Owensboro Convention Center Again Wins Prestigious Prime Site Award

OVG360, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is honored to again be recognized as a top destination for meetings and conventions by Facilities and Destinations magazine.  For the ninth time, the venue has received the prestigious Prime Site Award which are given annually to the top convention and exposition centers in the United States.

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 award recognizes that clients have determined that these venues and organizations are standouts in the highly competitive meetings market. 

“Being a recipient of this award again shows our commitment to hosting successful events,” stated Owensboro Convention Center’s Assistant General Manager, Jamie Scheffer.  “Whether it’s a small meeting for 10 or a banquet for 500, our commitment to service and event execution is the same.”

The Owensboro Convention Center was also named a 2022 Center of Excellence – another award showcasing the venue as a top convention center.

“The staff at the Owensboro Convention Center has strived from day one to exceed the expectations of every client,” said Tim Ross, Director of Public Events for the City of Owensboro.  “Being recognized again this year by the convention and meeting planners that utilize our tremendous facility is a testament to the commitment to excellence by the staff and the team approach that Owensboro provides to all of the groups that host events in Owensboro.  This recognition reaffirms our efforts to stand out in the industry.”

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as a Prime Site Award recipient in the upcoming 2022 Facilities and Destinations SuperBook issue publishing in late July.

First Basketball Event Scheduled to Take Place at the Owensboro Convention Center!

AthElite Sports Management, LLC will be hosting the first youth basketball tournament at Western Kentucky’s award-winning venue – the Owensboro Convention Center. The AthElite Memorial Day Challenge will take place from May 28th – May 29th and will utilize the four modular sports courts installed in three expo halls at the Owensboro Convention Center. Fifty or more teams consisting of both boys and girls grades 3rd – 11th are expected to attend. AthElite has hosted teams from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Ohio and Florida along with international teams from Spain and Canada in their 5 year existence. Teams from 5 or more states are expected to attend the inaugural event in Owensboro.

This will be the largest youth basketball event in the Owensboro area in spring and summer 2022, operators say. Over 1,500 people are expected to attend the basketball tournament. Guests will enjoy on-site concessions along with other amenities provided by AthElite such as streamed games, college coaches in attendance, national scouting services covering games, and will also have the opportunity to purchase tournament apparel.

The tournament will also benefit the local community with out-of-town guests utilizing Owensboro hotels, restaurants and shopping stores generating a boost in tourism revenue over the course of the weekend.

“We are looking forward to a great weekend of basketball,” says Sam Swinford, Lead Director for AthElite Sports Management. “We are so excited to be the first basketball event at the Owensboro Convention Center. We look forward to working with the team (at the venue) to showcase how great the facility is for sporting events. Our staff has been working hard to get everything ready to make this a successful event. We hope to make this event a fixture for years to come.”

“We are thrilled to host AthElite and basketball for the first time on our new sports floor this May,” stated Owensboro Convention Center Assistant General Manager, Jamie Scheffer. “Our team is dedicated to booking tournaments such as these which help drive economic impact and tourism to Owensboro.”

“Attracting successful, top caliber sports planners like Sam Swinford proves that Owensboro and Daviess County are becoming the complete sports solution. Athletes, coaches, and fans are telling us they love the brand new sports floor at the Owensboro Convention Center. We are proving the indoor sports concept is successful and creating a substantial economic impact to our community,” said Mark Calitri, President and CEO of Visit Owensboro.

Chris Gendek, Destinations Development and Sports Management with Visit Owensboro added, “We are looking forward to welcoming AthElite Sports Management to Owensboro in late May! We are fortunate to have great partners allowing us to attract high quality events that create an economic impact where all of Owensboro and Daviess County benefit.”

The media is encouraged to attend the event on May 28th-May 29th. “Pool play” games will be played on Saturday with Championship Sunday to follow.

Interested teams can contact Sam Swinford at 618-922-2263 or at

AthElite Sports Management is a leading youth sports event operator based out of Marion, Illinois. For more information about AthElite, visit

Looking for a New Lunch Favorite? Come Try These Top Picks at the Kentucky Legend Cafe!

Whether it’s in regular rotation or is only offered every few months, patrons of the Kentucky Legend Café have at least one daily lunch special that has made their taste buds fall in love!   Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, recently requested guests to cast their votes for their favorite Daily Special to be featured next week!

Monday, April 11
Meat Lovers Pizza Quesadilla – Kentucky Legend ham, bacon, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce in a grilled flour tortilla. “Who wouldn’t love all the meats in a quesadilla form?” says Cody Thomas.  “That’s two cuisines mixed into one.  Makes it even better because it’s served with a side of garlic sauce!”

