Members and guests, join us for the next event in our Members-only Thought Leadership Series! These free-for-members events feature ideas, topics and speakers of interest to our members. They are often held at the Leadership Louisville Center, but sometimes are held at interesting offsite locations.
“Leadership Louisville Center has nailed it with their Thought Leadership events. There’s a minimum time commitment and I like the small group setting. There’s always someone there I know since the events are for members. The speakers are always enlightening and refreshing.”
– John Couch (LL ’10), Vice President, BB&T Insurance Services
Next member event to be announced soon
If you’re a graduate of one of our civic programs, and haven’t received an invitation to these events, email us.
Most member events are held at Leadership Louisville Center, 707 W. Main St., Louisville
The Thought Leadership Series is presented by Hilliard Lyons.
Past member events
August 9, 2018
A morning with University of Louisville President, Dr. Neeli Bendapudi
A capacity crowd of members and guests welcomed Dr. Bendapudi as she shared her leadership philosophy and challenged those in the room to get involved. She encouraged everyone to visit UofL’s campus and be mentors to students.
July 12, 2018
What we can learn from animals
Dan Ashe, executive director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, did a great job informing members on the importance of zoos and aquariums in conservation and education.
May 23, 2018
A taste of the Old Forester legacy
Our first member event in the new Center! Members and guests helped Old Forester celebrate their return to Whiskey Row with a bourbon tasting and a history lesson from Jackie Zykan, master taster at Old Forester.
February 20, 2018
Inside look at the action in Frankfort
Members got a legislative update from Frankfort lobbyists John McCarthy, III and Sherman Brown, partners with McCarthy Strategic Solutions. The two work with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
December 8, 2017
Transformation in Butchertown
Members met at Work the Metal to hear about the latest developments in Butchertown, including the planned soccer stadium, from two insiders: Mike Mountjoy (LL ’88), a member of the Louisville City FC ownership group, and Andy Blieden, developer and key executive of Butchertown Market.
November 10, 2017
Joy Mangano, the entrepreneur portrayed in the Jennifer Lawrence film, Joy
Members and guests heard from Joy Mangano about what led to her success as an inventor, entrepreneur and now author. The event was part of her book tour for “Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave and Creative Life,” which is part memoir and part secrets of her success.
September 15, 2017
What’s Up at Churchill Downs
With preparations underway for hosting the 2018 Breeders Cup, members got a close-up look at $200 million investments recently made at the track. They got the inside story from Kevin Flanery(LL ’04, FL ’03), President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, who led members on a tour of The Mansion, the most exclusive area of the track.
August 3, 2017
Meet the Omni leaders and get a hardhat tour
Members heard from Nydia Hoskins, hotel manager, and Eamon O’Brien, director of sales and marketing, of the Omni Louisville scheduled to open next spring. Following the program and Q&A, the group got a hard hat tour of the amazing hotel and its amenities.
June 29, 2017
Vision Russell: A Roadmap for the Future
Members heard from three leaders who are involved in the Vision Russell initiative: Jeana Dunlap, Director of Redevelopment Strategies for Louisville Forward; Kevin Fields (BF ’12), President and CEO, Louisville Central Community Center, Inc. and Rev. David Snardon, Pastor, Joshua Tabernacle Baptist Church and member of Concerned Pastors of Russell.
May 25, 2017
Three Wins for West Louisville
Members heard about major plans for development in West Louisville from three leaders, Steve Tarver, YMCA; Steve Poe, board member of OneWest and Mark Carter of Passport Health Plan.
February 23, 2017
Leadership Lessons Learned at The White House
“Mayor-for-Life” Jerry Abramson, who is returning to Louisville from a stint in the Obama White House, shared his experiences in Washington, DC as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, as well as his most important takeaways.
January 26, 2017
Increase Your Energy, Change Your Life
Carlos Rivas (BF ’16), President and Chief Encouragement Officer at ProFormance Health and Wellbeing, presented a motivating and inspiring session to help members and their teams. Carlos presented simple strategies for feeling stronger in mind, body and spirit, enabling us to perform at our highest potential.
December 15, 2016
Louisvillians in the Governor’s office
Several Louisville leaders were tapped for roles in Gov. Bevin’s cabinet. We invited Hal Heiner, Education Secretary, Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Nate Haney, deputy secretary of the Executive Offices to share their top priorities for the state.
November 15, 2016
Member meeting with Dr. Neville Pinto
Acting President of University of Louisville, Dr. Pinto, provided insight into the changes in leadership at the University of Louisville.
July 26, 2016
Muhammad Ali: His Life, Legacy, and the Planning of his Memorial Celebration
Members got the backstory on the planning of the Muhammad Ali Memorial Celebration, featuring heartfelt stories from individuals Ali called friends – Bob Gunnell, John Ramsey, and Woody Porter, Jr.
