FRIENDS OF THE WATERFRONT TO HOST 28TH ANNUAL SILVER ANCHOR AWARD CELEBRATION
Mike Berry, President and CEO of Kentucky Derby Festival, to be Honored
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 17, 2019) – The Friends of the Waterfront, FOTW, a nonprofit auxiliary arm of the Waterfront Development Corporation, is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Silver Anchor Award, Mike Berry. The Silver Anchor Award is given annually to a community leader that embodies the organization’s mission. The honoree is an advocate for the park’s use and enjoyment, communicates directly with the public about its growth and development, and raises crucial funds necessary for the continuation and future security of Waterfront Park. This year, Mike Berry will be honored for his ongoing support of the park.
Berry has been with the Kentucky Derby Festival for 33 years, and at the helm for 22 of those. In 1986, Berry joined the festival as an event coordinator, and in 1997, he was named president and CEO. During his time, Berry more than doubled the festival’s budget, and the festival’s economic impact on the city dramatically increased to $128 million annually. In 2008, he was inducted into the International Festivals and Events Association’s hall of fame.
This year Friends will honor Mike Berry with this prestigious award for his leadership in creating flagship Kentucky Derby Festival activities for the Waterfront Park. Due to his leadership, Thunder Over Louisville, Fest-a-Ville, Chow Wagon and the Great Steamboat Race have brought hundreds of thousands of people downtown annually to enjoy Louisville Waterfront Park. This important activity has worked to change the face of downtown, has played a vital role in reconnecting our community to the river, and has generated millions in economic impact.
“During his lengthy career with the Kentucky Derby Festival, Mike Berry was, and continues to be, a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of the Louisville Waterfront Park,” said FOTW president Joshua Watkins. “We are thrilled to thank Mike for his devotion and commemorate his successful career.”
“I am humbled to be this year’s honoree,” said Berry. “Louisville is my hometown, and supporting our local parks is just one way I can help make our city a better place to work and live.”
This year’s Silver Anchor Award presentation will be held on Thursday, September 19 at 5:30 p.m. on the Belle of Louisville. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a silent auction and live music from Billy Goat Strut Revue. The awards ceremony will begin at 6:00pm. Tickets are $75 per person, and proceeds benefit Waterfront Park programs such as WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays, Park Clean Team, Waterfront Park Maintenance, Lighting of the Big Four Bridge, Louisville Waterfront 4th and Catfish Louie Community Appearances.