, please visit OwensboroCenter.com

OBKY 2020 Select Bourbon Exclusively Offered at the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services and Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center, is excited to make a tasty announcement! Bourbon lovers visiting the venue will find a new select bourbon now being offered, exclusively at the Owensboro Convention Center.

In the Fall of 2019, members of the Spectra team visited the Bulleit Distilling Company in Shelbyville, KY to select a whiskey barrel for a bourbon that would be available only at the Owensboro Convention Center.  The OBKY 2020 Select, made with the exclusive Bulleit Bourbon Single Barrel 104 Proof, is available now for upcoming events.

“Bulleit is one of the most requested brands at our events, and we are happy to have the opportunity to offer this select barrel to our attendees at the Owensboro Convention Center,” said Laura Alexander, General Manager for Spectra Venue Management.

“Adding Owensboro’s own Bulleit Single Barrel Bourbon to our menu has been an exciting adventure,” stated Spectra’s Director of Food and Beverage, Mark Pruett.  “We hope all those that try it are just as impressed as we are.”

The Owensboro Fashioned featuring the OBKY 2020 Select will be featured as a specialty drink at the Owensboro Convention Center’s events throughout the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

Owensboro Convention Center is a Seven Time Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award Recipient

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center is proud to announce they have received the 2020 Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award for the seventh consecutive time.  These awards are given annually to the top convention and exposition centers in the United States.  The Owensboro Convention Center has been honored with this award each year since opening in 2014.

“This award just reiterates that our focus has always been, and will continue to be, our attendees,” said Laura Alexander, General Manager with Spectra Venue Management at the Owensboro Convention Center. “When working with each planner, we put ourselves in their attendees’ shoes to decide what enhances each event.”

Facilities and Destinations is a quarterly trade publication for the meetings and events industry.  Voting for the Prime Site Awards is done primarily by association and corporate meeting planners and tradeshow professionals.

The Owensboro Convention Center is currently included as a Prime Site Award recipient in the 2020 Facilities and Destinations SuperBook issue that is out now.

Spectra Announces Staff Promotions for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, is pleased to announce two staff promotions for their Owensboro team.

Cody Thomas has been promoted to Director of Events for the Owensboro Convention Center.  Most recently Cody was the Senior Event Manager.  He will directly oversee the Event Managers and the coordination of all events in the venue.  Cody has been with Spectra since November 2016.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.

Jeanette Goins is now the Director of Marketing for the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter. She joined the Spectra team in March 2015 as the Marketing and Public Relations Manager.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Production (ACEJMC Accredited) from Murray State University.  She has several years of marketing and media experience having worked for network affiliates in Evansville, IN and Indianapolis, IN, a minor league professional hockey team working with two venues, now Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and prior to joining Spectra was the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Ford Center and Victory Theater in Evansville, IN.  Most recently Jeanette has assisted in marketing efforts for Spectra’s reopening plans across the U.S. and in Canada.

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, please visit OwensboroCenter.com and OwensboroSportscenter.com.

Spectra Announces New Hires and Promotions for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter is pleased to announce some promotions and welcome new members to their Owensboro team.

Jessica Wilson Beckmann has been promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Owensboro Sportscenter.  She was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, a graduate of Daviess County High School (2005), and a KWC Lady Panther Basketball Alumni (2005-2007). Jessica graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelors in Business Administration, specializing in Sports Management and Marketing. She has attained the designation of Certified Event Management Expert (CEME), is a Graduate of Venue Management School (VMS), and achieved the Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation from the International Association of Venue Managers. She joined the team in Owensboro as the Director of the Sportscenter in October of 2018. Over the past 10 years, Jessica worked in the St. Louis area managing events at a variety of venues including a casino, convention center, ballpark, and arena.

“I accepted the Director role almost a year and a half ago, to gain the opportunity to invest my passion and experience in an arena that was a second home to me growing up in Owensboro. The Owensboro Sportscenter is nostalgic for me.  My family history is tied to this building, the tenants, and this city.  Working back in Owensboro has allowed me to reconnect with family.  I enjoy seeing former coaches, teammates (and even rivals), teachers, and classmates from my school days regularly at the Sportscenter. I COULD NOT BE MORE grateful for the promotion to Assistant General Manager and being welcomed back to Owensboro.” Jessica stated.

Cody Thomas has been promoted to Senior Event Manager/Interim Director of Events. Cody has been with Spectra since November 2016.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.  His primary responsibilities in his new role will be to oversee the Events department and the general oversight of all events in the convention center.

Brandi Stevens is a Sales Manager on the Spectra team.  With a background of over ten years of sales experience, she oversees booking consumer and trade shows. Also as the Event Producer of one of the largest signature self-promoted shows, the Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Expo, Brandi is currently accepting vendors for the mid-November event.

Mary Midkiff joins the Spectra team as an Event Manager.  She began in the events industry while she was attending college at Murray State University while earning her Bachelor’s degree in Music Business and minor in Business Administration.  She worked for both the CFSB Center as an event staff and for Lovett Auditorium as a house manager from January 2017 – August 2018.  After graduating in August of 2018, she spent a year serving as the intern Event and Conversions Coordinator at the CFSB Center.  Originally from McLean Co., she moved back to the Owensboro area in May of 2019 and became an Event Manager for ASM Global at Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, IN.  Mary says, “I feel very fortunate to be able to play a part in creating memorable experiences for the Owensboro community.”

Brett Shaw also joins the Spectra team as an Event Manager.  A graduate from UNC – Chapel Hill in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration, he brings 15 years of event experience to his new role, having worked with athletic events, children’s, and ice shows.  He was previously with PNC Arena as the Assistant Operations Manager during the Carolina Hurricanes.  ​A native of Morgantown, WV, Brett has relocated from ​Cary, NC and is looking forward to exploring Owensboro and the surrounding areas.

