For 20 years, Mike Berry has been at the helm of the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF), one of the nation’s largest and most notable civic celebrations.
The festival spans the two weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Berry oversees the planning and production of nearly 70 events on the official schedule. The festival attracts an estimated 1.5 million people to the area each year.
Berry built his career at the festival and is now the longest-serving president and CEO in the history of the organization. He began his KDF career in 1986 as an event coordinator. He rose to director of marketing and communications and vice president/managing director prior to his current position as president and CEO
His first involvement with the festival came as administrative assistant to then Kentucky governor, Martha Layne Collins. Berry served as the governor’s appointment to the Derby Festival board from 1984-86. During his Frankfort tenure, Berry coordinated special projects including the Kentucky Derby Breakfast, Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, 75th Anniversary of the State Capitol, and the Bluegrass State Games. He also led social events for the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
Berry serves or has served on the boards of many organizations including chairman of the International Festivals & Events Association, IFEA Foundation (also named to the Hall of Fame) and Music Theatre of Louisville’s, StageOne Family Theatre in 2011 (also a Lifetime Honorary Board Member). He also served as secretary for the Louisville Theatrical Association and commissioner for the Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Berry and his partner, Bill, reside in Louisville. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
Technology entrepreneur Stacy Griggs is a high energy executive with strong leadership skills.
Griggs leads the day-to-day operations at El Toro, one of the fastest growing AdTech companies in the U.S. The company focuses on hyper-accurate targeting of digital advertising via IP addresses. He is one of the creators of El Toro’s patent for IP Targeting, along with five other pending patents.
He has a roster of previous successes in technology. Inc. magazine recognized three previous firms led by Griggs on the Inc. 500 list as the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. He held executive spots in Cbeyond, a publicly traded cloud communications company (Nasdaq: CBEY) and AlignCloud and held a series of positions at Hosting.com, including chief sales officer, chief service officer and general manager for their flagship Delaware Data Center.
Griggs and his business partner David Stadler were selected as the 2016 Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Ohio Valley. Also in 2016, El Toro was just the 12th U.S. company selected to participate in Endeavor at the 63rd International Selection Panel.
Griggs served as a volunteer firefighter with the Simpsonville Rural Fire District in Shelby Co., Ky. He and the love of his life for over 20 years, wife Amy, have a daughter and a son, and reside in Kentucky.
Creativity, curiosity and discipline define Delanor Manson’s accomplishments across many fields.
Jewelry designer, businesswoman, nurse and Navy captain all describe successful careers mastered by Manson. With degrees in nursing and healthcare management, she has been at the forefront of innovative medical initiatives in both patient care and complex administrative issues. Achieving the rank of U.S. Navy captain, Manson applied her nursing education to positions in the U.S, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Puerto Rico.
As the associate vice president of research and design for Hosparus Inc., she was involved in the complex interplay of strategic planning, project design, and management.
In 2008, Manson founded the Koi Gallery at the Galt House Hotel to exhibit and sell jewelry she designed. The gallery currently showcases paintings, sculptures and other pieces created by local, regional and national artisans. About one fifth of the artists showcased in the gallery are emerging artists. This has garnered Manson national acclaim, as evidenced by the designs for poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Her many awards include recognition by Her Scene magazine as a style icon, Today’s Woman magazine’s Most Admired Woman in the Arts in 2012, and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as their 2013 EPIC award finalist for the Woman Business Owner of the Year. Mogul magazine featured her in an article titled “Not a Boutique, but a Gallery of Jewelry & Art Infusion.”
Manson is an active community member with a leadership position in the Woman’s Club of Louisville, board member for the Look Art Gallery Consortium, and past chairperson of the Committee on Health. She currently serves as the chairperson of the Committee on Culinary Arts of the Woman’s Club of Louisville.
Peng Looi followed his heart and became a world-class chef.
Owner of two successful restaurants, guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House, and recipient of countless awards, Looi traded engineering for cooking and has never looked back.
