Steve Trager gets to make a positive impact every day in the lives of his associates and customers.
Trager is CEO of Republic Bank and Trust where he oversees 800 employees in three states with total assets of over $4 billion under management. Trager began his career with Republic in 1987 and held various leadership positions on his way to becoming president.
Before joining Republic, Trager spent two years as an associate with the law firm Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP.
Trager is active in several community institutions including serving as a director of Louisville Regional Airport Authority and as a trustee of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Inc.
Trager holds an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
Glenn Hogan believes fear is a great motivator that will either paralyze you or drive you to success.
Hogan is the president, CEO, and founder of Hogan Real Estate, a full-service commercial real estate development company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Hogan has more than twenty years of real estate development experience and has developed over five million square feet of retail space in the Midwest and Southeast. He has worked with national tenants including Walgreens, Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Kroger, Starbucks, and McDonalds.
He is a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a past president of the Kentucky State CCIM Chapter.
Hogan is a director of Porter BanCorp. Inc. and previously served as a director of a community bank in Jefferson County for more than 10 years. He also served as a director of US Wireless Online, Inc. from August 2005 until May 2006.
Hogan graduated from Bellarmine University with a degree in business administration, concentrating in marketing and finance.
Dr. James Ramsey has a passion for public service and a vision for education and economic growth in Kentucky.
Ramsey is president of the University of Louisville. Under his leadership since 2002, the University of Louisville has enjoyed substantial growth system-wide. Notable accomplishments include an increase of over $200 million in endowments, doubling of research funding, a two-point increase in the school’s ACT scores, improvement in student retention, and rapidly increasing enrollment from students outside the Louisville area.
Ramsey served twice as Kentucky’s budget director and worked as the state’s chief economist. He was director of Kentucky’s Office of Financial Management, and interim commissioner of Kentucky’s Office of the New Economy.
Ramsey is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and has additionally earned a Masters and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky. Ramsey is also a professor of Economics and has served at five universities: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Loyola University, the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and Middle Tennessee State University.
Diane McGraw loves to create a plan, gather the necessary resources, and watch it all come together.
McGraw is the executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission which recruits major sporting events, meetings, and conventions to stimulate the local economy and provide outstanding entertainment options for local citizens.
McGraw is a 30-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry. She worked as founding president of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, president and CEO of the Orlando Area Sports Commission, and executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.
During her career, McGraw planned some of the nation’s most well-known events including the 1992 HHL All-star game, 1995 PGA Championship, 1996 Grammy Awards, and 1998 U.S. Senior Golf Open.
John Harralson loves to document how people interact at community events.
Harralson is the publisher and editor of The Voice-Tribune newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky with a weekly readership of 70,000. Harralson has a diverse background working in both the private and public sector. Before his work with The Voice-Tribune, Harralson served three terms as mayor of Brownsboro Village and was also president of the Jefferson County League of Cities. He spent 30 years with Bellsouth where he was head of public relations.
Harralson is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Japan at the end of World War II.
He has a degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky.
Teddy Gordon loves a good fight, especially where the underdog is denied fair access and equal opportunity.
Gordon is an attorney in a small private practice but has argued some of the most important legal cases in the country. On December 4, 2006, Gordon argued the case Meredith vs. Jefferson County Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court. Gordon argued that race cannot be a determining factor for the admittance of children in the public school system. In June 2007, the court sided with Gordon’s plaintiff in a landmark 5-4 decision.
Gordon received his bachelor’s in Russian studies from the University of Kentucky and his J.D. from the University of Louisville.
Owsley Brown Frazier has dedicated his life and fortune to improve his hometown for future generations.
Frazier is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and former business executive. He is the founder of the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
Frazier, a fourth generation descendant of Brown-Forman Corporation founder George Garvin Brown, was vice-chairman and the public face of Brown-Forman from 1983 until his retirement in 2000. He first worked for the company as a trainee in 1955. After graduating from the University of Louisville he became the company’s lawyer in 1960, then joined the board of directors and became director of personnel in 1964.
Frazier is also the owner and chairman of the interior and commercial design firm Bittners, LLC.
