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.
Driven by a desire to give back drives Cathe Dykstra to lead the Family Scholar House and help families thrive.
Dykstra and Family Scholar House are changing the lives of families and communities by providing self-sufficiency through career-track employment. Her goal is to end the cycle of poverty by giving very low income, single-parent students the support needed to achieve a four-year college degree.
Since 1996, 30 women have earned college degrees with ten more on their way. They have witnessed great success for these women and every one of the graduates have moved on to stable housing. In March 2008, Dykstra shared the story of the Family Scholar House at the Women as Global Leaders Conference in Dubai. Representing Louisville on a global scale, Dykstra shared how women leaders empower other women to also become leaders.
Dykstra has an extensive list of community involvement and is truly making a difference in Louisville.
Councilman Kevin Kramer’s compassion for people has led him to be a public servant and educator.
Kramer represents the Louisville Metro Council in District 11. He also assists on the National League of Cities Information Technology and Communications steering committee. He was the 2006 Metro Council president and named a distinguished alumnus of Bellarmine University.
Kramer is a life-long resident of the Hikes Point area and has been active in his community for many years. He coached for the Hikes Point Optimist Club, the Southeast YMCA, and St. Martha. Kramer taught adult education classes for the Louisville Community Foundation through the Jefferson County Public School system. Currently, he teaches at Mercy Academy.
Joni Jenkins is a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and serves as chairwoman of the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation. She identifies with the people she serves, focusing most of her time on helping the marginalized and disadvantaged.
As a Louisville-native, Jenkins grew up with a strong interest in politics. She is a well-respected lawmaker, responsible for passing the High School Athletic Protection Bill in 2009. The bill requires coaches to be certified in CPR and the use of heart resuscitators to prevent tragic deaths of high school athletes. It offers players better access to medical care when needed during both play and practice.
Jenkins also serves as program director of Health Career Pathways, a Jefferson Community and Technical College initiative, recruiting at-risk students to allied health and nursing programs.
As in-house counsel and corporate attorney for GE Consumer and Industrial, India Jewell serves on the employee community fund board at GE, supplying grants to non-profit service organizations.
She has practiced as a trial attorney specializing in corporate, commercial, and business law.
Jewell’s many accomplishments include serving as President of the Louisville Black Lawyers Association, where she focused on improving diversity among the bench and bar, and organizing scholarships for African American trailblazers at U of L. She also supports the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Kosair Children’s Hospital.
Jewell was recognized by Business First as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Professionals to Watch in 2009 and Louisville magazine profiled her in their 2008 Best Lawyers Edition.
She holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Louisville and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law.
Louisville-native and restaurateur Kent Taylor has a passion for the food industry and for skiing.
Taylor began with a humble start as a worker at Captain’s Quarters along the Ohio River. He left this position to attend school at the University of North Carolina. His love for skiing led him to Colorado after college, where he managed nightclubs and restaurants.
Taylor returned to Louisville in 1990, and within a year he received financing for his idea of a Colorado-themed bar and grill, now known as Buckhead Mountain Grill. Buckhead thrived and expanded. A few years later, Taylor sold this chain and turned his attention to his new idea of a Texas-themed steakhouse. In 1993, Texas Roadhouse was born in Indiana. Word of mouth spread, business boomed, and today there are 335 locations across 46 states. In 2009, Taylor opened Aspen Creek Restaurant in Fern Creek, featuring menu items under $10.
When he’s not opening restaurants, Taylor can often be found on the ski slopes.
Louisville Metro Council president David Tandy is fueled by the desire to serve his community and to leave it a better place for his children.
Tandy is a respected attorney with a packed resume. His accomplishments include the first president of the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals Organization, working in the Washington D.C. office of former U.S. Senator Wendall H. Ford, former treasurer for the Kentucky Democratic Party, and government relations director for the American Cancer Society.
In his efforts to help Louisville with its economic development, Tandy served on many Metro Council committees, including the Democratic caucus and chairing theMetroo development committee.
As a proud recipient of a football scholarship, Tandy graduated from Vanderbilt University and continued his education at the University of Kent, College of Law.
Dale Orem has an extensive career in politics, civics, sports, and business.
Orem’s public service career began in 1968 with the Jeffersonville city council. He then served as mayor of Jeffersonville, Ind. from 1984 to 1991. Orem also started the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.
Orem’s impressive sports achievements include captain of the 1957 undefeated University of Louisville baseball team, 1958 quarterback of the U of L Sun Bowl football championship team, and head coach of the Louisville Cardinals baseball team from 1963 to 1973. As a former NFL referee, Orem even had the privilege to be a line judge at Super Bowl XXX. He was inducted into the University of Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Orem and his family have owned and operated the sporting goods store, The Locker Room, for 30 years and donate equipment and services to local teams.
He has received the Indiana University Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion for his work in civics, the school’s highest honor.
Adventurer, educator and administrator Tori Murden McClure believes integrity is the hallmark of leadership.
Not only a local university administrator McClure has achieved a lifetime of adventure along the way. This vice president for external relations, enrollment management, and student affairs at Spaulding University holds an impressive number of degrees, as well as athletic records.
Among her many athletic accomplishments, she was the first woman to climb Lewis Nunatak Summit in Antarctica, reached the peaks of Mt. Silverthorne in Alaska and Mt. Kenya in Africa, skied 750 miles to the South Pole, and was the first woman to row an entire ocean solo.