In 1987, Looi opened his first award-winning restaurant, August Moon Chinese Bistro, which features contemporary Chinese cuisine with South East Asian influences that reflect his Malaysian home. In 1994 came the upscale casual Asiatique, serving Looi’s own unique and artful interpretation of East-West Pacific Rim cuisine. Local and regional food critics have quoted his creations as “works of edible art.”
Looi hails from Ipoh, Malaysia, where he learned his first lessons in cooking and became familiar with the foods of many different cultures. At age 17, he left for Manchester, England to continue his schooling. In 1981, Looi came to the United States and earned his degree in civil engineering. However, he realized his heart was with cooking, not engineering, during his engineering internship, and changed course.
Looi’s restaurants have won numerous awards, including Bon Appetit magazine’s top 125 restaurants nationwide. Both restaurants were also awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for multiple years. In 2013, Asiatique was awarded the maximum 4-star rating by the Courier-Journal.
Looi has been a guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House multiple times and a master chef at the World Gourmet Summit in Las Vegas. His guest chef appearances include the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Food + Wine Affair in Houston, Texas, the Charleston Food + Wine Festival (S.C.), and the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival (Calif.), among many others. As a WACS certified judge, he has been invited to judge international culinary competitions in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Dubai. Looi was honored with the nationally prestigious Jefferson Evans award for Chef of the Year in New York City.
Known for his commitment to community and charitable causes, Looi has been the coordinating chef for the Crane House (an Asian Institute in Louisville, Ky.) for many years. He has also assisted in raising funds for the Salvation Army Culinary program and Kosair Children’s Hospital. He is a member of the culinary advisory board to the Hospitality Department of Sullivan University.
Looi and his family reside in Louisville, Ky.
The desire to serve her community and have a greater impact on more people fuels Theresa Reno-Weber to excel.
Recently named president and CEO of Metro United Way, which serves counties across Kentucky and southern Indiana, Reno-Weber has a wealth of experience in private and public sectors. She most recently served Louisville Metro Government where she oversaw the Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation (OPI2), the Department of Information Technology, and the Department of Human Resources.
At Louisville Metro Government, Reno-Weber led the launch of Louisville’s internationally recognized LouieStat program, which provides data to track, analyze and manage city government transparently and effectively. In 2015, Government Technology magazine named her one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. In 2016, she received the Best of Kentucky Visionary award.
In the private sector, Reno-Weber worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
She has spoken both internationally and nationally on subjects of performance management, data-driven decision making, and culture change and co-authored a chapter in the book “Beyond Transparency.”
A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and former lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, she was deployed to the Persian Gulf, and was on the first Coast Guard cutter to circumnavigate the globe. Reno-Weber also served as a sea marshal post 9/11.
She earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Active in the Girl Scouts, she now serves on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. She earned the Girl Scout Gold Award while in high school. Reno-Weber also serves on the boards of Actors Theatre and The Drucker Institute.
She lives in Louisville, Ky. with her husband and three children
A passion for life drives Kinsey Morrison to make a difference.
Morrison had survived three different life-threatening illnesses by the age of 15. Today, she is a senior at Stanford University in California, studying international relations and Spanish, and dreaming of being a Supreme Court Justice. She is also training for a half marathon and spending 10 weeks in South Africa through a study abroad program.
In 2015, Morrison spoke at the United States Supreme Court, advocating for marriage equality for her two moms in Kentucky. Not surprisingly, she is writing an honors thesis on public policy and immigration
She says the most important thing to her is helping unite people across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation, as well as teaching people how to truly be alive while they’re living, since none of us ever know how much time we have. Morrison has spoken to more than 25,000 people, raising over $600,000 for the health charities that saved her life.
After the 2016 presidential election, Morrison founded Stanford Women in Politics to support her female classmates interested in running for office or working in government. One of her dreams is to be the Governor of Kentucky.
She is a National Merit Scholar, Bell Award Winner, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Youth Philanthropist of the Year.
