Pat Gallagher creates visual art based on the connection he feels when talking with people.
Gallagher was a corporate employee in 2006 when an unnamed man in a New York hotel bar in Times Square saw him doodling on a napkin and declared him an artist. He decided to veer away from his life path at the time and embrace his natural talents.
With innate talent and no formal training, Gallagher has an innate ability to sit and talk with his subject and create art based on how they see themselves. He approaches his art with honesty, humor, and skepticism, and has gained many famous clients. His impression of Michelle Obama, titled “My Attorney,” hangs in the White House. He is the first artist to ever paint at a presidential inaugural ball and the first artist in residence at the Mohammed Ali Center.
The son of working-class Irish immigrants, Gallagher was born in Pennsylvania but spent childhood summers on an Ireland farm. He found his voice with art and now connects to others on a daily basis, selling his work around the world.
Lora Tucker loves leadership responsibility – and making a difference – and has used that love from childhood through her military career and as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.
Tucker is a retired US Army colonel. She led troops in Operation Desert Storm, jumped out of airplanes as part of the Airborne Corps, directed public affairs officers in the US Army Reserve, and commanded a joint press camp at Guantanamo Bay. Tucker earned the Bronze Star Medal and served 25 years as a soldier and officer for the U.S. Army. She was walking outside of the Pentagon and saw first hand the devastation when terrorists flew a plane into it on 9/11.
After her military retirement, Tucker returned to the area and accepted the position as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. With 23,000 girls enrolled, she describes the organization as a leadership experience where girls discover who they want to be.
Tucker also holds several degrees, including a B.A. in social science from Boston College, a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University, and a master’s in strategic studies from the United States Army War College.
Angela McCormick Bisig is a Jefferson County district court judge who is driven to get out into the community and make a difference.
She has been a Jefferson County district court judge since 2002 and is a strong supporter for foreign language education for court personnel. As judge, Bisig introduced the enhanced family supervision docket to review domestic violence cases. She is also an advocate for more training on multi-cultural court issues and created a Spanish language and cultural emersion program for the Jefferson County court system.
Before becoming a judge, Bisig earned a J.D. from the University of Louisville. She also worked as a law clerk, litigation associate, and a waitress before becoming a prosecutor in the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.
When she is out of court, Bisig volunteers locally for charities such as Dare to Care Food Bank, and is a regular participant in the Louisville Girls Leadership Summit.
Growing up Derek Anderson listened to the positives around him. This drove him through his NBA career and the founding of a successful business and charitable foundation.
Anderson played for the championship-winning men’s basketball team at the University of Kentucky. He then went on to be the 13th overall pick in the NBA Draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anderson played with five other NBA teams throughout his basketball career.
After retiring from the NBA, Anderson became a director and screenwriter. His documentary about playing on the Kentucky Wildcats team quickly sold out in stores. He continued his work in film and television by writing for several more productions, and currently owns Loyalty Design LLC, which designs movie posters, television logos, and equipment inventions.
He established the Derek Anderson Foundation, with the mantra of “to be different means to make a difference.” The foundation’s mission is to help abused and battered women and children, as well as feeding and helping supply guidance to disadvantaged children. Anderson involves himself closely with all his charities and welcomes anyone to join.
Gerald Neal credits his parents’ commitment to the community as laying the foundation for his career in politics.
Neal advocates for economic development, education, health, welfare, and safe communities. He is a powerful voice for those who need it most. In his five years as Kentucky state senator of Louisville’s 33rd district, Neal has been included in the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and received both the Clarence Mitchell Award from the NAACP and an Anderson Laureate Award.
Neal was awarded the 2005 Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award and served as a United Nations observer monitor in South Africa for their historic all-race elections. He holds several significant degrees, including a J.D. from the University of Louisville, and is a practicing attorney at Gerald Neal and Associates, LLC.
