(Louisville, KY) -
Regionalism was the main theme of the Metro Chamber’s Annual Meeting
Tuesday night. More than a thousand people attended the event the Louisville
Palace. The event is considered the premier business networking event of the
year featuring business, civic, and community leaders from across the region in
one place for one night only.
CEO Kent Oyler spoke about raising Greater
Louisville to new heights through a variety of public and private partnerships
facilitated by the local chamber.
“We need all
the assets and all the people
from across our 15-county, 2-state metro to deliver on our workforce and
business attraction goals. How we work
together will define our success moving forward,” Oyler said. “In 2016, it will be the mechanism GLI uses to market our region to the world for
business and talent attraction. We must aggressively reach out and bring in new
Oyler also took the time to recognize the special
guest speakers of the evening, Aetna Chairman & CEO Mark Bertolini and
Humana President & CEO Bruce Broussard, by turning the Palace’s lights
green in honor of the companies.
Bertolini spoke about the plans to merge the two
health insurance companies.
“We’ve made a commitment to only one community as
part of our worldwide business and that’s Louisville,” Bertonlini said, drawing
cheers form the crowd.
“We have the opportunity to fix this problem and
save our economy at the same time,” Bertolini said in reference to cutting
medical waste and saving money spent by the government. He spoke about the
integration of social programs into health care to create a healthier society.
Broussard of Humana took time to talk about the changing landscape of the
health care industry.
“The great thing about the transaction is it brings
Humana’s strengths of clinical care and individual Medicaid services to those 38
million Aetna clients,” Broussard said. “The future is bright.”
Governor Matt Bevin was unable to attend the event
in person, but sent a video message to the audience.
“I do appreciate you being a part of the life blood
of your communities and of Kentucky as a whole. We could not begin to do what
needs to be done in the state budget without those of you out there employing
people, paying taxes and being the actual economic engine that funds the entire
process,” Governor Bevin remarked. “GLI
has been an integral part of not only the Jefferson County community and the
immediate counties beyond, but also to the fabric of our state.”
The Governor also highlighted workforce development
as a major priority for his administration in the coming years.
“We are going focus very heavily, and you will see
this in the budget I am putting forward, on workforce development. It does us
little good putting young people out into the working arena if they are
unprepared either for post-secondary education or the workforce or both,”
Governor Bevin said.
Mayor Greg Fischer also spoke at the meeting and
took time to discuss his SummerWorks program, which pairs young people with summer
jobs to give them real world experience in the workforce.
“There is unfinished business with this economic
recovery and that is that we need to have more citizens with more skills,
entering the workforce.” Mayor Fischer said.
“Hiring young people through
Summerworks makes all people feel more connected to the momentum of our city.”
In addition to the
speakers, GLI presented two Silver Fleur-de-Lis Awards to The Bridges Coalition
and Louisville City Football Club. The Silver Fleur-de-Lis was created by GLI to
recognize outstanding commitments and
over the past year in making the Louisville community a better place in which
to live and work.
Teddy Abrams and members of the Louisville
Orchestra performed an original piece of selection as part of the program as
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