An alumna of St. Francis School in Louisville, Morrison is the 2nd youngest guest to appear on our program. She is also the daughter of our #152nd guest, Karen Morrison, the president and CEO of Gilda’s Club of Louisville, Ky.
A passion for service fuels Jerry Abramson.
Abramson’s career spans decades of serving the public – from local and state levels to the White House. His passion for making a difference now focuses on educating future generations.
As the executive in residence at Bellarmine University, Abramson is developing a new institute for local and state government leadership, which will train elected officials from across the nation. In addition, he teaches undergraduate courses in leadership and community development.
He served as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs from November 2014 to January 2017. In this role, he oversaw the Obama administration’s domestic agenda with state, city, county and tribal elected officials across the country.
As lieutenant governor of Kentucky, alongside Governor Steve Beshear from 2011 to 2014, he chaired the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform in 2012 and focused his efforts on education and economic development.
Prior to entering state government, Abramson held the role of the longest-serving mayor of Louisville, Ky., with 21 years of service from (2003-2011) & (1986-1999), earning the nickname “Mayor for Life.” In 1993, he was president of the United States Conference of Mayors. He also led the successful consolidation of the city of Louisville and Jefferson county governments.
Abramson started his public service as an alderman of the city of Louisville for two terms, and thereafter as counsel to the governor of Kentucky, John Y. Brown, Jr. In the private sector, Abamson practiced law with Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, and thereafter with Frost Brown Todd.
Abramson served on the board of directors of the Brown-Forman Corporation from 1999 to 2003.
Throughout his career, he taught classes at the University of Louisville’s School of Law and Bellarmine University, and was a guest lecturer at a myriad of colleges and universities.
Abramson and his wife reside in Louisville, Ky.
Tom Cottingham is a serial entrepreneur who builds successful publishing companies in the digital age.
As CEO of Insider Louisville, Cottingham leads his team to deliver news in the world of smart phones, tablets and other emerging platforms in which traditional media may struggle. As he describes it: “Our mission is to deliver useful, engaging information about critical issues. We tell stories, tell them sharply, and in a way that respects the intelligence of our audience.”
With a motivation of creating jobs to fuel him, Cottingham has a long track record of creating successful publishing companies in the midst of technology changes. As a lead investor and founding partner in successful start-ups, his roster includes hits like TechRepublic and NarrowCast Group LLC, publisher of ITBusinessEdge. TechRepublic sold to Gartner and ITBusinessEdge to Quinstreet Enterprise.
In the early days of tech, he co-founded The Cobb Group as one of the first desktop publishing firms in the country. That company sold to Ziff Davis, where Cottingham served in executive roles prior to founding TechRepublic. He also served in marketing roles at computer book publisher Que Corporation, as a start-up.
Cottingham was selected as the 2000 winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for E-Business in the Ohio Valley region.
In addition to his duties at Insider Louisville, Cottingham advises entrepreneurs and investors about the best ways to create and capitalize on opportunities. He has served for many years on the Anchorage Independent School Board and the board of the Louisville Orchestra. He is also a supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana.
Abby Drane leads Uspiritus, whose mission is healing the hearts and minds of vulnerable youth and their families.
A career professional administrator in the field of behavioral sciences, Drane re-joined Uspiritus as the president/CEO by unanimous vote in 2014. A twenty-five year veteran in the field, she previously served Uspiritus as CFO before moving to Seven Counties Services as VP of finance and CFO.
Having moved fourteen times during her childhood, Drane has an innate passion for helping children who may not be able to help themselves. This fuels a true passion for excellent service to children and families in need. She is a skilled coach, teacher, team builder and leader who brings the tools and drive to help Uspiritus go from good to great.
A licensed CPA, Drane received her M.B.A. from Western Kentucky University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management from Central Missouri State University. She has also served as an accounting instructor at Sullivan College of Business in Fort Knox, Ky.
Episode 197. Terry Forcht – Founder, Chairman and CEO, Forcht Group of Kentucky
Terry Forcht is a leading Kentucky entrepreneur and investor and the founder of Forcht Group of Kentucky. A lawyer by training, Forcht began a law practice in Corbin, Ky. after serving as the chairman of the commerce department at Cumberland College (now University of the Cumberlands).
