Spectra Offering Fundraising Opportunities for Non-Profit Organizations

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, is excited to provide fundraising opportunities for area non-profit organizations!

If your non-profit organization is looking to participate in a fun, fast-paced environment while earning money for your organization, come partner with us!  Spectra is looking for volunteers to assist with concession stands and select  catered events at the Owensboro Sportscenter and the Owensboro Convention Center.

Organizations will be receive a donation of 10% of net concession stand sales plus any tips earned or $50 per volunteer for catered events.  The more events staffed, the higher the potential to earn money for your organization!

“Fundraising opportunities are vital to our community non-profits,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager.  “We are honored to offer these opportunities to assist them in furthering their mission and contributions to this community.”

Groups need to recruit 5 to 15 volunteers for concession stands and 1 to 20 volunteers for catered events.  All volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.  No alcohol sales.  Training is provided.

For more information, please contact Spectra’s Director of Food and Beverage, Mark Pruett at or at 270-687-8922.

Spectra Adds Staff at the Owensboro Convention Center

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is pleased to welcome two new Sales Managers to their Owensboro team.
Jacob Whitfill has previously been with Spectra in the Food and Beverage department.  He graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Brescia University in 2018 and is happy to be part of the Spectra team once again.  Jacob stated, “I look forward to using my experience in events to benefit the Owensboro Convention Center guests in my role as Sales Manager.  I already enjoy working with the members of the Owensboro community and beyond, and this position allows me to do that even more.”
Megan Howard began her career in the event industry while studying Integrated Strategic Communications at the University of Kentucky where she worked for country clubs and wedding and event planning companies, as well as property management here in Owensboro. As Sales Manager, she is very excited to be the first point of contact for several events that will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center.  When she is not working, she loves to spend time with friends and family, traveling, and reading.
“We are excited to welcome our new team members and look forward to their valuable contributions to continue our success here at the Owensboro Convention Center,” stated Spectra’s Dave DiSalvo, Director of Sales.
For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center, please visit

New Executive Chef in the Kitchen at the Owensboro Convention Center!

Spectra, the provider of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, has its first female top chef.  Michelle Pessia is now the Executive Chef for food services and hospitality for the venue.  She will be the first woman to lead the team since the venue opened in 2014.
A 2011 graduate from the Culinary Program at OCTC, she began her career with Spectra as the Kitchen Supervisor in 2017. She quickly showcased her skills as a saucier and pastry chef and was promoted to Sous Chef in 2019.
Her experience and creativity for elevating food beyond what is considered to be typical convention center food has been highlighted at the venue’s signature five course Cork and Cuisine dinners. WBKR’s Chad Benefield, who has been guest emceeing the events, stated, “Michelle is always pushing the envelope and coming up with dishes that you can’t really experience anywhere else in Owensboro.  She’s pretty fearless in the kitchen.  And, I still stand by this…If I could legally marry that bowl of maple soup I had recently, I would be on paternity leave raising a maple child.”
“Michelle has worked hard for this opportunity, and I am proud she has chosen to elevate her career and expand her skills at the Owensboro Convention Center,” said Spectra’s Director of Food and Beverage, Mark Pruett.  “She truly deserves this, and I look forward to seeing her growth in this exciting new role.”
“I am truly honored and excited to take on this role at the Owensboro Convention Center,” said Executive Chef, Michelle Pessia. “From an early age, I learned to cook from my mother and grandmothers for Sunday dinners and holidays.  This led me to pursue a culinary career.”  When asked what one of her favorite items to make on the menu is, she said, “One of the many things I love to make are my made from scratch soups that are featured at the Kentucky Legend Café.”
Ready for a taste?  The Kentucky Legend Café is open Monday – Friday from 10am-2pm, and the next Cork & Cuisine is set for Thursday, July 29 or plan your next meeting, banquet, or wedding reception and enjoy in-house catering by Michelle and our culinary team.  Choose from healthy and diet-restricted dishes to comfort foods and decadent desserts.
For more information about booking an event at the Owensboro Convention Center, the Kentucky Legend Café, and Cork & Cuisine, A Taste of the Olympics, please visit

Spectra Announces New Staff Members for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter

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

Thomas Dyer is the Operations and Custodial Manager of the historic Owensboro Sportscenter.  He is in charge of the upkeep and cleaning of the venue as well as overseeing all event setups and tear downs.  “I am excited to be joining the Spectra team,” said Thomas.  “I look forward to learning more about the events industry and continuing to grow within the organization.”

