Category: News

Local Government and Firearms Regulation

What Role, If Any, Should Local Governments Have in Firearms Regulation ?

Recently, there have been numerous media reports of shooting incidents that have raised a renewed interest in the subject of gun regulation.  A panel will discuss diverse view points on the issue of local government regulation of firearms.  The panelists are:

Kentucky State Senator Reginald L. Thomas
Sen. Thomas represents the 13th District of Fayette County recently pre-filed  a bill for the 2017 of the Kentucky Legislature allowing local governments to regulate firearms and ammunition to reduce gun violence, except when state or federal law preempts local governance.  This bill was filed in response to 3 recent fatal  shootings that have occurred in this area.
Michael  Owen, Owner, Meridian Ordnance, LLC
Mr. Owen founded Meridian Ordnance LLC in 2011 after several years of experience in the firearms industry, with the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the U.S. Army. Meridian Ordnance LLC is a small, veteran owned business specializing in gunsmithing, refinishing and retail firearm & accessory sales.
McAllister Bryant, Gun Violence Archive 
Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA will collect and check for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the U.S. and then post and disseminate it online.  GVA is not, by design an advocacy group. The mission of GVA is to document incidents of gun violence and gun crime nationally to provide independent, verified data to those who need to use it in their research, advocacy or writing.

This program is expected to generate a lively discussion on a timely topic.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Quality of Our Education System and Workforce Development Initiatives

Our region must create, attract and sustain a globally skilled workforce in order to meet the needs of the region’s existing and target industries. This is achieved through working with the education community, local workforce partners, community-based organizations and area businesses. A workforce with 21st century skills is critical for individual and metropolitan prosperity as well as business success. Therefore, the quality of our education system and workforce development initiatives is of the utmost importance.

On Thursday, March 3rd, The Lexington Forum has invited panelists Danette Wilder, President & CEO of SealingLife Technology, and Dr. Robert King, Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education, to discuss current issues that our region faces when it comes to training our workforce.  Wilder and King will talk about challenges and highlight training programs and educational initiatives that are working to ensure prosperity for our region’s future.

This panel will be moderated by Mark Green of The Lane Report.

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday March 1, 2016


To ensure the maximum amount of time for our panelists and attendee discussion we will begin promptly at 7:30. Please be prepared to take your seat before the program begins.

The Four Pillars of Prosperity

The Four Pillars of Prosperity will be unveiled at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit just a week before our August meeting. We are pleased to be the chosen audience for the subsequent discussion surrounding this crucial topic. The author of The Four Pillars is Dave Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Dave has led the Chamber for the past decade, doubling its membership numbers, performing critical work with Kentucky’s political and business leaders at the highest level and become a champion for improving education in the state. Please register today to join Dave Adkisson as he shares The Four Pillars of Prosperity.

Thursday, August 6 2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday August 4, 2015

Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in the Commonwealth. Dave works with the state legislature, the governor, our congressional delegation and the states judiciary to advance Kentucky. During his 10 year tenure at the Chamber, the group has doubled in membership, increased staff to include 6 public affairs specialists and made a major commitment to improving education in Kentucky. Dave is originally from Owensboro, beginning his career with the local Chamber and at 34, becoming Owensboro’s mayor. While there Dave helped found the International Bar-B-Q Festival, worked for over two decades on the William Natcher Bridge project, championed construction of the RiverPark Performing Arts Center, created the Greenbelt Park and was instrumental in the creation of the Owensboro Community and Technical College. A graduate of Georgetown College and Harvard University, Dave resides in Lexington with his wife Bonnie.

Register Now!

Is A Local Minimum Wage Ordinance in Lexington’s Future?

The national minimum wage was put into effect during the great depression in the 1930’s.  It’s implementation was designed to combat the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and factories. President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 creating the mandatory federal minimum wage. The original rate was set at 25 cents an hour to guarantee a “minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being, without substantially curtailing employment”.  Since that time the wage has been adjusted periodically by Congress to meet the rise and fall of the “cost of living”. The increasing wage gap between rich Americans and poor Americans throughout the past couple of decades has made the minimum wage issue a hotly debated topic as parties on all sides strive to present ideas that will ensure the American Dream is an attainable journey for all generations.

