Coba Cocina Rotary Night – Thursday, August 28th!

Please attend and encourage family and friends to Cobar, located on the second floor of Coba Cocina, between 4:30 and 10:00 for dinner.

Appetizers will be served at 5:30 and President Dean will speak briefly between 6-6:30.
10% of all proceeds will be donated back to our club! Coba Cocina is located on Richmond Road in the Idle Hour Shopping Center.

It should be a great evening!

Keynote Speaker – August 21st

As the former CEO of Gray Construction, Jim Gray has been using his business approach to the Lexington’s Mayor’s office since his inauguration in 2011. Mayor Gray is getting things done.

In three short years Mayor Gray and the city council have worked hard to turn deficits into surpluses, create jobs, and invest heavily in public safety. The city has already saved $24 million on health insurance, reduced pension liabilities by $100 million through a nationally recognized reform, and saved more than $40 million on budgeted costs for the EPA water quality consent decree program. With Gray’s focused effort on economic development, Lexington is attracting new jobs and employers. Today more people are employed in Lexington than ever before.

Mayor Gray came to public service after spending 36 years creating jobs and economic growth in the private sector. Jim literally grew up in his family’s business, Gray Construction, working after school in the firm’s small office in Glasgow. Tragedy struck the family in 1972, when Jim’s father passed away at the age of 54, leaving a small business, a wife and six children. At the time, Jim was 19 and a freshman at college. He left school and returned home to help run the family business, while completing his degree closer to home.

By the early 80s, Jim was heavily involved in recruiting new business to Kentucky. Gray Construction reached a milestone moment in 1985 when the firm was selected as one of the primary contractors for the Toyota plant in Georgetown. The relationship with Toyota led to many others and today Gray is a leading design-build contractor offering architecture, engineering and construction services to domestic and international customers in automotive, manufacturing, distribution and retail construction.

Now based in Lexington, Gray is today a nationally recognized engineering, design and construction company, employing many Lexingtonians. While Gray Construction maintains offices and builds projects coast to coast, it remains a family-owned and operated business. Gray has always been dedicated to its employees, and was recently named one of Kentucky’s “Top 20 Places” to work.

Beyond his business role, Jim has been a civic leader for many years. In 1993-94 Jim chaired the Governor’s Commission on Quality and Efficiency, which conducted a management audit of Kentucky’s executive branch and identified nearly $1 billion in budget cutting recommendations. Jim also chaired the funding campaign to build the $22 million Kentucky History Center in Frankfort, and has supported, along with the family business, a multitude of local community organizations including Fayette County Public Schools, United Way, LexArts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and others … all working to make Lexington a better place.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Jim has also served as a trustee on the Board of Berea College and the KET Fund for Excellence. And in 1997 he was appointed a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University to study urban planning.In 2006, Gray was elected by an overwhelming majority as Vice-Mayor. He then went on to win his first term as Mayor of Lexington in 2010.

Keynote Speaker – August 14th

The Rotary Club of Lexington will hold its weekly meeting Thursday, August 14, at 12:00 p.m., at Fasig-Tipton, 2400 Newtown Pike. There will be a panel discussion moderated by Rotarian Darby Turner. The topic of discussion will be the latest news and developments in downtown Lexington. The panel will feature Jeff Fugate, President of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority (LDDA); Renee Jackson, President of the Downtown Lexington Corp.; and Gary Means, Executive Director of the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority (CAPP).

Jeff Fugate began his career leading teams of construction volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in the neighborhoods of Washington D.C. After hanging up the hammer, Fugate continued his career in community planning and development. A graduate of the University of Kentucky Honors Program and a Gaines Fellow in the Humanities, Fugate later returned to school in Urban Planning and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, Fugate provided consulting services to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on their regional economic development framework and in 2008, Fugate joined a community development corporation in Lowell, Massachusetts where he initiated the organization’s first LEED-certifiable project and oversaw the renovation of a historic school building into apartments. Upon returning to Lexington in the autumn of 2010, Fugate ran a $2M energy efficiency fund for MACED in Berea, Kentucky.

Fugate joined the LDDA in January of 2012 where he has provided key analysis to Lexington on a myriad of issues including the Old Courthouse, 21c Museum Hotel, and the Rupp Arena Arts and Entertainment District. The LDDA promotes physical and economic development that maintains Downtown Lexington as the lively, thriving, and diverse heart of Central Kentucky. Fugate lives near downtown with his wife and school-aged children and serves on the Board of LexTran.

Renee Jackson is a lifelong resident of Kentucky where she lives with her two daughters, Coco and Stella. She received her Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture and her Masters of Public Administration from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.

Renee is the President of Downtown Lexington Corporation (DLC), a nonprofit advocacy and promotional group for downtown Lexington. Renee’s role as President of DLC demands many meetings with local political, business and other community leaders as well as the general public. DLC is involved in all aspects of downtown from beautification, business relations, parking, events or any other needs that arise. Renee is involved with numerous civic and nonprofit groups and is committed to making a difference in her community.

Currently she is a member of the Lexington Clinic Foundation’s Board of Directors. Renee has served on many nonprofit boards and committees over the last 16 years serving in various leadership roles. In 2012 Renee joined the Rotary Club of Lexington. Renee also served as an ambassador for Commerce Lexington for two years. In 2013 Renee was recognized as the Boys & Girls Club’s Role Model of the Year; additionally she received the Lexington Young Professional Association’s Rising Star Award in 2005 and 2008. In her limited spare time, Renee enjoys traveling and reading but most of all enjoys spending time with her daughters and dog, Karl and cat, Glitter.

With a B.A. in Broadcasting from Eastern Kentucky University, Gary Means is a member of the International Parking Institute and has been appointed to the IPI Advisory Council. He also serves on the IPI Parking Matters Committee and he is co-chair of the IPI Professional Recognition Committee. He also serves as secretary of the board of directors for the Mid-South Transportation & Parking Association.

Gary has served on many local committees and task forces, including the Downtown Lexington Corporation Board of Directors and sits on the advisory committee for the Lexington Downtown Development Authority. In 2000, Gary received Downtown Lexington Corporation’s “Outstanding Individual” Award. In May of 2007, after 12 years of parking management experience with one of the nation’s largest parking operators, Gary moved from private to public parking and began his current role as ED of the LFCPA. Gary and his wife Melissa have two children Jordan and Sumer.