Greater Louisville Inc. Brings Together Business Community, Top Leaders of International Sports Organizations for Annual Meeting Presented by Baird

LOUISVILLE, KY., (January 17, 2024) – Over 1,000 business leaders came together at the Kentucky International Convention Center for Greater Louisville Inc.’s Annual Meeting presented by Baird on Tuesday, January 16. The gathering included remarks from GLI leadership and a fireside chat between keynote speakers, Bill Carstanjen, CEO & President of Churchill Downs Inc., and Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, to discuss the economic impact of the 150th Kentucky Derby and 2024 PGA Championship. The event also featured the presentation of four prestigious awards.

“2024 is shaping up to be a big year for our community and GLI’s Annual Meeting is the perfect place to come together to build excitement and engagement around opportunities for growth in the year ahead,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president, and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “We have a rare opportunity to sell our region to prospective businesses and talent on an international stage twice in a one-month span. I am looking forward to working with Louisville’s business leaders to show off our region’s assets.”

GLI presented three organizations with Silver Fleur-de-Lis awards, which are given each year in recognition of outstanding contributions over the past year to make Louisville a better place to live and work. This year’s recipients were:

  • CenterWell Senior Primary Care for the successful opening of several senior-focused primary care centers in Louisville and their impact on underserved communities. The award was presented by Lyndon Pryor, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, and accepted by Nick Judd.
  • Derby City Gaming for the grand opening of their downtown location, which will drive positive economic growth and downtown tourism. The award was presented by Katherine Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Churchill Downs Incorporated, and accepted by Garth Williams.
  • Four individuals were recognized for purchasing Valhalla Golf Club and preserving the club’s Louisville legacy. Valhalla Golf Partners, LLC, is owned by Junior Bridgeman, Jimmy Kirchdorfer, Chester Musselman, and David Novak. The award was presented by Purna Veer, president and founder of V-Soft Consulting Group, and accepted by Jimmy Kirchdorfer and David Novak.

In addition, GLI recognized Mike Mountjoy with the Gold Cup Award. The Gold Cup was established 50 years ago and has only been awarded only 25 times to leaders in the community who demonstrate a lifetime of dedication to growing the region. Mountjoy is a founding partner in the predecessor firm to Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP (MCM) and has led many civic organizations across the region. He has served on the boards of the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Louisville, Greater Louisville Project, Louisville Orchestra Foundation, and Louisville Library Foundation. Mountjoy is also a co-founder of Soccer Holdings LLC, a professional soccer holding company that owns Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC. Presenting this year’s award to Mountjoy were previous recipients Sandra Frazier (2023), Alice Houston (2020), and Bill Samuels Jr. (2018).

The evening concluded with a keynote fireside chat between Carstanjen and Waugh, which was moderated by Carolyn Tandy, SVP & Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Humana. The keynote focused on the economic impact of both the 150th Kentucky Derby and 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla, when they take place in Louisville in May. The month-long festivities leading up to the Kentucky Derby are expected to generate an economic impact exceeding $400 million. Following the Kentucky Derby, in mid-May, Valhalla Golf Club will host the PGA Championship for the fourth time, drawing an estimated 200,000 spectators, with more than half expected to travel from outside Kentucky.

“All of us at the PGA of America are thrilled to be returning to Louisville for the 106th edition of the PGA Championship,” said Waugh. “The Annual Meeting Keynote was a spectacular reminder of what makes Louisville such a tremendous place to stage our Major Championships. We are eternally grateful for the incredible support received from the Louisville business community. It was an honor to share the stage with Bill last night and I look forward to returning to Louisville in May.”

“As we embark on this historic 150th anniversary, it is important to reflect on the immense effort and dedication that has gone into making the Kentucky Derby the iconic event it is today,” said Carstanjen. “It is a time when the city of Louisville comes alive with a collective spirit of excitement and anticipation as we prepare to witness, and participate in, something wonderful; and its enduring success is a credit to countless individuals throughout the city. I look forward to preserving and building upon the magic of this timeless tradition with Louisville’s business community and am thrilled that this year’s excitement will be followed and amplified by the energy of the esteemed PGA Championship.”

The event also included special performances from the Academy of Flamenco Arts and the famous Churchill Downs call to post. Attendees had the opportunity to take photos with the official 2024 PGA Championship trophy and a historic Kentucky Derby trophy. GLI also unveiled its Annual Report which highlights major accomplishments from 2023 including bringing in more than 1,600 new jobs to the region.

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. is the Metro Chamber of Commerce and represents 15 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. GLI’s mission is to grow businesses and the regional economy. GLI supports businesses during every stage of development and represents the collective needs of the business community by advocating for pro-growth policies and economic development investment, and deploying programming centered around attracting and developing talent and economic inclusion. GLI is the 2019 National Chamber of the Year and is one of only three percent of chambers nationally certified with 5-star accreditation status by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Learn more on social media @GLIchamber or visit

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) has been creating extraordinary entertainment experiences for nearly 150 years, beginning with the company’s most iconic and enduring asset, the Kentucky Derby. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, CDI has expanded through the development of live and historical racing entertainment venues, the growth of the TwinSpires horse racing online wagering business and the operation and development of regional casino gaming properties.  

This news release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” and similar words or similar expressions (or negative versions of such words or expressions).

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the following: the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks, public health threats, civil unrest, and inclement weather, including as a result of climate change; the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit, including the impact of inflation; additional or increased taxes and fees; the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the emergence of variant strains, and related economic matters on our results of operations, financial conditions and prospects; lack of confidence in the integrity of our core businesses or any deterioration in our reputation; loss of key or highly skilled personnel, as well as general disruptions in the general labor market; the impact of significant competition, and the expectation the competition levels will increase; changes in consumer preferences, attendance, wagering, and sponsorships; risks associated with equity investments, strategic alliances and other third-party agreements; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; concentration and evolution of slot machine and historical racing machine (HRM) manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; failure to enter into or maintain agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; inability to successfully focus on market access and retail operations for our TwinSpires Sports and Casino business and effectively compete; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches, or loss or misuse of our stored information as a result of a breach including customers’ personal information could lead to government enforcement actions or other litigations; reliance on our technology services and catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; inability to identify, complete, or fully realize the benefits of our proposed acquisitions, divestitures, development of new venues or the expansion of existing facilities on time, on budget, or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; cost overruns and other uncertainties associated with the development of new venues and the expansion of existing facilities; general risks related to real estate ownership and significant expenditures, including risks related to environmental liabilities; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other similar laws and regulations, or applicable anti-money laundering regulations; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card or debit card use; work stoppages and labor problems; risks related to pending or future legal proceedings and other actions; highly regulated operations and changes in the regulatory environment could adversely affect our business; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; failure to comply with the financial ratios and other covenants in our debt facilities and other indebtedness; increases to interest rates (due to inflation or otherwise), disruption in the credit markets or changes to our credit ratings may adversely affect our business; increase in our insurance costs, or inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future, and any inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; and other factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.