Announcing 31 Board Members for Leadership Louisville Center

2024 Board of Directors


Leadership Louisville Center Announces its Fiscal Year 2024 Board of Directors, Victoria Russell elected as Chair

The Leadership Louisville Center is sharing the news of its fiscal year 2024 Board of Directors, including Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Beam Suntory, serving as Board Chair, Executive Committee members, and seven new board members. The board is responsible for guiding the Center in achieving its strategic direction and fulfilling its purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better. The 2019-2025 strategic plan is focused on three strategic imperatives:

  • Equip more people to lead with confidence and courage
  • Foster connections that strengthen the social fabric of the community
  • Sustain the Center as a high-performance enterprise

View the Center’s strategic vision at this link. The board is leading major initiatives set forth in the plan, including the launch of a new partner brand, LeadingBetter™, and the new Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program. View a photo listing of the Center’s Board of Directors at

“We’re fortunate to have a leader like Victoria chairing our board this year, especially with the significant growth we are undertaking around equipping more people to lead with confidence and courage. She brings valuable experience around HR and talent development, as well as critical DE&I insight as we work towards strengthening the social fabric of our community,” said Cynthia Knapek, President and CEO of Leadership Louisville Center. “Victoria’s guidance, along with the brilliant leaders on our board, will be critical to our success.”


The fiscal year 2024 Board Chair is: Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Beam Suntory

Other elected officers serving as executive committee are:
Greg Pope, EY – Chair-elect
Kimberly Halbauer, Fifth Third Bank – Vice Chair
Annie Likins, Bamboo Health – Vice Chair
Greg Cornett, PPL Corporation, LG&E and KU Energy LLC – Vice Chair
Keturah Jenkins, Humana Inc. – Vice Chair
Megan Verret, Ph.D., Yum! Brands, Inc. – Vice Chair
Brad Smith, Cherry Bekaert – Secretary/Treasurer
Mike Fine, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs PLLC – Counsel
Jennifer Hancock, Volunteers of America Mid-States – Immediate Past Chair

Five leaders joined the Board as Directors for a three-year term and two new Ex-officio Directors joined the board:
Kristen Byrd, PNC Bank
Tony Georges, UPS Air Region
Christy Lanier-Robinson, LDG Development
Cory Skolnick, Frost Brown Todd
Jill Wilcox, JPMorgan Chase

New ex-officio directors are:
Tanelle Sawyer, President, Young Professionals Association of Louisville; and
Dana Bynum Mayton, Deputy Mayor, Louisville Metro Government.

Members returning to the Board of Directors include:
Christy Ames, Republic Bank
Tawana Bain, TBAIN & CO.
Dan Durbin, University of Louisville Office of Finance and Administration
Elaine Gravatte, Givaudan Sense Colour
DeVone Holt, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Inc.
Scott Jennings, RunSwitch Public Relations
Carly Launius, Brown-Forman Corporation
Gretchen Leiterman, Baptist Health Louisville
Tammy McClanahan, Norton Healthcare
Terrance Sullivan
Stacey Wade, Nimbus

Returning as ex-officio directors are:
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom representing Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI);
Diane Porter representing Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS); and  
Jimmy Ray representing Louisville Urban League Young Professionals.

About Board Chair, Victoria Russell:
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Beam Suntory

Victoria Russell has been described as a D&I Champion, Equity Advocate and Corporate Activist. In 2018, she stepped up during difficult times to become the first to lead Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Papa John’s. She is currently the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Beam Suntory. Victoria has been committed to using her voice to bring change and leaning into the challenge of ensuring D&I is in the DNA of the company.

Victoria also spent time at Humana and Brown Forman in Human Resources. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and an M.B.A in Marketing from the University of Kentucky.

Along with serving on the board for Leadership Louisville Center, Victoria serves on the boards of GLI, Fund for the Arts, and the Chestnut Street YMCA. In 2019, she was named “Woman Making A Difference” by Louisville Business First and selected as one of Louisville’s Forty Under 40. She was also featured in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars, a national list of influential young executives.

She is a graduate of the Leadership Louisville Class of 2020. Victoria was also just named to the Executive Leadership Council, was honored as a Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center, and featured as Today’s Woman 2020 Most Admired Woman in the Corporate Category. Additional recent accomplishments include receiving the University of Kentucky 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award, she was named of one of the Adweek & Adcolor 2020 Champions of Diversity & Inclusion, and is a founding member of the Adweek D&I Council.

The Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement. With a purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better, it has graduated over 15,000 through its programs since 1979. The Center is recognized as a national best practice and is known for its dynamic programming and strong community connections. Programming includes five social impact leadership programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows, and Encore Louisville), the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program, leadership skills training courses presented through partner brand LeadingBetter™, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. In addition, the Leadership Louisville Center is the organizing partner of the National Community Leadership Collaborative (NCLC). Learn more at

For more information, contact:
Holly Prather
Chief Operations Officer
Office: (502) 753-6503 | Cell: (502) 609-9227


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