Robert A. Davenport is passionate about helping his clients with their financial needs.
Davenport was born and raised in Kansas, but spent his childhood summer weekends traveling the U.S. to attend his father’s races. His father, Dick Davenport, was a four-time Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) national champion.
After Davenport received his bachelor’s degree in history from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he began working for the Equitable Insurance Company, which was purchased by AXA Financial. Davenport built a nationally recognized sales organization and earned numerous company management awards.
In 2005, he opened his own firm, Kentucky Planning Partners. KPP has become one of the top financial planning and wealth management firms in Louisville.
Davenport’s best-known contribution to the community is the creation of the Louisville Concours d’Elegance, a vintage car show benefiting children and family organizations. He also founded the annual Anchorage dog show, benefitting Bellewood Children’s Home. Davenport and his wife Lori enjoy giving back to the community.
Mark Johnson has a deep passion for the sport and spectacle of horse racing; He calls it the greatest theatre on earth.
Johnson is only the 6th track announcer in the history of Churchill Downs and the first non-American to hold the position to call America’s greatest thoroughbred horse race, the Kentucky Derby. He has become one of Britain’s senior track announcers, having called many of Britain’s most important races including five Epsom Derbies, a British classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds first run in 1780. The Epsom Derby serves as a model for our very own Kentucky Derby. Calling the Epsom Derby was a realization of a dream Johnson has held since the age of four.
On British television, Johnson is a host of the dedicated horse racing channel, “Racing UK,” where he fronts much of the channel’s international racing coverage, including the Arc de Triomphe from France.
In January 2009, following the unexpected and sudden death of Churchill Downs’ announcer, Luke Kruytbosch, at age 47, Johnson became the track’s official announcer calling his first and the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby later that year. He made racing/broadcasting history by becoming the first track announcer to call both the Kentucky Derby and the English Derby at Epsom.
Lynnie Meyer, a well-known civic leader and fundraising executive in Louisville, is fueled by her commitment to the community.
Meyer previously worked for Caritas Health, University of Louisville Hospital, Caretenders, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Kosair Children’s Hospital. In 1998, she was selected president and CEO for the Center for Women and Families.
In 2004, Meyer became system vice president and chief development officer at Norton Healthcare. She is the system vice president of Women’s and Children’s Community Partnerships and executive director of the Children’s Hospital and Norton Healthcare Foundations.
Meyer was selected as one of twenty nurses nationally to join the 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Executive Nurse Fellows Program. She was also named a Bellarmine Distinguished Graduate and one of the 40 under 40 from Business First magazine.
JK McKnight is the founder and captain of the Forecastle Festival, a gathering of musicians, artists, and activists.
McKnight is a talented songwriter, musician, and environmental activist. With Forecastle, he pioneered combining art, event and environmental sustainability. This small community event has grown into a 3-day gathering of music, art and environmental activism, which now attracts well over 30,000 attendees – one of the largest outdoor gatherings in the Midwest.
McKnight credits his basic values and willingness to persevere as the sources of his success in building the event. He works from four quotes that he keeps on his desk which embody the principles of discipline, integrity, honesty, and strength of indomitable will.
Originally from Cincinnati, McKnight now makes Louisville his home.
Pastor Joe Phelps feels a call to embody God’s justice and love in the world.
He has been the pastor at Louisville’s Highland Baptist Church since 1997.
Over the past 15 years, the church has increased its commitments to sharing its view of the Christian message, mission action, and to work for social justice in the community and beyond. Phelps drew national attention from news stations and radio shows in 2006, when he appeared in an ad campaign titled, “Wake Up Wal-Mart,” which brought to light the company’s record on child labor issues, gender discrimination, and poor healthcare plans.
Phelps is also a published author and an occasional guest columnist for the Courier-Journal newspaper and Leo Weekly magazine, as well as EthicsDaily.com, where he also serves as a board member. Phelps was the founder of an interdenominational, inter-racial group, No Murders Metro, and is a board member of Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
Sam Swope has had a historic 60 years in the automobile dealership business.
He began his company with a dealership in Elizabethtown in 1951 and expanded into Louisville in 1956. After two unfortunate incidents, causing two separate locations to burn down, Swope persevered and continued to grow his business. Today, Swope operates over 20 dealerships throughout Kentucky.
Swope has a long list of lifetime awards, including the prestigious Louisvillian of the Year Award and the University of Louisville Presidential Medal for service to the university and the Louisville community.
In 2012, Swope announced his retirement, naming his daughter Patti Swope the new chairwoman of the board, and putting his nephew to work as president and CEO.
In memoriam: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=Samuel-G-Swope&pid=173427183
Mandy Connell is a talk radio host who credits her competitive nature as a driver to be her best.
Connell was working as a flight attendant when her quick wit and fun personality made a stranger take notice. The stranger happened to be Dick Robinson, founder of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, and it led him to offer Connell a scholarship to attend school there.
In 2010, Connell was hired to fill the WHAS Radio 84 9 a.m. to noon time slot, chosen among 130 applicants. She stood out for her energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to giving listeners an engaging program. Connell makes sure to keep up on everything from politics and news, to entertainment and more.
In 2011, Connell came in number six of America’s top ranking local radio talk show hosts. She has become a popular addition to Louisville, and has fallen in love with the city in return.
Troy Burden taps his inner drive to help others as the executive director of Highlands Community Ministries.
Burden has lead this non-profit and its multiple outreach programs since 2011. The organization currently has a board of directors from 24 local Highland churches.
Burden is from Kentucky and moved to Louisville in 1995, devoting his career to the non-profit sector. From 1995 to 2007, he worked for the Christian Care Communities where he served as director of assisted living at Friendship House. From 2008 to 2011, Burden and his family had the opportunity to live in Australia, where he served as an administrator, helping people living with HIV.
Since moving back to Louisville, Burden has become a Highland Baptist Church member where he volunteers with the children’s music program, senior adult ministry group, and hand bell choir, and has also served as the deacon.
Esslinger serves as the vice president of community relations and development for the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
She brought her background of events management, accounts management, and membership development to help this local non-profit to grow and develop. The University of Louisville graduate joined the association in 2004, overseeing employees and fundraising in Louisville, Lexington and Evansville.
Esslinger leads special events, grants, and donations, and has helped raise over $2 million to fund local programs and services to more than 80,000 residents affected by some form of dementia. She received a certificate of non-profit leadership from Bellarmine University for her efforts and lives in Louisville with her family.
David Easterling is a software entrepreneur engaged in a labor of love to bring back an iconic Louisville beer brand.
He began in sales and management in the paper industry and moved on to a career in information technology consulting. As the software executive for Everest Technologies, he grew the operation and eventually bought it. Now called Prosoft, Easterling has become a leader in the Louisville area for software development consulting and staffing, with offices across the nation.
When this beer-lover learned of the expired Falls City Beer trademark (a local beer company from 1905 to 1978), he applied for and secured the trademark for himself. Easterling is bringing back the iconic beer brand that had not been distributed in over 30 years.
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.