Jeff Van Note played football eighteen years for the NFL Atlanta Falcons, the second longest for any player on one team.
After attending grade school in Louisville and college at the University of Kentucky, Van Note established himself as one of the finest centers in the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Falcons. He was voted by fans as their favorite Falcons player, inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor, and also inducted into seven different football halls of fame.
Van Note is a 6-time Pro Bowler and was Second Team All-Pro in 1982. He holds one of the 25 longest careers in NFL history. In 1986, the Falcons retired his number.
Since his retirement, fans can enjoy listening to Van Note as color commentator for Falcons and University of Kentucky broadcasts, as well as sports talk radio in Atlanta.
Carol Haddad is driven by a desire to be a participant, not a spectator, in improving education for children.
At the critical juncture of the education merger and a federal judge’s order for busing, Haddad ran for the JCPS school board. She felt strongly that her voice could make a difference to improve education standards.
Haddad’s motivation to advocate for children and their education came from joining the Parent Teacher’s Association in 1967. From there, Haddad continued to help the PTA for seven years, including the two years she served as its president. From 1976 to 1980, Haddad’s role in education leadership evolved as she held a seat at the Board of Education. She was then elected back to the board in 1990. Haddad served as a chairperson from 1993 to 1994 and again from 1999 to 2002, as well as vice chair for two more years.
Inspired by creativity, Bruce Simpson credits the joy of life for what drives him and fuels his career in ballet.
Simpson came to the Louisville Ballet as artistic director in 2002, bringing over 30 years of experience in the ballet world with him.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Simpson mastered the art of ballet. He danced for South Africa’s State Theatre Ballet for 30 years and experienced many performances and leading roles. In 1983 Simpson was named ballet master, and in 1985, he was named senior ballet master. He retired from the stage in 1998 at the age of 50.
Simpson began leading the Texas Ballet Theatre in 2000 before coming to Louisville two years later. He has worked with some of the great dancers of this time. In both 2006 and 2010, Simpson was honored to serve on the jury at the U.S. International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.
Major General Donald Storm dedicated 37½ years to serving his country with the U.S. Army.
Storm first enlisted in the Army in 1970. He served in the MACV, or Military Assistance Command in Vietnam. Storm later transferred to full-time service with the Kentucky Army National Guard. He was then commissioned as an infantry officer. Storm commanded and served in staff officer positions at the Company Battalion Brigade at state headquarters level with senior level leadership assignments.
Storm was the Kentucky Army Guard chief of staff from 2001 to 2003, and because of the global war on terror, made multiple trips to the Middle East. He also led the Kentucky National Guard effort to intensify and increase cooperation between Ecuador and Kentucky.
During his years serving with the Army, Storm became the 51st adjutant general and received numerous military awards and decorations, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, and Bronze medal.
Upon his retirement from the Army, Major General Storm joined Storm Security Limited in London, Ky. and serves on many boards. He is also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A consistent love for sports and entertainment drives Lynn Abramson-Saltzman in her career.
Abramson-Saltzman is the general manager of the Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties, the exclusive marketer for the KFC Yum! Center. In 2007, Abramson-Saltzman hit the ground running, and during her first year she assisted in securing sponsorship commitments exceeding $50 million over the next decade.
Abramson-Saltzman graduated from Syracuse University. She came to Louisville with 20 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, including the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, bowl games, concerts, special events, and the Super Bowl. Her accomplishments caught the eye of the Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties which recruited her to come to the city.
A passion for the arts and to make things better by introducing new generations to the art drives Stephen Klein in his career.
Since 2005, Klein has been president of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. He has spearheaded a comprehensive and ongoing strategic plan, served as the chair of the Arts and Cultural Attractions Council, and successfully organized a $9 million request for deferred funds. Klein also assisted in preserving Stage One Children’s Theatre and sits on many boards throughout Louisville.
