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

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

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

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:

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.

Owensboro Convention Center and German American Bank to Announce New Partnership

On Wednesday, June 5 at 4 pm, the Owensboro Convention Center will announce the details of a new partnership with German American Bank. The City of Owensboro, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, the Owensboro Convention Center and German American Bank invite the public to attend the announcement and ribbon cutting event.

“We are excited to make this announcement which strengthens our commitment to the Owensboro community,” said Amy Jackson, Regional President of German American Bank. “This partnership with the Owensboro Convention Center aligns well with German American Bank’s dedication to support local communities and enhance quality of life.”

Spectra’s General Manager, Laura Alexander, said, “This is a very exciting announcement for the community and we are happy to partner with the team at German American Bank.”

Spectra is the provider of Venue Management and Food Services and Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center.

For further information contact: Amy Jackson, 270.663.4718,

Highland Elementary Student Inspires New Menu Item at the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center is excited to share a tasty new food item on the menu at the Artisan Café by Kentucky Legend® beginning on Monday, May 20!

In March, Spectra’s General Manager, Laura Alexander again participated in Highland Elementary School’s Leaders in the Workplace Day where students were asked to come up with ideas for the new item for the next year.

Those ideas were later discussed by the Spectra Food and Beverage team, and it was unanimously agreed that one student’s idea had the most delicious potential.  The team crafted the idea, inspired by 5th Grade Highland Elementary School student, Addison Spurrier, into Addison’s BBQ Crunch Wrap.  It will feature Kentucky Legend® ham, Cheddar cheese, pickles, BBQ sauce, and BBQ potato chips in a honey wheat wrap.

“Whenever I found out I won, I was super excited.  I did not know what to say,” said Addison Spurrier, a 5th Grade Student at Highland Elementary.  “I thought back to when we were given the challenge to come up with the new menu item, I thought about if anyone would like it.  Also it was unique and original.  Overall, I am super excited that my item will be on the menu for everyone to try and enjoy.”

“This is the second year we have partnered with Kentucky Legend® and Highland Elementary with great success,” stated General Manager, Laura Alexander. “ Last year we featured Alex’s B.L.T. Taco on the menu for a year, created in part by Highland Elementary School student, Alex Wilcox, and the Addison’s BBQ Crunch Wrap will replace that item on the menu for the next year.”

“We were so excited to attend Highland Elementary School’s talent show and surprise Addison with the news that she won.  We know the recipe will be a hit at the Artisan Café!” said Brooklyn Maple, Brand Director with Kentucky Legend.  “We love the creativity that comes from young minds, and we’re grateful for Spectra for facilitating this project.”

The Artisan Café by Kentucky Legend® is located on the first floor of the Owensboro Convention Center and is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 3pm and during special events.

Owensboro Convention Center Honored with Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award for the Fifth Time

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center is excited to announce they have received the 2019 Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award.  These awards are given 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, and voting for the Prime Site Awards is done primarily by association and corporate meeting planners and tradeshow professionals.

“This is the fifth time that the Owensboro Convention Center has received this award, which shows our continued efforts to provide an excellent venue for our clients,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center.  “We are very thankful that our clients view Owensboro as a top location for meetings, conventions, and other shows, and our team will work to continue to bring quality events to Owensboro.”

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as a Prime Site Award recipient in the upcoming 2019 Facilities and Destinations SuperBook issue publishing in June.

Spectra Announces New Hire and Promotions for the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center is pleased to announce two promotions and welcome a new member to their Owensboro team.

Michelle Pessia has been promoted to Sous Chef.  She graduated in 2011 from the Culinary Program at OCTC, and began working as the Kitchen Supervisor with Spectra in 2017.  Michelle has assisted in many sizable events, such as the Owensboro Convention Center’s signature five course Cork and Cuisine dinners, corporate holiday parties, and over two dozen local weddings.  Her skills as a saucier and pastry chef help add special touches to each dish prepared.  “Michelle is a team player, and her experience and dedication have proven that she is the right fit for Sous Chef,” said Mark Pruett, Director of Food and Beverage.

A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Angie Hanley has been part of the Owensboro team since the building opened in 2014.  She began working part-time in Guest Services and moved to full-time in 2015 when the position of Event Manger became available.  While in that role she worked with couples planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions at the Owensboro Convention Center. Angie is now the Wedding Sales Coordinator and is excited to assist future guests in planning their perfect day!


With Angie’s transition to Wedding Sales Coordinator, Katy Holland joined the Owensboro team in March as an Event Manager.  A graduate from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Katy has lived in Owensboro her entire life and states, “I truly love my town.” She served as an intern in the Events Department at the Louisville Country Club for two summers and has worked with two professional sports teams.  Katy is happy to be on staff with the Owensboro Convention Center and looks forward to making the events top notch and enjoyable.

Kentucky Legend® Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive to be Held at the Owensboro Convention Center

Make a donation and help someone in need at the same time. Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center, are proud to partner with Kentucky Legend® for the Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive.

Beginning today through Friday, March 29, 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 Convention Center Lobby.  All donations received from the Kentucky Legend® Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive will benefit the Daniel Pitino Shelter for Homeless Families and St. Benedict’s Emergency Shelter for Men.

“Now is the time of year when everyone is cleaning out their homes and closets, so Kentucky Legend thought we could help our friends at St. Benedict’s and the Daniel Pitino Shelter all at the same time. These organizations provide so much care for our community, and it was important to us to show support for them as well. We’re excited to help facilitate this simple opportunity to give back.” Says Brooklyn Maple, Brand Director for Kentucky Legend.

Make a donation of five or more items and receive a voucher for 50% off at the Artisan Café by Kentucky Legend® located inside the Owensboro Convention Center.  The Café is open 10am to 3pm Monday – Friday and during special events.