A Decade-Long Leadership Louisville Bond

In 2012, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, “Gangnam Style” took over the radio, and Marvel’s “The Avengers” was released in theaters. 

That year also happened to be the year that Jennifer Hancock (President of Volunteers of America (VOA) Mid-States and Board Chair-Elect at the Leadership Louisville Center), Judie Parks (Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services), and Chris Ward (President of DMLO) walked into the Leadership Louisville Center to participate in the Leadership Louisville program.

Judie Parks, Jennifer Hancock, and Chris Ward.

While the excitement surrounding the pop culture moments of 2012 has since subsided, what hasn’t seen a drop is the passion that Jennifer, Judie, and Chris still share for uplifting the city of Louisville and its leaders. Even better, their relationships spurred Judie and Chris into long-lasting, impactful involvement with VOA – working closely with Jennifer. 

“One of the biggest benefits of any Leadership Louisville Center program is the network you build along the way while participating in the various programs,” says Chris, “I have fond memories of my Leadership Louisville experience mainly because of the connections and friends I have from my 2012 class. It really has been awesome seeing the success Jennifer and Judie both have had over the past decade and they are a true testament to the value of Leadership Louisville. You really can build a great network through LLC, and for me, that is why I enjoy the programs so much.”

Jennifer has been with VOA for around 15 years. In 2012, Chris had only started to learn more about the organization, while Judie had done some volunteering. As the ten-month Leadership Louisville program progressed, the professional ties between the three grew tremendously. Judie began serving on the external relations committee at VOA, and recently moved into the board chair position for the organization. Chris joined the board around the time of the program, and just completed a two-year term as the board chair. He plans to stay on as a finance consultant – which Jennifer said she couldn’t be more thrilled about.

In fact, Judie believes that without Leadership Louisville the trio would have never crossed paths personally either. Fast forward a decade, and Jennifer has helped Judie’s niece find volunteer opportunities at VOA, and Judie has helped Chris and his family sell a home and purchase a new one. Judie also shared that VOA’s family shelter has been the beneficiary of her family holiday charity event every year for the past decade.

The Leadership Louisville Class of 2012

In the past ten years, you can tie Jennifer, Chris, and Judie’s names with numerous projects, initiatives and fundraisers for the city of Louisville and beyond. And it is safe to say that everyone can sit in anticipation to see what they will accomplish within the next decade.

The Leadership Louisville Program is the perfect place for influential leaders to expand capacity to make the community a better place.
Learn more about the program here


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