Why would the president of a CVB on the east side of Cincinnati that encompasses a county, three cities, 14 townships, and 11 villages take a job in Owensboro?

“Opportunity,” said newly appointed President of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mark Calitri. “You have the Convention Center, the SportsCenter, the riverfront, and hotels – there really is tremendous opportunity and I think we can capitalize on that. That’s what intrigued me,” Calitri explained.

About a month ago, Calitri was on his way to a conference in Nashville and swung through Owensboro because executive search contacted him about the available position. “I spent a day and a half on the way down and a day here on the way back. Owensboro is a best-kept secret. We’re going to have to blow our own trumpet here and get the word out.”

For example, he says he looks forward to Owensboro being on the radar for conferences for every major organization in the state so Owensboro becomes front-of-mind for event planners and conference organizers like Louisville and Lexington are.

Calitri says he’s also looking forward to interviewing the staff to get a better understanding of the situation, but he’s clearly impressed with the staff and what the board has done to this point. “I’ve had a chance to meet the staff briefly. This current board has done an outstanding job and the staff has done a great job too.”

Mr. Calitri is from Richmond, KY, is an EKU grad, and spent the last 14 years in Ohio. “My wife is from Madisonville. We’re excited to make this place our home and get the kids in school and become a part of this community.” The Calitris are bringing with them their three younger kids (out of five total), a ten-year-old daughter and twin five-year-old boys. “We’re looking forward to getting acclimated quickly and getting our kids involved in t-ball and cheer.”