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Meet Matthew!

We thank GRADSA for sharing this awareness campaign so that we can share it with you.  Go, Matthew!

GRADSA is a 501(c)3 organization governed by a board of parent and professional volunteers who share an interest in improving the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome. We are an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress. We serve nearly 300 families, educators, and professionals in the counties of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster.

Business of the Year award for Musick Studios

Chamber business of year winners reflect new, longstanding investments

The 2015 winners of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year awards presented on Friday at the RiverPark Center represent young entrepreneurs as well as established businesses who are longstanding investors in the community.
The profiles of the winners show a diverse group making contributions in the arts, health, hospitality and finance.
Musick Studios
LeAnne Musick said she saw all of the great contenders in the 1-10 employees category a few days before Friday night’s chamber awards celebration.
“I looked at the list, saw all of those great businesses, and said, ‘You know, I’ve given it my all, and I worked hard on my application,’ ” she said. “I told the kids that I was doing it for them.” And she declined her office manager’s offer to write an acceptance speech. “I said, ‘I’ll wing it.’ ”
When Musick Studios was announced as the winner, she was shocked, and tearful, and at a loss for words.
She plans to relive the moment for a long time. She also plans to take photos with all of her classes and the award and with Owensboro businessman Terry Woodward, whom she said believed in her. She also credits her family and her students’ families for her success.
Musick started the dance studio seven years ago when she was 28. She describes her business as “changing children’s lives one dance step at a time.”
She offers ballet, lyrical and hip-hop lessons with the hip-hop program growing to more than 360 students.
Her goal, she said, “is to teach these kids that if you want something in life, don’t ever give up on it.”
E.M. Ford & Company
E.M. Ford & Company has grown from a one-man independent insurance agency started by state Sen. E.M. Ford in 1925 to a full-service insurance and financial planning firm.
The company’s win in the 11 to 50 employees category “is a great way to celebrate our 90th year in business,” said Neel Ford, a fourth-generation family member who is the commercial lines manager.
The founder’s sons, U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford and Reyburn Ford, joined the insurance company and became owners in the late 1960s. Their sons, Steve and Rick, became the third generation of Fords at the family business. In addition to Neel, two more of Steve Ford’s sons, Clay and Morgan, also have returned to Owensboro to join the firm.
E.M. Ford opened a Henderson location in 1995. The firm has 29 employees with 26 in Owensboro.
Ford said he was surprised at the company’s win with all of the others in the category.
“It’s a testament to our employees’ hard work and the trust and confidence our clients placed in us over the years,” he said. “We’re excited to be a part of this community and all that’s going on here.”
The Malcolm Bryant Corp.
The Malcolm Bryant Corp., with 117 employees, was the winner in the 51-plus employees category.
Malcolm and Sally Bryant started their real estate development and property management business in 1993. The company now owns and manages more than 1 million square feet of commercial real estate space. Three Hampton Inn by Hilton properties are under the company’s operation — two in Owensboro and one in Louisville. The newest Hampton is the Hampton Inn & Suites Owensboro Downtown/Waterfront.
The Bryant Corp. considers customer service to be its principal service. The Bryant’s consider the heart of the company to be their love for their community and entrepreneurial spirit combined with financial wisdom, high standards for excellence and work ethic.
In 2012, the company started a “green energy initiative” at several properties that experimented with geothermal energy, solar panels and LED lighting. The new Hampton Inn in downtown Owensboro is Kentucky’s first new LEED-certified hotel with a number of energy efficiencies not found in other hotels such as geothermal heating and cooling, a “living roof” and a car-charging station.
The Bryant Corp.’s three Hampton Inns participate in the Clean the World Foundation, which collects and recycles soap and shampoo products the hospitality industry discards every day. The nonprofit group distributes newly recycled soap bars and bottles of shampoo and lotions to underprivileged persons and those living in homeless shelters in the U.S. and other countries.
Malcolm Bryant said the company “is honored to be awarded this prestigious recognition” from the chamber. He said the chamber “keeps a great part of the community thriving and our quality of life at its best … working in today, but living in tomorrow.
“We are known for exciting developments, buildings and design, but in the end, people matter most; our trusting customers and wonderful team,” Bryant said. “The team is very excited for our accomplishments, but they are more excited about the dreams every day of ‘wowing’ our customer.”
Home Instead Senior Care
Home Instead Senior Care has been nominated for chamber awards each year since it opened in 2010. This year, the company won the Emerging Business of the Year Award.
“We’ve won national awards, and we’re proud of that, but this is the first award bestowed by the community,” said Stephen Bryson, owner of Owensboro’s Home Instead Senior Care franchise.
“We want the community to know that we covet this as a team award,” Bryson said. “Our office staff and caregivers work as a team to provide our services to the community.”
This is the first time Bryson said he wasn’t able to attend the chamber awards ceremony. But he has a photo of the award presentation sitting on his desk.
The 5-year-old nonmedical company, with its 150 employees, provides home care for seniors in their homes whether that is a residence or assisted living facility. Services include personal care such as help with walking, and transportation for errands such as medical visits or grocery trips.
Home Instead also helps its customers with bathing or dressing, Alzheimer’s or dementia care or even some hospice care.
“We help with things that may get more difficult as people get older,” Bryson said.”The whole idea is to keep them at home where they would rather be.”
Stephen and wife Kimberly Bryson said each of them needed care for elderly family members in the past and did not find the help they needed. They started the Home Instead franchise to give Owensboro families an option they didn’t have, the Brysons said.
Girls Inc. and Brescia University
The chamber also honored Girls Incorporated as its Nonprofit of the Year and Brescia University as the Education and Workforce Development Program of the Year.
Girls Incorporated — through its 12 employees during school months and more than 200 volunteers — has been providing programming just for girls and their needs since 1969.
Known for its goal of inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold, the local Girls Incorporated is the only chapter in Kentucky. It is part of the national New York-headquartered organization.
Girls Incorporated provides an after-school and full-day summer youth development academy for girls ages 6-18. Programming focuses on a variety of issues to help girls master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges while also addressing community issues, according to information from the agency.
Transportation is provided daily from city, county and Catholic schools in partnership with the Owensboro Family Y.
“This is the 45th anniversary of Girls Incorporated in the community,” said Girls Incorporated CEO Tish Correa Osborne. “We have been blessed with the opportunity to serve extraordinary girls who make our lives better and make the community better with what they have to offer. We have also been blessed to be able to work side by side with the business community, volunteers and donors to create so many positive outcomes for the girls and Owensboro-Daviess County. I can’t even begin to tell you how rewarding it is to know that our work is held in such high regard.”
Brescia University now has a block transfer agreement with Owensboro Community & Technical College that allows students to complete associate of arts or associate of science degrees, and it is in the process of developing two 2 + 2 programs with other partners.
In addition, Brescia partnered with the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. on the Co.Starters business startup program. The university is a partner in the Green River Area Development District’s Workforce Investment Act program.
“We’re excited about helping our students achieve the careers they choose,” said the Rev. Larry Hostetter, Brescia’s president. “From my perspective, one of the things we’ve been able to accomplish is to change the way we think about delivering education to address the needs of the 21st-century students — not only online but on the ground. We are proud and pleased to be recognized for that.”
Joy Campbell, (270) 691-7299,