In 1972, he purchased the first building block of his future company – Hillcrest Nursing Home. Today, 1st Corbin Long Term Care owns nine health and rehab centers. In the same year, he was appointed to the board of directors of Corbin Deposit Bank & Trust Company.
Forcht and other investors later founded Tri-County National Bank with $1.5 million in assets. That bank now has 30 locations and manages over $1 billion in assets. Forcht has also invested heavily in media. His holdings include newspapers and broadcasters (TV and radio). Forcht Group also invested in such diverse holdings as a pharmacy and diagnostic lab, retail furniture and gift shop, a construction company, real estate, and other businesses.
Forcht has won a number of awards and served on several boards. He and his wife of over 50 years, Marion, have given several major gifts to the community. These include money to build a wing at the Grace on the Hill Church, establish the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business at University of Louisville, and a contribution to complete the murals in Frankfort’s Capitol Rotunda building.
Ian Derrer leads the Kentucky Opera, fueled by a lifelong love of opera.
He became the fifth general director in Kentucky Opera history in 2006 and leads the organization in their mission to entertain and educate a broad and diverse audience by producing opera of the highest quality. Derrer joined the organization after serving in his previous role as artistic administrator and a member of the senior management team of the Dallas Opera.
Bitten by the opera bug as a young child, Derrer has worked with opera companies throughout the U.S. and in Italy. His experience from serving operas in Dallas, New York, Santa Fe and Charlotte has given him an opportunity to learn from leading general directors in the field. Their lessons on fundraising, audience development, branding, and community involvement give him a unique advantage.
Derrer’s prior experience includes working as a scheduling coordinator for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. He also interned at Columbia Artists Management, Inc. in the office of Ronald A. Wilford.
Derrer received masters’ degrees in opera production, voice, and performing arts management from Northwestern University and Brooklyn College. He also completed a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Donald E. Lassere leads the Muhammad Ali Center and fosters its mission of building and expanding on the Center’s educational programs, partnerships, and other outreach initiatives.
He facilitated a comprehensive rebranding process and implemented a strategic plan that focused the Center on the three primary program areas of education, global citizenship, and gender equality.
Lassere also launched the Muhammad Ali Global Humanitarian Awards, designed to inspire and encourage young people worldwide to become actively involved in social justice issues that impact their communities, countries and the world.
Prior to joining the Muhammad Ali Center, Lassere served as senior vice president of programs at Scholarship America. In this role, he administered over 1,200 scholarships, tuition reimbursement and education assistance programs amounting to over $160 million annually.
Previous to Scholarship America, Lassere spent over 20 years working at top tier organizations including Gallup Consulting, Enron Corporation, Ernst & Young Consulting, and Verizon.
He currently serves as the chair for the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Lassere is on the advisory board for the Family Business Center. He is also on the Jeffersonville County Technical College Presidential Search Task Force.
Lassere holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Taylor Trusty loves building – be it business or digital properties.
He is the guiding force for Blackstone Media, a web design and development agency with offices in Louisville, Ky. and New York City. He built and leads the company with an unconventional background.
A self-proclaimed computer nerd, Trusty began computer programming at the age of 13, and was working at a web design company by 15. At the age of 16, he was a territory sales manager for Hewlett-Packard, before becoming the head of customer service and web master of a sports memorabilia e-commerce start-up. By the age of 20, he had co-founded and sold his own sports collectibles business and founded Blackstone Media.
A voracious reader and popular speaker, Trusty credits a great deal of his success to actively pursuing and learning from remarkable mentors. This led to Trusty’s realization of his years-long dream to build a second office in New York.
When he isn’t busy running Blackstone Media, Trusty can be found working off his cookie habit at a CrossFit box, traveling, spending time with family and friends or, on the off chance that he’s sitting still, reading the latest tech brief from Elon Musk and his Tesla and SpaceX ventures.
