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The Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Capital Plaza Hotel Friday night to a packed crowd of business owners, community leaders, and elected officials. The event featured the usual pre-dinner sampling of spirits with some new faces including Town Branch Distillery and West Sixth Brewing, soon coming to Frankfort. The usual fair of “passing the gavel” from last year’s Chamber President to this year’s, was quite different. Outgoing Chamber President, Mike Feldman, played and joked with incoming Chamber President, Michael Mueller. We have decided that the “Mike & Mike Show” needs to take their show on the road as this kept the entire evening lighthearted and entertaining. A remarkably different departure from annual meetings from the past.

Congratulations goes to the following Chamber members and organizations for their achievements this past year:

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President’s Award

Envision Frankfort

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Business of the Year Award

CapCity Communications

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Rising Star Award

Divinci’s Pizza

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Paul Sullivan Award

Patty Peavler

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Ambassador of the Year Award

Kara Keeton

The crowd of over 200 people, one of the largest in years, came to witness the unveiling of the results of the Branding Initiative, a Chamber lead project in the works for three years now.

It was two years ago when Capital Living was first made aware of this community wide collaboration (http://wp.me/p2ONcT-dGu). And last year when the results from the extensive research was revealed to community leaders (http://wp.me/p2ONcT-hbA), Capital Living was there to report on the results. It has taken community wide support from businesses, residents, city & county officials, as well as input from out of town visitors. Some business leaders were in on the project from the beginning. Others brought in only this last year for the actual collaboration of this information and turning it into a “brand”, a strategy that we all can use to promote Frankfort as a cohesive community.

Says Kristin Cantrell, owner of CapCity Communications, “I feel like I’ve been pregnant for 3 years and I’m ready to ‘birth this baby'”. And it’s name is “Kentucky Distilled”. Cantrell was in charge of the new brand’s creative aspects. And Joanna Hay took the lead in assembling a team and creating the logo and a short launch video.

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Cantrell and Hay, with Joanna Hay Productions, introduced the video unveiling the brand that you will soon see representing our city to the state, the nation, and the world. The new logo and motto for the city as a whole will be, “Frankfort: Kentucky Distilled”. The basic for various city, county, and associated entities will be their message underneath a map of Kentucky (colored or black & white) artfully concealing the letters “K-Y.” There will be cohesiveness between all of these different departments that uniformly represents Frankfort around the globe.

Although some may quarrel over the design and color scheme, a variety of images were shown at the meeting that prove that each separate facet representing Frankfort, can have their own “uniqueness” in their particular design and logo, yet still be “ONE” with Frankfort and Franklin County. The benefit of having a consistent brand for all involved is that it shows a cohesiveness when trying to attract potential residents, businesses, and tourists – void of being “just the state capital”.

Joanna Hay pointed out to the record crown that Frankfort has heart. It has soul. It has art. It has beauty. It has community. Frankfort is (:) Kentucky Distilled.