Forty-four community leaders selected for Bingham Fellows Class of 2020 – Topic is “Making Louisville a Top-Tier City”


For Immediate Release

Bingham FellowsLouisville, Kentucky (January 27, 2020) – From a very competitive pool of candidates, forty-four community leaders have been selected to participate in the Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows Class of 2020. The topic for the 2020 Bingham Fellows will be: “Making Louisville a Top-Tier City.” The 2020 class will study what it means to be a top-tier city and the steps we must undertake to get there.

“As with all the Bingham Fellows classes the magic is in the mix,” said Cynthia Knapek, president of Leadership Louisville Center. “The exciting thing about this class is that it represents so many voices. We have established leaders who will provide experience and new leaders who will challenge the way we do things. We have different zip codes, different industries, and different cultures. Together they will look for opportunities to unite all the random acts of excellence happening in our community to help make Louisville a top-tier city.”

As with every Bingham Fellows program year, the class is made up of a talented group of local leaders with a broad knowledge base and range of experience on the topic. Beginning February 27, participants will be asked to tap into their imagination and talent, gathering critical resources to create social change. They will experience an unmatched practicum in change management and group dynamics to move the needle on this important community issue. Throughout the program year, the class will meet with topic experts, learn from national best practices, and work together to give this issue visibility and momentum for positive change.

The class gathered for the first time on January 23, followed by the project reveal of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2019, who revealed their projects around the topic,  “IT TAKES A VILLAGE – Mobilizing community for student success.”

Members of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2020 are:

(link to photo roster)

Ashish Agarwal, Humana Inc.; Cliff Ashburner, Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP; Cleo Battle, Louisville Tourism; Heather Weston Bell, Kentucky Performing Arts; Brian Bennett, Stites & Harbison PLLC; Eric Bickel, Papa John’s International; Neville Blakemore, A|R Strategic Partners, LLC; Bryce Butler, Access Ventures; Billie Castle, Ph.D., The Oasis Living in Freedom and Excellence (LIFE) Center, Inc.; Wayne Davis, GE Appliances, a Haier company; Tammy York Day, Louisville Healthcare CEO Council (LHCC); Bill Dieruf, City of Jeffersontown; Ashley Duncan, Jefferson County Public School (JCPS); Jeana Dunlap, Louisville Coordinated Community Investment; Randy Frantz, Transit Authority of River City (TARC); Steven Heilman, M.D., Norton Healthcare; Tim Holz, Brown-Forman Corporation; Sean Horton, UPS; Gretchen Hunt, Backside Learning Center; James Irving, Bingham Greenebaum Doll; Raeshanda Johnson, All is Fair in Love and Fashion; Scott Koloms, Facilities Management Services, PBS, and Canopy Kentucky; Amy Lingo, Ph.D., University of Louisville-CEHD; Todd Lowe, Parthenon LLC; Melanie McCoy, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Scott Nardi, Republic Bank; Chris Nolan, MML&K Government Solutions; Kent Oyler, OPM Services, Inc./Greater Louisville Inc.; Moira Payne, KYCAD; Jennifer Recktenwald, Appriss Inc.; Ben Reno-Weber, Greater Louisville Project, Louisville Future of Work Initiative; Theresa Reno-Weber, Metro United Way Inc; Scott Schaftlein, EY; Chuck Schram, LG&E and KU Energy LLC; Fr. Jeff Shooner, Archdiocese of Louisville, St. Patrick, St. Boniface; Andrew Slater, Beam Suntory; Brad Smith, MCM CPAs & Advisors LLP; Min Son, Refinery Consulting; Eric Stout, United States Department of Agriculture; Wes Sydnor, MSD; Michael Taday, Humana Inc.; Daniel Tafel, Hornbeam Insurance; Bill Weyland, Weyland Ventures; and Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Louisville Forward. 

More about the 2020 Topic

Bingham Fellows 2020 topic, "Making Louisville a Top-Tier City"Louisville is recognized on many top cities lists and is described by national experts as “that next breakthrough city.” But what will it take to actually breakthrough?

It’s time to look at what must be different for us to get to that top tier. Is it more Fortune 500 headquarters and professional sports teams? More amenities, different cityscapes? Who needs to be engaged in defining those aspirations and achieving them? What will it cost and where will we get the revenue? What policies and practices need to change? How could strengthening relationships across the Commonwealth secure Louisville’s future? Decisions and plans of action are needed to set the stage for us reaching that next level.

We can’t expect our elected officials, nonprofits, and philanthropists to carry all of the work and the responsibility. A new model of dispersed leadership is needed, where people from throughout the community are involved and are engaged in new, different, and more systemic ways.

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2020 will gather influential leaders to study what it means to be a top-tier city and the steps we must undertake to get there. The class will take a meaningful look at the data, study issues of revenue and spending, explore what’s happening with philanthropy in our community, and review what other cities have learned about growth. They will build connections to bring more people and groups into the conversation and take on the challenge of moving us into action.

About the Bingham Fellows program

The Bingham Fellows program is the advanced leadership program of the Leadership Louisville Center. Created in 1988 through a $500,000 endowment from the Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fund, the Fellows are social entrepreneurs who have the imagination and talent needed to gather critical resources and create social change. Side by side with peers,

participants work to develop dynamic and innovative solutions to our community’s most pressing challenges. Now beginning the 28th class in 2020, the Bingham Fellows have an impressive track record of providing community issues with visibility and momentum.

The Fellows don’t ponder what might be. They roll up their sleeves, shine a spotlight on an issue, and put new ideas to work. Their recent impact includes projects such as the West Louisville community development organization OneWest, regular Café Louie conversations with elected officials at Louisville Free Public Library locations, a sustainable model for neighborhood ‘Little Free Libraries,’ a talent attraction and retention program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc., and formation of the Kentucky Indiana Exchange, a regional leadership coalition. The impact of the Fellows goes back to the 1990s with the creation of The Housing Partnership, construction of the Presbyterian Community Center, growth of local farmers’ markets, and numerous other positive outcomes.  

About the Leadership Louisville Center

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 10,000 through its civic 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), leadership skills training courses presented through the Leadership Green Room, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. Learn more at

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For more information, contact:

Holly Prather, Vice President

Cell: (502) 609-9227

Office: (502) 753-6503