Laura Alexander Named Convention Center Industry’s 2016 Generation Next Award

Owensboro, KY (September 16, 2016) – Laura Alexander, Spectra’s Director of Sales and Marketing for the Owensboro Convention Center was named a 2016 Generation Next winner by Venues Today (magazine), a premiere publication focusing on the live event industry.

The Generation Next Award winners are young professionals who have made a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows and festivals.  Alexander is responsible for securing conventions, meetings and events for the Owensboro Convention Center and was tasked with placing Owensboro back in the rotation for much of the state’s association business. The city’s destination marketing organization does not have a convention sales team, therefore Laura is the lead person for promoting, selling, and booking Owensboro’s convention business.

Tim Ross, City of Owensboro’s Public Events Director noted, “The City of Owensboro is thrilled for Laura and proud to have her as part of the Spectra management team.  This recognition confirms our confidence in her leading the sales team for us and getting Owensboro back on the map as a convention and meeting destination.

Coupled with Spectra’s resources and “Bring Your Meeting Home” campaign, she booked more than 67 regional and statewide conventions, with 48 of those occurring in the first two years of operation, more than double the projected number. She also leads the local sales team for all other events, exceeding expectations since opening in 2014.

Alexander has led the sales team into a strong start for the 2016-2017 fiscal year with $1 million in confirmed business for the Owensboro Convention Center.

“Laura is a relationship builder and brings great passion and inventiveness to the position and to our industry,” said Dean Dennis, Spectra’s General Manager. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to many years of her leading the way for Spectra and Owensboro.”

Laura joins another Spectra employee who received the award, Trent Merritt, Regional VP, Spectra Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality and General Manager, USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.

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New Artisan Cafe to be Unveiled

The Owensboro Convention Center, proudly managed by Spectra, is pleased to announce the grand opening of the newly remodeled Artisan Café by SFG on Wednesday, November 11.  A brief media conference will be held at noon followed by the opportunity to enjoy free samples of the new menu until 2:00 pm and then again from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.  “The community is invited to stop by during their lunch break or after work to experience the new Café’” said Dean Dennis, General Manager of Spectra.

In conjunction with the grand opening of the Artisan Café, the Owensboro Convention Center and Specialty Foods Group are offering a unique fundraising opportunity to local non-profit organizations entitled “Make it Count Mondays”.  Each Monday, a local organization will be randomly chosen and featured on the Owensboro Convention Center’s Facebook page.  Additionally, 10% of the Café’s sales on that day will directly benefit the selected organization.

“SFG is proud to partner with the Owensboro Convention Center on this exciting venture.  The new Café will not only allow us to showcase our large variety of delicious locally made products but, more importantly, it provides a wonderful opportunity to support our community and those in need”, said Ric Herrera, SFG Vice President.  “We are thrilled with the Artisan concept and encourage everyone to come experience this new downtown eatery”.

The new Artisan Café by SFG is dedicated to providing fresh food using quality ingredients including SFG’s Kentucky Legend Ham, Kentuckian Gold Turkey and Field Bacon among others.  The Café is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and during special events at the Convention Center.  In addition to daily lunch specials, the menu features delicious sandwiches, garden fresh salad bar and wraps as well as an array of house baked pastries, specialty coffee drinks and more.


Owensboro Convention Center Receives ConventionSouth’s Readers’ Choice Award

The Owensboro Convention Center, proudly managed by Spectra Venue Management, received the 2015 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multi-media resource for planning events in the South.

ConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that Owensboro Convention Center has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouth Publisher J. Talty O’Connor.  “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 Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated meeting sites that provide exemplary service for group events. The nominated sites are then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best. More than 5,000 voters participated this year in the selection process – the highest vote count ever recorded.  “Out of only 10 total winners in the entire state of Kentucky, we had the highest vote count in the state over any other CVB, hotel, or meeting facility,” said Laura Alexander, Director of Sales and Marketing.  “We are honored to be a recipient and wish to extend our sincere thanks to all who took the time to help us win this award.”

