June 14, 2023. Louisville, KY. – Longtime Louisville business leader Erin Rasinen is set to Chair the 2024 Kentucky Derby Festival. The Louisville native was elected by the Festival’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting this afternoon. Rasinen is the Business Development Director of Messer Construction Co., where she will celebrate her 20th anniversary in January. She follows the leadership of Ken Selvaggi, who will continue serving as Immediate Past Chair of the Derby Festival.

Rasinen was first elected to the Derby Festival Board in 2013 and has served on the KDF Executive Board since 2019. She was elected Board treasurer in 2019. She has served on committees for several Derby Festival events and programs, including Thunder Over Louisville, GE Appliances miniMarathon and Marathon, Republic Bank BourbonVille, Stock Yards Bank $1 Million Hole-In-One Golf Contest, Chicken Salad Chick WineFest, Dillard’s Spring Fashion Show, Administration, Audit, Derby Equity & Community Initiative (DECI), Nominating and President & CEO Review.

Rasinen began her career at Messer in 2004 after graduating from the University of Kentucky with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration. She has spent the last two decades leading Messer’s business development efforts in Louisville.

In addition to the Kentucky Derby Festival Board, she has served in leadership roles at various organizations throughout the city and has been part of several regional leadership programs. Rasinen was a member of the Ignite Louisville Class of 2006, the Bingham Fellows Class of 2009, Leadership Kentucky Class of 2014, and is currently a member of the inaugural class of the Leadership Louisville Center’s Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program. In 2009, she was recognized as one of Business First’s “Forty Under 40” in Louisville, and in 2021, Gov. Beshear appointed her to the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Community Advisory Panel.

“It is an honor to serve as the 2024 Kentucky Derby Festival Board Chair. The Festival’s exceptional staff, engaged directors, committed sponsors and countless volunteers work tirelessly and collaboratively to ensure the Kentucky Derby Festival remains a cherished, sustainable community tradition,” Rasinen said. “For more than two weeks leading up to the first Saturday in May, our community unites around new and diverse programming, while also honoring signature events that have made the Festival so special for generations.”

Matt Gibson continues as President & CEO of the Derby Festival. Al Cornish, Chief Learning Officer at Closing the Gap Consulting, LLC, was elected Chair-Elect; Natasha Collins, Director of Media Relations|Corporate Communications for LG&E and Kentucky Utilities, was elected Vice-Chair; Louis Waterman, Partner at Goldberg Simpson, was elected Secretary; and Bill Fisher, President of Omega Consulting, was elected Treasurer.

Joining the 75-member Board as newly elected directors are: Crystal Anderson (Meijer); Mike Campbell (Jefferson County Public Schools); Derek Cowherd (University of Louisville Athletics Association); Lance George (The Galt House Hotel); Tim McGurk; Allison Gousha (Kroger); Ann Marie Maldini (PNC); Dwight Newton (Zoeller Company); John O’Brien (WAVE); Jason O’Daniel (Millennium Events and Floral, LLC); Donna Salas; Ryan Sienkowski (Caesars Southern Indiana); Corenza Townsend (Norton West Louisville Hospital, North Healthcare); Chad Waggoner; Justin Walker (Hornblower Group Inc.); Dan Wasserzug, who will serve as Chair of the 2024 Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade; and Melanie Miller Kane, who is the 2024 President of the Fillies Inc.

Festival fans are encouraged to mark their calendars for 2024. Dates for many of the Festival’s signature events are already set.

  • Block Party Presented by Churchill Downs, Humana and Park Community Credit Union: Saturday, April 13
  • PNC Tour de Lou: Sunday, April 14
  • Thunder Over Louisville Presented By Caesars Southern Indiana, Humana, LG&E, Meijer and UPS: Saturday, April 20
  • Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront: Thursday, April 25 through Friday, May 3
  • L&N Federal Credit Union Great BalloonFest: Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27
  • GE Appliances miniMarathon and Marathon: Saturday, April 27
  • Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade: Sunday, April 28
  • Shepherd Insurance Great Steamboat Race: Wednesday, May 1
June 21 - June 21