Focus on Business

Mondays, 7:45AM and 5:45PM / Tuesdays, 12:33PM
  • Hosted by Tom Martin

Tom Martin, host of Focus on Business and Eastern Standard.

Focus on Business is a weekly feature hosted by Tom Martin of the Lexington Herald-Leader and WEKU's Eastern Standard. The feature is excerpted from Martin's bi-weekly interviews with business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and scholarly researchers published in the Lexington Herald-Leader's Business Monday Section.

Martin, a Morehead native, has served as news anchor for KQV Radio in Pittsburgh, a Peabody Award-winning anchor and documentarian at AP Radio Network News in Washington, D.C., as well as a news anchor for the RKO Radio Network, ABC Network News and WABC News in New York. Tom also served for five years as vacation substitute for commentator Paul Harvey. 

He hosted "The World's First Rhythm and News Show" on WVLK-Lexington and was founding program director and morning host on WRVG, the former public station at Georgetown College. 

From 2005 until 2013, Tom was the founding editor in chief for Business Lexington.

Focus on Business segments air Mondays at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and at 5:45 p.m. during All Things Considered, as well as on Tuesdays at 12:33 p.m. during Here and Now.

Technical support for Focus on Business is provided by Dynamix Productions of Lexington, online at

Part Two of Tom Martin's talk with Justin Sautter, founding partner of Verdant Investments. They continue their conversation on environmentally-friendly, socially-responsible businesses. 

Sautter explains impact investing: Environmental, Social, and Governance; and Socially Responsible Investing. He says that everything we do has an impact. 

Click here to listen to Part 1.

Focus on Business: Sustainable Investment Portfolios

Sep 24, 2018

Tom Martin talks with Justin Sautter, founding partner at Verdant Investments. As a Certified Private Wealth Advisor, Sautter explains how Verdant Investments began and what they provide. 

Sautter details types of investments beyond the traditional format, ones that support social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

Verdant Investments is a subsidiary of parent company Russell Capital Management. 

Host Tom Martin continues his discussion with Dr. James Maples about developing tourism, protecting outdoor areas, and representing local voices. 

As Eastern Kentucky University Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. James Maples brings his research and own personal background to the talk. 

When you take coal-mining and manufacturing out of Eastern Kentucky's economic picture, what remains?

Host Tom Martin poses this question to Eastern Kentucky University's Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. James Maples. Trained as a political economist, his focused expertise is in Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Research.

Continue the conversation with Tom Martin and Dr. James Maples on Eastern Standard this week. Listen to WEKU's local news magazine, Thursdays at 11:00am and a rebroadcast on Sundays at 6:00pm. 

In this two-part series of security issues in electronic banking, Tom Martin has this in-depth discussion with Central Bank Marketing Chief Steve Kelly. 

Steve Kelly tells Tom how fraudsters are gaining access to bank accounts through social media and emails. 

Discover ways you can defend yourself against cyber theft with the latest in banking technology. 

Host Tom Martin's in-depth discussion with Craig Turner, CEO of CRM Development Company, delves into the details of the new city hall coming to Lexington in the Herald-Leader building.

In this two-part series of Focus on Business, Craig Turner discusses his plans for City Hall and how the new civic center should reflect how Lexington sees itself. 

Craig Turner explains how his proposal will change the downtown area for the betterment of traffic, pedestrians, and visual appeal.

In this week's Focus on Business, Host Tom Martin sits down with Todd Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky. 

Todd Johnson explains the shortage of skilled workers in licensed trades and how it is affecting the building industry. How the shortage began and why it is getting worse, in Part One of this two part series.

Focus on Business Host Tom Martin celebrates the 50th year of Russell Capital Management in Lexington. Founding Partner and CEO Jack Russell talks about the investment business and what he learned from his father, who was also in the finance business.

CEO Jack Russell shares his passion for numbers and helping his clients. He shares the secret of the success of his company.   

Russell discusses the growth and development of the investment industry and corporations in Lexington over the last fifty years.

Tom Martin continues the discussion of financial literacy with Dr. Cynthia Harter, Associate Professor of Economics and Director for the Center for Economic Education at Eastern Kentucky University and a member of the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth. 

In this episode of Focus on Business, Dr. Harter explains how Kentucky's teachers are preparing to teach financial literacy to high school students.

Focus on Business Host Tom Martin looks at financial literacy with Dr. Cynthia Harter, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at Eastern Kentucky University. She is also a member of the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth.

Dr. Harter explains House Bill 132 and the new requirements for upcoming high school freshmen in Kentucky.

How this  legislation came to pass for Kentucky students in this episode of Focus on Business.

Focus on Business: Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County

Jun 18, 2018

In this two-part series, Tom Martin’s conversation with P.G. Peeples, president and CEO of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County, explores how the Urban League began and how it has impacted Fayette County.

The Lexington chapter, launched in 1968, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. P.G. Peeples talks about the progress that has been made since then and the direction the League is heading.

They discuss the issues of gentrification, affordable housing,  and why the focus on affordable housing is so important. 

