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TMCNet:  Kirkpatrick leaving supporting role at WaxWorks, not civic duty

[January 18, 2013]

Kirkpatrick leaving supporting role at WaxWorks, not civic duty

Jan 18, 2013 (Messenger-Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When Kirk Kirkpatrick retires from WaxWorks/VideoWorks in a few weeks, he'll not be adding just another chapter to his life.

"I'm going to start a whole new book," Kirkpatrick said Wednesday morning at his office at the old Coca-Cola building on East Second Street that's also the home of the company's sales staff.

The Owensboro native does not have a concrete plan. "I don't have another job," he said.

One of the things he's sure of, he will continue his community involvement.

For more than 30 years, Kirkpatrick has kept his hands in local projects. He's moderated programs on Owensboro Community & Technical College's television station, emceed numerous fundraisers, including the annual community spelling bee, and has played a major role in the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Booster Breakfast, where he provides humor to the meeting with his Good News Phone and Top 5 List.

Kirkpatrick has been a leader in the Friday After 5 summer concert series on the RiverPark Center BB&T Plaza. He is chairman of the board. The event has been copied in a number of other cities.

"Our goal with Friday After 5 was for people to appreciate the downtown," Kirkpatrick said.

The 61-year-old grandfather describes his almost 30 years at WaxWorks as "a supporting role in a really, really good movie." Since Kirkpatrick joined WaxWorks in the early 1980s, videos have gone from beta to Blu-ray. He said in the early days of video sales, "you had to really be stupid" not to make money in the industry. But as time went on, only the smart ones survived.

"Kirk and I go back to the early '80s," said Matt Brown, who is executive vice president of Sony Pictures worldwide. "We grew up together in the business of video and software." "We've been business associates, and in some cases, competitors," Brown said, "but more than that, he's become a great friend and business partner." "He remembers birthdays, sends thank-yous and does all the things real professionals do in customer service relations," Brown said Thursday from his office in Culver City, Calif.

"WaxWorks is run by very smart people, but I'm sure when Kirk retires, it will be a huge loss for them," Brown said.

Kirkpatrick has the energy and enthusiasm of someone just starting a career, but those characteristics are not new. When he was in the first grade, his demeanor made an impression on the teacher who was new on the job.

"She told me that I was so rambunctious, she didn't think teaching was for her, but she told me she named her son Kirk," Kirkpatrick said.

Retirement means spending more time with his wife who retired from WaxWorks several years ago. "We were together 24-7 then, so I'm not scared of spending more time with her now." "Years ago, I'd say Owensboro was going to be an exciting place to live, and now it is an exciting place to live," Kirkpatrick said.

Suzi Bartholomy, 691-7293, sbartholomy@messenger-inquirer.com ___ (c)2013 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.) Visit the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.) at www.messenger-inquirer.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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