In 2014, the Owensboro Convention Center was awarded for being a Top New and Renovated Facilities from ConventionSouth.

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2015 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine. A complete list of award winners can be found online at:

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Owensboro Convention Center Poised to Make a Great Start to the New Fiscal Year!

Owensboro, KY –  Spectra Venue Management (formally Global Spectrum) is poised to make a great start to the new fiscal year at the Owensboro Convention Center with over 20 conventions already scheduled.

“The expectation for this building is to book conventions,” said Dean Dennis, General Manager/VP of Spectra. “Our purpose is to bring visitors to town.”

In its second full year in operation, the Owensboro Convention Center has doubled the number of conventions booked over the original feasibility projections. Five are returning conventions and over 15 new ones have been scheduled so far.  For a complete list of the 2015-2016 conventions, please click here.  From July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, these conventions are forecasted to generate over 6,700 hotel room nights and more than *$4.3 million in economic impact for the City of Owensboro.
*based on regional tourism spending estimates from the KY Department of Tourism 

“Our goal is to promote the Convention Center as the ideal destination for our region,” stated Laura Alexander, Director of Sales & Marketing. “Many associations have a heavy membership in the western part of the state, and Owensboro is very centrally located for their members,” she added.

Many of the conventions currently scheduled were brought to Owensboro with the help of the local community. The Owensboro Convention Center encourages assistance for scheduling conventions and other events through the Bring Your Meeting Home program.  Individuals can help positively impact the local economy through recommendations.  Once the event is booked, the referring individual will be designated as an Owensboro Convention Center Ambassador and will be rewarded with a Visa gift card for up to $200 per lead. To date, the Bring Your Meeting Home campaign has generated over 5,300 hotel rooms and has paid out over $1,200 in gift cards.

Lean more about Bring Your Meeting Home and booking an event at the Owensboro Convention Center at or at 270.687.8800.

New Bulleit Bourbon Bar to Debut at Owensboro Convention Center


Owensboro, KY ( June 23, 2015 ) – The Owensboro Convention Center will debut a new and innovative bourbon bar at this week’s Friday After 5 “Party at the Pier”. Developed in conjunction with Bulleit Bourbon and Coastal Wine and Spirits of Kentucky, the customized bar will feature several drink specials at Friday’s event.

Designed and handcrafted by Brian Payne and The Mill Custom Woodworking Shop in Owensboro, the bar will showcase more than forty bourbons including Bulleit Rye, the top selling rye whiskey in the country as well as other limited, vintage bourbons such as Blade and Bow and Orphan Barrel.

“There is a bourbon for everyone, from the novice to the connoisseur,” said Mark Pruett, Director of Food and Beverage at the Owensboro Convention Center. “Bourbon is the fastest growing category in the spirits industry today,” said Jason Bott, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Coastal Wine and Spirits of Kentucky. “It is a pleasure to work with the Owensboro Convention Center to enhance their guests’ experience,” he added.

In addition to being featured at Friday After 5, the bar will also be available for other events at the Center. “The bar is portable, so it can be set up for weddings, receptions, meetings, just about any event can use the bar at the client’s preference,” said Dean Dennis, General Manager of the Center. “Bourbon is more than a drink. It’s the culture and heritage embraced by Kentucky. Owensboro’s long and rich bourbon traditions are celebrated right here with this fantastic new feature for our guests,” said Dennis.

For more information about the new Bulliet Bourbon Bar, visit or call 270-687-8800.


Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services, Paciolan Are Now Unified as Single Brand

PHILADELPHIA (June 2, 2015) – Comcast Spectacor, a leader in the sports and entertainment industry, is raising the bar on live event experiences by announcing today that its three divisions – Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services and Paciolan – now operate as Spectra, a singular, new brand.  Clients and customers look for seamless experiences whether at a trade show, concert or sporting event.  By serving clients as one business, Spectra can optimize full-service operations for the good of clients, customers and fans.  Spectra is committed to innovating the live experience in ways that drive revenue and growth for venue owners, teams, event presenters, advertisers and sponsors.

