Winner named in Spring 2017 Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge

The 17th class of the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program graduated on April 19 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 Family & Children’s Place was selected as winner of the challenge and will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by the YUM! Brands Foundation.  

While one team was selected as the winner, all six nonprofit agencies received significant support, with each team averaging about 450 hours of service and providing an average of $40,000 in value to the nonprofit agency.

Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a seven-month program that grows young professionals by developing the key components of leadership. The Yum! IGNITES 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 nearly 100 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 made possible by the YUM! Brands Foundation.

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

Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge winning team and agency:

Family & Children’s Place

Lisa Bellafato, Passport Health Plan; Tracey Johnson, Brown-Forman Corporation; Katie Porter, Norton Healthcare; Adam Price, Volunteers of America Mid-States; Alec Risch, Heine Brother’s Coffee; Brad Savko, Republic Bank; and Whitney Schulze, ZirMed.


Team Seven of Hearts partnered with Family & Children’s Place to increase the effectiveness of their Family Stabilization Program (FSP).  The initial ask was to expand the pool of landlords and property managers willing to rent to FSP clients.

On March 22 the team hosted a landlord appreciation and recruiting event on behalf of the organization.  Approximately 30 people attended.  Twelve new landlords and property managers have shown interest in participating in the FSP due to the event and other outreach and marketing efforts, exceeding the initial goal.  The team also created a packet of marketing materials using insights collected from a series of focus groups; one each for landlords, clients, and FSP case managers.  The packet includes a series of videos illustrating the need for the Family Stabilization Program, and how it helps FSP clients, a website enumerating the benefits of program participation to new landlords, and a direct and online marketing campaign.  The marketing materials and an updated participating landlord database will ensure the future sustainability of this growing program.




The Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farm

Jenni Edwards; Jason Hesketh, Superb IPC; Ashley Haury, U.S. Bank; Lindy Lamkin, Kids Cancer Alliance; Jared Revlett, Tandem Public Relations; Tonya Sangester, Louisville Metro Government; and Jessica Sharon, University of Louisville.

Team Ignited We Stand partnered with the Food Literacy Project (FLP), working closely with FLP to capitalize on the assets of the farm and generate support for emerging revenue-generating models.  In light of those efforts, the team created fresh, new marketing materials, provided sponsorship and donor prospect lists, created a crowd-funding platform, and developed a cultivation/stewardship model for donors.  The team members initiated relationship growth with local entities important to furthering the FLP Mission, to include Oxmoor Country Club, Jefferson County Public Schools, and the Kentucky Derby Festival – culminating in the inclusion of FLP’s Truck Farm in the 2017 Parade Preview and Derby Fest-A-Ville.  Other efforts included developing an event planning resource guide and outlining all logistical aspects for the Full Moon Feast dining series – an elegant farm-to-fork meal prepared in an outdoor kitchen by local chefs using fresh ingredients from the Farm.  Additionally, they planned a golf scramble fundraiser for FLP, and a guiding manual, to be used in subsequent scrambles.


Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation

Tara Carnes, Passport Health Plan; Theresa Cox, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Drew Eckman, Young Professionals Association of Louisville; Kristina Lowe, Universal Woods, Inc.; Kenny Moyer, Republic Bank; Annabelle Pike, University of Louisville; and Maria Wilson, Enterprise Holding.

Team Southern Discomfort focused a re-branding campaign to engage young physicians on behalf of the Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation.  This included developing recommendations for a new logo, new mission and vision statements, and enhanced communication strategies that would first build awareness of the Foundation.  The second stage of the project included developing engagement strategies that would get physicians, especially young physicians, more involved after they became aware of the Foundation’s work and the importance of involvement.  The project also involved navigating among the other arms of the Greater Louisville Medical Society.  The goal of the project was to build a strong platform for the sustainability of the Foundation, but perhaps more importantly, the team was able to assist these different arms of the organization, which had previously worked in silos, in aligning their goals to become a more efficient organization.


Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies

Sydney Doctor, Greater Louisville Inc.; Eric Gurevich, Fund for the Arts; Jason Larkin, Messer Construction Co.; Tova Levin, Humana Inc.; Brittany Lutke, Data Cave Inc.; Toya Northington, ArtThrust; and Mark Shelton, DBS Interactive.

The Wolf Pack worked with Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies and developed a brand strategy for Kids Center by securing in-kind television, digital and print advertising campaigns for the next 12 months, designed a new Kids Center logo, and redesigned the Kids Center website. In addition, the Wolf Pack aided Kids Center with construction management in the design of an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) facility project and secured funds to help offset the cost of the total project. Finally, the Wolfpack assisted Kids Center with consultation of organizational change management and data collection opportunities. The team secured more than $178,000 in grants, donations and in-kind trades for these projects.


