How to make 60 new friends in two days

Kitty McKune

Kitty McKune (LL ’18), EVP of Development & General Counsel, New Directions Housing Corporation

It’s hard to believe that you can actually learn more about your hometown and some of the more interesting people in it by not being there. But that’s exactly what happened to me when I spent August 16-17, 2017 at the opening Retreat for the Leadership Louisville Class of 2018 at the Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky.

Each Leadership Louisville class is carefully chosen to reflect the community. After meeting my classmates, I believe they are the “best and brightest” our community has to offer. Some are Louisville natives, others are much newer to Louisville.  And we all come from many, many different walks of life: CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, bankers, business men and women, educators, those who work for nonprofit organizations, those who work for government, those who work for Fortune 500 companies as well as small business and entrepreneurs.

But we all came together with three goals outlined on the first day for us by Cynthia Knapek, President of Leadership Louisville, Inc. – have fun, learn something and find your passion.

The fun part was easy.  Cynthia and her other Leadership Louisville teammates, Aaron Miller and Sasha Ndlovu, did a fantastic job of not only making us feel welcome but also introducing us to creative and easy ways to get to know our fellow classmates.

The learning part was more nuanced.  I learned a lot of new names and information.  But I also learned a surprising amount about myself and society as a whole that I didn’t expect.  One thing I particularly enjoyed was the ease with which I was able to work together with my classmates.  It’s truly wonderful to be around so many highly intelligent people with good leadership skills that are willing to give of their time and energy to a common cause.

Which leads me to Cynthia’s last point – “finding your passion.”  Cynthia was smart to point out that some of us may have already found our passion, whether it’s working for a non-profit organization, like I do, or being a doctor, or working for local government or for JCPS, or being a devoted volunteer to an organization.  Leadership Louisville helps put us all on a path to finding, sharing or refining that individual passion in order to make Louisville, the great city we all live in, a better place.

I think the best part about this amazing retreat was leaving with the knowledge that this is only the beginning of my journey with the Leadership Louisville Class of 2018.  This journey, which will culminate ten months from now in May, 2018, is certain to be a journey I am unlikely to forget.

So, Bon Voyage Leadership Louisville Class of 2018!

Learn more about the Leadership Louisville program