Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition Judges Announced

The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Development Center are excited to announce that the Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition will occur on Thursday, May 5th at noon. The competition will take place at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in the Woodward Theatre. If you would like to attend the GO Pitch Competition, you can register here. Lunch will be provided at 11:30 am.

GO Pitch is a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition that will feature five businesses from the Owensboro and Daviess County area pitching their best business ideas to Owensboro’s sharks. The sharks, or judges, are made up of Owensboro entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and investors. 

Below are the judges for the GO Pitch Competition.

Allison Ross is a native of Lewisport, KY and a proud 2002 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College.  She began her finance career in long-term healthcare at Wells Health Systems as the General Accountant and later was promoted to Senior Accountant.  She held a brief stint as the Controller at Kentucky Wesleyan College before securing her MBA from Western Kentucky University in 2010.  Allison then moved on to the aluminum industry where she worked for nearly 9 years.  She held various roles of advancing responsibility at Century Aluminum, Southwire and later culminated as the Senior Finance Manager at Aleris overseeing the finances of a $500 million expansion at their Lewisport, KY campus.  In July 2019, Allison moved on to her current company Gryphon Environmental in Owensboro, KY where she was initially hired as the CFO.  A shift in leadership moved Allison into a Chief Operating Officer/Vice President role in April 2020 where she resides today.  Gryphon Environmental manufactures industrial dryers for a myriad of applications.  The patented, advanced drying technology of Gryphon Environmental can be found at Tyson in Robards, KY, in an egg farm in Loda, IL or in several wastewater treatment plants in the United States including Lenoir, NC, Endicott, NY and Chalfont, PA.  Allison and her husband Kyle live in Lewisport on her family farm with their 3 children, Izzy, Eli and Brayden.


David Oetken currently serves as the Center Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center where he helps the community’s entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. He also teaches classes on entrepreneurship and financial management. Prior to joining the Louisville Small Business Development Center, he was the Managing Director of Business Advising Services at Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp, where he helped second stage companies raise capital. He has extensive small business experience owning and operating businesses in hospitality, commercial real estate, professional sports, manufacturing, and distribution. Dave received his MBA from Bellarmine University, is a Certified Commercial Property Manager, Economic Development Finance Professional, Certified Exit Planning Advisor and Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor.


John Marshall Moore is an Owensboro native. As a fourth generation, multiple business owner, he believes that entrepreneurship is the key to continued success for our region. He is the current President/Managing Partner of the Moore Automotive Team, consisting of 14 franchises and almost 300 team members. He is the Fund Manager of Marshall Ventures, and early-stage venture fund with seven portfolio companies. He is the founder of, the first company in the US to auction vehicles online and develop a dealer network of over 400 auto dealers. Moore is the founder/operator of Auto Business Consultants, a firm the audited over 200 auto dealerships building forecasts, financial plans, managed ongoing operations, and liquidations. He is the current owner of Legends, a retail store for active people. He is a current board member of the Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund, a state funded venture capital fund with over $40 million in total assets. He is a board member of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. John has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Centre College and a MBA from Indiana University. 


Aaron Kizer is a successful entrepreneur and world-renowned artist from Owensboro. He is the owner of Kizer Arts and Kizer Construction, and Creative Director of Green River Distillery.  He has worked with multiple well-known brands, including Aria in Las Vegas, Maker’s Mark, NASA, Jim Beam, the University of Kentucky, and Ritz Carlton, among others. His construction company is in high demand and continually works on new, unique projects. His work has taken him around the world, but he continues to give back to the Owensboro community. His work has taken him around the world, but he continues to give back to the Owensboro community.