Jay Davidson was born in Denver in 1942. At age 12, he went to work cutting grass and started paying rent to help cover living expenses, due to an absentee father. When he was 14, he started work at an amusement park. There he began his drinking career, consuming glasses of leftover liquor from the patrons who partied the night before, but still made good grades and became a leader in his high school’s ROTC program. It foreshadowed what he would become: a highly functioning alcoholic – a successful, rank-climbing Army officer by day, a drunk by night. After finishing high school, He found a job with GMAC and applied for admission to West Point Military Academy but was denied, which, fed his inferiority complex. He stayed with GMAC, rising steadily in the ranks, and attended night school studying accounting at the University of Denver’s Night School & hated it!
In 1963, he met Carolyn Sue Miller and they married on Nov. 22, 1963, the day JFK was assassinated. He was 21 and she was 19.
In 1965, the Vietnam War was escalating, and with his wife’s approval, he decided to enlist, but his wife discovered she was pregnant. Jay might have received an exemption, but he chose to go. Their baby son, Erik, was born with a lung disease & died 36 hours later. Jay buried his son by himself.
In June 1967, Jay was shipped to Vietnam and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. He was promoted rapidly – “Combat was the Key,” he says. If he had stayed 2 more weeks, he would have had another promotion, but “I had had enough.” “I saw life snuffed out, men reduced to a mass of flesh,” he says.
In 1969, Jay returned from the war and he and his wife adopted a boy. After, they had their own son. However, the marriage would not last and she filed for divorce.
In 1974, Jay met his 2nd wife-Shirley – both divorcees & they married in Connecticut and within a year, Jay’s son’s, Matthew and Jeffrey and Shirley’s 2 daughters soon went to live with them. Now he was a family of 6!
Now in his 30’s, a family to support, his drinking had become such an addiction that on the commercial flight home he “got really plastered” and his commander told him he would kick him out of the Army, no pension or promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, unless he got control. Also, he was assigned one summer to supervise an ROTC camp. Work started at 6 am, leading cadets. He stumbled, slurred & smelled. People noticed. His superior officer, Ike Smith, warned him: “Get clean, or you’ll be discharged without honors.” These 2 incidences changed his life, so he dried out, & over time was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1986, he retired highly decorated receiving:
Soon, he was restless & unfulfilled, so in 1988 he took a job in Saudi Arabia as an adviser to the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force. However, in 1991, now back in Louisville and pursuing a social work masters, he was asked to take over the Morgan Center., a homeless shelter for alcoholics and it was “the last thing” he wanted to do. But in December 1991, soon 2 key staffers left and Jay had to run the place himself.
So, in 1992, at age 50 and retired from the military, Jay created The Healing Place, a unique model for residential treatment programs. It is a combination of a “wet/dry shelter” – a homeless shelter and a recovery program. It is a social model, not a medical model, drawing strength from the participants.
In 1995, Jay launched a program for female alcoholics and addicts, modeled after the men’s.
In 1997, Jay’s professional peers tried to close The Healing Place. The Healing Place was accused of treating clients without a license and even mistreatment of clients. Jay and two of his colleagues were criticized and their social work and drug and alcohol licenses questioned. Finally, the Inspector General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ruled that The Healing Place was not a treatment program but a recovery program. All claims against it were deemed unsubstantiated.
The acrimony wore Jay down. “It was the year from hell,” he admits.
In 2005, Kentucky government chose The Healing Place as a “Recovery KY” model and replicated it in 10 new centers.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has recognized it and Dr. Burns Brady, a nationally-known expert in addiction medicine, called it “the best recovery program in the world.”
Today the Healing Place campus is expanding & has several thousand alumni with a 75% recovery rate.
Jacob Tamme is a former American football tight end. He played college football at Kentucky and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Jacob also played for the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. As one of the top scholar-athletes in the country, he completed his degree in integrated strategic communications in only three years and earned his MBA just before entering the NFL. Known for his contributions back to the community, in 2006, he was named to the National Good Works Team by the American Football Coaches Association, the SEC Community Service Team by the SEC Office, and to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character by UK Athletics.
In 2007, he was one of 15 finalists for the prestigious Draddy Trophy, which is presented to the top scholar-athlete in the country. He gave the acceptance speech on behalf of the 15 finalists at the award ceremony in New York City. Also in 2007, he was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and elected to the first-team Academic All-America squad by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
He was the 2007 recipient of the Bobby Bowden Award, a national honor presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Jacob is a Christian. He has spoken about his faith saying, “My faith is important because it’s the core of why I believe we exist as humans. Faith allows us to spend eternity with God and it fuels my everyday actions. I’ve seen how having faith in God can change lives and it certainly has changed mine.”
Jacob was inducted in 2018 to the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame.
Thierry Rautureau, nicknamed The Chef In The Hat, is the chef/owner of restaurants, Loulay and Luc, in Seattle, Washington.
Chef Rautureau apprenticed in Anjou, France, and at twenty moved to the United States to work at several fine restaurants. He became the chef/owner of Rover’s Restaurant in 1987, and before closing its doors in 2013 it helped make him one of the most recognizable chefs around Seattle. Chef Rautureau has won various awards including the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 1998 and has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre Du Mérite Agricole by the French government. In 2010, Chef Rautureau opened Luc, a French-American café and bar in Madison Valley, Washington. Then in 2013, he opened Loulay Kitchen & Bar, a French-inspired restaurant that balances the upscale aura of Rover’s with the cozy country-style cooking he enjoyed growing up on the farm in France.
Chief Steve Conrad returned to his hometown to become the Chief of Police for the Louisville Metro Police Department on March 19, 2012.
Chief Conrad began his career as a patrol officer with the former Louisville Division of Police (LPD) in 1980.
He worked his way through the ranks, rising to Assistant Chief in the LPD and later an Assistant Chief in the newly merged Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). As a Lieutenant Colonel with the LMPD, Conrad was Commander of the Administrative Bureau.
Chief Conrad left the LMPD in 2005 to become Chief of the Glendale (AZ) Police Department.
Conrad has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Police Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Community Development from the University of Louisville. He attended the Southern Police Institute (SPI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Academy.
Chief Conrad is married and has a step-daughter.