When Jaclyn Graves arrived at Western Kentucky University, she decided to major in public relations and marketing.

Later, she switched to sociology and criminology.

And after class, she worked for the men’s basketball team.

“I learned organizational leadership there and it taught me to become the kind of professional I wanted to be,” Graves said last week. “I’m a sports girl. I thought I would work in sports administration. I still might when I retire.”

But for now, Graves is the new chief executive officer at the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association.

“Jaclyn shares GORA’s goal of being ‘all in’ on Owensboro,” Karen Gross, the association’s president, said last week.

Graves is coming in at a good time, Gross said, with the association seeing strong sales despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Isn’t it unreal?” she said. “As soon as a house gets on the market, it sells or a sale is pending — if the price is right.”

Gross said Graves “really does represent all that we want to be known for. She’s been involved in the community for years. And through her work with the chamber, she’s familiar with watching legislative issues and relating that to the Realtors and homeowners.”

The association reported recently that the 192 single-family homes sold here in July were the most for that month in more than five years.

When she moved to Owensboro in 2006, Graves said, one of the first people she met was Chad Benefield at WBKR radio.

Graves, a native of Paris, Tennessee, who grew up in Milan, Tennessee, and Mayfield, had been singing since she was 6.

“Chad snagged me up for the radio station pretty quickly,” she said. “Becoming a DJ wasn’t too far from performing.”

She stayed at the radio station for eight years, as a DJ and promotions director.

In 2016, Graves joined the staff of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce as membership development manager.

She later added marketing manager to her title.

“At the chamber, we got a lot of calls from people wanting relocation information about Owensboro,” Graves said. “It’s exciting to have a great product to sell. It’s incredible. We’re in the middle of a 100-year worldwide pandemic, but home sales have improved.”

She said, “Owensboro is definitely home. It’s the perfect size. I can’t wait to see what the next few years hold.”

Graves said, “From what we know, the next year looks very good for real estate. We have learned to adapt to the challenges.”

The association has more than 200 Realtor members and nearly 100 affiliates in five counties.

Candance Castlen Brake, president of the chamber of commerce, said, Graves is a “natural fit” for the new post.

“We are so proud that she will be leading one of our community’s most important associations and continuing her work in building and growing our regional economy,” she said. “We will miss her beyond measure.”

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com..

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301


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