Mike Simpson is 2012 Small Business Person of the Year
Chamber Presents Award; Recognition Luncheon to be Held May 24
Jessica M.L. Thompson, Marketing & Communications Director
BOWLING GREEN, KY- The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Mike Simpson as the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year during a news conference on today. Simpson is the owner and president of Chandler Property Management, which specializes in multi-family properties.
"Mike is extremely involved in the community from his work with real estate management to his many other investments in area operations and businesses to his involvement with Western Kentucky University. His support of local businesses and his philanthropic efforts make him a worthy recipient of the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year Award," said D. Gaines Penn, 2012 Chamber Board of Directors chairman.
The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has named a community member the "Small Business Person of the Year" since 1985. The award recognizes a business leader who owns and operates a for-profit company that employs 100 or fewer full-time employees, who has invested his or her own money in that small business, who has experienced recent business growth, and who is involved in the development and growth of the Bowling Green community.
Chandler Property Management is affiliated with Chandler Real Estate, and Simpson has been the owner since 2000, having purchased the division from David Chandler that year. Prior to owning Chandler Property Management, Simpson was the executive property manager at Chandler Real Estate for four years. When Simpson purchased the property management division, there were approximately 425 residential units under management and a staff of seven employees, including Simpson. Today the company has expanded close to 2,000 residential units under management and an employee team of more than 35.
Besides his involvement in real estate management and investment through Chandler Property Management, Simpson has investment in Warren County oil and agriculture operations. He is a partner and director in Canteen, At Your Service, a regional vending and food service company that is headquartered in Owensboro with offices and warehouses in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Louisville in Kentucky, and Vincennes and Evansville in Indiana.
Chandler Property Management is an active member of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, creating time for involvement and participation in Chamber events and the Leadership Bowling Green program. Simpson is a division member of The Leader in Me Capital Campaign, led by the Chamber, Bowling Green Independent Schools and Warren County Public Schools. Through Chandler Real Estate, Simpson was a co-contributor to the Chamber's First Impressions Last Capital Campaign for the construction of the new headquarters in downtown Bowling Green.
Besides his many business pursuits and interests, Simpson is also an active volunteer in the Bowling Green community. He is a chairman of the WKU College Heights Foundation, a board member of the Student Life Foundation, a trustee of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, vice chair of the Community Foundation of South Central Kentucky, chairman of the Church Council at the Broadway United Methodist Church, co-chair of the Roots and Branches Music Festival and board member of the Sigma Nu Housing Corporation.
Simpson has created two scholarship funds, supporting Western Kentucky University. The first is the Norman Simpson Memorial in memory of his late father and is housed in the WKU Foundation. This fund awards an annual scholarship to a deserving student coming to WKU from Ohio County. The second fund is the Malone Gaynor Scholarship Fund in memory of his late stepfather and is housed at the WKU College Heights Foundation. In 2010 Simpson, his wife, and his son made a commitment of $25,000 to the construction of Chandler Memorial Chapel on WKU's campus in memory of his late grandfather Reverend Carmon Baize.
In 2010, Simpson joined the Board of Directors of the Bowling Green/Warren County Community Foundation. With his help, the Foundation was renamed The Community Foundation of South Central Kentucky and he was able to secure a grant from the Laura Goad Turner Foundation to fund the Community Foundation's first full-time executive director. In addition Simpson made a three year commitment to provide office space for the executive director of the Community Foundation, a commitment that includes utilities and housekeeping.
Besides the Community Foundation, there are many more that Simpson and his company support: Aviation Heritage Park, the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center, Bowling Green High School Athletics and Family Resource Center, The Center for Courageous Kids, the Kelly Autism Center, WKU Hilltopper Athletics and many others.
"Mike's business growth is impressive, but the fact that he touches so many college students every day is even more impressive. Mike is highly disciplined about all aspects of his life--family, church, friendships and community involvement," said Joe Natcher, who nominated Simpson. "He is very deserving of recognition although he is quite humble about his accomplishments. This award would further affirm his generous gifts of time, talent and financial resources to our community."
Past recipients of the Small Business Person of the Year Award are:
- Regina Webb (2011)
- Thad F. Connally, III (2010)
- Joe Davis (2009)
- Carl Chaney (2008)
- Jim Smith (2007)
- David Chandler (2006)
- Chris Thompson (2005)
- Tim Earnhart (2004)
- Janet Henderson (2003)
- Jim Johnson (2002)
- Steve Sheldon (2001)
- Doug Gorman (2000)
- Curt Sullivan (1999)
- David Bradford (1998)
- Mike Murphy (1997)
- Joe Natcher (1996)
- Al Baker (1995)
- David Wiseman (1994)
- Rick Kelley (1993)
- Harold Brantley (1992)
- Mike Buchanon (1991)
- Bill Jackson (1990)
- Cornelius Martin (1989)
- B.J. Booth (1988)
- Carroll Hildreth (1987)
- Sandy Jones (1986)
- Johnny Webb (1985)
"The Chamber reviewed a number of excellent nominations for the Small Business Person of the Year Award this year. All nominees are certainly worthy of recognition for their work in their businesses and in the community," said Chamber Program Director Gail Henderson.
Other nominees were:
- Dave and Debra Cross - Tile Trends, Inc.
- Oles Drobocky - Drobocky Orthodontics
- David Holland- Signature Signs & Ad Specialties, Inc.
- Mike Hughes- Cambridge Market & Cafe
- Quintin Littrell- Sunbelt Construction, Inc.
- Trent Ranburger- Trent Bedding Company
- Thomas Thompson- Southern Kentucky Oral Surgery Associates
Simpson will be honored at the Small Business Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, May 24, at the Knicely Center sponsored by Citizens First. The event is the highlight of Small Business Appreciation Month, which is organized by the Chamber's Small Business Appreciation Committee. To attend the luncheon, online registration is required at www.bgchamber.com. Individual tickets are $30 and tables of eight are $240.
The recognition luncheon concludes the month of events that were held to recognize Small Business Appreciation, which included the Chamber Golf Challenge on Monday, April 30, and the Women in Business Breakfast sponsored by The Medical Center and Harned, Bachert & McGee, PSC on Wednesday, May 16.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce: Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,300 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.