Brad Bailey joins the team as Ticketing Manager.  Brad has been with Spectra since 2019. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Graphic Design at Doane University in Lincoln, NE.  Ticketing has always been a passion of his, and he is very grateful to be able to bring his skills to Owensboro.  When Brad isn’t working an event, he is probably enjoying himself at one, whether that be sports or most likely music.

Kasia Koontz is the new Social Sales Manager.  She began her career in the events industry by working for the Hyatt Regency Hotel from 2001-2004 in her hometown of St. Louis, MO.  In 2004, she joined Wolfgang Puck Catering and in 2009 was promoted to Catering Sales Manager.  She later managed several restaurants including Missouri’s only Peruvian restaurant.  After getting married in 2017, Kasia moved to the Tri-State where she worked as Catering Sales Manager from 2018-2021 for ASM Global at Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, IN.  Kasia stated, “I am thrilled to be a part of the Owensboro Convention Center and am looking forward to creating positive experiences for all our guests.”

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter, please visit

The Owensboro Convention Center is an Eight Time Facilities and Destinations Prime Site Award Winner

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is proud to announce they have again received the Prime Site Award presented by Facilities and Destinations magazine.  This is the eighth time the venue has been a recipient of this prestigious 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. 

Given the unusual circumstances of last year, nominations were based upon:

  1. Experience working with the venue prior to March 2020; and/or
  2. The venue’s implementation of COVID safety measures and service to the community during these challenging times.

“The team at the Owensboro Convention Center continues to focus on the safety of our attendees and putting our client’s needs first when hosting an event,” stated Laura Alexander, General Manager with Spectra Venue Management at the Owensboro Convention Center. “We have embraced the mentality of becoming part of the planner’s organizational team and reaching the goals they have for the event versus a simple vendor/vendee relationship.”

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as a Prime Site Award recipient in the upcoming 2021 Facilities and Destinations SuperBook issue publishing in late July.

Planning a Wedding? The Owensboro Convention Center Has Your Special Day Covered, Rain or Shine!

Outdoor weddings trended heavily in 2020 and with the beginning of Spring wedding season now underway, that trend looks to continue. If you’re looking for an outdoor wedding venue that is sure to impress, say “I Do” to the views at the Owensboro Convention Center.  

Make your wedding an experience by tying the knot at the Kentucky Legend® Pier over the Ohio River!  There’s nothing like soaking up some sunshine on your wedding day, and with the scenic natural backdrop, your outdoor wedding on The Pier can be a fun and picturesque event!

Choose from one of our Wedding Packages and enjoy the ease and convenience of our in-house services, including catering, decorating, and more!  Don’t stress the details on your wedding day – that’s our job :-)

Plus your out-of-town guests won’t have to go far to attend your ceremony.  The venue is adjacent to two newer downtown hotels – the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront and the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront.

And if Mother Nature happens not to cooperate, the Owensboro Convention Center is a highly customizable facility that can offer an inside option for you and your guests.  Choose rooms with panoramic views of beautiful downtown Owensboro!

Enjoy the same amenities if you need to book a rehearsal dinner and wedding reception!  Create an exceptional dining experience for your guests with our custom catering menus – from healthy dishes to comfort foods and decadent desserts, we have selections sure to please the palate of every member of your wedding.  A variety of bar options are also available, and ask our event staff about offering a specialty drink for your guests!

For all of your wedding and reception needs, the OCC is the place to be!  For more information, please visit or call 270.687.8800 to inquire about available dates, current COVID precautions, pricing, and to arrange a tour of the venue.

Looking for a Lunch or Meeting Spot? Come Try the Kentucky Legend Café!

Tired of fast food?  Need a location for a lunch meeting or want to meet a friend for a bite?  Come by the Owensboro Convention Center and give the Kentucky Legend Café a try! Conveniently located downtown just moments away from attractions and shopping, plus ample free parking.

