inSpire - Fall/Winter 2022

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empowering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for a brighter Kentucky.

At LG&E, we’re empowering possibilities for everyone in the communities we serve by taking part in efforts to help bring lasting change with diversity, equity and inclusion across Kentucky.

Our efforts include spending over $180 million with 148 diverse businesses last year, donating $100,000 to help lower the education gap among students of color, and co-chairing Mayor Fischer’s Equity in Contracting and Procurement Task Force.

There’s still work to do, but we’re proud to continue fostering a better, more inclusive environment within our organization and our communities. Visit to learn more.

Mattea K.
6 Play Hard, Work Hard 8 Conversation Piece: Donnie Adkins 10 Campbellsville University Louisville 13 Louie Leger, Leger Investments 15 Who’s Who in Black Louisville 24 Dream Center Academy 26 Fashion - Fall Flair 30 It’s In the Bag 34 NTC Traffic Control 8 30 6 24 Contents: 3
Experiences to enjoy, clockwise from left: Johnny “Bourbon” Arnett in the Derby Café & Bourbon Bar, Churchill Downs Barn & Backside Tour, Bourbon & Bridles Experience. Open 7 Days JOHN SHAW-WOO NOIR BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INC. “Moving Black America Forward” Business Education & Professional Skills Learning For Black Students Ages 9 to 24 Students Can Sign Up For Free at


Hot summer days are still ahead of us and exercising in hot temperatures alerts our body temperature. Some perspire more than others. Genetics plays a role in some of this, as does the environment. Many feel that perspiring after a workout is a sense of accomplishment, which it most definitely is. Hard work results in sweat. For others, a shower can not come fast enough to help cool their body off and remove perspiration.


Did you know that sweat is vitally important for body temperature regulations and overall health? Most of us think of sweat as this unpleasant odor and wetness our body produces. All humans sweat for one reason: to dissipate heat and maintain internal temperature. Sweat is actually a way of cooling off the body. Our normal temperature is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit. On hot summer days, our temperature can rise, resulting in harmful outcomes such as heat exhaustion or even heat stroke (this happens when body temperature reaches over 103 degrees). It can happen quickly. A run in the park, yard work, or riding in an unairconditioned car can put stress on our bodies.

As soon as our body senses “danger,” our hypothalamus in our brain alerts our sweat glands to start cooling our body down by sweating. When you sweat, try your best not to wipe the sweat away with a towel. Temperatures can actually rise. Instead, blot the area, wear a headband, or let sweat do its thing..roll off your body naturally. Women have more sweat glands than men, but men actually produce more sweat than women.

SPONSORED BY BAPTIST HEALTH Baptist Health/Milestone wellnes s ®


You lose water when you sweat. It is imperative to replenish what you have lost. Replenish with water and electrolytes. When you sweat, you not only lose water but also the minerals that help deliver fluids to the cells in your body. The average person loses 1-2 liters of sweat per hour. To avoid dehydration, fuel your body with water and electrolyte drinks such as coconut water, watermelon water, Pedialyte, Liquid IV, and electrolyte infused waters. These drinks contain potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium which are depleted during a sweat infused workout.

Sweat out your toxins with a healthy workout. Always replenish what is lost in your body. Refuel and recharge. Be careful not to overdo activity in hot environments. Do your best to exercise in cool, well ventilated areas. Hydrate well in advance, consuming 64oz of water a day to keep your body hydrated. Every individual is different, so listen to your body. If you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. This is the main way the body alerts you of dehydration.


Alison Cardoza, B.S. Exercise Science and Sports Medicine with a Minor in Health Promotions from University of Louisville. ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitour Group Exercise Instructor at Baptist Health Milestone. Former UofL Ladybird and NFL Colts Cheerleader.


West Louisville is experiencing another “Harlem Renaissance” in the Russell neighborhood, and Donnie Adkins, owner of Club Cedar and Joe’s Palm Room, is King of the revitalized social scene. Through Parkland to the southwest of the Russell neighborhood is where Donnie Adkins grew up: Park DuValle, initially known as “Little Africa” and then “Southwick” during his time there. “We grew up really poor, but I always knew I would be successful.” Adkins recalls nice cars rolling into Southwick every Saturday to help with community projects. “I told my teachers I wanted to be a banker because the bank is where all the money is.”

The accidental purchase of a Master P album in 1993 spurred Adkins’ ambitions even further. Three years earlier, Master P’s grandfather had been killed in a tragic workplace acci- dent. Percy Miller, aka Master P, flipped his $10,000 mal- practice insurance settlement and two years’ worth of ju- nior college business education into a Bay Area record store. The record store business evolved into the record label No Limit Records, and Master P has a current estimated net worth of nearly $250 million.