June 22, 2016
Meet new leaders of Louisville Metro
Members heard from three Louisville Metro leaders who have bold visions for their new roles: Deborah Bilitski (BF ’13, LL ’09), Director, Develop Louisville, Louisville Metro Government; Seve Ghose, Director, Metro Louisville Parks and Recreation; and Jim Blanton, Director, Louisville Free Public Library.
February 19, 2016
What’s next for the Louisville Zoo
Members met with Louisville Zoo director John Walczak (BF ’10, LL ’05). John shared his vision for the future of “our Zoo”, and explained the many ways it benefits the region. After the program, members had the opportunity for an exclusive behind-the-scenes zoo animal experience.
January 26, 2016
Wired for the Future
Members heard from Ted Smith (LL ’13), Louisville Metro Government’s Chief of Civic Innovation on how we can support the city’s bid for Google Fiber, and from Hood Harris, President of AT&T Kentucky on their plans to launch gigabit fiber internet service in Louisville.
October 28, 2015
Drew Curtis (I) Candidate for KY Governor
Members and friends of the center heard from Drew Curtis at Leadership Louisville Center and had the chance for Q&A.
October 22, 2015
Matt Bevin (R) Candidate for KY Governor
Members and friends of the Center heard from Matt Bevin at the Leadership Louisville Center, and had the opportunity for Q&A.
October 20, 2015
Jack Conway (D) Candidate for KY Governor
Graduates and YPAL members gathered for lunch at Over the 9 to hear Attorney General Jack Conway and ask questions.
September 18, 2015
“Meet the leaders of The Louisville Orchestra”
Members gathered at Hilliard Lyons to hear the refreshing vision of Louisville Orchestra Music Director, Teddy Abrams and Executive Director, Andrew Kipe. They’re the young leaders tasked with keeping this important cultural and economic asset alive and thriving.
August 26, 2015
“Lessons from a stealth startup CEO” Rob May, founder of Backupify shared his expertise on finding and keeping high-tech talent, and the leadership necessary in a fast-changing organization.
June 16, 2015
Members heard from a visionary leader about FoodPort, a bold endeavor with a potential $50 million+ investment in West Louisville. Stephen Reily (BF ’01, LL ’98), founder of Seed Capital Kentucky, talked about this exciting project that is expected to bring about 200 permanent jobs to the area.
April 28, 2015
Members and guests met one of Louisville’s most dynamic new education leaders, Robert Harvey, COO and professor at Simmons College. A Derby Week happy hour preceded and followed the program, complete with the best mint juleps in Louisville.
April 1, 2015
“South by Southwest Louisville Roadtrip” Members spent a morning touring recent development and hearing about future plans for south and southwest Louisville. The tour was led by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA – the “Keep Louisville Weird” folks.) Read more in this Courier-Journal article.
March 4, 2015
“Leading across partisan divides” Two national leaders, Mark Gerzon and John Steiner joined us to share their vision for “bringing collaborative leadership, decision-making and genuine problem-solving into the public square.”
January 29, 2015
“What’s going up downtown?” Our members were treated to insider perspectives from Bill Weyland, CITY Properties Group, and Ethan Howard, of the Downtown Development Corporation on what’s happening in downtown development.
December 16, 2014
“From one entrepreneur to another” Suzanne Bergmeister, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Louisville College of Business interviewed Patrick Goodman, Product Director at Red e App about the tech startup’s successes and challenges.
November 11, 2014
Members heard from Amy Domini, one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World (2005). As a true pioneer in social responsibility, Amy discussed how to both make a difference and make money.
October 29, 2014
“Tour top-performing Ford plant” Members heard from Ford Louisville Assembly Plant’s Manager, Daryl Sykes, and toured Ford’s top performing plant in the U.S.
September 23, 2014
“IdeaFestival Preview with Kris Kimel” Members heard from IdeaFestival founder Kris Kimel about the exciting kinds of creative disruption to expect at this year’s IdeaFestival.
July 10, 2014
More than 120 members gathered for this twice sold-out event to hear from Mary Ellen Wiederwohl (BF ’11, LL ’09), newly-announced chief of Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government’s new economic development charge.
May 8, 2014
“Bourbon Renaissance”Eric Gregory, President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, and Dee Ford, Manager, Woodford Reserve Homeplace, shared how the bourbon renaissance is fueling the economy in Louisville and throughout the state.
February 26, 2014
“Lessons from an ‘Unconventional Warrior'”Col. Walter Herd (U.S. Army Retired) Director, Army Transition Program, talked to members about a program he’s championing to make Kentucky the nation’s leader in welcoming returning veterans to the workforce.
