Board of Commissioners
Mayor Tom Watson
Tom Watson is the president and co-owner, with his wife, Barbara, of Tom Watson's Prosthetic and Orthotics Labs, Inc. with offices in Owensboro and Evansville. Tom studied at the Northwestern University Medical School at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. In 1970, Tom was crushed by a bulldozer resulting in the amputation of his right leg above the knee. Tom changed his career path in 1972 and entered the field of prosthetics and orthotics mainly because he was in need of a new prosthesis and had no insurance or money for one.
In 1978, Tom moved back to Owensboro to open an office for Snell's Prosthetics and Orthotics Inc. In 1981, Tom and his wife Barbara purchased the business from Snell's and are currently practicing as Tom Watson's prosthetic and orthotic lab.
Tom has served on many local, state and national boards and has spent many years as a paraprofessional football and baseball coach at the high school and collegiate level. He was a founding member of the newly formed youth football league called the KFL as player safety coach where he was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his work with youth sports. He is on the Foundation Board for the Owensboro Community and Technical College. He recently served on Governor Matt Bevin's transition team for Economic Development and currently serves on the Veterans committee for prosthetic technology.
Watson was recently honored with the Owensboro Public School Hall of Achievement Award and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in prosthetic care for people with limb loss.
Watson first served as Mayor of Owensboro from 2005-2008 before being elected for a second term in 2016. Tom is married to the former Barbara Aull. They have two sons, David and Jeff Phelps, two daughter-in-laws, Trisha and Krystal and seven grandchildren.
Mayor Pro Tem Bob Glenn
Bob Glenn is serving his second term as an Owensboro City Commissioner. His philosophy of service is to always focus upon the needs of working class families and to move Owensboro forward. Bob is a Professor of Communication at Owensboro Community and Technical College and directs the college’s award winning Speech and Debate program. Bob serves the city and its residents in a number of capacities. He currently serves as Chair of the H.L. Neblett Community Center Board, City Representative to the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Board, City Representative to the International Refugee Center Council, Board Member St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter, Board Member, Bold Promise Scholarship Committee, Board Member Crossroads Women’s Emergency Shelter, and Board Member, Daviess County Imagination Library and Member, Regional Education Alliance.
His past service includes: City Representative, Mayor’s Committee on Business Development, Longtime Chair of the 7 Hills Neighborhood Alliance, President, Owensboro Toastmasters #1730, Member, PRIDE and as a member of the OCTC Presidential Search Committee.
Bob earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California, a Masters; degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Doctoral degree in Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also completed additional graduate coursework at Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. He also is a graduate of the KCTCS Leadership Academy and completed the Kentucky League of Cities Leadership Training for City Officials.
Bob is an active member of Settle United Methodist Church and is a certified UMC Lay Speaker. He also officiates several high school and youth sports (Soccer, Volleyball, Softball, Baseball). Bob is married to Holly, his wife of 27 years, and they have two adult children, Bobby and Caitlin.
Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright
Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright was born and raised in Owensboro the daughter of Ethel and Willie Smith, Jr. Pam attended Western School from first through sixth grade. She is a 1967 graduate of Owensboro High School, 1968 graduate of Rosebud’s Beauty Academy (St. Louis, MO), 1969 graduate of Owensboro Vocational School (now OCTC), and a 1992 graduate of South Seas Cooking School (Captiva Island, FL).
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 is past President of the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, where she did workshops on diversity and racial equality. Pam is President of the Lady Kentucky Colonels, and she currently serves as a board member of The Wendell Foster Campus and Chairperson of the Wendell Foster Campus Human Rights Committee. She was elected in 2014 as the President of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Pam is a Kentucky Colonel and received the Owensboro Human Relations Humanitarian Award in 1999. She is also the first woman to be elected as the president of the Owensboro-Daviess County Veterans Organization. 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. She was elected to the 2015-2016 Kentucky League of Cities Executive Board as a board member, which is voted on by the membership from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Pam was the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award, which is presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission. Commissioner Smith-Wright recently won the 2015 Wendell H. Ford Regional Legislative Leadership Award, recognizing city, county, state or national elected official who has dedicated their life to working with legislative issues for the citizens of the Green River Area Development District Region. Pam is a board member for the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts and President of the ODT Executive Board. In 2016, Pam was inducted into the Owensboro High School Hall of Achievement. Pam is ordained with the American Marriage Ministries.