Donnie Adkins attended Southern High School, got into trouble, and in 1997 graduated from Jefferson County High School. His first real job after high school was with Frito-Lay, but recovery from a car accident forced him out of work. At 19, Adkins began working maintenance for Louisville’s housing authority, “But I knew I still wanted to be an entrepreneur and make more money.” So, along with his two best friends, he enrolled in the National College of Business, where all three would graduate at the top of their class.

“I quickly realized an Associate Degree didn’t really move the needle.” Adkins attended night classes in Business Administration at Sullivan University and earned a promotion to Section 8 Ombudsman with Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Housing and Community Development. In 2006, he received his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and began working in supply chain and procurement at Humana.

Adkins and some Humana colleagues attended Men’s Monday at Club Cedar, discussing local issues and “solving the world’s problems” still in suits and ties. He told his friends, “If this place ever comes up for sale, I’m buying it.” Dave Duncan offered to get in on the act as Kitchen Manager.

In June 2011, Adkins moved to Indianapolis as Supplier Diversity Manager for IU Health. He met his future wife, Kandis, who was completing her Anesthesiologist residency. In 2013, they moved to Louisville, where Donnie worked for RSCS/Yum! Brands, Papa John’s International, and started Adkins & Adkins LLC. Donnie and Dr. Kandis L. Adkins were married that October.

In 2015, just as Adkins quit his job to pursue real estate opportunities full-time, Louisville Metro Government’s Housing Program Supervisor position became available. After three years, he asked Kandis if she’d mind if he quit, to which she replied, “I don’t know why you took that job in the first place.” The Turner family was finally ready to sell Club Cedar by December 2020. “They trusted that I was the one to take it to the next level.”

Adkins describes Club Cedar as the neighborhood Cheers. The bartenders have remained in place for 12-25 years and are known for serving “the best drinks in town.” Adkins has upgraded the food and beverage menus to include Blackowned bourbon selections and passes vendor deals on beer and wine to customers. He hears customer suggestions and takes action. Club Cedar now has a blacktop parking lot, a new commercial HVAC system, pristine bathrooms, a renovated commercial kitchen, and proper floors, doors, and windows. This past October, Club Cedar hosted a performance by R&B/Soul legend Lenny Williams.

The legendary Joe’s Palm Room originally opened in 1954. It quickly became “the place to be” for locals who hoped to run into visiting celebrities like Joe Louis, Dizzy Gillespie, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, or Muhammad Ali. Namesake owner Joe Hammond passed away in 1997, and the jazz club closed some years later. In September 2020, it reopened briefly as The Palm Room before Adkins, Butch Mosby, and Victor Sandusky took over the fully renovated space and restored the original name. They reopened Joe’s Palm Room in January 2022 and recently hired a new Beverage Director and a Chef for sophisticated food pairings.

“Even at 44 years old, I have had to grow up even more in the last two years,” says Adkins. “Knowing what not to change is just as important. How do I make money, make everyone feel at home, and progress in the 21st century? It is a challenge every single day, and safety in the city is a concern. Continuing to bring in these classic soul artists requires a security presence. We must be very cognizant and not blind to what could happen.”

Despite its challenges, Adkins finds business ownership rewarding. Adkins hosts financial and real estate education events at Club Cedar and his cryptocurrency event with Lamar Wilson was a sell-out. He says, “I am a role model using my platform to educate. People are watching me. I’m under a microscope, so it’s all on the up-and-up with nothing to hide.”

SPONSORED BY Visit and follow @ClubCedar on Facebook.


“Students come to the table with different perspectives,” says Tassy Alexander, an Academic Support Specialist at Campbellsville University in Louisville. She assists students with efficient note taking, sharpens their study skills, and helps them to develop strong time management - the kinds of abilities and skills that people transfer into their lives and careers. She tutors students in person and via Zoom, and is working on conducting student success workshops.

Academic Support Specialist at Campbellsville University in Louisville


Vice President for Enrollment Management

For Dr. Jason Meriwether, home has always been close to his heart. Now, Meriwether has returned to his home state as Campbellsville University’s new vice president for Enrollment Management.

“Joining Campbellsville University to serve CU’s students, families, and community makes returning to the Bluegrass State an absolute dream come true.

Collectively, the faculty and staff at Campbellsville University have a heart to serve. It is my delight to join this dynamic community in order to collaboratively increase access and degree completion for families in Kentucky and beyond by offering a world-class Christian education,” Meriwether said.

Meriwether is a member of The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and he was named by the Louisville Business Journal as a Top Forty Under Forty and 20 People to Know in Education and Workforce Development in 2014. He has also published on topics such as adult learning, student retention, digital learning & engagement, student affairs fundraising, and hazing prevention. Meriwether’s book, Dismantling Hazing in Greek-Letter Organizations: Effective Practices for Prevention, Response, and Campus Engagement, was published in 2020. Meriwether’s upcoming book, Prioritizing Enrollment Management: Effective Practices and Strategies for Student Success & Completion, will be released in 2023.