James O’Connor is a former professional soccer player and is head coach of Louisville City FC.
O’Connor is a former Orlando City player and coach who came to Louisville to coach the Louisville City team in 2014. In his first season with Orlando, the team broke almost every record in league history – scoring the most goals, conceding the fewest goals, and setting a new point record for the league. While at Orlando, O’Connor won the USL regular season championship and the USL championship.
Prior to going to Orlando, O’Connor – who is Irish – played professionally in Ireland and England. He played for the English club Stoke City from 1996 – 2003. He later played for two other teams before joining Orlando. In all, he played in over 500 professional games and is one of the youngest persons to hold the UEFA Pro License – the highest coaching license in the world. He holds a number of licenses and certifications.
O’Connor resides in Louisville with his wife Amy and their two children.
Conrad Bachmann’s career spans four decades and hundreds of roles.
Bachmann’s desire to give back to his hometown community is at the heart of founding the Louisville International Film Festival. The annual festival attracts hundreds of films from all over the world each year, and the proceeds help fund film study in the Louisville community.
Bachmann’s impressive career spans film, theatre and television. Beginning over forty years ago with an appearance on the “Dobie Gillis” series, he is known from television for recurring roles in “West Wing” (treasure secretary) and “General Hospital” (Judge Lawrence), among others. He has also worked with industry greats in film – including Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Kingsley, Samuel L. Jackson and Jack Palance. Co-starring in “Portrait of a Killer” with Jack Palance and Rod Steiger was a highlight of his career.
In addition to acting, Bachmann took time out to be president/CEO of his own advertising and marketing firm. He designed and produced numerous commercials and industrial films and created new products for various manufacturers and corporations domestically and internationally.
He has served in numerous roles to advance and support the entertainment industry. Bachmann served eight years as a well-respected governor of the Performers Peer Group for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In addition, he served on the Academy’s executive committee and recently co-chaired the Hall of Fame for it.
Bachmann also served in the armed forces with the Air Force Special Services. He created and produced monthly shows and toured with Tops In Blue, special entertainment services, in the U.S., Korea and Japan as a featured entertainer.
He participates in numerous charities and has received a number of awards. Bachmann is married to his wife of over forty years, Kate, and has four children and several grandchildren.
Amanda Duffy’s desire to break boundaries and her competitive spirit to succeed drive her every day.
Named president of the Louisville City FC in November 2015, Duffy had previously served as the club’s VP of operations and general manager. In those roles, she saw the club reach the Eastern Conference Final and boast the league’s second highest average attendance. Her rapid promotions – she was promoted to GM in three months and named president within a year – are even more remarkable in a league where women as senior executives are rare.
Duffy worked for almost eight seasons in various league management roles, which included strategic planning, league management, player registration and coordinating referee development and assignment to the league’s teams.
As a player, Duffy held multiple school records at East Carolina University. She played three seasons after college in the Women’s League, the USL’s highest level of women’s soccer in the U.S. and Canada, winning one national championship and three division championships. She also played in Sweden’s 1st Division for one season with Danmarks IF.
Her skills on the soccer field resulted in induction into East Carolina University’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 2016, she was named to Louisville Business First’s Forty under 40, a group of top achievers under the age of 40.
Since this interview was taped, Duffy accepted a role as managing director of operations for the National Women’s Soccer League.
Mitch McConnell has served as U.S. Senate majority leader since 2015. He is only the second Kentuckian to serve as majority leader in the Senate; the first, Alben Barkley, led the Democrats from 1937 to 1947.
McConnell has been called “the most conservative leader of either party in the history of the Senate.” He has also earned a reputation as a “master tactician” for permanently locking in critical tax relief for working families and small businesses, and putting in place the most significant spending reduction legislation in a generation. In 2015, TIME Magazine named him one of its 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Since Republicans took charge of the Senate in 2015, McConnell has worked to restore the legislative process by empowering committees and individual senators. As a result, the Senate has attained a number of significant legislative accomplishments under his leadership: from replacing No Child Left Behind with the most significant K-12 education reforms in years to passing a major overhaul of America’s outdated energy policies to taking action on America’s growing opioid and heroin epidemic. (For more on the Republican Senate’s accomplishments click HERE.)