Tuesday, April 12
The Cheesesteak Po’ Boy features steak topped with sautéed peppers and onions, melted Provolone cheese, and garlic mayo on a toasted hoagie bun.  Hallie Ellis calls it “cheesy, buttery, and meaty goodness,” while Tim Ross finds it “a good change of pace from some of the chicken specials.”

Wednesday, April 13
The Potato Bowl is without a doubt comfort food in a bowl.  Buttery mashed potatoes topped with savory brown gravy, corn, crispy chicken, and shredded cheese.  Michelle Pessia says “this is my favorite and I look forward to it every time!”

Thursday, April 14
What better way to slide into the mid part of the month than with Hawaiian Ham Sliders – Kentucky Legend ham, sautéed onions, melted Swiss cheese, and Dijon mayo on toasted Hawaiian slider buns. “Everything about it – the Dijon mayo, Swiss cheese, and sautéed onions are a great pair,” says Mary Midkiff.

Friday, April 15
A new addition to the specials which quickly vaulted to one of the most popular is the Steak Fajita Bowl – steak over Spanish rice topped with lettuce and tomato and served with salsa and sour cream.  When asked why it was favorite, Josh Gann commented “because it is healthy and tastes great!”

The Kentucky Legend Café is open for lunch from 10am to 2pm Monday through Friday for dine-in and carry-out. All Daily Lunch Specials are $10 and come with your choice of side item.  Make it a combo with a drink for $12.  Salad bar and soup of the day are also available.  All major credit cards are accepted and prices include tax. For the complete menu:

Follow the Owensboro Convention Center on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the delicious know for the specials that will be available each week!

2022 Kentucky Legend Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is proud to partner with Kentucky Legend again for the Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive!

From April 1-29, donations can be made to help those in need. Simply bring any gently worn clothing, shoes, or accessories in newborn to adult sizes to the Owensboro Convention Center.  Donation boxes will be set up near the front desk inside the lobby.  All donations received will benefit Oasis Women’s Shelter and the Help Office of Owensboro.

“As the days get warmer and we start to clean out our closets, now is the perfect time to think about our local shelters. Kentucky Legend is so thrilled to be able to help facilitate this simple opportunity to give back. These organizations provide so much care for our community throughout the year, and it is our pleasure to strive to fill their closets with essentials,” says Brooklyn Maple, Brand Manager for Specialty Foods Group LLC, makers of Kentucky Legend.

“When we were last able to partner with Kentucky Legend for a clothing drive in 2019 prior to COVID, the generosity shown by the community was tremendous!” said Jeanette Goins, Director of Marketing for the Owensboro Convention Center.  “Looking forward to seeing those donation boxes filled up again!”

Make a donation of five or more items and receive a voucher for 50% off at the Kentucky Legend Cafe located inside the Owensboro Convention Center on the first floor.  The Café is open 10am-2pm Monday-Friday for dine-in and carry-out. For the menu:  Daily Lunch Specials and Salad Bar are also available.

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

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is pleased to welcome new members to their Owensboro team.

Josh Gann is the new Director of Sales for the Owensboro Convention Center. He brings over 20 years of sales experience with 10 of those in a sales leadership role to the team. “I made the decision to join the Owensboro Convention Center because I wanted to use my talent and experience in making a difference in our community and driving economic impact,” Josh stated.  “This role also gives me the chance to continue doing something that I really enjoy and that is developing others and helping them to succeed.” In addition, Josh enjoys fitness, golf, and time with family and friends.

J.T. Pedley has returned to the Owensboro Convention Center in the Senior Sales Manager role. He previously worked in the sales department at the Owensboro Convention Center for 4 years before moving over to Townsquare Media. J.T. is a graduate from the University of Louisville, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in 2013.
“I am really happy to be back with the Owensboro Convention Center and to be working with some great people once again,” stated Pedley. “I am most looking forward to booking events on the new sports floor and cannot wait to see the continued growth of athletic events here in Owensboro.”

Kaitlyn Alvey recently graduated from Brescia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Before this she graduated from Owensboro Technical & Community College and Apollo both in 2019 through an early college program. As the new Social Sales Manager with the Owensboro Convention Center, she is very excited to be working with people to bring their parties/weddings to life. When she is not at work, Kaitlyn loves to spend time working in her garden, playing with her dogs, running, and shopping.

Jerry Jeffries is the new Operations Manager for the Owensboro Convention Center.  He moved to Owensboro from Franklin, TN where he was the Director of Facilities for a beautiful wedding venue along with an amphitheater. Jerry said, “I am honored to be working with a wonderful team at the Owensboro Convention Center. Jerries is a a proud father of 5 amazing children and “J-Pop” for 7 awesome grandchildren.  In his free time, he enjoys playing any sport or working out.

