Leadership Kentucky 2019 in Louisville

Posted on: July 22, 2019
Tags: Session Review, Leadership Kentucky

By: Ashley G. Johnson, Class of 2019

U.S Bank | Vice President | Western Kentucky District Manager

The Leadership Kentucky 2019 class kicked off our Louisville session with a visit to the historic Hermitage Farm in Oldham County.  A panel of class members from Beam Suntory and Brown Forman, along with Bryan Alvey of the Kentucky Distillers Association, and Anne Hardy of Horse Country, spoke about trends and initiatives in Horse and Bourbon Economics impacting our Commonwealth.  Back in Louisville, we reconvened at the Old Forester Distilling Co. on Main Street for dinner and a reception hosted by Brown Forman and capped off a memorable day at the Jim Bean Urban Still House.

On Thursday, Kentucky Science Center Executive Director, Jo Hass, welcomed the class over breakfast and shared how the Center has evolved since it opened on Main Street in 1977.  Next, the class was inspired by Spalding University President, Tori Murden McClure, who recounted her notable journeys to become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  President McClure is also one of the first Americans to ski to the geographic South Pole.   The breakfast session concluded as Fitz Bailey, National Brand Ambassador with Coopers’ Craft, brought the supplies needed for us to complete the Brown Forman Bourbon Barrel-Making Experience.  It did not take us long to realize the refined skill that being a cooper requires, as we worked to piece together our own bourbon barrel.  Before the 14th Annual Kentucky Chamber Business Summit began, we were able to share some laughs as we worked together to complete some fun, hands-on experiences in the Science Center. 

Throughout the last 24 hours, the class was together in Louisville, we attended the Business Summit and Annual Meeting Dinner, and many of us were treated to an overnight tour of the UPS Worldport facility.   The Business Summit proved both informative and exciting and featured topics ranging from Kentucky political campaigns to the cost of substance abuse to Kentucky workplaces.  We learned how Kentucky’s central location and infrastructure play a key role in attracting industry to the state, and how our Bourbon Trail just might be the next Napa Valley.  We grew as leaders while Eric Ellis spoke about the impact that diversity, inclusion, and respect make on a business’ bottom line, to which he received a standing ovation from the audience.  During the Dinner, the career of Kentucky Chamber President & CEO Dave Adkisson was celebrated, as those in attendance wished him well in his upcoming retirement.  The dinner attendees also had the privilege to hear from Keynote speaker, General John F. Kelly, a 45 Year Marine Veteran and Former White House Chief of Staff to President Trump.  Several members of the class had the opportunity to greet General Kelly personally during the following reception sponsored by Norton Healthcare.  Those who were able to attend the UPS Worldport stood in amazement as we watched the logistics of moving over 400,000 packages each hour in action.

The session concluded Friday after we heard from entrepreneur and Louisville native Kent Taylor, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the beloved Texas Roadhouse Corporation.   We are excited for our August session in Western Kentucky, where we will learn about Kentucky Coal Mining, visit the State Penitentiary, and our State Parks.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

LG&E-KU
Toyota
Brown-Forman
Norton Healthcare
Kentucky Power
Maker's Mark
RunSwitch PR
Kentucky Chamber
Republic Bank
St. Elizabeth
Whitaker Bank
Kentucky Proud
Beam Suntory
BB&T
CHI St Joseph Healthcare