Kent Oyler Named President & CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.

5/28/2014 08:01:18 AM

For Immediate Release:  Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Media Contact:
Susan Overton
502.625.0026

 Kent Oyler Named President & CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.

Louisville, KY (May 28, 2014) – Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) announced today that Kent Oyler will become the business leadership organization’s new President & CEO, effective June 1.  Oyler most recently served as managing partner of OPM Services, Inc., a financial-services and investment firm and has founded or co-founded over 18 other businesses, including High Speed Access Corp., a broadband service provider. 

 “We had many strong candidates from both the private and nonprofit sectors. Kent Oyler was the ideal choice.” said Kerry Stemler, President, K.M. Stemler Company, Inc., and Chair of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Board of Directors.  “With Kent in place GLI is positioned to move forward and chart a new course of action for a truly regional approach to driving business growth and economic prosperity.” 

Oyler will take over the reins from Eileen Pickett who has been serving as Acting CEO in the interim. 

“I’m honored to be entrusted with the leadership of the region’s largest business leadership organization,” said Oyler.  “My passion is business and GLI is the home base for businesses. I’m looking forward to working with the GLI team, member companies and community leaders to accelerate our region’s momentum and help our businesses succeed.” 

Oyler brings more than 30 years of diverse business, finance, operations and entrepreneurial experience to the organization.   He has served in CFO, CEO and Executive Chairman positions in small and large companies. His numerous entrepreneurial ventures have been in a wide variety of industries including railroads, leasing, manufacturing, Internet, and market research. 

“I am extremely confident about the future of GLI with Kent Oyler as its new leader.” said Ed Glasscock, Chairman Emeritus, Frost Brown Todd LLC and former Chair of the GLI Board of Directors. “His strong private sector leadership experience and track record of economic development successes in the entrepreneurial community are an ideal fit for the type of person needed to lead GLI and the business communities’ regional growth strategy.” 

“Kent Oyler is a creative and proven business leader” said Mayor Greg Fischer.  “He will be an asset to the Greater Louisville Inc organization.  Kent and I have worked together for many years on entrepreneurial and non-profit initiatives.  I look forward to again partnering with him in his new role at GLI to enhance the region's economic prosperity and ensure that we are meeting the needs of our existing businesses.” 

As the President & CEO, Oyler will lead the roll out of GLI’s recently announced strategic priorities, which are centered on serving the interests of its members and the regional business community.  These priority areas, as outlined in the organization’s Advantage Louisville plan, are: retaining and growing existing businesses, including supporting the entrepreneurial and start-up community; increasing the region’s human capital, levels of educational attainment and workforce readiness; and driving advocacy efforts aimed at creating a more business-friendly environment.  

“Kent Oyler fully understands the significant impact that GLI can have on the retention and growth of existing and emerging businesses in our region, as well as the importance of its leadership roles in workforce development and advocacy" said Steve Williams, CEO Norton Healthcare, and Co-Chair of GLI’s Board and Advantage Louisville Steering Committee. “The Board is aligned and committed to support the execution of our Advantage Louisville Strategic Plan. Kent is an exceptional addition to the organization and will, without a doubt, be the catalyst to pull all of the pieces together.” 

Oyler has served on several public and private corporate boards including Thornton’s Inc., Republic Bancorp, Inc. and Beam Technologies as well as on dozens of civic boards and committees, including United Way Worldwide, The Pritchard Committee on Education, YPO/WPO, Metro Louisville Police Foundation, the Association for Corporate Growth, Leadership Louisville, and University of Louisville Business School and Board of Overseers.  He has been involved in GLI for over 20 years including 8 years as a board member.  Oyler currently chairs GLI’s EnterpriseCorp Board of Advisors and serves on the Advantage Louisville Steering Committee.  

 “Kent’s business experience and deep connections with the Louisville business leadership and entrepreneurial community will allow Greater Louisville Inc. to grow and expand its role in driving economic prosperity for the region,” said Diane Medley, Managing Partner, Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP and Chair Elect GLI Board of Directors.  “His experience in the private sector gives him firsthand knowledge of what is needed to expand and grow existing businesses in the Louisville region.” 

Oyler has also been involved in fund-raising for Metro United Way, the Louisville Science Center, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and the YMCA.  He holds both a bachelor's and MBA degrees from the University of Louisville. 

“GLI’s work is vital to the region’s business community and I look forward to working with the board, volunteer leadership, and staff to grow the organization while promoting the interest and the livelihood of our existing businesses,” said Oyler. 

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Executive Background
After earning business and MBA degrees from the University of Louisville Kent Oyler worked for a predecessor to PNC bank and later joined a large private manufacturing company where he rose to become its CFO.  In 1992 he founded OPM Services and began a career as a serial entrepreneur, launching 19 new ventures in a variety of industries.  In 1997 he co-founded broadband internet provider High Speed Access Corp. which went public in a 1999 offering that still ranks as Kentucky’s largest IPO.  Throughout his career Kent has also been very active in the philanthropic and civic worlds. He has served on the board for Leadership Louisville, Junior Achievement, Kentucky Science Center, Metro YMCA, University of Louisville, Venture Connectors, Tocqueville Society, and the Metro Police Foundation, amongst others. Kent served on GLI’s board for a total of 8 years and has chaired GLI’s EnterpriseCorp twice. From 2000-2008 he served as the Mayor’s Liaison for Entrepreneurship.  Kent has been recognized as Cashflow magazine’s Treasurer of the Year, E&Y Master Entrepreneur and Business First Small Business Leader of The Year.  He resides in Louisville with his wife Kathy and has three college-age daughters. 

About Greater Louisville Inc.
Greater Louisville Inc. - the Metro Chamber of Commerce is the region’s business leadership organization dedicated to connecting and growing businesses. The organization serves as the voice of the business community, retaining and expanding existing businesses, nurturing the entrepreneurial eco-system and startup activity, supporting development of the community’s talent base and facilitating business leadership engagement on issues that impact the competitiveness of the region.  For more information, visit www.GreaterLouisville.com.