Thought Leadership SeriesMembers, join us for the next event in our Members-only Thought Leadership Series! These free events feature ideas, topics and speakers of interest to our members and are usually held at the Leadership Louisville Center.


John Couch“Leadership Louisville Center has nailed it with their Thought Leadership events. There’s a minimum time commitment and I like the small group setting. There’s always someone there I know since the events are for members. The speakers are always enlightening and refreshing.”
- John Couch (LL ’10), Vice President, BB&T Insurance Services

Next event to be announced soon

All current members receive email invitations to free member events. If you haven’t received these invitations, please check your junk folder for emails from lead@leadershiplouisville.org, and make this address a “safe sender.” Email info@leadershiplouisville.org or call (502) 561-0458 to request an invitation to member events.


Past member events

July 10, 2014

More than 120 members gathered for this twice sold-out event to hear from Mary Ellen Wiederwohl (BF ’11, LL ’09), newly-announced chief of Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government’s new economic development charge.

May 8, 2014

“Bourbon Renaissance”Eric Gregory, President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, and Dee Ford, Manager, Woodford Reserve Homeplace, shared how the bourbon renaissance is fueling the economy in Louisville and throughout the state.

February 26, 2014

“Lessons from an ‘Unconventional Warrior’”Col. Walter Herd (U.S. Army Retired) Director, Army Transition Program, talked to members about a program he’s championing to make Kentucky the nation’s leader in welcoming returning veterans to the workforce.

January 28, 2014

“The Future of Problem Solving” Our January member event featured Dick O’Neill, president of The Highlands Group, an internationally-recognized consulting network serving global policymakers.

December 18, 2013

Healthcare innovators, Joe Steier and Dianne Timmering of Signature HealthCARE, shared how they are revolutionizing long-term healthcare, and showing the ROI for supporting staff and patients in practicing their own spirituality.

November 14, 2013

Members took a field trip to CafePress to learn from entrepreneurial CEO Bob Marino, and see what a culture of innovation looks like.

September 11, 2013

“Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting” Members visited the studios of Louisville Public Media to learn more about the “Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting” from Louisville Public Media’s executive director and general manager, Donovan Reynolds (LL ’09), Brendon McCarthy, new managing director of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Gabe Bullard, WFPL news director.

August 21, 2013

“Creativity in its Simplest Form” Aldy Milliken, new executive director of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, discussed art in our world and gave members a personal tour of the latest exhibit at KMAC, “7 Borders.”

June 11, 2013

“Ignite Louisville: Growing leaders and delivering results” Members heard from the 2013 winners of the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge and representatives of their partner agencies, Hope Scarves and St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities, about leadership lessons learned and game-changing outcomes delivered by these young professionals.

May 23, 2013

“Meet the new hospitality leaders in Louisville” Jim Wood, President and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau introduced new leaders, Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board and Cleo Battle, Executive Vice President of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Members heard what’s ahead for Louisville’s tourism industry.

April 16, 2013

“Engaged Employees = a Competitive Advantage for Your Company” Mateo Wroblewski from employee-owned Thoroughbred Research Group shared employee engagement strategies that enhance commitment, performance and in the end – your company’s bottom-line.

February 20, 2013

“A celebration of African American history” Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby shared the “why” of Black History Month in a moving message. Following an introduction by Madeleine Burnside, attendees toured the Frazier History Museum’s new temporary exhibit, “Spirits of the Passage.”

February 5, 2013

“What’s love got to do with it?” Dr. Joe D’Ambrosio and his colleague Dr. Anna Faul from the Kent School discussed their efforts to use famous sociologist Sorokin’s theory of love to guide all of their work in aging health care.

January 2013

“What’s ahead for UofL Athletics” Julie Hermann, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for the University of Louisville welcomed members to the PNC Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and shared the back story of UofL’s journey to prominence in athletics. She also outlined what being a member of the ACC will mean for the university as a whole.

November 2012

“Healthcare Reform – the Perspective from Insurance Leaders” Deb Moessner (LL ’08), President and General Manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Jeff Bringardner (LL ’07), President of Humana-Kentucky discussed how they expect healthcare reform to impact their companies and the community.

November 2012

“Re-humanizing Healthcare” Dr. Robin Youngson, an anesthesiologist from New Zealand, talked to members about a movement he’s founded called HeartsInHealthcare.com for health care providers, students and anyone passionate about healthcare.

October 2012

“Results of the 2012 Bingham Fellows projects” Members will hear from representatives of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2012 about the outcomes of their challenge to “Engage parents and the community to inspire student achievement.”

October 2012

“Getting Educated on the School Board Election” A panel of three local news media representatives informed members on education issues related to the 2012 school board election. On the panel were: Devin Katayama, WFPL; Toni Konz, Courier-Journal; Tom Monahan, Business First.

August 2012

Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center Donald Lassere is setting out to make the Muhammad Ali Center a global brand and Louisville a global city in the process.

July 2012

Kris Kimel, founder of the IdeaFestival and president of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Kris Kimel explained why innovation is central to our success as a city and state, and previewed highlights of IdeaFestival 2012.

June 2012

Wes Jackson, Publisher, Courier-Journal Wes Jackson spoke to members about The Courier-Journal’s future plans to remain a reliable and viable source of news in Louisville.

April 2012

Jesabel Mudd and Adam Ruiz, representing the Hispanic Latino Business Council Members learned about “Doing Business with a Latin Zest!” with representatives of the Hispanic Latino Business Council.

March 2012

Steve Conrad, Chief of Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Conrad talked to members about his vision of “Making Louisville the safest city in the U.S.”