In addition to his responsibilities as vice chairman of Brown-Forman, Bittners owner, and history museum founder, Frazier has amassed an impressive public service record. He raised more than $500 million over a 40-year period for the community and educational institutions in Kentucky.
John Asher loves the sport of horse racing and is driven to make everything about Churchill Downs the best in the world.
Asher has worked in the thoroughbred racing industry as a journalist and a publicist for more than 20 years. He joined Churchill Downs in January 1997 and has served in his current position since March 1999. Asher oversees all communications and public relations efforts at Churchill Downs, home of the world-famous Kentucky Derby.
As a radio journalist at WHAS-AM and WAVE-AM in Louisville, Asher earned five Eclipse Awards for Outstanding National Radio Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing. Other awards include a National Headliner Award, a Scripps-Howard Award, and honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, and the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. The Associated Press honored Asher as the Best Reporter in Kentucky Large-Market Radio seven times.
Asher is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Christine Johnson likes to make things happen and connect people who see opportunities to move things forward.
Johnson is president of the Leadership Louisville Center, a nonprofit organization that provides programs, workshops, and events designed to inspire, challenge and connect people at all levels of leadership development. She has received numerous national awards for her work in community leadership development.
Before serving with the Leadership Louisville Center, Johnson was vice president at the public relations agency Wenz-Neely. She began her career as the first ever woman sports reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Johnson received her Bachelor of Science in history and journalism from Murray State University.
Ben Richmond fills a responsibility to steward his parent’s work in the civil rights movement and to further the principles and values taught by Dr. Martin Luther King.
Richmond is the president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League which serves as an active partner, leader, and catalyst to assist African Americans, other minority groups and the disadvantaged attain social and economic equality and stability. Richmond began his career with the Urban League in Madison, Wisconsin in 1979 and from 1982-1987 he was president and CEO of the Battle Creek, Michigan chapter.
Before his career with the Urban League, Richmond spent seven years traveling Europe as part of the Northeast German Music Academy. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Maria Hampton is competitive by nature and has a strong passion for success.
Hampton is the vice president and senior executive of the Federal Bank of St. Louis Louisville branch which is focused on community development and education, as well as regional economic research and policy input. Hampton’s responsibilities include western Kentucky, metro Louisville and southern Indiana.
Before joining the Fed, Hampton was president of the Housing Partnership Inc. (HPI), a nonprofit corporation focused on creating affordable housing and neighborhood redevelopment in the Louisville area. Previously, she worked for 26 years with Bank One Kentucky (formerly Liberty National Bank) as an executive in the areas of retail banking, operations, marketing, and strategic planning.
Hampton is a graduate of Springhill College and attended graduate and executive programs at Harvard and the Darden School of Business.
Sandra Frazier starts each day thinking about how she can contribute something that will make a difference.
Frazier is a public relations specialist and is the founder of Tandem Public Relations. Before Tandem, Frazier worked at Doe Anderson where she managed public relations efforts for several high-profile clients, including Louisville Slugger/Hillerich & Bradsby Co., Community Health Systems/CHS, and Fifth Third Bank. Before joining Doe Anderson, she worked for Boston-based State Street Corporation, one of the world’s largest financial service companies.
Frazier has a master of science in mass communication and public relations from Boston University and a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hollins College.
Frazier volunteers with numerous community and civic causes, including the Hollins College Board of Trustees, The Louisville Zoo, the Kentucky Center Endowment Board, and the Downtown Development Corporation.
Barbara Day draws her inspiration from being told as a little girl that she wouldn’t amount to much.
Day is a nationally recognized health specialist and certified nutritionist. She is the publisher of Kentuckiana Health Fitness magazine with a monthly distribution of 47,000 and reaches thousands as the host of a successful weekly radio show.
Day served as sports nutrition consultant to the United States Navy SEALs and University of Louisville Athletic Department. She worked as a program reviewer for child nutrition programs for the Alaska Department of Education and wrote a program manual for family day care centers.
Day also served on the Tennessee Governor’s Council on Wellness and Physical Activity due to her outspoken advocacy about nutrition and exercise strategies for children in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Day has an undergraduate degree in dietetics and institution management from Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the University of Maryland.
Cynthia Knapek has a tremendous amount of civic pride in her hometown of Louisville and loves doing work that will impact and improve her community.
