Chris Gendek, the Destination Services Director for Visit Owensboro, has been around the country but is proud to call Owensboro, Kentucky home. Take a look as he describes how easy it is to get involved and make a difference in the community.
Are you originally from Owensboro? If not, when did you move to Owensboro? Why did you move here?
I am originally from Seoul, South Korea. I was adopted at 4 months old and grew up in Henderson, KY. After graduating from Kentucky Wesleyan College, I moved to Nashville, TN where I began my career in hospitality. After my career took me to Snowmass Village, CO and Miami, FL my wife Ashley and I decided in 2015 that it was time to move back to the city that brought us together, Owensboro!
What is your favorite thing about living in Owensboro?
There are many things I love about Owensboro. We are centrally located and roughly 1-2 hours from larger metropolitan cities giving you the opportunity for a quick day trip or weekend getaway. Owensboro’s cost of living is one of the lowest not only in Kentucky, but in the United States. The quality of life you are able to have here is incredible.
What would you say to someone thinking about moving to Owensboro?
“Do it! You will not regret your decision.” Owensboro is the perfect community giving you a small town feel with big city amenities. There is always something going on from our amazing symphony to festivals and family-oriented events such as ROMP, BBQ Fest, Friday After 5, Cheers on the Pier, and Applefest – just to name a few! Owensboro also has a thriving performance art center, as well as local shopping and dining. There really is something for everyone. Also, you will not find a city where you have a tremendous opportunity to grow, succeed, become involved, and make a difference in a community like you will have in Owensboro. Owensboro is invested in wanting young professionals to succeed and make a difference. There are great programs and organizations like Chamber of Young Professionals, Leadership Owensboro, and 40 under 40 that allow young professionals to network, connect, and create long lasting relationships/friendships.
How do you enjoy spending your free time/weekends in Owensboro?
I enjoy spending my free time with my wife and son. Often you can find us hanging out with our friends at one of the many festivals and events or eating out at local restaurants that Owensboro offers. I also enjoy giving back to my alma mater that gave so much to me. I work closely with the career development office providing mentorship to college students seeking professional development and preparation for after graduation. You can also find me working various athletic events for Kentucky Wesleyan College.
What advice would you give to a young professional looking for a career in Owensboro?
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.” Owensboro is a very welcoming community and wants to see young professionals develop. Network and connect with as many people as possible, both young professionals and established professionals. Call the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation or Chamber of Commerce and ask what organizations have opportunities available.