Emma Fitzgerald is the team’s newest Event Coordinator. She is a recent graduate from the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations and Advertising.  As an Owensboro native, Emma says “I have loved watching our town grow and become a destination for so many different and exciting things.” She looks forward to expanding her events knowledge in this new position and continuing the Owensboro Convention Center’s reputation of excellence.

Over 25 Events in the Next 21 Days at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter!

Spectra, the providers of venue management to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, has some eventful days ahead to round out February and head in to March. For the next 21 days, the two venues will host over 25 events.

“The next three weeks are extremely busy at both buildings,” said Spectra’s General Manager, Laura Alexander. “Several are some of the largest attended events we have all year, and we estimate to welcome over 31,000 people to our facilities over the next three weeks.”

Over the weekend, the Owensboro Convention Center again hosted the Green River Firefighters for the Bryant Stiles Officers School, and the Owensboro Sportscenter delighted families with five performances by the Garden Bros. Circus.

Upcoming events on the calendar include:

Owensboro Convention Center
Kentucky Legend, 2/24 – 3/31, estimating 40 people
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, 2/26, estimating 230 people
Girls Inc. ATHENA Awards Luncheon 2/27, estimating 350 people
Hutson Inc. Meeting, 2/27, estimating 168 people
Kentucky Scholastic Archery S3DA Tournament 2/28 – 3/1, estimating 1,000 people
Supporting Heroes Tribute Gala 2/29, estimating 800 people
US Law Shield Must Know Law for Gun Owners, 2/29, estimating 100 people
Century Aluminum, 3/2 – 4/3, estimating 15 people
Chamber Rooster Booster Breakfast 3/5, estimating 350 people
Care Net of Owensboro Annual Fundraiser 3/5, estimating 450 people
2020 Owensboro Home & Garden Show 3/7 – 3/8, estimating 2,500 people
KEHA (Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association) Planning Meeting, 3/9 – 3/10, estimating 35 people
Diocese of Owensboro Meeting, 3/12, estimating 400 people
KY United Methodist Planning Meeting, 3/12, estimating 25 people
Shamrock Bash with the Crashers, 3/14, estimating 1,200 people
Wendell Foster Half Marathon Packet Pickup & Expo, 3/13-3/14, estimating 1,000 people

Owensboro Sportscenter
2020 9th District Tournament, 2/24 – 2/28, estimating 4,500 people
KWC Women’s Basketball vs. Salem, 2/25, estimating 500 people
2020 3rd Region Tournament, 3/2 – 3/10, estimating 15,000 people
Owensboro Thoroughbreds, 2/29, 3/1, and 3/12, estimating 250 people each game
GMAC Tournament – Women (KWC Hosting), 3/3, estimating 500 people
Daviess County Shred Event, 3/13,
Midwest Gun and Knife Show, 3/14 – 3/15, estimating 1000 people

For complete calendar of events and more information about the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, visit OwensboroEvents.com.

19 Commercial TV Stations and 292 Commercial Radio Stations – The KBA Bringing Conference  to the Owensboro Convention Center 

Spectra is excited to announce the Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA) Association will hold their Annual Membership Conference on October 11-13 at the Owensboro Convention Center.

The KBA unites public and commercial radio and television stations across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, serving all 120 counties. This will be the first time the Annual Membership Conference has been held in Owensboro. Broadcasters from DMAs (Designated Market Areas) will include Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, Evansville, IN, and Cincinnati, OH.  Approximately 250 attendees are expected.

KBA said the decision to choose to have their event in Owensboro was based on geographic location, amenities, the Owensboro Convention Center, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum…and of course, BBQ!

“We are extremely excited to be a first time host of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association’s Annual Membership Conference this fall,” stated Spectra’s Heather Terry, Director of Sales.  “This is a great opportunity for both the Convention Center and the City of Owensboro to show off what we’re all about while making a lasting impression on their attendees.”

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center, please visit OwensboroCenter.com.

For more information about the Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA), please visit kba.org.

The Owensboro Convention Center Wins the ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award for the Fourth Time Since Opening

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, are honored to announce they have received the 2019 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multi-media resource for planning events in the South.

Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated meeting sites that provide exemplary service for group events. The nominated sites were then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best.

ConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that the Owensboro Convention Center has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouth Senior Editor Marcia Bradford.  “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that the Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

“To be one of only 13 total winners in the state of Kentucky is truly an honor,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center.  “We pride ourselves on providing outstanding customer service to ALL of our guests and are excited to be recognized for those efforts.”

This is the fourth time that the Owensboro Convention Center has received the award since it opened in January 2014.  The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2019 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

A complete list of 2019 Award Winners can be found online at: http://conventionsouth.com/2019-readers-choice-award-winners-announced/

Second Year for Community Blood Drive to be Held at the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, are proud to again partner with the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center for a Community Blood Drive.  This Thursday, August 1, the public is invited to participate and give the gift of life.  One pint of blood can save three lives. The drive will be held from 8:30am to 1:00om inside the Convention Center Lobby.  No appointment is necessary.

To be a donor, you must be at least 17 years old or 16 years old with parental consent and weigh at least 115 pounds.  Donors must check medications with staff, should eat a good meal prior to donation, and must allow 56 days between donations.

The Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center serves Daviess, Ohio, Breckenridge, Crittenden, Caldwell, Hopkins, McLean, Trigg, and Hancock counties and is currently in urgent need of O Negative blood.

All donors at the Community Blood Drive will receive a free t-shirt and a voucher for 50% off lunch at the Kentucky Legend Café located inside the Owensboro Convention Center.