Joan Riehm has dedicated her life to making Louisville a better place to live and work.
She has spent most of her career in the public sector, first with the city of Louisville, then for the state of Kentucky and currently with Louisville Metro government as deputy mayor. Riehm is also vice chair of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.
Riehm assisted in several of Louisville’s largest government transitions including the merger of city/county school systems and desegregation in 1975 and later as the lead for the Louisville/Jefferson County government merger in 2002.
She graduated from Bellarmine University and has master’s degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Louisville.
Riehm is passionate about women’s issues, education, the environment, and the beautification of Louisville. She helped launch Benchmark 2000, a project to document the status of women and girls in Jefferson County, which led to the creation of Women 4 Women.
Making a difference is what drives Jack Guthrie. He began his career with Phillip Morris in public relations and became director of communications in their New York City office.
Guthrie returned home to Louisville and served as president of Kentucky Derby Festival from 1971–1977. Under his leadership, the Kentucky Derby Festival grew ten-fold becoming the nation’s largest civic celebration.
Guthrie graduated from University of Kentucky in 1963 and has since held various leadership positions. He was president of the UK Alumni Association, president of UK School of Journalism Alumni Association, and in 1996 served on the UK Board of Trustees.
He founded Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations in 1977, one of the largest independent public relations firms in Kentucky and currently serves as chairman. Guthrie was named Man of the Year by the Louisville Advertising Club in 1995 and has received many other professionals and personal awards over the years.
Craig Greenberg has a passion for making Louisville a better community. He is an attorney with Frost Brown Todd, LLC and directs the firm’s ancillary business initiatives. He oversees tax credit investment programs that have invested over $100 million into low-income communities in Kentucky and across the country.
Greenberg graduated from University of Michigan in 1995 and received his J.D. from Harvard law school in 1998 with cum laude honors. In 2000, Greenburg co-founded and served as COO/counsel of venture capital fund and technology consulting firm, iVisionary.
Business First named Greenberg to its 40 Under 40 list in 2000 and he was a 2005 graduate of the Bingham Fellows. He volunteers in his community by serving on the board of directors of United Metro Way, Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, and Louisville Jewish Community Center.
Raoul Cunningham has always been passionate about equality and making our system work.
Cunningham is currently president of Louisville’s NAACP chapter, the same organization where he started his civil rights career at age 14 in the mid-1950s.
Cunningham went from helping with voter registration to taking part in the nonviolent direct action, picketing a Louisville theater on behalf of black students who wanted to see “Porgy & Bess.” He later recruited other young activists, and together they picketed local lunch counters where African-Americans weren’t served.
His civil rights work continued as a student at Howard University. Cunningham served on U.S. Senator Walter Huddleston’s staff, working on issues that included civil rights legislation and the Martin Luther King Holiday Bill. Returning home to Louisville, Cunningham served as manager for Georgia Davis Power’s successful Kentucky Senate campaign.
Cunningham is the winner of the 2006 Martin Luther King Freedom Award.
J. Bruce Miller pursues excellence in everything he does.
He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. and J.D. receiving cum laude honors. In 1965, Miller founded the J. Bruce Miller Law Group which specializes in corporate litigation. He has also served four terms as Jefferson County attorney with responsibility to represent the local government in all civil matters.
Miller is also known for his attempts to attract a professional basketball franchise to Louisville.
Miller wrote the 2004 book “Airball: The Complete and Unvarnished Account of Louisville’s 30-Year Odyssey to Acquire an NBA Franchise.” His own involvement dates back to the 1970s, when Louisville was home to the Kentucky Colonels, an American Basketball Association team. The team dissolved in 1976 when the ABA merged with the NBA.
Miller is still active in groups hoping to bring the NBA to Louisville, and he is senior attorney of the J. Bruce Miller Law Group.
Rebecca Jackson was the first woman ever elected Jefferson County, Ky. judge-executive, the county’s highest-ranking elected official.
Before that election, Jackson had been active in international relations. She served on a delegation fostering relationships with local governments in China and with the International Republican Institute, observing Russian parliamentary elections and the selection of a Bulgarian presidential candidate.
Jackson is a graduate of the University of Louisville where she received her B.S. and Masters in Education. She began her career as a special-needs teacher and from there launched an employment agency for persons with handicaps. She also was CEO of RJ Consulting where she taught internationally on leadership and management training.
