People Behind the Kentucky Derby Festival
The Kentucky Derby Festival has become the region’s largest annual production with a cast and crew of thousands. Before the event stage comes to life each spring, the many people behind the scenes spend all year scripting, rehearsing and developing the “big show.”
The Festival is a private, nonprofit organization that was created by volunteers. And though it is now managed by a professional paid staff, it is still overseen by a volunteer board and fueled by the manpower of more than 4,000 friends and neighbors. Click on the links below to learn more about the groups of people that come together each year to produce FUN for the entire community. And you just may decide you want to join us!
Chair of the Board
Judy Hess / Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Mike Shea / Government Strategies
Ken Selvaggi / WAVE TV
Erin Rasinen / Messer Construction Co.
Alfonso N. Cornish
Immediate Past Chair
Marita Willis / The Hope Collaborative
President and CEO
Natasha M. Collins / LG&E and KU Energy LLC
Bill Fisher / Omega Consulting
Barbara M. Porter / BB&T
Nancy Jo Trafton / Indiana University Southeast
David A. Vogel / Louisville Water Co.
John Aubrey/Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office
Tracey M. Ballard/Fifth Third Private Bank
David S. Beck/Kentucky Venues
Jill Joseph Bell/Passport Health Plan
David Bingham/Business First
Tyler Bliss/New Albany/Floyd Co. Education Foundation
Paul K. Carroll
Janice Cates/Office of the Mayor
Wendy Dant Chesser/One Southern Indiana
Carolle Jones Clay/Republic Bank & Trust Co.
J.P. DeLaney/Logan Lavelle Hunt Insurance & Wealth Management
Dr. Barry D. Denton/The Denton Group
William Donaldson/DPR Enterprises, LLC
Joe Elliott/University of Louisville
Gary Friedman/St. Joseph Children’s Home
Les Fugate/Brown Forman Corporation
Mike Gandolfo/RE Solutions LLC
Cynthia B. Goldsberry/Ford Motor Company
Robert L. Hecht/Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company
Bob Herre/HMS Global Maritime
Charles F. Hoffman
Christy Johnson/Papa John’s
Sarah Jordan/Alpha Media Louisville
Dana Kasler/Louisville Parks & Recreation
Briana Nicole Lathon
Janet Lively/Schaefer General Contracting
Ann Marie Maldini/YPAL
Mike Mangeot/Office of the Governor
Rebecca Matheny/Louisville Downtown Partnership
Lynnie Meyer/Norton Healthcare
Susan Meyer Moore/The Fillies Inc.
Christy Moreno/WHAS TV
Carol Nord/Nativity Academy at St. Boniface
Nancy O’Hearn/Galt House Hotel & Suites
Brian Outland/Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated
Todd Pitt/Summit Media LLC
Debbie Prewitt/Citizens Union Bank
Debbie Roberson/WLKY TV
Donna Salas/Parade Chair
Stacy Serad/Humana Inc.
Maria Smith/Harbor House of Louisville
Rick W. Smith
Colleen Truman/Gannett/Courier Journal
Joey Wagner/J. Wagner Group
Kristin Warfield/Churchill Downs Inc.
Louis I. Waterman/Goldberg Simpson, LLC
Dale Woods/WDRB Media
Stacey Yates/Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Matt Gibson – President & CEO
Stacey Robinson – Executive Vice President/Chief of Staff
Aimee Boyd – Vice President of Communications
Jennifer Bray – Ticketing & Promotions Coordinator
Jenn Churik – Event Manager
Zach Fisher – Senior Event Manager
Dodie Howlett – Director of Advertising & Promotions
Cynthia Jackson – Customer Service Representative
Chris Martini – Event Manager
Carl Mittelsten – Executive Assistant
Jennifer Morgan – Merchandising Manager
Sarah Nordman – Sponsorship Sales Manager
Jayme Perez – Sponsorship Sales Manager
Jessica Pollio – Sponsorship Sales Manager
Bridget Sherrill – Vice President of Merchandising
Tricia Siegwald – VP of Events
Katherine Steponovich – Merchandising Manager
Catherine Vish – Event Manager
Shanna Ward – Director of Events
Clare White – Digital Content Specialist
Tim Whitten – Director of Finance
April Zik – Director of Sponsorship Sales
JOIN TEAM KDF!
No volunteers, no Festival! It’s that simple! Without the help of some 4,000 committed citizens, the Derby Festival would not be the grand civic celebration it has become. With nearly 70 events, production of even a portion of the Festival would be impossible without volunteer support.
From entertaining lost children at Thunder to hosting bands at the parade, volunteers serve on committees that work throughout the year to guarantee Festival fun and safety for the community. In addition, many serve on one-day events performing duties such as handing out water at the Marathon/miniMarathon, hosting a marching band for the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade or selling buckets of golf balls at the $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Contest.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Derby Festival, please register here.