Elizabeth Griffith has been hired as the business retention and expansion manager of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GOEDC). Griffith, who has been the executive director of the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center since June 2016, will begin her new role with the GOEDC on Monday.
In a press release sent Wednesday, Brittaney Johnson, president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, said Griffth will be responsible for building and fostering relationships with existing businesses and industry in Daviess County, which contribute 80 percent to Owensboro’s growth.
“Elizabeth is going to be a fantastic addition to the GOEDC team,” Johnson said. “Her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the Owensboro, Daviess County community is astounding!”
Griffith said leaving the Ford Center is bittersweet, but she still plans to be involved in the program’s mission educating youth on how their government works. Established in 1998, the Ford Center helps high school-aged students respect others’ opinions, see both sides of an issue and understand that, no matter their background, everyone can be a leader.
Currently, the program has 161 area high school students under Griffith’s leadership.
“Those kids are like my babies and I will miss them dearly,” Griffth said. “But all good things have to come to an end.”
According to Griffith, it is because of those students that she is looking forward to her position at the GOEDC. She said she often sees her Ford Center students move away for college and not return to Owensboro. Part of encouraging them to settle in Owensboro, she said, is having career opportunities locally.
“I know the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation is going to play an impactful role when it comes to Owensboro’s future growth and innovation,” Griffith said. “Being from Owensboro, I want nothing more than to see my hometown thrive, so I am honored that I will be able to play a role in its future success.”
Griffith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication arts from Kentucky Wesleyan College and Master of Public Administration from Western Kentucky University, where she was named the 2016 Potter College for Arts and Letters Outstanding Graduate Student of the MPA Program. She is a 2017 Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce 40 Under 40 honoree and is a graduate of the Leadership Owensboro Class of 2019. Griffith is an active member of Impact 100 Owensboro, the Junior League of Owensboro, the Women’s Guild of Owensboro and Chamber Young Professionals. She is a board member of Impact 100 Next Generation, the KET Friends Board and was appointed by the Governor in 2016 to the board of directors for the Kentucky Arts Council.
“We are very excited to have a person of Elizabeth’s caliber as another dynamic leader in the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation organization,” said Wade Jenkins, Chairman of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. “Elizabeth will bring a set of skills that compliments and enhances an already very good team. As GOEDC moves forward, the future is bright as we continue to emphasize the strategic plan initiatives of talent, innovation and place.”