She is currently CEO of the WHAS Crusade for Children, a nonprofit organization serving children with special needs.
From an early age, Trey Grayson has been motivated to serve his community.
Grayson is a northern Kentucky native. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1994 and his J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1998.
Grayson was elected to the office of Kentucky secretary of state in 2003, which at age 31 made him the youngest secretary of state in the country. He later became known as an expert on innovation in politics, as well as the political views of the millennial generation.
Before serving as Kentucky secretary of state Grayson was an attorney with Greenebaum Doll & McDonald.
Barbara Sexton Smith’s personal mission is to leave the earth better than she found it.
Sexton Smith has a storied professional background that includes time in corporate America where she rose to become the second highest ranking woman at Wendy’s International. She also is a successful entrepreneur. She founded Quick Think, Inc., a leadership development company in 1996 and was nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
A champion of the arts and area nonprofits, Sexton Smith helped raise more than $200 million for Louisville-area organizations, including the Fund for the Arts, Metro United Way, Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the National Conference for Community and Justice and West Louisville Boys and Girls Choirs.
Today she helps teach others how to reach their goals, leading courses in negotiation.
At age 22, Bob Russell became the pastor of a small congregation of 120 people called Southeast Christian Church. By the time he retired from Southeast 40 years later, it would become one of the largest in the United States, with 18,000 people attending services every weekend.
Growing up, Russell intended to become a high-school basketball coach in his Philadelphia hometown. His plans changed during his senior year of high school when he realized a desire in his heart to enter the ministry; he enrolled in Cincinnati Bible Seminary and graduated in 1965.
Through Bob Russell Ministries, he continues to preach at churches and conferences throughout the country, guiding and mentoring younger church leaders. Russell has also written more than a dozen books, and creates Bible study videos for use in small groups.
Debbie Scoppechio is the founder of Kentucky’s largest advertising agency.
After 15 years in the business, Scoppechio decided to take her considerable energy, vision and determination and start her own agency. Creative Alliance has grown from a three-person company to a Top 100 national agency employing over 150 people with annual billing of $200 million.
Scoppechio was the second woman inducted in the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame. Her honors include Top Kentucky Woman Business Owner of the Year, and an Entrepreneurial Excellence award from Working Woman magazine.
Christopher 2X is driven by the plight of the poor and wants to help them transform their mindset.
After serving a seven-year prison sentence for drug trafficking in the 1990s, 2X become both an anti-violence advocate and a community spokesperson on issues of violence and at-risk youth.
2X has become a trusted face and voice for the poor and disenfranchised. After a police shooting in Louisville left an African-American teenager dead in 2004, 2X was instrumental in calming the community’s anger after the police officer’s acquittal. That’s when he discovered his gift for defusing angry situations.
2X has been honored for his work to bring peace and justice to vulnerable communities through neighborhood groups like the Hood 2 Hood Movement.
David Armstrong is an achiever who looks to maximize everything he can do in a day.
He is a graduate of Murray State University and received his J.D. from the University of Louisville school of law in 1969. Armstrong has a long and distinguished career as a public servant. He spent time as a family court judge, Jefferson County commonwealth attorney, and in 1983 became attorney general of Kentucky.
Armstrong served as Louisville’s mayor from 1999 to 2003, after a decade as Jefferson County judge/executive. He helped architect the merger of Louisville/Jefferson County government in 2003.
Revitalization of downtown Louisville was a cornerstone of his administration and included expansions of the city’s medical district and the creation of Fourth Street Live! and the Louisville Extreme Park.
Armstrong is now executive in residence at the University of Louisville where he coordinates efforts to reinforce Louisville’s arts and cultural initiatives.
Stan Curtis wants to inspire and empower people to help those who can’t help themselves.
In December of 1986, Curtis experienced a life changing moment. While standing in a cafeteria line, he imagined workers delivering food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to those in need.
Curtis founded Kentucky Harvest and USA Harvest to collect leftover food from restaurants and groceries and deliver them to shelters and soup kitchens across the country. Curtis sees Kentucky Harvest as an opportunity both for those who need help and those who want to help.
His work has been honored by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and he received the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Bill Clinton.