McConnell previously served as the Republican Leader in the 110th through 113th Congresses, a position he was unanimously elected to by his colleagues every two years since 2006. He also served in leadership as the majority whip during the 108th and 109th Congresses and as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 election cycles.
McConnell is Kentucky’s longest-serving senator. First elected to the Senate in 1984, he made history that year as the only Republican challenger in the country to defeat a Democrat incumbent and as the first Republican to win a statewide Kentucky race in nearly two decades. McConnell was elected to a record sixth term in 2014 with broad support from across the commonwealth, winning 110 of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
He has long been the Senate’s leading voice for increased freedom and reconciliation in Burma, and in protecting Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech here at home.
McConnell currently serves as a senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules Committees.
Before his election to the U.S. Senate, McConnell served as county judge-executive of Kentucky’s Jefferson County, as deputy assistant attorney general to President Gerald Ford, as chief legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Marlow Cook, and as an intern on Capitol Hill to Senator John Sherman Cooper.
McConnell was born in Sheffield, Alabama, in 1942 and moved to Louisville, Kentucky with his family at the age of 13. He graduated with honors from the University of Louisville. He is also a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association.
He is the proud father of three daughters.
McConnell is married to the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, who served for eight years as President George W. Bush’s secretary of labor. Secretary Chao is a former president of the United Way of America and director of the Peace Corps.
Ingrid Hernandez delivers high quality design while building personalized client relationships.
As president and creative director at InGrid Design since 2002, Hernandez leads her business and team, while also providing expertise as a creative director and project manager. InGrid Design is an award-winning graphic design firm offering services from concept to completion, as well as Spanish translation services. The firm helps companies communicate regionally, nationally and globally with a multicultural sensibility.
Hernandez grew up in Puerto Rico and attended the Instituto San Miguel de Allende with a focus on painting. She then went on to the Rhode Island School of Design for her B.F.A. in graphic design.
Hernandez and InGrid Design have won many awards, including the NAWBO Woman Business Owner of the Year and the GLI Emerging Minority Business of the Year. Hernandez was named to Business First magazine’s Fast 50 and Fast Dozen lists, as well as a finalist for Leader of the Year.
Donald M. Vowels is a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor with Body, Mind, Spirit Health and Wellness in Louisville. He has an extensive resume in psychotherapy, theology and social work.
While his professional life was in full swing, a December 2011 routine colonoscopy profoundly and instantly changed Vowel’s personal life when he was diagnosed with anal cancer. A May 2014, recurrence of cancer in his chest area led Vowels to creating his own Caring Bridge Blog for followers of his cancer journey. This is what ultimately led Don, or Donnie as some call him, to our program, not to mention numerous fan requests to make him a featured guest.
Vowels was previously the radio show co-host of “The Art of Healthy Living” on WKJK 1080 AM Radio for two years. He also released a calming guided meditation album, “The Quiet,” in 2007.
Sterling Lapinski is an entrepreneur and angel investor.
In 2012, he co-founded ClipperData, an energy market information service, where he currently serves as CEO. Lapinski is also the co-founder of Genscape, the world’s leading provider of real-time energy information. The technology and intellectual property core of the business were created and managed by Lapinski. In 2006, Lapinski and his partners sold Genscape to the Daily Mail & General Trust for almost $200 million.
Lapinski has invented more than a dozen domestic and foreign patents.
In 2003, Ernst and Young named Lapinski an Entrepreneur of the Year. He is currently an investor in, advisor for, or board member of many companies, including Stonestreet One, CD Funding Group, and SimPak International, to name just a few.
When Nina Moseley talks about her work helping those in poverty, her eyes light up with hope and her enthusiasm fills the room.