The real estate company Leger Investments was a pioneer in the rapidly growing short-term rental market in Louisville and continues to grow its portfolio. Specializing in flips, “buy and holds,” as well as short and long-term rental properties, Founder & President Louie Leger is equally passionate about sharing his story and his secrets to success in entrepreneurship and building generational wealth.

Louisidor “Louie” Leger was just seven years old in 1992 when he boarded a small boat with his father, brother, and friends to leave Haiti in the wee hours of the morning. They were seeking a better life and more financial opportunity but did not have a particular destination in mind. As the boat foundered, they were picked by US Coast Guard that just happened to be in the area due to a last-minute mission change. Louie, his brother, and his father were then held at Guantanamo Bay detention camp for a year and a half. Their father fed the boys from his own ration of food before feeding himself.

Leger’s early experiences shaped both his “personal life and business life goals.” Becoming a United States citizen turned out to be an eighteen-year process. The Legers first settled in Indianapolis, Indiana, following Guantanamo by being sponsored by North United Methodist Church. Leger still remembers the first time he saw snow. He attended Indiana University and IUPUI on some scholarships and worked for a home improvement company for many years. He started at $8 an hour part-time before advancing into sales and earning partial ownership of the organization that served nine cities in six states. Under Leger’s leadership, the company grew to the eighth largest in the US.

Leger moved to Louisville four years ago to start his own real estate investment firm. “I read all the books and took all the seminars,” he says. “But the best advice I ever received was to ‘just get started.’ I took out a 401K loan, found a bank partner, and bought my first property in Louisville’s East End, I still own it. That gave me the nudge to get going and move forward with short and long-term rentals and property acquisition.”

Leger Investments distinguishes itself by an “extreme focus on customer service” and the guests they bring to the city. According to Leger, “We didn’t see short-term rental at scale in Louisville. Two years ago you couldn’t get anybody to jump on it. Now it’s a huge trend. It’s great for the city to have

this partnership, working together to bring more people to Louisville.” But not everyone recognizes the significant economic growth such investments bring to individuals and the community as a whole. “We believe in filling a need and providing the greatest value.”

Among Leger’s many exciting recent developments, he has just launched the online real estate investment course Short Term Rentals 101 on his brand new website The course comes with a private, member-only networking community and live monthly mastermind calls with Leger himself. His advice for young, aspiring entrepreneurs is to get started. “There is never a perfect time, a certain amount of money, and never enough knowledge. You only fail if you stop. The knowledge you do gain is priceless.”


As for Leger’s plans, “I am always looking to acquire interesting off-market and on-market properties. We need to double down on tourism in Louisville as it’s a multimillion-dollar business. We have investors from Kentucky, Indiana, New York, Illinois, and Washington; and we are always looking for more to scale the business.” Leger has acquired, renovated, and restored 620 South Third Street in Louisville with first and second-floor office spaces, and a second-floor ballroom event space. The building also offers ten fully-furnished third-floor apartments and fourteen fourth-floor apartments.

Leger is excited to be part of the growth in Louisville, especially following the COVID pandemic. “The city is bouncing back. There is a lot to do here if we just keep spreading the word.” His inspirational story continues, “If you believe in something and want to do it, you have to take a chance on yourself. We’re proud of what we’ve done here in Louisville and surrounding markets. If a kid from Haiti with no money can do it, all things are possible.”

For more information, visit and Follow @louie_leger on Instagram and @LegerInvestments on Facebook.


EVENTS New Day Ministries Night of Inspiration

Dream Center Academy Founder Tod Moore, Dawne Gee, and Kathy Thuerbach Mindy Jackson It was a real family affair NDM Founder and Executive Director Tod Moore Kendra and Therron Cunningham Dawne Gee served as MC, it was her third charity event that day Denita Arnold Vaneisha Williams and Kyle Wallace Miss Nikyma Teverbauygh

Who’s Who

John began working in his early teens, where he started off as a grocery store sacker, while attending high school in Corpus Christi, Texas. John then spent several years in the restaurant industry before moving to Houston, Texas, where he continued his restaurant career. John spent 13-year in retail sales, then human resources as a regional recruitment specialist. After moving to Louisville in 2010, with his spouse Dr. Shiao Woo, he embarked on his entrepreneur journey by launching a health meal company to provide Kentuckians easier access to fresh affordable meals. Since then, he has launched several nonprofit entities centered on improving the lives of Kentuckians, and he was able to launch a Kentucky real estate firm called Noir Realty to help move more Black families and renters towards homeownership.

Combining his expertise, knowledge, compassion, and spirit, Shaw-Woo now leads Noir Black Chamber of Commerce Inc., a Louisville-based economic development organization and Certified Community Development Entity (CDE), under The U.S. Department of Treasury.