In 1997, legislature was introduced by President Clinton allowing the States to set their own minimum wage.  Employers are required to pay the highest rate between the federal and state minimums. Today’s national rate is $7.25/hr and is the prevailing rate in 29 states. The rest have rates exceeding that amount. The question at hand now is will the courts allow local government to take the lead on setting increased minimum wage rates? Louisville has already put a local ordinance on the books and it is set to take effect July 1.  Should Lexington follow suit?  Mayor Jim Gray has gone on record as being in favor of a local rate increase.  The city council has voted unanimously to assign the discussion to the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee.

Join us for a discussion about the local minimum wage ordinance as it has been proposed. Speaking will be: Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti and Professor Kenneth R. Troske.  Their bios can be seen below.


Thursday, June 4,  2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program


Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday June 2, 2015





Kenneth R. Troske is the William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. He is an expert in labor economics. His work has been published in numerous academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, The Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, and The Review of Economics and Statistics. He also co-edited (along with John Haltiwanger, Julia Lane, James Spletzer, and Jules Theeuwes) the book The Creation and Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data, published by Elsevier Science. Kenneth Troske is the recipient of many fellowships and grants supporting his research on the labor market experiences of low-skill workers and workers moving from welfare to work.Troske received his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992

Jennifer Mossotti was re-elected to once again serve the 9th District in Lexington in 2014. Jennifer is a high energy community leader, a tireless public servant and a relentless advocate for good public policy. For the past 15 years, she has been a professional real estate agent; both residential and commercial. She has a well-earned reputation for being a strong voice for her constituents and has been awarded the Fayette County Neighborhood Council’s Neighborhood Hero Award. Jennifer is married to Ron Mossotti, President of Hammond Communications Group in Lexington and has three children and three adorable grandchildren. She enjoys gardening and horseback riding in her free time. 


Creative Lexington – The Arts & Their Impact

I mean, really. How are the arts so vital to our quality of life?

Lexington promotes itself as a creative city. Is it? Can it be more? Does our city offer the novelty, energy, excitement, surprise and provocation of a place that is suffused with arts and culture? What are the connections between the arts and economic development? Education?

These are the questions before the May 7th gathering of the Lexington Forum. Where people will gather over a fine breakfast to hear and talk about important and interesting things happening in the community.

Tom Martin moderates a conversation between LexArts‘ President & CEO Nan Plummer, LFUCG Director of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Lori Houlihan, and Lexington Art League board member, UnderMain Co-publisher and Natasha’s owner Art Shechet.

Thursday, May 7,  2015
Hilary J. Boone Center – UK’s Campus
7:00 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program


**We are opening the doors a little early for an extended networking opportunity. To start your creative juices flowing we will feature local artists from M.S. Rezney Studio & Gallery.


Want a sneak peak? Check out these links:
M.S. Rezney
Staci McKnight Maney


Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday May 5, 2015



Mr. Fausto Sarmiento Named 2015 One To Watch Recipient

Fausto Sarmiento is the senior management consultant with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center’s Lexington area office. and assists entrepreneurs and established business owners alike in making informed decisions. He specializes in the areas of risk and performance management, sales, and negotiations. He is a member of the Million Dollar Loan Club for helping clients obtains more than $1 million in funding. He dedicates his time toward helping Young Professionals fully express their potential within their careers and their communities. In 2014, Sarmiento served as President of the Lexington Young Professionals Association and was involved in helping to plan events, including the 2014 Emerge conference in Lexington, the annual Young Professionals Unite Summit in Louisville and the Young Professionals Day at the Capitol in Frankfort to help others better learn about the nexus of politics and business. He works closely with UK students to help them transition from school to the real world. Bob Owen stated that “Fausto is an energetic, passionate advocate in showing others how they can excel; achieve their lofty dreams, while also improving the quality of life here in Lexington.”

Founded in 1983, Lexington Forum is committed to community conversations that matter Focused on the healthy discussion and analysis of community and regional issues. The Forum looks for opportunities to host conversations, to bring differing points of view into the open. Always striving to provide an open platform and maintain a position of neutrality on all topics presented. Because some discussions are hard and can evoke emotional responses the hope is that there is at least an environment where dialogue can begin or move to deeper levels. The Lexington Forum meets the first Thursday of each month at the Hilary J. Boone Center from 7:15-8:30am. Please visit the website ( regularly for information on upcoming programs.