The Louisville Nature Center

Nikki Carver, Mercer; Meagan Bartholomew Cecil, Vimarc; Jacqueline Jarboe, Humana Inc.; Kelsey Oliver, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Chris Staples, Hilliard Lyons Trust Company; Wes Sydnor, Louisville MSD; and Laura Wince, Delta Dental of Kentucky.

Through The Brunettes partnership with the Louisville Nature Center (LNC), a deep impact was made on the organization and the Louisville community. The team hosted a Spring Open House at the Center, which raised over $12,000 in cash and in-kind donations, which included $1,147 in donations to LNC’s new donor society, a revamp of their membership program to drive sustainable funding to the organization. The Open House exposed 165 new visitors to the Center, facilitated the distribution of 1,325 trees through the Center’s Spring Tree Giveaway and doubled the average donation for tree delivery compared to the fall campaign.

To address the initial ask, the Brunettes improved 14 marketing materials; a value of over $12,000, while also providing LNC the tools to continue creating enhanced materials. Finally, the Brunettes assisted the Center in updating strategic board documents to create a focused direction for the organization. Overall, the team created more awareness of the Center and its offerings to increase funding and promotion of LNC while exposing more people to Louisville’s natural environment.


Mission Behind Bars and Beyond

Ali Edelstein, Kentucky Distillers Association; Adam Emrick, Olin Brass; Natalie Gupton, AgSafe, Children’s Hospital Foundation; Rachel Overton, University of Louisville Athletics; Dan Robbins, Brown-Forman Corporation; Janna Woodfork, Transit Authority of River City; and Jesse Yarbrough, Louisville Emergency Services.

The Non-Profiteers worked with Mission Behind Bars and Beyond (MB3), a non-profit focused on reducing rates of recidivism through providing support to incarcerated individuals as they transition out of prison into society. The Non-Profiteers worked more than 350 hours, providing support to MB3 through fundraising, web site content and analytics development, board training and board development. Specifically, the Non-Profiteers completely revamped MB3’s web site, improving content for marketing to external audiences and optimizing the site’s analytical capabilities to effectively collect information for donors and volunteers. Further, the Non-Profiteers led the way in organizing MB3’s first “Cycle to End the Cycle” and “Reveal” events, bringing in more than $7,000 in funding and connecting the organization to thousands of individuals in the community via media outreach. In addition, the team spent countless hours alongside MB3 board members, providing training and support to promote sustainability. The team also initiated a relationship with the Center for Non-Profit Excellence (CNPE) in an effort to provide ongoing training and development to support organizational success for years to come.


About Ignite Louisville:

Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a seven-month program that grows rising community leaders by developing the key components of leadership. In addition to the core curriculum, the class participates in the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge and takes on a project proposed by a local nonprofit to gain hands-on experience performing on a team and serving the community.  The Spring 2017 class learned cutting-edge leadership concepts from program partners including Norton Healthcare, Yum! Brands, Inc., Brown-Forman Corporation, Humana, Inc., and the U.S. Army.  Ignite Louisville was founded by the Leadership Louisville Center in 2003 in partnership with the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL) and the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals (LULYP).


About the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge

The Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge is the service learning component of the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program. Each year, about 12 nonprofits are selected to work with an Ignite Louisville team. At the end of the program, a winning team (or teams) receives funds for their partner organization.

Since its inception in 2004, Ignite Louisville participants have worked on nearly 100 projects for area nonprofits to plan, execute and sustain new strategies for success.  The Ignite Louisville teams invest an average of over 500 hours in each of their partner organizations. In a recent survey, partner organizations stated that Ignite Louisville teams remarkably improved the productivity of operations, increased the organization’s outreach in the community and improved the strategic focus of the organization. The average value of each team’s work is over $35,000 in the most recent class and many Ignite Louisville graduates have joined the boards of directors of their adopted nonprofit, helping to accelerate a generational change in leadership. In 2013, Ignite Louisville’s challenge received a national award for “Excellence in Innovation” from the Association of Leadership Programs. In 2009, it was awarded the Center for Nonprofit Excellence’s Pyramid Award for the Art of Collaboration.


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 7,000 community leaders have graduated from the Center’s programs that include Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows, and Encore Louisville.  The Leadership Green Room was launched in 2015 and serves as the training and talent development arm of the Center, expanding the resources available to the region’s business community and employee base.  In 2011, the Leadership Louisville Center was 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


For more information, contact:

Holly Prather, Vice President

Direct:  (502) 753-6503  Main: (502) 561-0458