Since 1988, Moseley has been the chief operating officer of Wayside Christian Mission. The organization helps Louisville’s homeless population “not with a hand-out, but with a hand up.” The organization has grown from an overnight shelter for the homeless, to a center for hope with education and skills training as well. Along the way, they’ve taken on the city, enlisted HUD and the Louisville community at large.
Moseley traded in a career in finance and collections at local department stores to take the leap into the unknown at Wayside. She met her husband there, and has contributed to many lives turning around.
Moseley earned her J.D. from U of L’s Brandeis School of Law in 1999, and is a member of the Board of the Coalition for the Homeless, a board member and past president of Metrobon Kiwanis Club, and a past board member of the Flaget Alumni Association. She has been a licensed member of the Kentucky Bar, Indiana Bar, and Arkansas Bar. Moseley was also the recipient of the Leadership Award from Mercy Academy, as well as the Spirit of Flaget Award. In 2011, she and her husband were honored with the Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award for going above and beyond to improve life in the Louisville community.
Mitzi Friedlander has spent much of her career bringing stories to life for the blind. After 50 years of recording books, Friedlander holds the record for most talking book titles narrated for the National Library Service.
As a Louisville-native and former singer, Friedlander once performed in the Kentucky Opera Association. She sang and acted in many operas, musicals and plays in the 1950s. Friedlander also holds a master’s degree in theatre arts from the University of Louisville.
She went on to become a celebrity in the narrated books world and recorded more than 2,200 titles. In 1993, Friedlander received the Alexander Scourby Award for her narration of nonfiction books. According to the Courier-Journal, Friedlander said her most favorite book that she ever recorded is the children’s classic, “Charlotte’s Web.”
Rebecca Eaves saves and protects animals suffering from abuse and neglect.
A long-time animal rescuer and activist, Eaves is the founder and president of The Arrow Fund, a Kentucky based non-profit that provides medical treatment to animal victims of torture, abuse, or neglect, and then finds them loving homes. The organization takes legal possession of the animal and holds the abuser responsible by pursuing legal action against them. This selfless mission is truly fueled by love, as all the members of The Arrow Fund Board are volunteers and are not paid for their services.
Eaves says her mission began in 2009, when a labrador mix, later named Aiden, was deliberately shot with an arrow in Pike County. She then became no stranger to the spotlight, spreading the message about animal abuse everywhere she could, drawing attention to this important cause and educating the public.
Eaves has seen the worst in people in the harm inflicted to animals, and the best in those who work tirelessly to save them. The first thing she says to every rescued animal? “You will never be hurt again.”
Barry Denton is passionate about his hometown of Louisville.
In 2003, he began work as a bomb squad commander and police sergeant. Currently, Denton serves in the police force, and in educating the next generation. He works as a patrol officer for Audubon Park Police, and serves as an adjunct professor with the American Military University, the University of Louisville, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Since 2013, he has served as the executive director of the Louisville Metro Police Foundation.
Denton strives to make Louisville the best city in the nation through his work and through volunteerism with such organizations as the Louisville Downtown Rotary and the Kentucky Derby Festival Board.
He is the recipient of many awards including the 1995, 1999, and 2003 Medals of Valor from the Jefferson County Police Department.
Joey Wagner, Owner of the J Wagner Group, has been putting on some of the biggest events in the city of Louisville and the midwest region for the past 10 years. J. Wagner Group, a full-service event planning, marketing, and promotions firm, serves many well-known and high-end clients.
Wagner also owns DerbyVIP.com, a full-service concierge service providing rental houses, car service, fashion, security, and tickets to celebrity and charity events for Kentucky Derby Weekend.
Wagner previously served as the marketing and promotions coordinator for the athletic department at Morehead State University.
He holds many awards and recognitions. He was nominated as a Louisville magazine’s Most Creative Business Person, was named one of the 8 Men Changing Louisville by Today’s Man magazine, and named one of the Most Powerful People at the Kentucky Derby by Velocity Weekly in their Kentucky Derby Power issue. Wagner was also been honored as a distinguished alumnus at Morehead State University.