Dave Adkisson, President & CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Dave Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce returned to Kentucky in 2005 after serving as president of the Birmingham Alabama Chamber of Commerce and earlier, as president of the chamber in his hometown, Owensboro, Kentucky.
Adkisson is a graduate of Georgetown College and holds a master’s from Harvard University. He began his career with the Owensboro Chamber, first as project manager and then as executive director.
At age 34, Adkisson was elected mayor of Owensboro and re-elected four years later. During his administration, he led the effort to revitalize Owensboro’s downtown, created the RiverPark (performing arts) Center, recruited several industries to the MidAmerica Industrial Airpark, expanded the city’s parks and bikeways and developed a new $300 million bridge linking Kentucky and Indiana across the Ohio River.
Adkisson has held several statewide leadership posts in Kentucky, including chairman of the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education, co-founder of Leadership Kentucky and chairman of the Kentucky Center for Public Issues
During his four years at the Kentucky Chamber, the organization has grown substantially, increased its professional staff to 28 (including six specialized lobbyists), expanded its headquarters in Frankfort and placed a major emphasis on its governmental affairs activities. Reaching out to hundreds of citizens across Kentucky, the Chamber created a strategic plan for the state called the “New Agenda for Kentucky” and in 2007, the Chamber assembled a panel of Kentucky’s top CEO’s to conduct a major study of higher education in Kentucky.
Adkisson is currently the chairman of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, an association of more than 7,000 chamber executives across the country. He also serves on the board of directors of the World Equestrian Games.
Adkisson resides in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife Bonnie. They have two grown children who also reside in Lexington. In his pastime, he enjoys running, reading and travel.