Musick in the Messenger-Inquirer

Musick Studios shares goals with Rotary Club

By Joy Campbell Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 12:00 am

At age 27, LeAnne Musick started Musick Studios on Second St. in downtown Owensboro with 98 students. Seven years later, she has 400 students, mostly ages 6 to 19, and she believes she’s training future Olympic athletes.

Musick shared her business’s growth with the Owensboro Rotary Club at noon Wednesday at the Owensboro Country Club and asked members to help with her goal of raising $60,000 for a student scholarship program.

Her presentation also included a hip-hop performance from the studio’s 60-member All-Star Dance Team.

“I’m impressed with this young woman who started her own business at age 27… and for the remarkable effect she’s having on the lives of these young people,” said Ron Roark, a certified financial planner and the club’s program chairman for August. “I think she was wise to locate in downtown early-on, and she has a beautiful location.”

Musick Studios features three studios in which instructors train in hip-hop, ballet, lyrical hip-hop, boys street, and step. Classes are for beginners to more advanced — ages 4 through adults.

“We also serve low-income students,” Musick said. “When I started in 2008, my goal was to make a change in my students’ lives and to give them identity and opportunity. I’m asking you also to invest in these students’ lives.”

Musick is attempting to raise $60,000 for a student scholarship program that will enable low-income students to continue to dance and allow her All-Star students to go to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The trip will cost about $1,000 per student, she said.

“My vision is to make Olympic athletes here,” Musick said. “You may not know this, but in eight to 10 years, dance will become a sport in the U.S. Olympics. And we will have athletes coming out of Owensboro.”

The studio owner introduced two of her dance instructors, and four students who have danced at the studio for six to seven years gave testimonials.

The dance studio company will provide its scholarship sponsors with advertising opportunities, she said.

To find out how to donate to the scholarship fund or to get more information about Musick Studios, go to the website at: or call Musick Studios, 411 E. Second Street, 270-688-8908270-688-8908.

Joy Campbell, 691-7299,