Knapek is executive director of Brightside, an innovative public-private partnership that works to build civic pride in the community and keep Louisville clean and green. In 2004, Knapek led the community-wide public art project “Gallopalooza” raising over $800 thousand for Brightside and other causes.
Previously, Knapek was the director of education for Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates and she was a founding member and the first president of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL). In 2001 Business First named her to the Top 40 Leaders Under 40.
Knapek is active in several community organizations and serves on the boards of Greater Louisville Inc., Metro Parks Foundation, and the advisory board for the Young Professionals Association of Louisville.
She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisville.
For Chuck Denny, continuous self-improvement is a driving force that motivates him every day.
Denny is the president of National City Bank’s Kentucky and Tennessee division where he is responsible for a team of 1,600 employees. Before becoming president, Denny managed the banking services for the middle and large corporate markets and the investor-owned health care specialties.
Denny loves working with a team that is united in pursuing the same goals. Under his leadership, National City has continued to innovate and grow recently expanding into the Nashville market.
Denny graduated with a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Louisville and an A.B.A. from the University of Delaware.
Denny is active in his community serving on The University of Louisville Board of Overseers, Baptist Health Louisville, and Greater Louisville, Inc.
Deepak Tiwari lives by the motto: wish, will, and determination is the law of success.
Tiwari is a living example of the potential of the American dream. He left India in 1989 and landed in Louisville with his wife, two sons, and a $10 bill in his pocket. Desperate to provide for his family and speaking little English, Tiwari began working multiple jobs and worked 20 hour days for two years.
Tiwari now owns and operates eleven Subway franchises and has won awards from Subway for opening stores and increasing sales. He has also owned franchises from Noble Roman’s Pizza, TCBY, Frisch’s, Mailboxes Etc., and Choice Quality Inn.
Tiwari received a master’s degree in physical education and was the athletic director at Jiwaji University in India.
Omar Ayyash sees himself as an ambassador and is passionate about helping people understand that the world is a global village.
Ayyash is a true global citizen. He was born in Jordan, raised in Austria, and educated in the United States. He is the director of Office of International Affairs (OIA) for Louisville Metro Government where he is the mayor’s point person on international matters.
As director of OIA, Ayyash managed, marketed, and developed the city’s international program into an award-winning division. He developed one of the largest international festivals in the region, Worldfest, a weekend festival that drew over 60,000 people, making it the largest international festival in the region.
Before joining OIA, Ayyash served as acting director of the Kentucky World Trade Center. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from the University of Louisville.
Tyler Allen began life with a great foundation and believes that he has a responsibility to give back to the community.
Allen comes from an entrepreneurial family and is the owner of USA Image Technologies, Inc., which specializes in large-scale digital graphics. Allen also is a co-founder of 8664, an organization that advocates for the revitalization of Louisville through the removal of Interstate 64 (I-64) along the riverfront. 8664’s vision is the adoption of a transportation plan that will provide long-term benefits to the region’s citizens, neighborhoods, environment, and economy.
Allen is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in comparative religion. He remains active in several civic organizations including the Louisville chapter of the American Red Cross, The Healing Place, Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the Kentucky Center for African American History.
Steve Higdon orients his life and career around his family, striving to be the best husband and father he can be.
Higdon was president and CEO of Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI) from 1997 – 2005, leading that organization to the number one ranking chamber of commerce in the United States. During Higdon’s tenure, GLI provided leadership on some of Louisville’s largest initiatives including the city/county merger, a $1.2 billion expansion of the UPS air hub, and Every 1 Reads which aimed to have every child read on grade level.
Higdon received his bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Kentucky with a specialization in marketing. He is currently executive vice president of Faulkner Real Estate specializing in the commercial market.
He serves on the boards of several community organizations including the Louisville Zoo, the Louisville Sports Commission, and Trinity Alumni Association.
Bill Weyland loves finding creative ways to solve big challenges.
A Louisville native, Weyland is an architect and developer and is managing director of City Properties. He is responsible for over $50 million in development projects in Louisville’s urban core. Notable projects include the Louisville Slugger Museum, Glassworks, and the YWCA/Henry Clay Hotel.
