Winner named in Fall 2021 Ignite Louisville Challenge

Team working with agency that enables people with disabilities to thrive named winner of the Challenge

Louisville, Kentucky (October 20, 2021) – The 25th class of Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program graduated on October 19 following a day of presentations to a panel of esteemed judges. The six Community Acceleration 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 the nonprofit Mattingly Edge was selected as the winner of the challenge and will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by the Leadership Louisville Center. While one team was selected as the winner, all six nonprofit agencies received significant support, with the six teams contributing over 1,750 hours of service and providing over $84,000 in value to the nonprofit agencies.

Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a six-month program that grows young professionals by developing the key components of leadership. The program has graduated over 1,100 up-and-coming leaders and offers two classes each year, preparing next-generation talent for expanded roles in their organizations and in the community. 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 the first class graduated in 2005, Ignite Louisville Community Acceleration Teams have worked on 154 projects for area nonprofits to plan, execute and sustain new strategies for success. Participating nonprofits benefit from the expertise and energy of these Community Acceleration 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:

Mattingly Edge

Team members: Bradley Bringardner, Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty; Cecile Cissell, Telania | eLeaP; Sharlis Montgomery, Hogan Lovells US LLP; Conner Parsons, Al J. Schneider Company; Jennifer Spear, Humana Inc.; and Nadareca Thibeaux, Norton Healthcare.

Mattingly Edge cultivates partnerships that enable people with disabilities to thrive at work, at home, and in relationships. Their mission is based on the belief that people with disabilities have the right to the same privileges and responsibilities as other citizens. We know that communities are better when everyone is included.

The Ignite Louisville team partnered with Mattingly Edge to broaden the public’s awareness by developing an employment marketing asset video posted on their site. They partnered with UofL’s Communication Department, obtaining a social media intern to manage the social media accounts they recommended (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok). They also provided a proposal of services with Rein Marketing Agency to do a website redesign and enhance back-end analytics and tracking.

Building on the need to build awareness and sustainability, the team investigated the benefits of establishing a young professionals board that could assist with fundraising and awareness events and expand the Mattingly Edge reach. By project end, the team submitted an application, board governance and structure, and recommendations for recruitment and membership for the young professional board.

The team also assisted the Mattingly Edge HR team by developing a comprehensive resource directory that includes contacts from local universities, not for profits, school systems, and other organizations that could be leveraged to help recruit and communicate resource needs. Over 197 hours were dedicated to this project, and $15,023 of in-kind donated services were secured.

“Mattingly Edge loved having an Ignite Louisville team. They regularly met with us, listened to us, checked in with us, and collaborated with us to achieve our deliverables. It truly felt like a team effort. It turns out the thing we originally wanted help with wasn’t the most important issue, and our team successfully pivoted toward the greatest need. Not only do we end this program with the deliverables our team promised, but also with six new, passionate ambassadors for our cause, whose presence will have lasting effects on our organization.”

Steven Carr, Director of Development, Mattingly Edge


Additional Ignite Louisville teams and agencies:

Boys & Girls Haven (BGH)

Team members: Wick Byrne, BB&T Bank; Amanda Fillebrown, Seeds of New Leaf; Beth Hobson, Hosparus Health; Lauren Madden, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Taylor Payne, Baptist Health; Jacquelyn Rae, Vogt Power International Inc.; and Merry Reid Sheffer, Edge Employment.

A nonprofit foster care agency, Boys & Girls Haven (BGH) has provided a home and a future for some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable children, young adults, and families for over 70 years. The Ignite Louisville team was matched with BGH to increase corporate donorship and enhance their marketing. The team produced a catalog of the organization’s historical quotes and photos, a social media content bank, and a guide for increasing social media followers and engagement. They also created a planned giving program that, if followed, will generate between $3.5-7 million in its first 10 years. They supported BGH to update the donation platforms on their website and install analytics software that will help them track user engagement. In partnership with the Trust Foundation, they crafted an accepted grant proposal for their Independence Readiness Program to fund new computers, phones, and a remodel of the existing computer lab.


Canopy Certified LLC

Team members: Ron Burse, Dare to Care Food Bank; Greg Dutton, Frost Brown Todd; Kristie Helm, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics; Fiyin Lasisi, Vogt Ice LLC; Teresa Walker, MD, New Leaf Clinic; and Jana Wegener, Nugent Sand Company.