January 28, 2014
“The Future of Problem Solving” Our January member event featured Dick O’Neill, president of The Highlands Group, an internationally-recognized consulting network serving global policymakers.
December 18, 2013
Healthcare innovators, Joe Steier and Dianne Timmering of Signature HealthCARE, shared how they are revolutionizing long-term healthcare, and showing the ROI for supporting staff and patients in practicing their own spirituality.
November 14, 2013
Members took a field trip to CafePress to learn from entrepreneurial CEO Bob Marino, and see what a culture of innovation looks like.
September 11, 2013
“Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting” Members visited the studios of Louisville Public Media to learn more about the “Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting” from Louisville Public Media’s executive director and general manager, Donovan Reynolds (LL ’09), Brendon McCarthy, new managing director of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Gabe Bullard, WFPL news director.
August 21, 2013
“Creativity in its Simplest Form” Aldy Milliken, new executive director of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, discussed art in our world and gave members a personal tour of the latest exhibit at KMAC, “7 Borders.”
June 11, 2013
“Ignite Louisville: Growing leaders and delivering results” Members heard from the 2013 winners of the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge and representatives of their partner agencies, Hope Scarves and St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities, about leadership lessons learned and game-changing outcomes delivered by these young professionals.
May 23, 2013
“Meet the new hospitality leaders in Louisville” Jim Wood, President and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau introduced new leaders, Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board and Cleo Battle, Executive Vice President of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Members heard what’s ahead for Louisville’s tourism industry.
April 16, 2013
“Engaged Employees = a Competitive Advantage for Your Company” Mateo Wroblewski from employee-owned Thoroughbred Research Group shared employee engagement strategies that enhance commitment, performance and in the end – your company’s bottom-line.
February 20, 2013
“A celebration of African American history” Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby shared the “why” of Black History Month in a moving message. Following an introduction by Madeleine Burnside, attendees toured the Frazier History Museum’s new temporary exhibit, “Spirits of the Passage.”
February 5, 2013
“What’s love got to do with it?” Dr. Joe D’Ambrosio and his colleague Dr. Anna Faul from the Kent School discussed their efforts to use famous sociologist Sorokin’s theory of love to guide all of their work in aging health care.
“What’s ahead for UofL Athletics” Julie Hermann, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for the University of Louisville welcomed members to the PNC Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and shared the back story of UofL’s journey to prominence in athletics. She also outlined what being a member of the ACC will mean for the university as a whole.
“Healthcare Reform – the Perspective from Insurance Leaders” Deb Moessner (LL ’08), President and General Manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Jeff Bringardner (LL ’07), President of Humana-Kentucky discussed how they expect healthcare reform to impact their companies and the community.
“Re-humanizing Healthcare” Dr. Robin Youngson, an anesthesiologist from New Zealand, talked to members about a movement he’s founded called HeartsInHealthcare.com for health care providers, students and anyone passionate about healthcare.
“Results of the 2012 Bingham Fellows projects” Members will hear from representatives of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2012 about the outcomes of their challenge to “Engage parents and the community to inspire student achievement.”
“Getting Educated on the School Board Election” A panel of three local news media representatives informed members on education issues related to the 2012 school board election. On the panel were: Devin Katayama, WFPL; Toni Konz, Courier-Journal; Tom Monahan, Business First.
Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center Donald Lassere is setting out to make the Muhammad Ali Center a global brand and Louisville a global city in the process.
Kris Kimel, founder of the IdeaFestival and president of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Kris Kimel explained why innovation is central to our success as a city and state, and previewed highlights of IdeaFestival 2012.
Wes Jackson, Publisher, Courier-Journal Wes Jackson spoke to members about The Courier-Journal’s future plans to remain a reliable and viable source of news in Louisville.
Jesabel Mudd and Adam Ruiz, representing the Hispanic Latino Business Council Members learned about “Doing Business with a Latin Zest!” with representatives of the Hispanic Latino Business Council.
Steve Conrad, Chief of Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Conrad talked to members about his vision of “Making Louisville the safest city in the U.S.”
Jim Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of U of L’s University Hospital Members heard from University Hospital Jim Taylor about the possibilities for the future of the hospital.
Les Waters, new Artistic Director at Actors Theatre Members met Actors Theatre’s new artistic director and heard his vision for what’s ahead for theatre in Louisville.
Dr. Donna Hargens, Jefferson County Public Schools SuperintendentMembers heard from Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens as she hit the 3-month mark in her new job. She provided an update on results of her 90-Day Plan.
