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Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright

Pam Smith-Wright

Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright was born and reared in Owensboro, the daughter of Ethel and Willie Smith, Jr. Her father worked many years for Green River Steel Corporation before his death in 1969. Pam’s mother worked for the The American Tobacco Company (Cigar Factory) and retired from Select Liquors. She passed away in 2006. Pam grew up on Elm Street and attended Western High School from first through sixth grade. Her family consisting of her parents, a sister and brother, moved to Omega Street at which time she attended Foust Jr. High School, and then on to Owensboro High School where she was on the first Girls Track Team. Her senior year the team won the state championship.

Pam has a lot of firsts in her life. After being on the first track team, she was the first African-American to work in an all white beauty salon in Owensboro after returning from Cosmetology School in St. Louis, MO. Along with being a licensed Cosmetologist and owning her own salon for over 30 years, she has owned a catering service (Tastefully Yours) for over 20 years. Pam was the first African-American to hold the office of State President, AmVets Ladies Auxiliary, for the state of Kentucky. On her first bid for a seat on the Owensboro City Commission, she was the top vote getter in the primary and general election, making her the first woman to hold the office of Mayor Pro Tem.Pam has been involved in many organizations in her beloved Owensboro. She is a graduate of Leadership Owensboro and The Kentucky Women’s Leadership Network. She serves on the Advisory Board of Cosmetology KCTCS since 1975 until present. She is President of the Lady Kentucky Colonels, Past President of the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, where she did workshops on diversity and racial equality. Pam was the Mayor’s appointee for the Unified Government Task Force, a member of the Friday After Five Board of Directors and Past Chair of the Wesleyan- Shawnee Neighborhood Alliance. Additionally, she has been an instructor for Community Education and a nurturer for Habitat for Humanity. Pam is a former board member of the RiverPark Center, the Museum of Science and History, and past board Chair of Hospice of the Ohio Valley. She currently serves as a board member of The Wendell Foster Campus and Chairperson of the Wendell Foster Campus Human Rights Committee. Pam is a Kentucky Colonel and received the Owensboro Human Relations Humanitarian Award in 1999 and was a 2005 and 2010 Athena Award nominee. She was the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission.

Pam is married to Eugene Wright, who is retired, and they have two children, Leonard Wright of Richmond, VA and Starlene Smith-Wright of Louisville, KY, and two wonderful grandchildren, Kennedy and Kaiden Wright of Richmond, VA and a Godchild, Rosalyn Gordon and her daughter Helena of Louisville, KY and Goddaughter Pamela Ali and her two children, Tyler and Amor of Owensboro, KY.

Pam can be contacted at smith-wrightpl@owensboro.org or via phone at (270) 687-8566.