A Beautiful Volunteer


That’s the answer Craig Guess, president of Vanguard Contractors, has often given to those asking for his leadership skills and his volunteer time.

beautifulVolunteerIn 2007, Craig said yes to taking on the chairmanship of the Associated General Contractors and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (only the second Paducah person to hold the position). Awhile back, Craig said yes to the chairmanship of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce.

Craig says his answer is yes for one reason—it makes a difference. “For local communities or entire states to become better places to live and work, it takes people who are willing to lend their expertise, their energy and their enthusiasm. We all have something to offer, but in order to make a difference, we have to step up and be willing to be a part of the solution. I think it’s important for everyone to choose something they’re passionate about and lend a hand.”

As Craig handed off the gavel to the incoming Kentucky Chamber chairman, the president of the organization had some beautiful things to say about Craig’s year-long leadership. “We had one of the most productive years in the history of the Kentucky Chamber,” said David Adkisson, “and Craig’s leadership style was critical to that success. He is one of the most enthusiastic leaders I’ve ever worked with.”

Under Craig’s guidance, the Kentucky Chamber set a record level of membership exceeding $2 million in revenue and a record amount of revenue from events and publications. His most far-reaching goal, says Craig, was the initiation of Kentucky’s New Agenda, an effort to encourage creative thinking by people throughout the state to meet the many challenges Kentucky faces in the years ahead.

“Our goal is to present Kentucky’s next governor with a proposed action agenda that represents the best thinking of the state’s business and civic leaders, young entrepreneurs and other citizens who reflect Kentucky’s geographic and demographic diversity,” Craig adds. “This is not another report that sits on the shelf. What we want to do here is create fresh approaches to some vital issues like education.”

Craig believes this initiative could make a major difference in Kentucky’s future. And, YES, making a difference is what volunteerism is all about.