Joe Arnold, WHAS, and John David Dyche, Courier-Journal columnistJoe Arnold (LL ’12), WHAS-TV political reporter and John David Dyche, Courier-Journal columnist and local attorney shared candid insights on campaign strategies that caught their attention. They shared humorous stories about races most members’ aren’t talking about, but should be. They also talked about candidates who are already gearing up for the 2014 senate race.
Kevin Flanery and John Asher, Churchill DownsMembers got the inside scoop on the challenges of running the world’s most famous horse-racing track from Churchill Downs Racetrack President, Kevin Flanery (LL ’04, FL ’03) and Churchill Downs Vice President of Communications, John Asher (LL ’10, FL ’00).
Dr. Terry Holliday, Education Commissioner for the State of KentuckyDr. Holliday spoke to members about the importance of doing a better job of educating children of poverty. He presented some very interesting statistics and ideas and initiatives that have been successful in other communities.
David Fannin, Mediation and Arbitration ConsultantDavid Fannin (LL ’88, BF ’91) returned to Louisville and Leadership Louisville Center to present “Working for the Most Difficult CEO in Business: How I Survived ‘Chainsaw’ Al With My Dignity and Sanity Intact” about his experiences working for Al Dunlap at Sunbeam. He had words of wisdom for graduates who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Mark Hogg, Executive Director of EDGE OUTREACHMark Hogg amazed members with the story of how his organization is bringing clean water to remote areas of the world – all from EDGE’s headquarters in a warehouse off Mellwood Avenue. EDGE OUTREACH developed and distributes simple water purification systems and was instrumental in efforts to supply clean water in Haiti immediately after the earthquake in 2010. Mark is one of Leadership Louisville’s Connectors.
Rob Birman (LL ’10), Chief Executive Officer of The Louisville OrchestraRob Birman (LL ’10), chief executive officer of the Louisville Orchestra, shared a rapid-fire history of the orchestra and his vision for shaping a secure financial future. Members asked questions and gained insights about current struggles facing this cultural icon.
Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of Huffington Post and author of Third-World AmericaIn partnership with the Kentucky Author Forum and the University of Louisville, the Leadership Louisville Center presented an opportunity for members to meet Arianna Huffington and discuss themes in her new book, Third-World America. She was very interested in hearing how members were helping the community deal with economic hardships.
January – March 2010
Conversations with the CandidatesThe series brought together members of the Center with the mayoral candidates in 7 separate sessions. Each candidate shared their vision for Louisville and entertained questions from members. Sessions featured David Tandy (D), Hal Heiner (R), Greg Fischer (D), Tyler Allen (D), Chris Thieneman (R), Jim King (D) and Shannon White (D).
Greg Capito, Vice President Human Resources for GE Consumer & IndustrialGreg shared GE’s vision of 21st century leadership from within their renowned theatre for the senses, the GE Monogram Experience Center. The event was a rare and exclusive opportunity for Leadership Louisville Center members to go behind the scenes with one of our city’s great leaders while touring the training facilities of a world-class company.
Allan MacCrae, author and leader of New Zealand youth justice systemIn the 80’s New Zealand faced a crisis in the juvenile justice system, and in 1989 enacted legislation to move to a “restorative” approach to juvenile justice. The “restorative” approach is unique in that it involves victims, offenders and the community in the justice process. Author Allan MacCrae, one of the leaders of the New Zealand system, shared the New Zealand story at Leadership Louisville Center to see if these lessons might be applicable to Louisville and to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Mike Harreld, Regional President PNC Bank, Greater Washington D.C. AreaAfter a full career in banking and civic leadership in his native Louisville, Mike moved to Washington, DC several years ago to become chief executive officer of PNC’s regional operations. Mike shared his perspective on such topics as life inside the Beltway, banking and the national economy, and Kentucky politics in the rear view mirror.
Managing Conflicting Values – Chandra Irvin, President of Irvin, Goforth & Irvin, LLC.Chandra G. Irvin has worked with organizations nationally and internationally to facilitate healthy relationships and increase productivity. Ms. Irvin is the co-author of “Do You See What I See? A Diversity Tale for Retaining People of Color”, the author of “FINDING PEACE in Life, Work and Love: Listening to the Voice Within”.
Contemplative Leadership – The Merton InstituteRobert Toth, Executive Director of the Merton Institute spoke about the Contemplative Leadership Initiative and offered an opportunity to participate in its development through a retreat lead by the Merton Institute.
Matthew Barzun of Obama National Finance CommitteeMatthew Barzun (LL ’05, BF ’05) was one of three members of the Obama National Finance Committee who taught “Obama University” – a one-day seminar where top regional fundraisers from around the country to learn to become better fundraisers as well as train others. Matthew shared insights about the experience, and explained how the Obama campaign’s approach to raising funds and spreading their candidate’s message was fundamentally different than that of previous presidential campaigns.