Lexi Lundy joins the team as the new Event Coordinator. She obtained her degree at Murray State University in Nonprofit Leadership Management specializing in special event planning. “The ability to work in the event industry has always been a major goal of mine, despite whether or not it was through a nonprofit,” stated Lundy.  When she is not working, she loves to spend quality time with her husband and two kids.    

Rena Hamilton has been promoted to Banquet Manager.  She began working at the convention center as the team leader with a non-profit organization and later as a part-time bartender.  Rena says, “I am happy to be on board with the Owensboro Convention Center full time.  I love the co-workers and love meeting the clients that come in.”  Outside of work, Rena enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Laura Alexander Leaving Owensboro for New Position in Lexington


Laura Alexander, General Manager for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter, is taking a new position with Oak View Group Facilities, managers and operators of Lexington’s expanded and renovated 200,000-square-foot Central Bank Center. She will become Vice President, Convention Center Sales and Operations on February 7, 2022, and lead Oak View Group Facility’s efforts to reopen and rebrand the convention center.

Alexander spent 10 years at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter. During her time in Owensboro, she increased gross profit and bottom-line revenue year-over-year for both buildings, including creating 35 self-promoted events that generated over $500,000 in annual gross revenue and negotiated over $1.9 million in building sponsorship income.

“Laura has been a tremendous asset to the Owensboro Convention Center and the city over the last 10 years,” said Tim Ross, City of Owensboro’s Director of Public Events.  “Her vision and drive to reestablish Owensboro as a regional convention and meeting destination when we first opened the facility have proven successful with the multitude of groups that now bring their meeting to Owensboro.  Her leadership as GM of the facilities over the last 3+ years has further expanded the breadth of events while increasing revenues and hotel stays.  She will definitely be missed, but she has built a strong team that can continue the growth and trajectory that she has established.”

Alexander is a previous Generation Next recipient by Venues Now Magazine – an award given to young professionals who have made a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows, and festivals. She is also a graduate of the International Association of Venue Management (IAVM) Venue Management School.

She also received the first Greater Owensboro Chamber Young Professional of the Year award in 2014 for the design and development of providing free wi-fi to the revitalized Smothers Park in Owensboro. In addition, she has served on the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a former Chair of Chamber Young Professionals. She is also a board member of Friday After 5, a 16-week free concert series hosted on Owensboro’s downtown riverfront.

She is a 2003 graduate of Western Kentucky University where she majored in Corporate & Organizational Communication with a minor in Marketing. Her first position post-college was at the Executive Inn Rivermont, where she was Director of Sales.

Oak View Group recently acquired Spectra, the provider of venue management services at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter, to create one world-class, full-service live events company. OVG Facilities is successful in delivering new event content and programming opportunities for its clients. The company is experiencing a 587% growth since 2018, including opening the Seattle Kraken’s Climate Pledge Arena, and the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena, both of the National Hockey League; and developing the new arena in Manchester, England Co-op Live, the Moody Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, the Coachella Valley Arena in Coachella Valley, CA, and the new 9,500-seat Enmarket Arena in Savannah, GA.

First Event Using Sports Floor Coming to the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the provider of venue management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is excited to announce the first sporting event to be held on the new multi-purpose sports floor will be the Bluegrass Futsal Cup on Friday, December 17 through Sunday, December 19.

The movable sports floor and equipment, which can be used to host events such as basketball, volleyball, handball, and futsal, was funded by a partnership between Owensboro Health, Daviess County Fiscal Court, and the City of Owensboro.

“We are thrilled that Owensboro United Soccer Club is hosting our first-ever futsal tournament in the Owensboro Convention Center, and is the first event to utilize the new flooring and equipment.” said Laura Alexander, General Manager with Spectra Venue Management at the Owensboro Convention Center. “We are also in the works with finalizing another sporting event for 2022 that we hope to announce shortly.”

“SportsTutor and our futsal community is excited to host the inaugural Bluegrass Futsal Cup in Owensboro.  The community’s investment has made the Owensboro Convention Center a destination for indoor sporting events. We look forward to being the first organization to have youth players on-site for competition in this excellent facility,” stated Ty Stauffner, Owner of SportsTutor and Executive Director of Owensboro United.  “For years our area youth and adult players have enjoyed the fast- paced futsal game while developing unmatched technical skills with the ball and now we have a big stage in Owensboro to showcase players from our region.”

The Bluegrass Futsal Cup will be open to boys and girls U8-U19.  Registration is open now through Wednesday, December 8 through HTG Sports.  Cost is $425 per team or $13.50 per player (USYF Registration).  Daily admission for attendees is $5 for adults and $3 for children 8 and under.