The Kentucky Legend Café is open for lunch from 10am to 2pm Monday through Friday and during special events at the venue.  The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, house-baked pastries, and more that are prepared fresh daily.  In addition, soups of the day are offered each week and often daily lunch specials too.  Those items are featured on our social sites, so following the Owensboro Convention Center on Facebook and Twitter is the only way to stay in the delicious know 🙂

Examples of daily lunch specials themed for some National Days this month will include:

  • Tuesday, March 9 – Meatball Sub for National Meatball Day
  • Wednesday, March 17 – Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day
  • Wednesday, March 24 – Cheesesteak Po’ Boy Sandwich for National Cheesesteak Day

All major credit cards are accepted and prices include tax.  Dine in and carry out options available.  Please note that due to COVID-19, a limited menu is currently being served.  Please review it here.

The indoor dining set up allows the room to space out for proper social distancing.  “Our saying has been we’ve got the space to space you out,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager.  “It’s perfect for a lunch meeting or grabbing a bite with a friend so you aren’t in a booth with limited space or at a table that may not be set for social distancing.”

So next time you’re in the downtown area around lunch time, check out the convenient dining option located on the first floor of the Owensboro Convention Center!

Celebrating the 25th Cork & Cuisine! Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Food might be a way to a heart, but wine doesn’t hurt either! Spectra, the providers of Venue Management to the Owensboro Convention Center, is excited to announce the 25th installment of Cork & Cuisine just in time for Valentine’s Day! Cork & Cuisine, Love Birds is Thursday, February 11 at 6:00pm.

Attendees can enjoy a five-course Valentine’s Day themed menu to fall in love with plus special giveaways!  Guests will have a chance to take home one of the wines and spirits featured throughout the dinner.

“It’s amazing that we have created 25 of these delicious Cork & Cuisine dinners for the greater Owensboro area,” stated General Manager, Laura Alexander.  “Our goal has always been, and will continue to be, to showcase our culinary skills and challenge the standard “convention center food”.

Due to COVID-19 policies, no more than 6 people will be allowed to sit at a 66” banquet table.  Groups will be set 6 feet apart from other groups to allow for proper social distancing.  For seating requests, please contact  All courses will be served.  At this time, guests are also required to wear masks except when eating or drinking while sitting in their seats.

Cork & Cuisine – Love Birds is sponsored by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Creation Gardens, and Ivy Trellis.

Tickets are $65.25 per person and include all wines and spirits. Reservations only.  21 and over only.  Tickets are available online at  Additional processing fees apply to all ticket sales.

First Course – Appetizers

Charred Ciabatta with Ricotta and Cherry Salsa

Zesty Lobster Salad with Gochugaru Pepper and Avocado Phyllo Cup

Strawberry and Brie Crostini with Black Cherry Drizzle

Melon, Grape, and Cherry Canapé

Second Course – Soup

Parsnip, Bosc Pear, and Maple Soup with Maple Glazed Pear Slice

Third Course – Salad

Little Gem Salad – Toasted Walnuts, Minced Shallots, Thin Sliced Yellow Squash, and Red Onions Tossed in a Champagne Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing and Dusted with Super Fine Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Fourth Course – Main

Cajun Butter Steak – Grilled Thick Cut Beef Sirloin with a Soy Sauce, Cajun Spice, Whole Grain Mustard, and Angel’s Envy Glaze

Marry Me Chicken – Seared Seasoned Chicken Breast with a Garlic, Thyme, Heavy Cream, Sundried Tomatoes, and Red Pepper Flake Sauce with Parmesan Cheese and Basic Garnish

Lady and The Tramp – Garlic and Tomato Bruschetta Angel Hair Pasta with a Heart Shaped Meatball

Sautéed Romanesco Broccoli with Herbed Lemon Butter Sauce

Fifth Course – Dessert

Triple Cherries Jubilee – Sweet Cherries, Dried Cherries, and Cherry Juice with Vanilla Bean and Candied Orange Peel Served Over Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ultimate Chocolate Cake- Topped with Raspberry Compote, Vanilla Marshmallow Sauce, and Chocolate Shavings

*wine and spirits pairings for each course TBD


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:

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