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 Larry Maglinger
Larry Maglinger is a life-long resident of Owensboro, entrepreneur and local business owner. He is married to Tammy Maglinger, they have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. Larry graduated from Daviess County High School in 1967. He received his electronic training at the Owensboro Daviess County Vocational School and Sam’s Technical Institute of Electronics.
Larry started his first business at the age of 17. Maglinger Recording was a recording studio and record label that produced records for artists in the region. In 1976, he founded Custom Audio-Video, which was one of the first locally owned companies in Owensboro to provide professional audio, commercial video and business telephone systems. In 1994, Custom Audio-Video was named the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. Larry built his business with the commitment to always give customers the best service and products in the business.
Larry’s local involvement includes Chairman of the Greater Owensboro Daviess County Chamber of Commerce, Steering Committee for the Owensboro Convention Center, Owensboro Rotary Board of Directors and the Kentucky Innovation Network (Central Region) Board of Directors.
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 Jeff Sanford
Jeff Sanford, son of Gerald and Linda Sanford, graduated from Apollo High School in 1986 and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Western Kentucky University in 1991. Jeff is a Real Estate Advisor for Hartz Real Estate LLC. He and his wife, Dr. Misty Brey Sanford have two children, Dylan and Payton and they are parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Jeff previously served as City Commissioner (2011-2016) and is returning for a 4th term. He is the former CEO of American Classifieds in Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN and has served on numerous community boards, which include: Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, Senior Community Center of Owensboro-Daviess County (formerly Elizabeth Munday Senior Center Board) , City Employees’ Pension Board, Owensboro Housing Authority, Owensboro Family YMCA and Lighthouse Recovery Board. He has been very active in youth sports through the years and has coached basketball at Owensboro High School and Owensboro Catholic High School.
City Manager Nate Pagan
Nate Pagan has served as City Manager for the City of Owensboro since June of 2018 after briefly serving as Assistant City Manager. Prior to coming to Owensboro, Nate was City Administrator for the City of Hopkinsville, KY for approximately 5 years and has over 15 years of local government management experience. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Bachelor of Science from Murray State University. Nate is a credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association, one of only three in the State, and currently serves as First Vice President of the Kentucky City/County Management Association. Nate’s wife Michelle is a high school math teacher, and they are parents to two sons, Andrew and Griffin.