Full Press Release – Spectra Unified Single Brand

Spectra Logo

3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward – ENEWS Global Spectrum


3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward    

By Kristin Bowen, Marketing Manager for St. Charles Convention Center

3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward

We’ve all heard about the studies proving that charitable acts make for happier people, but it extends beyond the individual. Charitable giving is also great for your business and here’s why:

1. Your clients prefer philanthropic companies. You’ve heard about companies losing customers due to bad business practices, but did you know businesses can gain business from taking part in good causes? A Cone Communications 2013 study revealed that, “Given similar price and quality, consumers are likely to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause.” Consumers that were either somewhat or very likely to switch brands constituted 91% of the study’s population. By aligning yourself with a good cause, you show clients you care about more than just your bottom line; you care about them and the community at large.

2. Giving back builds relationships with your community. Global Spectrum’s St. Charles Convention Center’s Helping Hands for the Holidays event is a great example of how giving back builds relationships within the community. This charity event invites in-need individuals for a free hot meal, picture with Santa, winter clothing, and more. To make the event the success that it is, they also invite local businesses to help spread the word about the event, donate items, volunteer, and set up booths at the event to share their services. The Convention Center has received countless praise for leading the effort and they are not alone. Every Global Spectrum managed venue is involved in charitable giving to their respective communities and can help you do the same!

3. Charity events leave a lasting impression. Hosting a charity event during your next tradeshow, convention, or event is a great way to leave a lasting impression with attendees and the local community. Building a home, painting a house, and cleaning up a river bed are examples of charitable acts that you as an event and meeting professional can organize. Similar to a team building effort, attendee volunteering opportunities make you look (and feel) good as both a business and individual.

Owensboro Convention Center Is Honored With ConventionSouth’s Prestigious Top New or Renovated Meeting Site Award



GULF SHORES, Ala.  — It is with great honor that the publishers and editors of

ConventionSouth, the national multimedia resource for planning events held in the South, present Owensboro Convention Center with a 2015 Top New or Renovated Meeting Site Award.

ConventionSouth readers are constantly seeking information on the newest and like-new meeting sites in the South in order to offer their attendees the most modern facilities available, and this is why we are honored to bestow Owensboro Convention Center with a Top New or Renovated Meeting Site Award,” said ConventionSouth Associate Publisher Marlane Bundock. “After a lengthy review of what Owensboro Convention Center now has to offer meeting planners and attendees, we feel it indeed displays a superior commitment to providing groups with the top-of-the-line amenities and service that they require.”

Owensboro Convention Center is among an elite list of 50 meeting facilities located across the South to receive this year’s Top New or Renovated Meeting Site Award. As part of the recognition, Owensboro Convention Center is featured as an award recipient in the December 2014 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine. This exciting issue showcases our Readers’ Choice Award Winners, Editors’ Hot Picks and some of the most talented meeting professionals in the nation as ConventionSouth also presents planners with its annual “Meeting Professionals To Watch” designation. “Featuring peer advice and trade secrets from our Meeting Professionals to Watch in 2015, our Awards Issue is one of the most popular must-read resources within the meetings industry,” Bundock said.

Celebrating 30+ years as a leading meeting planning resource, ConventionSouth magazine is based in Gulf Shores, Ala., and is distributed to more than 18,000 meeting professionals located across the country who book meetings held within the South, according to Bundock.

Owensboro Convention Center Entry Sign Wins Design Award


The Owensboro Convention Center entry sign on the corner of 2nd Street and Locust has been awarded the Tilt-Up Achievement Award from the Tilt-up Concrete Association.  The project team included Ted Lolley of Ted Lolley & Associates of Owensboro, KY.

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) is an organization that is dedicated to promoting growth and achievement in innovative tilt-up design and construction. For the last 24 years, the TCA has selected and honored projects that use this design technique, in order to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. The award recipients must demonstrate the variety, beauty and flexibility of the tilt-up construction method.

