Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
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January 17, 2024 9:36am

Greater Louisville Inc. brings together business community, top leaders of international sports organizations for Annual Meeting presented by Baird

Louisville, Ky. (January 17, 2024) – Last night, over 1,000 business leaders came together at the Kentucky International Convention Center for Greater Louisville Inc.’s Annual Meeting presented by Baird. The gathering included remarks from GLI leadership and a fireside chat between keynote speakers, Bill Carstanjen, CEO & President of Churchill Downs Inc., and Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, to discuss the economic impact of the 150th Kentucky Derby and 2024 PGA Championship. The event also featured the presentation of four prestigious awards.

“2024 is shaping up to be a big year for our community and GLI’s Annual Meeting is the perfect place to come together to build excitement and engagement around opportunities for growth in the year ahead,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president, and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “We have a rare opportunity to sell our region to prospective businesses and talent on an international stage twice in a one-month span. I am looking forward to working with Louisville’s business leaders to show off our region’s assets.”

GLI presented three organizations with Silver Fleur-de-Lis awards, which are given each year in recognition of outstanding contributions over the past year to make Louisville a better place to live and work. Thank you to Vo-soft and CDI for sponsoring these awards. This year’s recipients were:

  • CenterWell Senior Primary Care for the successful opening of several senior-focused primary care centers in Louisville and their impact on underserved communities. The award was presented by Lyndon Pryor, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, and accepted by Nick Judd.
  • Derby City Gaming Downtown for the grand opening of their downtown location, which will drive positive economic growth and downtown tourism. The award was presented by Katherine Armstrong, Vice President of Culture, Churchill Downs, Inc., and accepted by Garth Williams.
  • Four individuals were recognized for purchasing Valhalla Golf Club and preserving the club’s Louisville legacy. Valhalla Golf Partners, LLC, is owned by Junior Bridgeman, Jimmy Kirchdorfer, Chester Musselman, and David Novak. The award was presented by Purna Veer, president and founder of V-Soft Consulting Group, and accepted by Jimmy Kirchdorfer and David Novak.

In addition, GLI recognized Mike Mountjoy with the Gold Cup Award. The Gold Cup was established 50 years ago and has only been awarded only 25 times to leaders in the community who demonstrate a lifetime of dedication to growing the region. Mountjoy is a founding partner in the predecessor firm to Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP (MCM) and has led many civic organizations across the region. He has served on the boards of the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Louisville, Greater Louisville Project, Louisville Orchestra Foundation, and Louisville Library Foundation. Mountjoy is also a co-founder of Soccer Holdings LLC, a professional soccer holding company that owns Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC. Presenting this year’s award to Mountjoy were previous recipients Sandra Frazier (2023), Alice Houston (2020), and Bill Samuels Jr. (2018).

The evening concluded with a keynote fireside chat between Carstanjen and Waugh, which was moderated by Carolyn Tandy, SVP & Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Humana. The keynote focused on the economic impact of both the 150th Kentucky Derby and 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla, when they take place in Louisville in May. The month-long festivities leading up to the Kentucky Derby are expected to generate an economic impact exceeding $400 million. Following the Kentucky Derby, in mid-May, Valhalla Golf Club will host the PGA Championship for the fourth time, drawing an estimated 200,000 spectators, with more than half expected to travel from outside Kentucky.

Carolyn Tandy, SVP & Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Humana, Bill Carstanjen, CEO & President of Churchill Downs Inc., and Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, keynote GLI’s Annual Meeting presented by Baird.

“As we embark on this historic 150th anniversary, it is important to reflect on the immense effort and dedication that has gone into making the Kentucky Derby the iconic event it is today,” said Carstanjen. “It is a time when the city of Louisville comes alive with a collective spirit of excitement and anticipation as we prepare to witness, and participate in, something wonderful; and its enduring success is a credit to countless individuals throughout the city. I look forward to preserving and building upon the magic of this timeless tradition with Louisville’s business community and am thrilled that this year’s excitement will be followed and amplified by the energy of the esteemed PGA Championship.”

“All of us at the PGA of America are thrilled to be returning to Louisville for the 106th edition of the PGA Championship,” said Waugh. “The Annual Meeting Keynote was a spectacular reminder of what makes Louisville such a tremendous place to stage our Major Championships. We are eternally grateful for the incredible support received from the Louisville business community. It was an honor to share the stage with Bill last night and I look forward to returning to Louisville in May.”

The event also included special performances from the Academy of Flamenco Arts and the famous Churchill Downs call to post. Attendees had the opportunity to take photos with the official 2024 PGA Championship trophy and a historic Kentucky Derby trophy. GLI also unveiled its Annual Report which highlights major accomplishments from 2023 including bringing in more than 1,600 new jobs to the region.

Additional photos of all speakers and award honorees are available upon request.

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. is the Metro Chamber of Commerce and represents 15 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. GLI’s mission is to grow businesses and the regional economy. GLI supports businesses during every stage of development and represents the collective needs of the business community by advocating for pro-growth policies and economic development investment, and deploying programming centered around attracting and developing talent and economic inclusion. GLI is the 2019 National Chamber of the Year and is one of only three percent of chambers nationally certified with 5-star accreditation status by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Learn more on social media @GLIchamber or visit www.greaterlouisville.com.