Top Leaders of Churchill Downs Incorporated and PGA of America to Headline GLI’s 2024 Annual Meeting

LOUISVILLE, KY., (September 5, 2023) – Greater Louisville Inc. announced the top leaders of the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) and Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) as the keynote speakers of its 2024 Annual Meeting presented by Baird. As the largest gathering of regional business leaders, the event will feature awards, remarks from business and elected leaders, and will culminate in an exclusive discussion with Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, and Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI.

2024 is poised to be a major year for tourism and economic growth in Greater Louisville. On the first Saturday in May, Churchill Downs will host the 150th Kentucky Derby, while unveiling a $200 million Paddock redesign to the historic facility. The month-long celebration leading up to the Kentucky Derby has an estimated economic impact of over $400 million. In mid-May, the PGA Championship will bring an estimated 200,000 spectators to Valhalla Golf Club; 50% of those attendees are estimated to come from outside of Kentucky. This marks the fourth PGA Championship to be contested at Valhalla and first since 2014.

“In a two-week span, our community will host two separate events that will bring in thousands of spectators from all over the world and be broadcast to millions of people across the globe. This is the ideal opportunity to share all the assets our region has to offer businesses and talent on an international stage,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of GLI. “We are thrilled to host Seth and Bill to share their insights on their organization’s commitment to Louisville and the planned economic impacts of their events in our region.”

Waugh has served as CEO of the PGA of America since September 2018, where he guides the business and overall strategy of one of the world’s largest sports organizations, serving the Association’s more than 28,000 PGA Professionals. During his tenure, he has inked transformational brand partnerships and TV contracts to grow the organization’s reach. Prior to leading the PGA of America, he spent 13 years at Deutsche Bank, including 10 years as CEO of the Americas, overseeing an unprecedented time of growth for the bank in the region.

“I can’t wait to be with Louisville’s business and community leaders at Greater Louisville Inc.’s 2024 Annual Meeting,” said Waugh. “Their collective efforts have made Louisville a choice destination to host the PGA Championship. We are thrilled to be back at historic Valhalla Golf Club next spring where we are sure to write another memorable chapter in the history of golf.”

Carstanjen has served as CEO of CDI since 2014, and prior to that served in various leadership roles throughout the organization since 2005. Throughout his tenure, he has led the company’s diversification and growth strategy beyond its traditional roots in Thoroughbred racing into online wagering and regional casino gaming. Prior to joining Churchill Downs, Carstanjen was an executive with General Electric Company, and began his career as an attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, a prominent New York law firm.

“Besides the economic impact it delivers to Louisville, the Kentucky Derby brings a contagious excitement to the entire region and state,” said Carstanjen. “This year, as we prepare to celebrate our milestone 150th running, we expect to amplify that influence by exploring new ways to say thank you to the community who has made this legendary run possible.”

GLI’s Annual Meeting presented by Baird will be held January 16, 2024 at the Kentucky International Convention Center. This is GLI’s largest event of the year, with an anticipated sold-out crowd of 1,200 business leaders in attendance. For more information and to secure tickets, click here.

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 (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.