Paul Hornung is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football. He played running back for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 to 1966, winning four NFL titles and the first Super Bowl.
Hornung graduated from Notre Dame in 1957 and was the winner of the 1956 Heisman Trophy. He was the number one selection in the 1957 NFL draft by Green Bay. Hornung was the league’s most valuable player in 1961 and was chosen as an All-Pro twice and named to the Pro Bowl twice. He is one of only five players to have won both the Heisman Trophy and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Hornung was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
He is the author of three books including an autobiography, “Golden Boy,” published in 2004 and “Lombardi and Me: Players, Coaches, and Colleagues Talk About the Man and the Myth,” published in 2006.
Jim Host loves Kentucky and he believes it has more potential than any other state in the country.
Host is the founder and chairman of Host Communications, a sports marketing and production company specializing in collegiate athletics. He has an extensive background in public service. Host was the youngest member of Governor Louis Nunn’s administration as commissioner of the Department of Public Information. He also served as the commissioner of the Department of Parks where he helped launch the Kentucky Horse Park.
Host earned his degree in radio and television from the University of Kentucky and was a scholarship player on the baseball team. He later went on to play professionally for the Chicago White Sox.
Host is currently the chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority. He has participated and served on over 40 professional organizations and boards in his career.
Dr. Whitney Jones understands the preciousness of time and the need to take action on the things that are most important in life.
Dr. Jones is passionate about preventing colon cancer. After diagnosing several patients with colon cancer within one week and knowing the cancer is preventable with appropriate screening, he set out to make a change.
In 2004 Dr. Jones founded the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable colon cancer death and suffering by making sure people get timely screenings. He also serves as assistant professor of gastroenterology at the University of Louisville.
Dr. Jones is a graduate of the University of Louisville. He graduated with honors in psychology in 1983 and from medical school in 1987.
He remains active in numerous local and national professional organizations.
Francene Cucinello loves to get people talking and challenge them to think.
She is the host of the popular “Francene Show” on Louisville’s WHAS radio station. Cucinello is one of only 25 women with a lead talk show program in the country.
Cucinello got her start after calling in to answer a trivia question in college at West Virginia University; she was offered a job on the spot. Along with her radio success, Cucinello has previously worked as a reporter at WBAL-TV in Baltimore and WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an experienced voice-over artist and has recorded audio books for the Library of Congress and won an award for her work on a series for the Discovery Channel.
In 2002, Cucinello won an international journalism fellowship and studied in Berlin.
Growing up in Kansas, Steve Sexton learned a lot about the importance of a strong work ethic and goal setting.
Sexton is one of the thoroughbred industry’s most successful leaders. He began his career in 1983 at Santa Anita Park and has spent time at Golden Gate Fields and Lonestar Park.
Sexton joined Arlington Park in 2002 and led successful hosting of the 2002 Breeder’s Cup. With only nine months to prepare Sexton’s team was able to add an extra 40,000 seats and all the necessary support infrastructure leading to a Breeder’s Cup world wagering record of $116 million.
Sexton became president of Churchill Downs in 2003 becoming only its twelfth president since 1875. He oversees all Kentucky pari-mutuel operations as well as the company’s interest in Kentucky OTB, Inc.
He lives and leads by the maxim if you aren’t taking care of your customers, someone else will.
Here is Steve’s obituary:
Rowan Claypool is a social entrepreneur who believes that young knowledge economy workers are the future of prosperous communities.
He is the founder of two organizations that have had a transformative effect on the city of Louisville and Commonwealth of Kentucky.
In 1999, Claypool founded Bulldogs in the Bluegrass. a program that provides summer internships in Louisville, Kentucky for Yale undergraduates. Since it began, Bulldogs in the Bluegrass has brought over 570 Yalies to experience Louisville through a total immersion experience. Of those, many have returned to Louisville for full-time employment after graduation.
Claypool also launched Teach Kentucky in 2001 to recruit the brightest and most ambitious young teachers to work in local public education. Since inception, Teach Kentucky has recruited 232 teachers, 141 of whom are still residing in Kentucky with 86% of participants still in the education profession.
Billy Reed believes in the power of the written word and its ability to influence people and events.
Reed is a native of Mt. Sterling, Ky., a graduate of Transylvania University and a veteran of the US Army Reserves.
He is a nationally renowned sports writer and journalist and is the author of twelve books. He has worked for some of the top news organizations in the country. Reed was writer and sports editor for the Louisville Courier-Journal from 1966-1986, sports columnist for the Lexington Herald Leader from 1987-2001, and senior writer for Sports Illustrated from 1988-1998.
In 1972 Reed won two national journalism awards for his investigative reporting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred industry. He has appeared on several national television networks including ESPN, ABC, CBS, and The History Channel.
Joe Regan is motivated by seeing lives changed through improved education and expanded employment opportunities.
Regan is president and CEO of Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI), the metro chamber of commerce. He began his tenure at GLI in 1998 as chief operating officer after a term as executive vice president with the Rockford, IL chamber of commerce.
Before his career in economic development, Regan owned a marketing and publishing company and spent twelve years in radio broadcasting management, sales, and programming.
Regan is a graduate of the University of Iowa. He is a big believer in the transformative power of education and is excited to see Louisville take its place in the knowledge economy with an increased focus on educational attainment.
Kimberly Bunton is a strategic thinker and planner driven by the pursuit of excellence and personal best.
She is the director of Louisville Metro Government’s Policy & Strategic Planning Department and also the interim director of Louisville Metro Government’s Community Action Partnership.
Previously Bunton was an attorney with Frost Brown Todd, LLC in their business litigation department. She received a B.A. in Journalism and English and J.D. both from the University of Kentucky.
In 2003, Louisville Magazine recognized Bunton as one of the most powerful people under age 45 and Louisville Business First named her to the 40 Under 40 list in 2002.
Bunton was a spokesperson for the 2000 Unity Campaign where she advocated for the benefits of city/county government merger. She has since spent her time in government planning and implementing a smooth transition of Louisville and Jefferson County merger.
Jonathan Blue loves finding new opportunities and growing them into successful enterprises.
Blue is chairman and managing director of Blue Equity, LLC. As chairman, he oversees the acquisition and management of all Blue Equity businesses and was responsible for the development and sale of the nation’s largest Spanish directory publications to Telmex International.
In 2005, Blue formed BEST (Blue Entertainment Sports Television), a full-service sports and entertainment marketing, management and production firm.
Before his involvement with private equity investments, Blue was vice president for Progress Rail Services Corporation, then a subsidiary of Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE: PGN), now part of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT).
Blue received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. A frequent public speaker, Blue has been profiled in many national and international publications.
When he is not searching out new opportunities you may find him on the North America triathlon circuit.
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.