Klein came to Louisville with an exciting theatre background. He played Caiaphas in the original Broadway production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” After being a professional singer and actor in New York, Klein served as executive director of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, orchestra manager with the Cleveland Orchestra, with Musical Director Rostropovich at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and as managing director of the Pittsburg Public Theatre.
Over the years, Kent Oyler has started 19 different business ventures and created over 1,000 jobs.
Oyler is currently CEO of OPM Services, a financial services and investment firm.
In 1996, Oyler and a friend formed high-speed access (or HSA) that delivers broadband Internet over cable television wires, attracting over $90 million in significant, well-known investors. In 1999, at age 41, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan took HSA public in what still stands as the largest IPO in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. That same year, Oyler donated $1 million to seed a new business challenge grant, which has, so far, raised more than $25 million for the United Way.
Former President H.W. Bush recognized Oyler as a Presidential Point of Light for his work on the national expansion on the YMCA program for runaways, called Safe Place. He has also received a Lifetime Achievement Presidential Service Award from President Obama for his work with the United Way.
Berk Bryant is fueled by a desire to bring bluegrass and traditional country music to the world to enjoy.
Bryant was born in Virginia and grew up listening to bluegrass music while helping on his grandparents’ farm. After attending Polytechnic Institute, he went on to serve in the Army, spending time in Korea, Vietnam, and Fort Knox, Ky. During his years in the Army, Bryant managed to work on various radio stations, earning him the title “Mr. DJ USA” from WSM in Nashville. In 1989, he launched his “Sunday Bluegrass” show on public radio, a volunteer-run program on WFPK.
Bryant has met just about everyone in the folk and bluegrass music genres over most of the 20th century, including Elvis. He has been emceeing and hosting festivals for 65 years, including Forest Fest and Louisville’s Bluegrass Music Festival. And along the way, Bryant has honed his skills as a magician, married a good woman, and raised a family.
Madeline Abramson served as Louisville’s first lady for 21 years and is a tireless community volunteer.
As the wife of the longest serving mayor in Louisville history, Mayor Jerry Abramson, Abramson has selflessly devoted a great deal of her efforts to volunteerism. Her passion for public service has placed her as the board chair for the Kentucky Center for Performing Arts and the Red Cross, and leading the board at Maryhurst. Abramson has also served on the board for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and St. Mary’s Foundation at Jewish Hospital.
Abramson has earned some very high honors for her many volunteer commitments, including the Ira J. Porter Award from the American Red Cross, the Maryhurst Shepherd’s Heart Award, the Hannah G. Solomon Award, the Family Scholar House Lucy Award, and an honorary doctorate in public service from Spaulding University.
Hal Heiner served as a vice chairman of Greater Louisville, Inc., and in 2002, he was elected to the Louisville Metro Council. On the Council, he spent eight years focusing on finding efficiencies in services, shedding light on the inner dealings of Metro Government, and finding smart ways for the community to grow and prosper.
After receiving a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Louisville, he became a partner in one of the city’s largest civil engineering firms. In 1997, Heiner founded Capstone Realty, which helped to bring more than 4,000 jobs to South Jefferson County and across the region. Hal has been active in numerous charities and educational organizations and currently serves on the Metro Leadership Foundation as a founding board member.
Louisville-born Greg Fischer is an entrepreneur and community leader. In 2008, Fischer ran for the Kentucky Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate and finished second among the seven candidates.
Fischer co-invented and holds the patent for a combination ice and beverage dispenser. This invention led to forming SerVend, a family business with his father and brother. Under his leadership the small business grew to a global manufacturing company and employed over 300 people. In 1999, Fischer retired from SerVend International and founded Iceberg Ventures, a venture capital firm providing assistance for other start-ups.
Fischer has centered on three main goals: creating good-paying jobs, improving education at all levels, and making Louisville an even more compassionate city. Fischer prides himself on a data-driven approach towards government efficiency.
He was previously interviewed in December 2008.