He studied urban planning in Rome, Italy and has a B.A. in architecture and urban planning from Notre Dame University. His philosophy is to approach each project as a blank slate that welcomes the perspectives of all stakeholders.
Weyland has won many awards including the ABS National Design Award, Preservation Alliance Award for Design Excellence, and Forbes National Innovation Award.
Bill Samuels, Jr., is wired to achieve and seeks opportunities that have a beginning, end, and outcome.
Samuels is the president and CEO of Maker’s Mark bourbon in Loretto, Ky. Samuels comes from a long line of whiskey makers tracing his distilling heritage to Robert Samuels who came to Kentucky in 1784.
Samuels never intended to work for the family business. After earning a law degree at Vanderbilt University, he agreed to spend a year helping out at the company and never left. Samuels began his career in 1967 and became president and CEO in 1975.
The Wall Street Journal profiled Maker’s Mark on its front page in 1980 which was a catalyst for growth that would make Maker’s Mark one of the most iconic bourbons in the world.
Samuels is active in his community lending his talents and expertise to various organizations. He is chairman of the board of trustees of Bellarmine University, chairman of the board of Greater Louisville, Inc., and was past chairman of the University of Louisville board of trustees.
Ed Manassah is motivated to succeed when he encounters a challenging issue.
Manassah is a retired publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal (1993 – 2006). He served in leadership positions from city editor to publisher at six Gannett Co. Inc. newspapers since 1972 and received honors as the top editor/publisher eight times.
He was the founding editor of USA Today in 1982.
Manassah has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Youngstown State University and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Communication from the University of Florida.
He has served on many civic and professional boards in Louisville and elsewhere, including the Regional Leadership Coalition, Leadership Louisville, the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, the Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, the Lincoln Heritage Council, the Louisville Urban League, Leadership Kentucky, and Metro United Way.
Manassah is currently an executive in residence at Bellarmine University where he is developing a school of communications, media, and mass culture.
For Denny Crum, competition is a way of life that influences everything he does.
Crum was head basketball coach at the University of Louisville from 1971 – 2001 compiling a 675–295 record. He guided the Cardinals to two NCAA championships (1980, 1986) and six Final Fours. He is considered one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. In 1993, Crum became the second fastest coach to reach 500 wins and in 1994 he entered into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Crum played basketball at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden from 1956-58. After graduation, Crum coached four years at Pierce College and was then hired by Wooden as a top assistant coach. As a coach at UCLA, he played a role in three NCAA titles. He remained at UCLA until his departure for Louisville in 1971.
Crum remains active after retirement serving in advisory roles at the University of Louisville and also co-hosts the “Joe B. and Denny Show” on local talk radio. Crum founded The Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation, Inc., which awards scholarships to individuals who have demonstrated leadership, community service, and academic achievement.
Allan Cowen takes the long view of life and believes that life is as great as you choose it to be.
Cowen is president and CEO of Fund for the Arts, the united art fund of Louisville, KY. He began his career with Fund for the Arts in 1976 as executive director, becoming president and CEO in 1982. Cowen spent time in arts management in Akron and Columbus and three years as associate director of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem. He is a graduate of Kent State University in Ohio and the Harvard University Summer Institute in Arts Administration.
Fund for the Arts has experienced tremendous growth under Cowen’s leadership. The donor base has expanded from 6,000 to 26,000 and giving has grown from $536 thousand to $8 million, a fifteen-fold increase. Total assets have grown from less than $50 thousand to over $20 million.
In 1992, Cowen received the highest award given by the National Coalition of United Arts Funds, the Michael Newton Award, for excellence in united arts fundraising.
Heather French Henry is inspired by hard work and dedication and believes that everyone can choose to make a difference with the time they have.
French Henry graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning with a master’s degree in design and illustration. She is the winner of the 2000 Miss America pageant and used her platform to advocate for homeless veterans. French Henry has traveled the country to raise awareness for veteran’s issues and received the Purple Heart recognition award in 2002 for her work.
In 2002 and 2003, French Henry was the co-host of Fox in the Morning on WDRB in Louisville, KY. She is also the author of the children’s book series “Claire’s Holiday Adventures” and “Claire’s Everyday Adventures.”
French Henry continues to work on the behalf of homeless and disabled veterans across the nation.