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Spring 2023 Ignite Louisville Results

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Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a six-month program that grows young professionals by developing the critical components of leadership. The Ignite Louisville Challenge is an opportunity for teams from the program to undertake a project for a local nonprofit, gaining experience in community leadership, board involvement, and teamwork. These teams put their work for local nonprofits on display in hopes of winning the Ignite Louisville Challenge and earning additional funds for their partner agencies.

Norton Healthcare

The 28th Ignite Louisville class graduated on April 12, following a day of presentations to a panel of esteemed judges. The winning team worked with Feed Louisville – a support organization for the unhoused. The organization’s work is focused on hunger, harm reduction, and housing. Feed Louisville will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by the Leadership Louisville Center. While one team was chosen as the winner, all six nonprofits received significant support. The six teams collectively contributed over 2,500 hours of service and over $110,000 in value to this class’ nonprofit partners.

The project outcomes for this graduating class varied, ranging from marketing plans to an office renovation to an entirely new children’s summer program. Scroll down to learn about each team’s outcomes:

Winning team:
Feed Louisville

Team members (left to right): Nate Fowler, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Ashtan McCullum Moriarty, Confluent Health; Mera Corlett, Seven Counties Services Inc.; Justin Richards, Appraisal Institute; Cassie Lyles, Jefferson County Public Schools; Hannah Oiler, PNC Bank; Meghan Murphy, Jack Henry & Associates

After conducting reviews of Feed Louisville’s social media presence, media coverage, and interviewing a variety of stakeholders, this Ignite team created around 50 deliverables ranging from one pagers to branding guidelines to help Feed Louisville tell their story. They put together a message training, Pop-Up Party Planners, and volunteer materials to help build sustainability and make the work of Feed Louisville staff easier.  They also helped build a platform for the staff to better communicate with their connections.

After a month-long push for donations at restaurant partners around the city, they helped throw Feed Louisville’s 3rd birthday party to celebrate Feed Louisville’s staff and introduce them to future donors, raising over $10,000 in the process.

Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana (BGCK)

Team members (left to right): Shelby Babcock, ARGI Financial Group; Janine Webb, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Heather Kelley, Eclipse Bank; Jessica Childress, Humana Inc.; Ryan Mudd, EY | Ernst & Young; Lauren Wernert, Confluent Health; Sara Ruiz Esparza Morales, Brown-Forman Corporation; Mandela Gapala, Kentucky Refugee Ministries

This Ignite team worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana (BGCK) to brand their signature fundraising event. On March 25, BGCK hosted their inaugural “Great Futures Sneaker Ball,” headlined by special guest Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders. The team’s focus was to support BGCK in making the event successful by identifying ways to involve BGCK’s kids in the event, boosting the silent auction and creating post-event surveys to enhance future events.

In the months leading up to the event, the team worked closely with Special Events Manager Karen Tate to assist in the areas of marketing/public relations, outreach/partnership and event specifics. The team’s marketing/public relations efforts focused on enhancing the Club’s social media presence and event exposure in an effort to reach a younger, more diverse group of supporters. Outreach and partnership efforts focused on raising awareness to BGCK’s mission with a larger audience and increasing monetary/volunteer support.

Louisville Folk School

Team members (left to right): Megan Cooper, Camp Hendon – Kentucky Diabetes Camp for Children; Andrew Patterson, Fifth Third Bank; Ashleigh Hazley, Muhammad Ali Center; Michelle Bartoszek, Waste Management; Sarah Weedman, Jefferson County Public Schools | JCPS; Danielle Dilger, Humana Inc.;      William Wright, Louisville MSD

This Ignite team collaborated with Louisville Folk School to develop a strategic plan focused on three areas: Board and staff development, programming and marketing, and financial stability. The team provided training and materials to cultivate an engaged, forward-thinking group of staff, board, and volunteers by increasing commitment, competence, and satisfaction at all levels of the organization.

The team helped develop the folk school’s first ever Children’s Programming. The newly launched summer camp and after school programs make Louisville Folk School the premiere location for people of all ages and experience levels to engage with folk art and music traditions in the state of Kentucky. Lastly, the team worked on identifying grants, increasing funding and donor opportunities to allow the folk school to not just survive, but to thrive and continue to serve the community for years to come.

The Hope Buss

Team members (left to right): David Payne, Confluent Health; Amanda Keller, Eclipse Bank; Courtney Evans, Jewish Family & Career Services | JFCS; LaShonna Thompson, New Hope Services, Inc.; Carman Napier, Day Spring; Michael Fetter, Louisville Tourism | LCVB; Ashlie Woods, Transit Authority of River City | TARC

This Ignite team worked with The Hope Buss for the Ignite Challenge. The Hope Buss is an organization focused on empowering families and individuals to reimagine our community, by working alongside them to build HOPE-based infrastructure and create sustainable resources. The organization is passionate, but tends to stretch itself too thin to think about growth and the future. Knowing this, the team focused on three main areas: awareness, sustainability, and growth. Securing The Hope Buss as the non-profit partner for Louisville Restaurant Week, they were able to garner 24 media hits, over 39.4M impressions and increase their social media following by over 720%.

Continuing the positive growth, they helped onboard a new donor database to give them a streamlined way to maintain donor relations, track donations, and stay organized in general. In addition, we were able to help initiate the planning of an inaugural fundraising event, giving The Hope Buss blueprints for planning and sponsorship models. The team is confident these projects have given the Hope Buss some extra tools and momentum to continue its growth and lasting impact on the community.


Team members (left to right): Kelsey Magnine, Confluent Health; Abra Sickles, Norton Healthcare; Dominique Wales, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals; Nicholas Jewell, LG&E and KU Energy; Jordan Wiehebrink, Bellarmine University; Eva Snadon, POWER2 Consulting; (not pictured: Lauren Martin, Omni Louisville Hotel)

This Ignite team partnered with Wellspring to build community awareness to Wellspring’s work for mental health recovery in Louisville through a 5K community walk: Walk with Wellspring. The team created and developed a 5K course map through the downtown Louisville neighborhoods where Wellspring provides housing support for mental health recovery community members.

The team also created a marketing and communication plan, gathered donors and sponsors for the event, attained necessary permits for the race through the local government, developed a race registration and liability form, recruited volunteers, and arranged media and a press release for the event. The team created a lasting impact for Wellspring by establishing a Walk with Wellspring 5K Event Planning Guide and Project Management Framework to solidify the event as an annual community tradition for years to come.

West End Business Association (WEBA)

Team members (left to right): Gabrielle Jones, Louisville Public Media; Abby Jacobs, Confluent Health; Mclean Shut, Mercer LLC; Ashley Byrum, Jefferson County Public Schools; Whitney Conely, Humana Inc.; Caroline Schoenberger, The Al J. Schneider Company | AJS Hotels; Lanisha Porter, St. Stephen Baptist Church

Imagine if every Louisville entrepreneur had equitable access to resources. This Ignite team was on a mission to help create this future through its partnership with the West End Business Association (WEBA). Founded in 2020, WEBA’s mission is to empower West End businesses by providing educational and financial workshops, advocating for entrepreneurs with local government and community leaders, and hosting networking events that foster partnerships.

Working with the board, this team provided WEBA with extensive organizational development, strategic and financial guidance, a major marketing asset refresh, and a complete renovation of WEBA’s offices. The team helped move WEBA from an organization with a small planning group, community connections and an inspiring mission, to one that’s also grant, donation, and program ready. Now, equipped with the tools and materials from the partnership with this Ignite team, WEBA can exponentially expand its sources of funding and programming to support its mission.