For more information on booking an event at the Owensboro Convention Center using the sports floor, please contact

Make Plans to Join the Fun! Energy On Ice Rink to Open at the Owensboro Convention Center

A quintessential winter activity is coming soon!  Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is excited to announce details for the 2021 Energy On Ice Rink, sponsored by Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Atmos Energy, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, and the Staton Family Foundation.

Get ready for a merry good time on the ice!  The 80×60 rink made of synthetic ice will be located on the Kentucky Legend Pier behind the Owensboro Convention Center.  With picturesque views over the Ohio River and beautiful downtown Owensboro, the Energy On Ice Rink is sure to delight!

Admission is $10 including skate rental or $8 if own skates are provided.  Tickets will be sold at the rink.

Some tips for visiting the Energy On Ice Rink:

  • Wear layered, warm clothing that doesn’t restrict movement
  • Free parking will be available in the Owensboro Convention Center parking lot
  • Masks are not required outdoors at Energy On Ice, but are required inside the Owensboro Convention Center
  • Concessions will be available on site (warm up with some hot chocolate – sure to compliment any visit to the rink J)
  • Be safe and have fun!

Schedule of events:

Fri 11/26 – Grand Opening

  • 5:30PM – Ribbon Cutting with Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce
  • 6PM – 10PM – Public Skating

Sat 11/27

  • 1PM – 9PM – Public Skating

Sun 11/28

  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating
  • 5PM – Movie Night – Elf

Fri 12/3

  • 3PM – 7PM – Holiday Market located inside the Owensboro Convention Center
  • 6PM – 10PM – Public Skating

Sat 12/4

  • 9AM – 4PM – Holiday Market located inside the Owensboro Convention Center
  • 1PM – 9PM – Public Skating

Sun 12/5

  • 10AM – 3PM – Holiday Market located inside the Owensboro Convention Center
  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating
  • 4PM – Musical Performance by Suzuki Violin Studio of Adrienne Vallandingham
  • 5PM – Movie Night – A Christmas Story

Fri 12/10

  • 6PM – 10PM – Public Skating
  • Hot Chocolate Hop (as part of the City of Owensboro’s 12 Days of Christmas)
    • $3 White Hot Chocolate
    • $7 White Hot Chocolate (21 and over alcoholic version)

Sat 12/11

  • 7:30AM – 10AM – Breakfast with Santa sponsored by German American Bank
  • 1PM – 9PM – Public Skating

Sun 12/12

  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating
  • 5PM – Movie Night – The Polar Express

Fri 12/17

  • Santa’s Sweets (as part of the City of Owensboro’s 12 Days of Christmas)
    • $4 Christmas Tree Ice Cream Cone
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Discount
    • Wear an ugly Christmas sweater, receive $1 off skating
  • 6PM – 10PM – Public Skating

Sat 12/18

  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Discount
    • Wear an ugly Christmas sweater, receive $1 off skating
  • 1PM – 9PM – Public Skating

Sun 12/19

  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Discount
    • Wear an ugly Christmas sweater, receive $1 off skating
  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating
  • 5PM – Movie Night – Christmas Vacation

Mon 12/20 through Fri 12/31

  • Closed Fri 12/24 and Sat 12/25
  • Hockey Jersey Discount
    • Wear a hockey jersey, receive $1 off skating
  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating

Sat 1/1

  • Hockey Jersey Discount
    • Wear a hockey jersey, receive $1 off skating
  • 1PM – 9PM – Public Skating

Sun 1/2

  • Hockey Jersey Discount
    • Wear a hockey jersey, receive $1 off skating
  • 2PM – 7PM – Public Skating

Mon 1/3 (final day)

  • Hockey Jersey Discount
    • Wear a hockey jersey, receive $1 off skating
  • 11AM – 4PM – Public Skating

Owensboro Convention Center Honored with ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award for Sixth Time

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, honored to announce they have received the 2021 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multi-media resource for planning events in the South.
Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated the meeting sites they believe provide exemplary service for group events, including convention centers, CVB’s, and hotels. 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. The Owensboro Convention Center was one of only 15 total winners throughout the entire state of Kentucky.
“Our team continues to strive for excellence and provides over-the-top customer service to our clients during a time when the world is changing at a very high pace,” said Spectra General Manager, Laura Alexander.  “They have maneuvered through government restrictions and provided new, innovative solutions to problems that have never been presented in our industry, and have excelled.  I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication and perseverance of the Owensboro Convention Center team.”
“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 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 Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”
Since creation in 2001, this is the sixth time that Owensboro Convention Center has received the award, and the venue will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2021 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

Owensboro Spectra Team Implementing Industry Leading Commitment to Health and Safety

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, is excited to announce that it has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its venues.

As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”   

To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA 
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit

About ISSA 
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.