Walter Palmer -pt 2

May 29, 2018


On this weeks Focus on Business, part two of Tom Martin's interview with Walter Palmer, a 1986 EKU graduate with a degree in Security and Loss Prevention. He went on to become a leading expert in the field of retail loss prevention. 

Retail Loss Prevention with Walter Palmer

May 29, 2018


In this weeks Focus on Business, Tom Martin talks with Walter Palmer, an EKU graduate with a degree in Security and Loss Prevention, who has gone on to become a leading expert in Retail Loss Prevention. Palmer's business, PCG Solutions, was Recently purchased by a national risk management company. 


Amazon is testing a fully-automated store and the retail industry is watching closely. On this weeks Focus on Business, Tom Martin talks with Dan Sheehan, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of business nd Economics. He has done a lot of research on "smart shopping carts", customer facing tech, and customer engagement during shopping trips.

Focus on Business: Dr. Robert Frank Pt.2

May 1, 2018

Part two of Tom Martin's conversation with visiting Cornell University economist Robert Frank. The subject turned to success, and something Dr. Frank calls "the magic emotion."

Focus on Business: Liberal Arts VS STEM

May 1, 2018

On this week's Focus on Business, Tom Martin talks "Liberal Arts versus STEM" and "funding public universities" with Cornell University Economics professor Robert Frank who was on campus as the latest speaker in the EKU Chautauqua Lecture Series.

Focus on Business: Steven Dobson on Mosquitos

May 1, 2018

Today is part two of Tom Martin's conversation with medical entomologist Steven Dobson. His company, MosquitoMate - a spinoff of University of Kentucky research - uses specially-bred, non-stinging male mosquitos to sterilize the wild, stinging female versions making life miserable in your backyard.

Is fraud contagious? Can even the most honest employees become more likely to commit misconduct if they work alongside a dishonest individual? Will Gerken looked into the question.  Dr. Gerken is an assistant professor of finance at the University of Kentucky and he talked with Tom Martin.

Focus On Business: Dr. Stephen Dobson on Mosquito Mate

Mar 26, 2018

Spring is here and coming soon: mosquito season, with heightened concerns about diseases that these insects might transfer to humans. Today, Tom Martin talks with Stephen Dobson, a professor of medical entomology, about "Mosquito Mate", a spinoff of research Dr. Dobson conducted at the University of Kentucky.

Tom Martin talks with Dr. Thomas Erekson, Dean of the EKU College of Business and Technology, about a new ranking of Kentucky's business climate.

Tom Martin talks with Amanda Ralston of Verbal Behavior Consultants about her work with hundreds of families in central Kentucky coping with autism.

Focus On Business: Tim Guthrie on Base 1-10

Feb 19, 2018

Today, Tom Martin talks with Tim Guthrie of Lexington's Base 1-10 about the growth of shared workspaces, an answer to the isolation of being among the growing number of independent contractors in today's economy.

Tim Guthrie will be Tom Martin's guest on the next Eastern Standard program, Thursday morning at 11 on WEKU.

Focus On Business: David Boggs on OWL

Jan 29, 2018

A low unemployment rate is knocking down job barriers for some. Today, Tom Martin talks with David Boggs, President and CEO of "Opportunity for Work and Learning" or "OWL”.

Growing food in the 21st century is "not your grand-daddy's farming." Today, Tom Martin talks with Dr. Nancy Cox, dean of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment about ways science and technology are influencing what's happening from farm-to-table.

Sam Razor is a co-founder of Hippo Manager, a Lexington-based software company for the veterinary industry.  A Mount Sterling native with degrees from UK and EKU, Sam and his company have secured funding from the top three venture capital investment firms in central Kentucky.  He talked with Tom Martin about the origins of how Hippo Manager came about, what services it provides, and what the future might hold for the company.

Ask just anybody operating a licensed trade company about the availability of skilled labor and you’re likely to see an eye roll. The shortage of labor is acute. Tom Martin discussed one approach to the problem with Todd Johnson, executive vice president of the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky.

Focus On Business: Bob Farinelli on "Smart Farm

Dec 4, 2017

Today, Tom Martin talks with Bob Farinelli, a Nicholasville-based entrepreneur who has drawn on 20-years of experience with Elan Home Systems, a "smart home" control and automation provider, to develop "Smart Farm" - an irrigation control system that can be operated from a farmer's mobile device.

Today, Tom Martin talks with Jim Owens, Dean of the School of Communication Arts at Asbury University in Wilmore.  Dr. Owens is working with several partners to launch the Kentucky Film Certification Program.

Today, Tom Martin looks into the "Technology Association of the Bluegrass" or "TAB." Haven’t heard of TAB? That’s because it’s just getting underway with an official launch on November 8th. Tom talks with TAB's executive director, Katy Brown, who worked with Awesome, Inc to develop this important new organization.

Focus On Business: Dave Sevigny on Volta

Oct 23, 2017

Today, Tom Martin talks with Dave Sevigny, founder and chief operating officer of a company that for the past two decades has been known as D-M-D Data Systems. Recently, the company went through the rebranding process and now operates under the new name, "Volta."