February 2012

Jim Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of U of L’s University Hospital Members heard from University Hospital Jim Taylor about the possibilities for the future of the hospital.

January 2012

Les Waters, new Artistic Director at Actors Theatre Members met Actors Theatre’s new artistic director and heard his vision for what’s ahead for theatre in Louisville.

November 2011

Dr. Donna Hargens, Jefferson County Public Schools SuperintendentMembers heard from Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens as she hit the 3-month mark in her new job. She provided an update on results of her 90-Day Plan.

October 2011

Joe Arnold, WHAS, and John David Dyche, Courier-Journal columnistJoe Arnold (LL ’12), WHAS-TV political reporter and John David Dyche, Courier-Journal columnist and local attorney shared candid insights on campaign strategies that caught their attention. They shared humorous stories about races most members’ aren’t talking about, but should be. They also talked about candidates who are already gearing up for the 2014 senate race.

April 2011

Kevin Flanery and John Asher, Churchill DownsMembers got the inside scoop on the challenges of running the world’s most famous horse-racing track from Churchill Downs Racetrack President, Kevin Flanery (LL ’04, FL ’03) and Churchill Downs Vice President of Communications, John Asher (LL ’10, FL ’00).

April 2011

Dr. Terry Holliday, Education Commissioner for the State of KentuckyDr. Holliday spoke to members about the importance of doing a better job of educating children of poverty. He presented some very interesting statistics and ideas and initiatives that have been successful in other communities.

March 2011

David Fannin, Mediation and Arbitration ConsultantDavid Fannin (LL ’88, BF ’91) returned to Louisville and Leadership Louisville Center to present “Working for the Most Difficult CEO in Business: How I Survived ‘Chainsaw’ Al With My Dignity and Sanity Intact” about his experiences working for Al Dunlap at Sunbeam. He had words of wisdom for graduates who may find themselves in a similar situation.

February 2011

Mark Hogg, Executive Director of EDGE OUTREACHMark Hogg amazed members with the story of how his organization is bringing clean water to remote areas of the world – all from EDGE’s headquarters in a warehouse off Mellwood Avenue. EDGE OUTREACH developed and distributes simple water purification systems and was instrumental in efforts to supply clean water in Haiti immediately after the earthquake in 2010. Mark is one of Leadership Louisville’s Connectors.

January 2011

Rob Birman (LL ’10), Chief Executive Officer of The Louisville OrchestraRob Birman (LL ’10), chief executive officer of the Louisville Orchestra, shared a rapid-fire history of the orchestra and his vision for shaping a secure financial future. Members asked questions and gained insights about current struggles facing this cultural icon.

October 2010

Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of Huffington Post and author of Third-World AmericaIn partnership with the Kentucky Author Forum and the University of Louisville, the Leadership Louisville Center presented an opportunity for members to meet Arianna Huffington and discuss themes in her new book, Third-World America. She was very interested in hearing how members were helping the community deal with economic hardships.

January – March 2010

Conversations with the CandidatesThe series brought together members of the Center with the mayoral candidates in 7 separate sessions. Each candidate shared their vision for Louisville and entertained questions from members. Sessions featured David Tandy (D), Hal Heiner (R), Greg Fischer (D), Tyler Allen (D), Chris Thieneman (R), Jim King (D) and Shannon White (D).

December 2009

Greg Capito, Vice President Human Resources for GE Consumer & IndustrialGreg shared GE’s vision of 21st century leadership from within their renowned theatre for the senses, the GE Monogram Experience Center. The event was a rare and exclusive opportunity for Leadership Louisville Center members to go behind the scenes with one of our city’s great leaders while touring the training facilities of a world-class company.

November 2009

Allan MacCrae, author and leader of New Zealand youth justice systemIn the 80′s New Zealand faced a crisis in the juvenile justice system, and in 1989 enacted legislation to move to a “restorative” approach to juvenile justice. The “restorative” approach is unique in that it involves victims, offenders and the community in the justice process. Author Allan MacCrae, one of the leaders of the New Zealand system, shared the New Zealand story at Leadership Louisville Center to see if these lessons might be applicable to Louisville and to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

July 2009

Mike Harreld, Regional President PNC Bank, Greater Washington D.C. AreaAfter a full career in banking and civic leadership in his native Louisville, Mike moved to Washington, DC several years ago to become chief executive officer of PNC’s regional operations. Mike shared his perspective on such topics as life inside the Beltway, banking and the national economy, and Kentucky politics in the rear view mirror.

April 2009

Managing Conflicting Values – Chandra Irvin, President of Irvin, Goforth & Irvin, LLC.Chandra G. Irvin has worked with organizations nationally and internationally to facilitate healthy relationships and increase productivity. Ms. Irvin is the co-author of “Do You See What I See? A Diversity Tale for Retaining People of Color”, the author of “FINDING PEACE in Life, Work and Love: Listening to the Voice Within”.

February 2009

Contemplative Leadership – The Merton InstituteRobert Toth, Executive Director of the Merton Institute spoke about the Contemplative Leadership Initiative and offered an opportunity to participate in its development through a retreat lead by the Merton Institute.

December 2008

Matthew Barzun of Obama National Finance CommitteeMatthew Barzun (LL ’05, BF ’05) was one of three members of the Obama National Finance Committee who taught “Obama University” – a one-day seminar where top regional fundraisers from around the country to learn to become better fundraisers as well as train others. Matthew shared insights about the experience, and explained how the Obama campaign’s approach to raising funds and spreading their candidate’s message was fundamentally different than that of previous presidential campaigns.