Help us identify West Louisville’s Connectors

The Leadership Louisville Center is looking for West Louisville’s Connectors – the heroes, leaders and game changers who are making positive change


The Leadership Louisville Center is leading an effort to identify the everyday people who are doing extraordinary things in our community, specifically in West Louisville – it’s called the West Louisville Connectors project.  The 2014 Bingham Fellows began a series of projects to invest in West Louisville’s path to prosperity and now the Center’s involvement in the area is continuing through this project that will identify and recognize the leaders who live, work and care about West Louisville. Learn more about work of 2014 Bingham Fellows.

“The West Louisville Connectors Project is a continuation of the Leadership Louisville Connector Project, which took place in 2009 as an initiative to identify and recognize the often-unsung individuals in our community who make great ideas possible,” says Leadership Louisville Center president Cynthia Knapek. “Although not always in positions of authority, these leaders have a great ability to influence and shape others.  Through the original Connector Project, the Leadership Louisville Center identified 128 individuals in Louisville who fit the ‘connector’ definition and have helped bring fresh energy to important issues on our community agenda.”


The goal of the West Louisville Connectors project is to elevate some of West Louisville’s assets – its people. Through the identification and recognition of West Louisville’s Connectors, the Leadership Louisville Center plans to celebrate this network of leaders committed to serving the common good and develop a higher level of connection and leadership in the city. The West Louisville Connectors will also have the opportunity to interact with the work of the 2014 Bingham Fellows and Leadership Louisville Center programs.


Nomination process for West Louisville Connectors project:

All are invited to make nominations for the people they know who live, work or care about West Louisville.  Nominations can be made through January 31, 2015 at or by calling (502) 561-0458.  Nomination forms will also be available through mail and at various community locations in West Louisville.

The nomination form is designed to identify the people nominators know who live, work or care about West Louisville, have a strong interest in working for the common good and have the knowledge, respect and connections to effect positive change. Nominators are asked to imagine that they are responsible for putting together a team of people to make West Louisville the best area in the world, specifically the Chickasaw, Shawnee, Portland, Russell, California, Parkland, Park Hill, Park DuValle and Algonquin neighborhoods. Each question asks for names of individuals along with an email address and/or phone number.  All names and contact information will be held in confidence by the Leadership Louisville Center.

Nomination Questions:

  • Who brings big picture ideas to projects?
  • Who has knowledge to turn great ideas into reality?
  • Who has integrity, concern for the common good and the guts to help get things done?
  • Who would roll up their sleeves to see work through with you to the end?
  • Who can you depend on to make West Louisville the best in the world?
  • Who would you go to for advice outside of your own social circle, gender, religion, or age group?


The Leadership Louisville Center is conducting data analysis based on the process used for the 2009 Leadership Louisville Connector Project.  The data collection and analysis process was developed by project consultant Dr. Karen Stephenson, a cultural anthropologist who specializes in social-network studies along with her New York based company, NetForm.


Definition of Connector:

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell called the people who make it possible to bring great ideas into fruition “Connectors,” for their ability to create and impact change in their communities by serving as a pocket of trust.  Connectors are not always in positions of authority but have a great ability to lead and influence others through their informal networks.


West Louisville Connectors Project Partners:

PNC Bank generously provided funding for the West Louisville Connectors project.  Additional community partners include:  Department of Safe Neighborhoods, Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition – IMC, Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc., Louisville Defender, Renaissance Creative, TARC and Who’s Who Louisville.  More partners are joining the project, for updated list visit


About the 2009 Leadership Louisville Connector Project:

The West Louisville Connectors project is modeled after the Leadership Louisville Connector Project.  This was launched as a signature initiative of the Leadership Louisville Center’s 30th anniversary in 2009. Beginning with community-wide participation, the goals were to generate a community conversation about leadership, recognize today’s leaders and mobilize the leaders of tomorrow.  From over 5,500 individuals, nominated by individuals from over 85 zip codes in the region, web-based survey techniques and sophisticated analysis by NetForm International, identified a dream team of 128 existing and emerging leaders.

Leadership Louisville’s Connectors were formally recognized for their success at getting things done through their distinctive style of “trusted leadership.” The list of 128 Connectors includes elected officials from KY and IN, business leaders, pastors, directors of nonprofits, educators and many others. Numerous positive community outcomes have been attributed to the stronger network of connection that resulted from the 2009 Connector Project, including the creation of a cultural, artistic and cultural icon Happy Birthday Park.  Waterstep (formerly called EDGE Outreach) also attributes much of its growth to connections that began with the Connector Project. Multiple individuals recognized as Connectors have gone on to run and serve as political leaders, including Mayor Greg Fischer.

About the Leadership Louisville Center:

Created in 1979, the Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement.  Its mission is to grow and connect a diverse network of leaders who serve as catalysts for a world-class community through dynamic programming and strong community connections. Over 6,000 community leaders have graduated from the Center’s programs that include Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows and Encore Louisville.  In 2011, the Leadership Louisville Center was recognized as one of the top seven community leadership programs in the U.S. in a benchmark study by the Center for Creative Leadership, the “gold standard” global provider of executive leadership education and research.


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For more information, contact:

Holly Prather, Vice President
Direct: (502) 753-6503  Main: (502) 561-0458