Jackie Green, write-in candidate for mayor of Louisville, focuses on the local economy, central neighborhoods, education, energy, quality affordable housing, local food, safety, health, downtown, and transportation.
Green originally moved to Louisville in 1975, and has lived in several places around the U.S. and world. He bought and renovated four historic buildings on East Market Street (now the heart of NULU). His entrepreneurial experience includes business consulting, import/export management, and farming. He co-founded Louisville’s only bicycle courier service, as well as manages bike shops and property in Louisville’s neighborhoods.
Living with a core of gratitude and an attitude of caring and sharing, Bernard Trager founded and built Republic Bank, always with a heart to serve.
In 1958, Trager co-founded and became CEO of Union Trust. Almost 20 years later, Union Trust and its seven subsidiaries became part of Commercial Credit of Baltimore, where Trager worked as president and CEO. In 1980, he founded Republic Bank and Trust Company on Bardstown Road in Louisville. The bank expanded and thrived, and today Republic Bank & Trust Company and Republic Bank have well over 40 banking centers in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.
Trager is the recipient of endless impressive awards and achievements, and has served as director for multiple community organizations. He is also a generous donor for many community causes throughout Louisville.
Aside from his time in the Air Force, Louisville has always been home for Trager. He and his wife of fifty-five years, Jean, have five grandchildren.
Ramona Johnson is driven by the desire to help those with mental illness.
She leads Bridgehaven Mental Health Services, which provides the highest quality psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Johnson served as Clinical Director at Bridgehaven for four years, before taking the role as president and CEO.
In 1976, Johnson earned her nursing degree from Spalding University, graduating summa cum laude. She went straight into a nursing career in Louisville and Maryland. Johnson later became an instructor at the University of Louisville’s School of Nursing.
Her many accomplishments include director of mental health with Visiting Nurses Association, project director and clinical specialist with Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and nurse therapist with Seven Counties Services.
John Y. Brown, Jr. credits his father as the prime motivator and confidence builder in his life, driving his later successes.
Brown began working at age 16 selling Electrolux vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias door to door. He made his way to the University of Kentucky, where he earned a J.D.
In 1962, his partner and he purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken from its founder, Colonel Sanders for $2 million. In 1971, after building 3,500 KFC’s worldwide and making Colonel Sanders one of the world’s most recognized brands, Brown sold KFC for $285 million. After 1971 he became president of the American Basketball Association, created 40 small fast food outlets named Ollie’s Trolley, and purchased three professional basketball teams: the Kentucky Colonels, the Buffalo Braves, and the Boston Celtics.
In 1978 he went on to build the Pamela Brown Auditorium, located in Louisville’s Actors Theatre and contributed a $1 million matching gift to build the downtown YMCA.
In 1979, Brown was elected as Kentucky’s 55th governor. After his run with politics, Brown continued pursuing many new restaurant concepts. He later ran for several public offices, created a number of new companies, and contributed to building the Mohammed Ali Center.
In 2009, Harvard Business School named Brown one of the Great American Business Leaders of the 20th Century.
David Jones Sr. co-founded Humana Inc. and considers the good job opportunities and chance for success that the company ultimately provided as his greatest achievement. Treating people the way he wants to be treated is his guiding principle.
In 1961, Louisville-native David Jones Sr., with his late partner Wendell Cherry, borrowed $1,000 and founded the company, Extendicare. Before the decade was though, it became the largest nursing home company in the U.S. In 1974, the company was re-named Humana, Inc.
Today, Humana is a Fortune 100 health benefits company with revenue of $30 billion, 30,000 employees, and almost 12 million customers across the nation. In 2005, after 37 years as CEO and 44 years as board chair, Jones retired from Humana, and was succeeded by his son.
Jones and his business partner were instrumental in the opening of the Kentucky Center for the Arts. His many other achievements include receiving the Yale Medal, the highest award for outstanding volunteer service, and the Order of Merit in 2003, Romania’s highest civilian award. He also holds honorary doctorates from universities across the globe.
