The 19th class of the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program graduated on April 18 following a day of presentations to a panel of esteemed judges. The six teams put their work for local nonprofits on display in hopes of winning the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge and earning additional funds for the agency they worked to assist.  The team working with Bates Community Development Corporation was selected as winner of the challenge and will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by YUM! Brands, Inc.  

While one team was selected as the winner, all six nonprofit agencies received significant support, with the six teams contributing over 2,900 hours of service and providing over $250,000 in value to the nonprofit agencies.

The Ignite Louisville program is presented by Norton Healthcare.

Winning team: Bates Community Development Corporation – working with Derby City Seven

Left to right: Eric Olson, The Oliver Group, Inc.; Kevin Spencer, Humana Inc.; Trevor Park, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Elly Faulkner, Munson Business Interiors; Dale Douthat, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville; Mae Marks, HealthEnterprisesNetwork; George Kington, River City Bank.

With an original ask of updating the website, the Derby City Seven team worked with Bates Community Development Corporation to not only do that but much more. The team delivered complete new brand materials, including a robust, easy-to-use and responsive website, and staff training so it can be utilized to the fullest. The team felt that the website alone would not help the organization meet its goals, so they addressed their brick and mortar challenges to better utilize their facility and create a community center. The team coordinated volunteers to convert the old church space into a 3000 square foot multi-purpose room, paint areas of the building, and secured vendors to repair the roof, flooring, and signage. To make an even greater impact, the team assisted with a long-term strategy and structure for being a more effective community development corporation, including leadership training for the executive direction, connections with important community leaders and initiatives, and educational programming for neighborhood youth. In all, the team delivered more than $75,000 in labor, consulting, training, and materials.

From Tonia Phelps, Executive Director, Bates Community Development Corporation:
“I am so appreciative of the time and effort that every team member from Derby City Seven has put into changing the face and trajectory of Bates Community Development Corporation. With their help, we will have a stronger connection to the residents of Smoketown and Shelby Park.”

Additional Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge teams and outcomes:

Hildegard House, working with Team Silent Thunder

Left to right:  Danielle Palmer, Bandy Carroll Hellige; Sarah Kays, Vivid Impact; Jantzen O’Neal, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Laura Jacobs, Humana Inc.; Aaron Jahn, GE Appliances, a Haier company; Abby Link, Uspiritus; Ebony Harris, Louisville Metro Government;

Team Silent Thunder was tasked with creating an annual signature event for Hildegard House, a comfort care home that provides end-of-life care and access to hospice services to individuals who don’t have loved ones or homes. The goal was to diversify Hildegard House’s donor base to include a younger demographic, as well as raise funds for the home. The team was challenged with reframing the conversation from one focused on death, to a focus on the preciousness of life and living life to the fullest, an idea more palatable to a younger audience. Their solution was the creation and launch of the Bucket List Challenge, a two-week giving campaign with both an online “event” component, as well as a series of partnered events at pub trivia nights that already attracted the target audience. They also commissioned a video to solicit donors and designed a social media campaign. The outcomes included an estimated $2,500 raised for Hildegard house in two weeks, over 600 website visitors and reach of over 36,000 on Facebook. With in-kind donations and professional hours, the net impact for Hildegard House totaled $16,675.

From Karen Cassidy, Executive Director, Hildegard House:
“Dynamic! Professional! Creative! Compassionate! Generous! Hildegard  House is so fortunate to have had an Ignite Louisville team share their skills and talents. We are so grateful to you! You are awesome, as a team – and individually. Heartfelt thanks!”

Kentucky Waterways Alliance, working with Team Solid Seven

Back row: Natalie Brown-Radtke, Catholic Charities; Martin Hjalm, Brown-Forman; Isaac Fain, Craig Henry PLC; Kelly Gold, Alliance Cost Containment, LLC; Luke Etheredge, Kentucky Farm Bureau
Front row: Katherine North, RunSwitch PR; Stephanie Ubelhart, Norton Healthcare

Kentucky Waterways Alliance (KWA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to create and sustain healthy waterways throughout the Bluegrass. Team Solid Seven partnered with KWA’s local chapter, the Beargrass Creek Alliance (BCA), to help promote and grow its Every Drop program. Working alongside KWA and BCA leadership, the team was able to deliver solutions for recruiting and retaining volunteers, promote the Every Drop program, and educate others about the need to maintain a healthy Beargrass Creek. First, the team donated $14,000 worth of professional time to develop a new, standalone website for Every Drop that educates visitors and attracts both homeowners and volunteers.  Second, they realigned and enhanced the Every Drop program’s brand strategy by implementing a new logo and design, creating new marketing materials, planning a recruiting event, and developing a social media strategy. Finally, to ensure the sustainability of these changes, the team developed several training materials, a new volunteer database, and created a volunteer coordinator position within the BCA. Each of these deliverables will contribute to the success of the Every Drop program for not only Beargrass Creek, but other creeks across the Commonwealth.