The tilt-up method is unique and allows for quicker completion. The concrete is poured into slabs onsite and once dried, it is finally hoisted up. The individuals who worked on this project have been invited to formally receive the award at the Tilt-Up Awards Gala on September 29, 2014 during the TCA Annual Convention in San Jose, California.

E. M. Ford and Company of Owensboro sponsors large artwork at the Owensboro Convention Center.


Global Spectrum, the management company of the Owensboro Convention Center, is pleased to announce that E. M. Ford and Company has agreed to be the lifetime sponsor of the Cascade art piece located in the lobby of the Convention Center.

The Cascade hangs from the lobby ceiling and is placed prominently to take full advantage of the southern exposure and large windows in the building. The fused blue and green stained glass are comprised of both iridized and translucent colors and are curved to offer a contrasting compliment to the more angular lines of the center’s architecture. The glass pieces range from 6mm to 9mm in thickness and are suspended from stainless steel cables; the 157 pieces vary in size from 18-30 inches in length. According to the Kentucky artist Dan Neil Barnes, “the red piece speaks to the heart of this city and community as it propels itself into a dynamic future.” Mr. Barnes, a native of Henderson, created the beautiful work and installed it earlier this year. He along with other Convention Center artists was introduced to this project by local gallery, Studio Slant.

E. M. Ford and Company was established as an independent insurance agency in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1925 by E. M. Ford. He was joined by his two sons, Hon. Wendell H. Ford and Reyburn W. Ford who became owners in the 60’s. Reyburn managed the agency until his retirement as Wendell made a career in State and Federal government service. In the 80’s ownership passed to the third generation of Fords – Wendell’s son, Steve, and Reyburn’s sons, Rey and Rick. They have now been joined by the fourth generation of Fords – Steve’s sons, Clay, Neel and Morgan.

Started as a one-man operation almost 90 years ago, E. M. Ford and Company now has two locations, Owensboro and Henderson, with 30 employees. The agency offers personal and business insurance, employee benefits including group health, life and disability, and a full range of Wealth Management services such as retirement plans, business perpetuation plans and investments, through our Money Concepts Financial Planning Center.

E. M. Ford founded the agency on three principles: service, integrity and professionalism. They strive to maintain these principles and include them as an integral part of their culture as they continue to grow.

E.M. Ford and Company and their employees are proud to sponsor the Cascade at the new Owensboro Convention Center. Just as the Citizens of Owensboro and Daviess County wanted to make a statement about their commitment to the future by building this wonderful facility, E.M. Ford and Company wanted to celebrate their 90 years in business by making a commitment to the community’s future also. “We think it’s an exciting and special way to say thank you to our friends, neighbors, customers and fellow citizens while upholding our first principle of doing business: service. We consider service not only to our customers but also to our community as a whole. E. M. Ford and Company appreciates this opportunity to say thank you through this sponsorship and hope that we can all enjoy this beautiful work of art for many generations to come,” said Steve Ford.

E. M. Ford and Company has committed $30,000 for this lifelong sponsorship, and will have a beautifully designed artwork recognition plaque positioned in the Convention Center’s lobby. A unique element of this sponsorship is that E. M. Ford and Company has agreed to share the Cascade with the local community. Pieces of the artwork will be sold to individuals and families, giving them the opportunity to have a presence in Western Kentucky’s largest convention center. Because of this unique element of the sponsorship, the piece will be renamed the E.M. Ford Community Cascade.

“We are very excited and thankful to have E.M. Ford and Company be our first public art sponsor here at the Convention Center,” said Dean Dennis, Global Spectrum’s General Manager. “It is wonderful to have the Ford family, long associated with doing great things for this community, to have selected our beautiful facility to carry on that legacy.”

Tens of thousands of people will pass through the Convention Center’s lobby every year, making it the ideal location for company sponsorships and brand awareness. For more information regarding possible individual and family sponsorship opportunities with the E. M. Ford Community Cascade and the other art pieces on display at the convention center, please contact Jan Catinna, Global Spectrum’s Director of Corporate and Community Sponsorships at the Owensboro Convention Center, at 270-687-8925 or