Her past service includes the Mayor’s appointee for the Unified Government Task Force 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.
Pam is married to Eugene Wright, who is retired. 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.
Commissioner Larry Conder
Larry’s parents, Charles and Zula Roberts Conder, were from the Whitesville and St. Lawrence area of Daviess County. Larry spent a portion of his childhood in Louisville, but visited “home” regularly.
Larry was employed at Texas Gas for 15 years beginning in 1980. As deregulation of the Natural Gas industry emerged in the early 90’s, Larry realized the unique position this opportunity presented, partnering to create Innovative Gas Services, Inc. to fulfill a need for the of deliver natural gas services. During that time he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Brescia University and attended Murray State University MBA program.
Currently, Larry is the Director of Operation and Gas Supply for Public Energy Authority of Kentucky (PEAK), assisting municipalities in acquiring their Natural Gas requirements across the natural gas pipeline network.
Larry and his wife, Rosemary, have been actively involved in the revitalization of Owensboro, purchasing and renovating several properties, and assisting several local entrepreneurs to realize their dreams to start and own a business. They were selected as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Larry was named as a Distinguished Alumni for Brescia University in 2012.
Prior to being elected City Commissioner, Larry served on several local boards including The River Park Center, We Are Downtown, Inc., the Owensboro Historic Preservation Board, Owensboro River Port Authority and Brescia University Board of Trustees.
Larry and Rosemary have 6 children and 17 grandchildren who motivate Larry’s determination to protect the future of our community as a great place to “Live, Work, and Play”!
Commissioner Jay Velotta
Jay Velotta is a professional commercial real estate Broker licensed in KY. Jay is currently an Associate Broker with Gulfstream Commercial Services, LLC and manages the residential real estate operations, property management and property leasing in Owensboro. Born in Daviess County, raised on a farm in Hancock County, a 1988 Daviess County High School, studied business and attained a technical mechanical maintenance certification through OCTC/KCTCS. Jay started his working career as an industrial maintenance mechanic at an aluminum factory. Jay has an extensive background in business management, sales and marketing as a business development director and national sales manager in the electric utility service industry. Jay has also been involved in motorsports as a general manager of a national touring stock car racing team and as the host of a weekly regional motorsports radio/television broadcast. Jay’s broadcast career has lead him to numerous sports venues from stock car and drag racing to basketball and a career with the City of Owensboro in the videography department as host of various community information programs and coverage of public events. This broadcast experience has also allowed the opportunity to emcee numerous community events, non-profit venues and community fund raisers.
Jay’s professional memberships include the Greater Owensboro REALTOR Association (GORA), Kentucky Association of REALTORS (KAR) KAR Board of Directors Delegate-at-Large, KAR Professional Standards Committee, Leadership KAR Graduate 2006 (Spokesperson), GORA President-Elect for 2018, GORA Governmental Affairs Committee Member and Past Chair, GORA REALTOR Political Action Committee (RPAC) Member and Past Chair, Friday After 5 Board of Directors Member, FA5 Committee Past Chair, Green River Area Down Syndrome Association (GRADSA) Board of Directors Member, Empowerment Academy Board of Directors Member, Crossroads for Hope Board of Directors Member
Jay also has extensive community volunteer experience coaching softball, baseball and soccer at various leagues in the community. Jay is very active in the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and is Past Chair of the Public Relations and Chamber Ambassador Committees.
Jay is the son of Wayne and the late Melissa Velotta. Jay and his wife Lyn have 3 children, Fallon, Felicia and Noah.
City Manager Bill Parrish
Bill Parrish was selected by the City Commission of Owensboro, Kentucky, as the City Manager in December, 2007. He worked as the Street and Sanitation Superintendent from 2001 until his appointment as City Manager.
Previously, Bill had served in a variety of positions within the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in September, 2001. His background includes human resources, operations, finance and logistics. Bill holds a bachelors degree in history from Old Dominion University and a masters degree in human resources management from Lindenwood University. He is also a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Bill and his wife Vicky have two adult children; Joe and Amber.