Canopy’s mission to “grow Kentucky businesses to impact people, our planet positively, and our future” resonated strongly with the Ignite Louisville team, comprised of a small business owner, a nonprofit director, an environmental attorney, international employees working in the U.S. on visas, and educators.

The Canopy team focused heavily on educating stakeholders and certifying companies aligned with the Good Business movement for the last 3 years. The Ignite Louisville team helped shepherd Canopy through its third pillar through an online membership portal—connecting business owners, young professionals, college students, nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, and the general public.

The Ignite Louisville team conducted interviews with stakeholders to gain a better understanding of portal use and functionality. They also ran a marketing campaign to generate public interest in the portal upon its launch. Through over 450 hours of work, Canopy now has a document outlining the Ignite team’s process and vision that can be handed over directly to a web developer.


Kids Cancer Alliance (KCA)

Team members: Anthony Glover, TEKsystems; James Hayne, Stites & Harbison; Amanda Kremer, MCM CPAs & Advisors; Lauren Peter, CoBank; and Kristia Worthy, KFC US.

Kids Cancer Alliance (KCA) programs unite families and kids with cancer in a powerful alliance of friendship and support through summer camps, retreats, in-hospital programs, and financial assistance. Although KCA has offered these programs to families for almost 40 years, they are Kentucky’s best-kept secret.

The Ignite Louisville team partnered with KCA to increase public awareness by revamping KCA’s social media strategy. By providing a social media calendar with graphics and posts that also incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion, their work will keep KCA at the top of people’s feeds and minds. Additionally, the team expanded the source of KCA’s donations by promoting the new Alliance Ally monthly donor program with a virtual kick-off event that provided enticing incentives and updated KCA’s marketing materials to attract new donors. In growing the number of monthly donations received through the Alliance Ally program, KCA will have a stable, low-risk revenue stream for years to come.


Louisville Story Program

Team members: Christina Britz, Louisville Metro Government; Pablo Camacho, Norton Healthcare; Ashleé Clark, Louisville Public Media; Lindsay Engle, Brown-Forman Corporation; Paul Kichler, Sacred Heart Schools, Inc.; Tanya Lewis, Anthem Inc.; and Callie McRae, LG&E and KU Energy.

The Louisville Story Program is a nonprofit organization that amplifies the stories of marginalized communities by publishing books that reflect Louisville’s different cultures. Their Ignite Louisville team developed an organizational toolkit that provides step-by-step guidance on amplifying the Louisville Story Program in the community. The toolkit includes sections on social media, events, influencers, paid search, alternative book formats, community partners, and board and volunteer engagement. To demonstrate the toolkit’s recommendations, the team hosted a booth at the WorldFest and engaged with influencers on social media. The toolkit will provide the Louisville Story Program with a sustainable plan that will make it easier for the organization to amplify itself.


West End School

Team members: Jon Brannick, Papa John’s International; Morel Jones, Kindred Healthcare; Michelle Marks, Raymond James; Michelle Mills, GE Appliances, a Haier company; Ashley Murray, Community Coordinated Child Care 4-C; and Alonzo Ramont, Redline Performing Arts, Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana.

West End School provides a safe and structured environment for boys in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th with a mission to enable students to achieve their highest potential regardless of their circumstances. The Ignite Louisville team partnered with the West End School to enhance its recruitment strategy and engage school alumni.  To deliver on these tasks, the team was involved in direct recruitment efforts through neighborhood canvassing and a booth at the Russell neighborhood Block Party, which reached an estimated 150 community members. The team created the West End School Community Council, an advisory group of community members and alumni who will provide younger generation engagement with the school and contribute to recruitment efforts. The team assembled a West End School Fall Fest plan and accompanying materials for future recruitment and community awareness event. These efforts delivered numerous marketing and recruitment materials for the school, including a press release, recruitment flyers, social media posts, a radio ad, and a list of target organizations for future recruitment.  The team’s 117 hours of service work, in-kind donations, and committed sponsorships are valued at an estimated $6,329.


About the Leadership Louisville Center:

The Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement. With a purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better, it has graduated over 10,000 through its civic programs since 1979. The Center is recognized as a national best practice and is known for its dynamic programming and strong community connections. Programming includes five social impact leadership programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows and Encore Louisville), leadership skills training courses presented through the Leadership Green Room, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. Learn more at