McClure has achieved a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University, a J.D. from the University of Louisville, and a Masters of Fine Arts at Spalding University.
Louisville-native Scotty Davenport is enjoying a notable career as a basketball coach in his own hometown.
Davenport is currently the men’s head basketball coach for Bellarmine University. Since his arrival at Bellarmine University in 2005, attendance at games has increased an amazing 50%. In addition, Davenport took Bellarmine to the school’s first NCAA Division II National Championship in 2011!
Before leading the men’s team at Bellarmine University, Davenport was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville. During his nine seasons there, he worked under some very influential coaches, such as Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.
Davenport was selected as one of twelve coaches nationally to coach the Nike All-American Camp, has served as assistant director of Cardinal summer basketball camps for 25 years and spent time teaching learning-disabled students.
Curiosity and a love for food drive Joe Castro, best known as “Chef Joe” in his career as a nationally renowned award-winning chef.
Castro’s savory dishes have been served across the globe. He was formerly an executive sous-chef for the Lucy Restaurant in Washington D.C. and the executive chef at English Grill in the Louisville Brown Hotel.
Castro has appeared on well-known television shows making bourbon balls with Chef Emeril Lagasse and his famous Kentucky Hot Brown with Chef Bobby Flay. He has been presented as the Best of Louisville from Louisville and Leo magazines, Chefs Across America in Gourmet magazine, and a Great Chef of the South on the Discovery Channel. Castro was also featured on PBS for creating one of the 10 best sandwiches in America.
As the current executive chef training specialist at GE Monogram Experience Center, Castro shows others how to use GE appliances and create delicious masterpieces of their own.
Connecting people and telling stories fuel Marc Masterson as the artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL).
Masterson works hard to keep the arts represented in the area communities. He helped develop ATL’s first education department and continues to be a supportive proponent for arts education. Actors Theatre of Louisville is also home to the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Masterson joined Actors Theatre of Louisville in August of 2000, after an impressive 20 years as producing director at Pittsburg City Theatre. Accepting his position in Louisville meant a much larger theatre and budget, as well as a much larger audience.
Masterson holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie Melon University and an M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburg. He has directed more than 100 professional productions and was the founder and chairman of the Greater Pittsburg Art Alliance.
After watching a close family member go through a painful bankruptcy, Mark Lamkin decided to pursue his dream of becoming a financial planner and made a promise never to let bankruptcy impact someone in his life again.
Lamkin founded Lamkin Wealth Management, a financial planning firm in Louisville, with the pursuit of building a world-class financial services firm that enables small business owners to reach their goals and dreams.
Before starting Lamkin Wealth Management, he founded and sold more than eight successful businesses while working with PNC Brokerage, where he was the firm’s top producer for nine consecutive years in the Kentucky and Indiana region.
In 2005, Lamkin was chosen from one million applicants for the television show “The Apprentice.”
He now spends time helping with children’s charities and was awarded one of Louisville’s Business First 40 Under 40.
Angie Fenton is an award-winning and esteemed writer driven by a passion for serving her community.
Originally from Michigan, Fenton is now a prominent figure in Louisville, which she has been calling home since 2002. She is a buzz columnist for The Courier-Journal, an instructor of English literature at Brown Mackie College, and a regular radio show and television guest. Fenton has written for numerous publications, including Velocity magazine, Dog Fancy magazine, Voices of Michigan, and Women’s World magazine.
When Fenton is not immersed in her work, she volunteers much of her time to help the community.
Fenton was selected as Mentor of the Year by minority student services at her alma mater, Central Michigan University. Louisville magazine voted her as one of their Women to Watch in 2004 and she has been named Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association.
A core believer in the servant leadership model, Greg Fischer is a successful businessman and civic leader in Louisville, Ky.
Also a believer in the concept of citizen soldiers laid out by Thomas Jefferson, Fischer felt there was an opportunity and responsibility to participate in the country’s leadership and ran for the U.S. Senate, a race in which he finished second out of a field of seven.
In 2000, Fischer co-founded bCatalyst, a business accelerator in Louisville, Ky. bCatalyst later evolved into a mergers and acquisition advisory firm.
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. He is its current chairman.
In 1990, Fischer, along with his father and brother, were named Kentucky and Southern Indiana’s Regional Entrepreneurs of the Year in manufacturing, an award sponsored by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch, and Business First.
Fischer was born and raised in Louisville and still resides in the area with his family.
Driven by the need for, and impact of, arts education on young people, Paul Lenzi and his wife, Geraldine, co-founded the Blue Apple Players Theatre Group a children’s theatre company. As its executive director, Lenzi helps lead the group while they present plays and original musicals throughout the region. The group also provides workshops in schools, focusing in theatre and structured improvisation to help drive student growth. Topics include difficult and real life challenges young people face on a daily basis.
Lenzi came to Louisville as a theatre graduate from Florida State University and after he worked in public relations for several Florida-based theatre companies.
In the 1970s, Paul and Geraldine co-hosted a local weekly children’s program called “Blue Apple Clubhouse.” He also starred in a children’s program on KET.
Lenzi has since produced and directed industrial theatre projects for large companies such as Papa John’s, Hardee’s, Beatrice Foods, United Airlines, and others. He is also highly sought after for his extensive skills as a speech coach. When he isn’t busy using his talents in theatres and workshops, Lenzi can often be found on the golf course.