GLI paints Louisville blue for 2023 annual meeting

Sarah Davasher wisdom

Louisville, Ky. – The Greater Louisville Inc. Annual Meeting presented by Baird brought together over 1,100 business leaders at the Kentucky International Convention Center last night and painted the city blue to bring the theme “Together for a Greater Louisville” to life. The sell-out event included speeches from GLI leadership, Louisville Mayor Greenberg, keynote speaker, UPS Executive Vice President and President US Nando Cesarone, and the presentation of five prestigious awards.

The evening’s theme brought together business and government leaders to discuss building a stronger public-private partnership to help Louisville reach its full potential. Attendees dressed in various shades of blue, the color of the unit, and local landmarks, including the Churchill Downs Twin Spiers and Downtown Bridges, also glowed in blue.

Each year at the annual meeting, GLI presents awards to local leaders and community groups in several different categories. This year, GLI’s top honor, sponsored by Brown-Forman Corp. sponsored Gold Cup Award presented to businesswoman and philanthropist Sandra Frazier in recognition of her lifetime of service and contributions to the area. In addition to many titles and awards, Frazier is the founder of Tandem Public Relations. She has more than 25 years of public, community and investor relations experience at corporate, non-profit and agency levels. The Gold Cup has only been awarded 24 times since its inception 50 years ago. Previous winners of the award, Bill Samuels Jr. (2018) and Ed Glasscock (2003), presented this year’s award to Frazier.

During the event, GLI surprised attendees with a special presentation of its Thomas A. Edison Award, sponsored by locally based KFC US, to Grammy-nominated Louisville native singer Jack Harlow. The Edison Award is presented periodically to recognize a Louisvillian who positively represents the region nationally. Harlow has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local organizations and regularly spreads positive messages about his hometown.

In addition, GLI presented five organizations each year with three silver fleur de lis awards in recognition of outstanding contributions over the past year to making Louisville a better place to live and work. This year’s award winners were:

  • Kentucky Derby Festival for successfully retaining employees, maintaining financial security and making the festival return in 2022 bigger than ever while also managing an unprecedented public health crisis. The award was presented by Judy Hess, Community Relations Coordinator for Caesars, Indiana.
  • Louisville Urban League for the construction and funding of Norton Healthcare’s transformative sports and learning center in the West End. The award was presented by Russ Cox, President and CEO of Norton Healthcare and sponsored by Norton Healthcare.
  • Three organizations were recognized for their collaborative work to provide critical relief in eastern and western Kentucky after devastating natural disasters: Salvation Army, SOS International and WaterStep. Tiffany Benjamin, CEO of the Humana Foundation, presented the award.

The evening concluded with a keynote fireside chat sponsored by Luckett & Farley between Nando Cesarone, Executive Vice President and President of US, UPS, and Rolf Provan, President and CEO of Luckett & Farley. UPS is the region’s largest employer and a key driver of economic growth. Cesarone spoke about UPS’s continued investments in the region and the important role Louisville is playing in its growing international operations.

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