June 14, 2016. Louisville, KY. – Lisa Stevenson will chair the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival. She was elected by the Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc., Board of Directors at its annual meeting last night at The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Stevenson is an Instructor and Assistant Athletic Director at DuPont Manual High School. She follows the successful leadership of Wes Rutledge, who will continue serving as Immediate Past Chair of the Derby Festival.
“I am both honored and humbled to take on the responsibility as the next Chair of the Kentucky Derby Festival,” said Stevenson. “The Derby Festival has become part of the fabric of our community. I will strive in every way to help bring the community another great Festival in 2017.”
Stevenson was first elected to the Derby Festival Board in 2009 and has been a member of the KDF Executive Board since 2011. She has served on the planning committee for several Derby Festival events and programs, including Marathon/miniMarathon Presented by Walmart and Humana, AT&T Morning Line Radio Network, Student Art Contest, Thunder Over Louisville, Pegasus Pins, New Event & Review, Spring Fashion Show, and the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade.
Michael E. Berry continues as President and CEO of the Derby Festival. Scott Watkins, Vice President Operations, Norton Healthcare, was elected Chair-Elect; Marita Willis, Major Gift Officer, The American Red Cross, was elected Vice Chair; Mike Ziemianski, VP of Development, St. Meinrad School of Theology, was elected Secretary; and, Judy Hess, Community Relations Coordinator, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, was elected Treasurer.
Joining the 75-member board as newly elected directors are: Barry Brauch, American Founders Bank; Cathy Colliver, The Courier-Journal; Kristen Branscum, Commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism (Ex-Officio); and Kathy Bingham, President, The Fillies, Inc. (Ex-Officio).
Dates for some of the Festival’s signature events are already set. The 2017 Festival will kick off on Saturday, April 22 with the Opening Ceremonies – Thunder Over Louisville, the U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest is April 27-29, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville opens on April 27, the Marathon/mini Marathon Presented by Walmart and Humana will be April 29, Thorntons Great Bed Races is May 1, the Great Steamboat Race is May 3, and the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade is set for May 4. (See Festival Highlights Schedule Attached for additional event dates.)
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.