Influential Leaders

Chase Carpenter

Owner, Bundles of Joy Preschool, One Roof Event Center, Like Us Academy
Recognition Year(s): 2023
Area of Impact: Community or Social Impact
School: Gordon Ford College of Business, Western Kentucky University
Location: United States

Chase Carpenter graduated from the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in entrepreneurship. In just 10 years since graduation, Carpenter has successfully opened three new businesses, each with a mission to positively impact the community and the next generation. He was recently recognized as one of the 2022 VIP Bowling Green 40 Under 40.

Carpenter is an entrepreneur with a heart for community and the actions to match. A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Carpenter focuses his entrepreneurial efforts on opportunities that fill critical needs, empowering and uplifting diverse populations. For his VIP Bowling Green 40 Under 40 recognition, Carpenter stated, “I am looking forward to seeing the seeds I intentionally plant each day grow into something lifelong. Whether that stems from my daily work with children, or inspiring others from my business endeavors, there is no proof that you are successful until you duplicate your success in someone else.”

Carpenter’s success is reflected in the impact of his business ventures. In 2021, he co-founded the Like Us Academy, a company that strives to empower African American children by producing flashcards and educational resources with culturally accurate images. Following, Carpenter opened Bundles of Joy (BOJ) Preschool in 2012, fulfilling a critical need for families on the West End of Bowling Green, an area with a highly diverse population of minority, immigrant, and refugee families. One Roof Event Space, which opened in 2022, is the first African American-owned business in the popular downtown Bowling Green Fountain Square Park in the city’s 224-year history.

In 2018, African Americans owned less than 5 percent of Kentucky’s businesses, and African American males owned roughly half of that 5 percent. Thus, some might say Carpenter is using his business education to lead and innovate simply by owning multiple businesses. But his leadership and innovation go far beyond successful business ownership.

Carpenter is a trailblazer in the childcare industry. As an African American male preschool owner, he has forged his way into an industry traditionally oriented toward white women, and he openly shares his pride in the work he does through BOJ Preschool. Carpenter professionally and personally aligns himself with his mission to empower youth and create a positive impact. VIP Bowling Green touted Carpenter’s commitment to “create a legacy built on empowering youth and creating a positive impact within his community.”

Perhaps the most effective way that Carpenter uses his business education to advocate for and initiate change is by mentoring and empowering children and young people, especially those from underrepresented communities. Eagerly prioritizing his time to give back to the community, Carpenter speaks regularly to student groups, mentors African American boys and young men at the Jonesville Academy, and hosts community engagement events at One Roof. He openly shares his entrepreneurial story of struggle and victory to inspire the next generation to continue the work he has started. Furthermore, Carpenter actively participates in the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and will be the guest speaker for the Startup Garden, a chamber initiative directed at helping entrepreneurs succeed.

Carpenter regularly serves as a guest speaker for classes and student organizations at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University, where he discusses his professional journey into entrepreneurship, creating a dialogue that includes professional mistakes, discrimination, persistence, gratitude, and success. Carpenter will be the featured speaker at the upcoming annual etiquette dinner hosted at the university’s Cynthia and George Nichols III Intercultural Student Engagement Center. Carpenter also serves on the advisory council for the Gordon Ford College of Business Department of Management.

Carpenter is determined to continue influencing the Bowling Green community, working for positive societal change for current and future generations.