Jones and his wife Betty have five children and eleven grandchildren.
A native of Ireland, Dr. T. Pearse Lyons is driven by making a difference in the world and has built his company, Alltech, based on doing the right thing.
In 1980, Lyons founded Alltech, an animal health company. What started as a very modest company has grown into a high technology, high-concept global giant with revenues of $500 million. Alltech is now located in Nicholasville, Kentucky, on a 146-acre campus with a stunning blend of science and art. It is the title sponsor to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games being held in Lexington, Ky.
Lyons credits his mother’s emphasis on education as spurring him forward in his studies of science. He studied yeast fermentation, eventually earning his Bachelor of Science from the National University in Ireland and his master’s and doctorate degrees at England’s University of Birmingham. Lyons eventually moved to Lexington, Ky. and accepted the position of executive at Biocon, Inc., a British company that produces brewing additives.
Lyons has developed numerous new products including Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Bluegrass Sundown, Pearce Lyons Reserve, LIFEFORCE, and Dippin’ Dots.
Lyons counts the things that have happened as an outgrowth of Alltech – like the number of young people who’ve achieved their Ph.D. as a result of working there and finding science exciting – as the most exiting part of his achievements. He cites surprises in his life like running a marathon when he turned 50, the impact of sponsoring the World Equestrian Games, meeting Muhammad Ali and bringing him to Ireland, meeting the Queen and sitting with her for several hours, as surreal and the types of things that are really satisfying.
Matt Bevin’s intellectual curiosity and love of learning have led him through several career opportunities in his lifetime.
Bevin is currently the CEO and principal of Integrity Asset Management, which manages $2.5 billion in assets. He recruited several asset managers and started the firm with eight people, no customers and a modest start. With hard work and long hours, Integrity Asset Management has grown to be one of Louisville’s largest money management firms.
Bevin came from humble beginnings in a northern New England town. He was raised to believe he was part of a bigger community and has spent a great deal of his time helping others less fortunate, and those who touched his life. He started a local non-profit in memory of his oldest daughter, Brittany’s Wish, and served as chairman of the board of the Louisville area American Red Cross.
Bevin is also a former officer with the Army and a graduate of Washington and Lee University.
A Louisville native and self-proclaimed life-long student, Dan Jones has a vision for the future Louisville landscape. And his vision is coming to life.
Jones is the Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Parks, a non-profit organization seeking to develop a 4,000 to 5,000-acre park and trail system in the last major undeveloped corridor surrounding Louisville. Jones grew up near Cherokee Park and sets out to repeat what Fredrick Law Olmstead Parks have previously done for Louisville with the 21st Century Parks initiative.
Jones oversees the planning, design, and construction of the new parks. Since the park’s initiative in 2002, the project is on the fast track to having the first phase of construction complete in 5 to 7 years.
Jones previously worked as a real estate developer and owned a golf center. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, running and reading.
A custom builder and remodeler, Joe Pusateri thrives on challenge and using his talents to the best of his ability.
Pusateri counts his parents holding all of their children to a high standard as the beginning of his leadership style. He founded Elite Homes in 1976, specializing in the design, building, and remodeling of custom homes. In November of 2007, his company was responsible for building a home for the television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The home was specially designed and built for musician Patrick Henry Hughes.
He served as president of the Home Builder’s Association in Louisville twice and was responsible for bringing Homearama to the Smoketown neighborhood, building the first new homes there in 50 years. He led the Chamber of Commerce’s Inaugural Business Expo to become the largest chamber-sponsored trade show in the nation.
Pusateri is a board member of Greater Louisville, Incorporated. He rescued the Louisville Orchestra from bankruptcy in 2003, and in 2006, he negotiated a new five-year agreement with the musicians union, which stabilized the orchestra’s finances. He is also a motivational speaker.