From Ward Wilson, Executive Director, and Jessica Kane, Community Engagement Director, with Kentucky Waterways Alliance:
“Team Solid 7 has been amazing to work with throughout this project.  They have been insightful, creative, enthusiastic, and have really helped breathe new life and energy into our Every Drop program.  We have been so impressed by the ideas they brought to the project.We are so excited to see the final outcome and are very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them.”

Louisville Urban League, working with Team LiveLoveLou

Left to right: Brandon Estenfelder, Abel Construction Company; Lisa Baunach, University of Louisville; Meghan Greeley, Humana Inc.; Emily McKinney, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Tori Macke, Mercer; Tracy Karem, Louisville Public Media; Shane Raymond, Hilliard Lyons

The Louisville Urban League provides job assistance training, but program participants are often unable to accept or keep jobs because they lack reliable transportation. Team LiveLoveLou developed Drive!, a structured transportation support program that enables case workers to identify transportation barriers early on, and develop a personalized transportation strategy for each client. Clients will be supported in pursuing car ownership, while having access to “bridge” transportation options in the meantime. The team also leveraged existing transportation programs and services and set up community partnerships for pilot projects with Goodwill Cars to Work and Ticket to Ride. They developed a curated transportation library in the form of an interactive website that catalogs relevant research, best practices, and other transportation resources for use by the Louisville Urban League and others in the community. Finally, the team put into place a transportation committee within the Louisville Urban League that will include LiveLoveLou team members and key community partners and stakeholders to carry progress forward on this important city-wide issue.

From Lisa Thompson, Chief Impact Officer, Louisville Urban League:
“LiveLoveLou, you dared to take on a regional challenge and thanks to you, a regional discussion has been ignited. Transportation barriers—it’s now the talk of the town! Louisville Urban League is grateful that you have delivered far more than what we asked, and the potential of this new and daring community conversation may enable equity in the solutions that are possible.  We are proud to work with you!”

WHAS Crusade for Children, working with Team Superlatives

Left to right: Courtney Glenny, Fund for the Arts; Chris Rambicure, Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP; Eboni Edwards, LG&E and KU Services; Kristen Shive, Mirazon; Dennis Stilger, Concord, LP; Danielle Withers, Humana Inc.

The WHAS Crusade for Children provides funding for hospitals, schools, and agencies across Kentucky and Southern Indiana serving children with special needs. They are unique because 100% of funds raised goes directly to helping children in Kentuckiana. Since their establishment in 1954, they have raised over $175,000,000, much of which is generated through their annual telethon.  The Crusade tasked their team with engaging young professionals in hopes of lowering the average age of their donor and support base, which directly impacts sustainability. Through research and the analysis of over 150 young professional survey responses, the team created a Community Engagement Council whose efforts will focus on doing just that. They created bylaws, a board application, a marketing plan, as well as a website and social media presence. They held a launch event to generate awareness, which was attended by over two hundred people. The team also worked with teachers and principals to design a curriculum and conduct pilots for their Cru4Kids/Cru4Cause programs. These programs teach students important philanthropic and vocational skills through the mission of The Crusade, while also generating awareness in younger generations.

From Dawn Lee, President and CEO, WHAS Crusade for Children:
“The WHAS Crusade for Children is so fortunate to have been assigned Team Superlatives!! Their efforts, ideas and execution have energized our boards, staff, and key constituents. We all feel a very real connection to the members of this team and are grateful for their commitment and dedication. They have done an awesome job and are definitely winners as far as we are concerned.  We are delighted to have them as part of the Crusade family and I am excited to see what happens next.”

YouthBuild, working with Team Top Gun

Left to right: Marty Merkel, JRA Architects; Chelsey Duncan, Brown-Forman Corporation; Nicole Gallahue, EDR Systems, LLC; Perla Dunn, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.;  Alecia Fuller, Centerstone Kentucky, Inc.; Wit Wang, Bluegrass International Fund; not pictured (but definitely there in spirit) Raymond Goose, Texas Roadhouse

YouthBuild Louisville assists young people in meeting significant life goals, such as preparing for college and careers, by providing services in education, vocational training, community service, case management, placement, and post-graduation support. They asked the Ignite Louisville team to help with marketing materials, including the production of a video, possible logo tweaking, and uniform strategies for their marketing, social media, website, and solicitations. The team delivered on the ask with redesigned marketing materials used for events, donor meetings, and rack cards for students. They also executed new social media strategies, growing awareness significantly, and secured a TV spot with Wave 3 news to promote YouthBuild’s Playhouse event. The team suggested changes for YouthBuild’s website to make it more user-friendly and secured a production company to create a one-and-a-half minute video for use during events. Finally, the team created a corporate guideline booklet for the future use of marketing and media materials. All of the deliverables were designed to provide a cohesive look, and a brand that can be recognized throughout Louisville.

From Donna Schuster, Development Director, YouthBuild Louisville:
“I can’t begin to tell you what a delight the experience was. This team from the get-go was organized and had total trust in one another. Each team member had specific tasks, and focused on their personal goals in the project. They were very curious and concise with our staff in the process as well. The best part is, that all of the vision of the project got completed in a timely manner and we LOVE the results! “

Learn more about the Ignite Louisville program

Learn more about the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge