Winner named in Fall 2018 Ignite Louisville Challenge

The Ignite Louisville team working with a nonprofit dedicated to academic enrichment and athletic training program for student-athletes recognized as winning team

Louisville, Kentucky (October 12, 2018) – The 20th class of the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program graduated on October 10 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 Ignite Louisville Challenge and earning additional funds for the agency they worked to assist. The team working with Inside The Lines Training was selected as winner of the challenge and will receive the $1,500 prize.  While one team was selected as the winner, all six nonprofit agencies received significant support, with the six teams contributing over 5,500 hours of service and providing over $240,000 in value to the nonprofit agencies.

Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a seven-month program that grows young professionals by developing the key components of leadership. The Ignite Louisville Challenge is an opportunity for teams from the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program to undertake a project for a local nonprofit, gaining experience in community leadership, board involvement and teamwork.  Since its inception in 2004, Ignite Louisville participants have worked on over 115 projects for area nonprofits to plan, execute and sustain new strategies for success. Participating nonprofits benefit from the expertise and energy of the teams, which each invest hundreds of hours with their nonprofit agency as they compete for donations.

Click to see team photos and results achieved by each team for their nonprofit partners.

Ignite Louisville Challenge winning team and agency:


Kat Abner, Fund for the Arts; Jonathon Bartley, Vidionix LLC; Carrie Bauer, Farm Credit Mid-America; Hillary Bonistalli, Crowe LLP; Kim Crocker, Neustar, Inc.; Qiana Ingram, Bellarmine University; and Matt Smith, LG&E and KU Services LLC.

Team River City Avengers partnered with Inside The Lines Training, Inc., an academic enrichment and athletic training program for student-athletes age 6-18 years old. The initial “ask” was to create a business model, however, the team quickly realized establishing a framework for sustainability took priority. They began by helping find a permanent location for the organization, which was critical to its success. They developed a program model to narrow the scope and vision for the organization. They created a financial report, which included a budget for the future. The budget allotted the hiring of eight tutors and two trainers. A list of new donors and volunteers was organized into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. The team also created a Board of Director’s handbook to help build a high-performing, working board. They also created a press packet to help media outlets share the story of Inside the Lines. Once these critical structures were in place, the team launched the organization’s inaugural fundraiser with a golf scramble. They assisted with the planning, promotion, and many other action items to ensure the event’s success. The golf scramble raised $10,000 for the organization. Another $1,000 was raised by selling tickets for a Louisville City FC soccer game.

“River City Avengers are superheroes. They have wholeheartedly jumped into the progression and development of our nonprofit without hesitation. Since day one they have been dedicated to our success. There couldn’t have been a better group to support us. They have helped develop a model of sustainability, secure funding, acquiring a building to work out of, and the knowledge to be impactful and intentional on our mission and vision to serve our youth to the best of our ability. THANK YOU RIVER CITY AVENGERS!!! 

-Anthony Richardson, co-founder of Inside the Lines Training Inc.

Additional Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge teams and outcomes:

Adelante Hispanic Achievers – TEAM IGNIUM

Kyle Kingery, Messer Construction; MaryLauren Knadler, Glantz Holdings, Inc.; Teresa Lajara, Louisville Metro Government; Stephen Lin Jr., Jefferson County Public Schools; Jessica Morgan, Community Ventures; and Brian Schaefer, Prudential Advisors.

Team Ignium’s collaboration with Adelante Hispanic Achievers focused on three objectives: increase sustainable development opportunities; increase personnel capacity and infrastructure; and, increase opportunities for Hispanic/Latino students. To achieve these objectives, the team’s project was conducted in two phases.  The first phase developed a strategic blueprint for Adelante to implement over the next three years. Through collaborative conversations, Team Ignium and Adelante created strategies for progress for each project objective. Measurable targets and indicators of the blueprint were identified to ensure the sustainability of the growth plan. The plan will be implemented and conclude in 2021.  Phase two included executing a community engagement event called ¡Adelante Despega! which translates to Adelante Takes Off. This event intentionally modeled organizational functions and behaviors needed to achieve the three objectives the team outlined. Kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month, over 200 attendees including students and parents took part in ¡Adelante Despega! to learn about the organization and participate in a Family Olympics Day. The event raised $3,000 in donations and local sponsors provided $3,200 in in-kind gifts and donations.

CASA of the River Region – WE HAVE IGNITION

Joseph Ender, Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions; Jeff Hayes, PNC Bank; Sam Johnson Jr., Louisville Urban League, Inc.; Amanda Kaiser-Jones, Advanced Electrical Systems, Inc.; Joe Lord, Louisville Metro Government; Laura Nunnelley, University of Louisville; and Kelly Wilkinson, Louisville Public Media.

Team We Have Ignition worked closely with CASA to enhance their recruitment efforts for CASA volunteers. The team interviewed, recruited, and developed a Faith-Based Outreach Committee, contacted over 700 churches to spread the CASA message, hosted a 101 informational session and established a strategic partnership with the Louisville Urban League, and made plans to volunteer at CASA events this fall. The team also marketed CASA to several regional religious newsletters and provided materials to over a dozen faith-based organizations. The Faith-Based Outreach Committee has already had two meetings and is actively connecting CASA to a variety of faith-based organizations.  The committee is scheduled to meet monthly with the oversight of CASA’s Marketing Lead. The entire team will remain active with CASA beyond the Ignite Louisville program.


Justin Grant, Texas Roadhouse; Joe Hedges, Hilliard Lyons; Kathryn Luttner, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Kimberly Rice, River City Housing; Vanessa Rogers, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP; and Ben U’Sellis, Charter Communications.

Team Ignites of the Roundtable created a new Fund for the Arts-sponsored program called “Arts Access.” The program’s purpose is to allow every Louisvillian — no matter their income — the opportunity to experience the arts. The team will accomplish this is by providing tickets and experiences to nonprofit partners for distribution to individuals in communities they serve. The program makes use of tickets that go unsold for arts performances since rarely are organizations able to sell out every event. Tickets will cost $2 each to be paid by attendees. Why $2? The team’s research reveals that people are more likely to attend shows that have a monetary value attached to them; free events are often skipped. To further the goal of giving arts access to all, the team has partnered with TARC to provide complimentary rides and nonprofit partners to ensure a well-rounded, comfortable experience for recipients.  Every Louisvillian should have the opportunity to experience arts events regardless of financial constraints, and Arts Access provides that opportunity.

Heuser Hearing and Language Academy – SUPER SEVEN

Maria Castro, Brown-Forman Corporation; Lindsey Gumer, Norton Healthcare; Aimee Jewell, University of Louisville; Taylor Purdie, Humana Inc.; Alex Shelton, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Tim Voigt, DaVita Inc.; and Patrick Wilson, MCM CPAs & Advisors LLP.

Team Super Seven worked with Heuser Hearing and Language Academy to track down alumni and build a more structured giving circle. Team Super Seven volunteered to gather contact information from many of the school’s alumni, organize events that engage different populations within both the school and hearing institute, and expand ways to volunteer for donors and alumni alike. Super Seven also restructured Heuser’s giving arm, the Butterfly Society, to create a sustainable model that would allow for more volunteers to get connected to the organization. The team organized an open house to engage new supporters of the Heuser Hearing and Language Academy and connect with past alumni. After surveying nearly 100 constituents in Kentuckiana, Team Super Seven found that most individuals were looking for the opportunity to donate and volunteer, and that the agency could develop both pieces of the organization. The team also constructed a strategic vision and marketing packet for the Butterfly Society to utilize when engaging new, diverse members.

Uniting Partners for Women and Children – IMPETUS

Cassie Blausey, Jefferson County Public Schools; Leslie Dawson, Delta Dental of Kentucky; Carmyn Howe, Humana Inc.; Michael Maldonado, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Ellie Puckett, Greater Louisville Inc.; Brandon Schaefer, GE Appliances, a Haier company; and Emily Turman, Churchill Downs.


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 civic programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows, and Encore Louisville) and the Leadership Green Room serves as the training and talent development arm of the Center. The Leadership Louisville Center has been 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.  Learn more at


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