“Noir Black Chamber of Commerce Inc. is unique in that it is a national Louisville-based nonprofit serving over 350 adult members across seventeen states, and it is Kentucky’s only Black chamber of commerce. In early 2022, the Chamber pivoted away from assisting adults to a focus on Black students ages 9 to 24, making it the first chamber of commerce in America to specifically focus on Black youth,” Shaw-Woo explained.

“The Chamber’s mission is to ‘Move Black America Forward’ through the creation of innovative programming that will lead to economic and social mobility for Black students ages 9 to 24.” In doing so, The Chamber has begun establishing Noir Black Business Clubs on Kentucky college and university campuses to engage Black students in business education and professional skills learning earlier, in the hope of increasing the number of successful Black entrepreneurs and Black corporate professionals over time. Shaw-Woo is also planning to launch national online clubs for high school, middle school, and elementary school students in mid-2023.

“When asked about living in Louisville, I always say it’s a great city for budding entrepreneurs, a place where there is only two degrees of separation should you need anything, and a city where you are able to thrive, if you put forth effort” said Shaw-Woo.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

NOIR BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INC. 1-844-664-7222 Office | 502-599-5299 Mobile |


Who’s Who

Offering a full suite of staffing, recruiting and professional development services, Cinq Tech Staffing and Services (CTSS) is on a mission to support individuals and companies, helping them reach their highest levels of potential.

“What’s unique about our company is that we offer services that not only recruit and place job seekers within great opportunities, but our commitment extends beyond by providing continuous leadership training via our online learning management curriculum,” said Theron Mackey, who cofounded CTSS in 2019. “We partner with companies to identify opportunities to improve internal training and leadership programs.”

Mackey draws from a passion to positively change lives and help others, as well as his 25 years of combined experience in education, business technology and manufacturing to offer such holistic services. He counts on a genuine love of this city to ensure that his business serves its community to the fullest.

“I love the City of Louisville and our community,” he concluded. “The people of this city are outstanding and very supportive. This has made building relationships so much easier than imagined!”


CEO/President of Operations

Cinq Tech Staffing and Services

M: 502-701-7292





Who’s Who

As Vice President of Academic Affairs at Jefferson Community and Technical College, Dr. Reneau Waggoner is passionate about her job. “I am a community-based person who enjoys helping people achieve their dreams and reach their goals,” says Dr. Waggoner. “Many students are one generation away from doing something different and changing the course of their family.”

As she completes her first year as the top academic leader at the College, Dr. Waggoner is no stranger to Jefferson. More than 20 years ago, she began her career at Jefferson as a developmental advising coordinator. Waggoner then served as Reading and Academic Success Chair and as a Humanities professor. After earning her doctoral degree at the University of Kentucky in 2016, she joined Henderson Community College as Chief Academic Officer and was promoted to Provost in 2018. Dr. Waggoner spent the next few years as a leader in academic and student affairs, workforce solutions, and adult education before returning to Jefferson. “It has been a privilege to come back and have an impact on the community and issues of social justice.”

While her current responsibilities involve classroom instruction and tutoring support services, Waggoner’s role is not isolated to academic affairs. “I work with everyone in the College to maximize the student experience. The impact COVID has had on our students has shown us, now more than ever, that flexibility, compassion, and support are paramount to student success.”

Dr. Wagonner is the first African-American in the role of VP of Academic Affairs. “Representation is important. Students have that opportunity to see themselves represented at a higher level.” She is building a legacy grounded in the importance of community and reaching into the future with the impact education can have.


Vice President of Academic Affairs at Jefferson Community & Technical College

Visit Follow @jefferson_jctc on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and @JeffersonJCTC on Facebook


Who’s Who


Who’s Who

A modern Renaissance man, Rob Beatty has embraced life and made it his mission to engage the world with positive energy and pure vigor.

“When I was just a kid, I told my mother that I wanted to own my own business someday,” he recalls. “ My mom was an educator who always put me first. I never wanted to let her down, so I made my dreams real for her.”

Rob is the Chief Executive Officer of Next Level Facility Solutions, applying over twenty years of experience and acumen to a field that has only become ever more vital over the last several years. “Today is a new day,” he says. “As we all emerge from Covid, we do so with a much greater, more critical understanding of the absolute importance of professional-grade cleanliness everywhere we live, work, and do business. The year 2020 really put capes on the backs of people in my business, but we’ve just continued to do the same things we always have, and that’s to help keep people safe, comfortable, and healthy as they live their lives.” In his time as a consummate professional in Facilities Management, he’s built a sterling reputation for taking charge of day-to-day cleaning and maintenance for his clients. He quickly identifies their needs, and he and his staff truly take their standards to the next level.

“We offer top-to-bottom facility service, from your roof to your floors,” Rob says. “We work to vastly improve every element you can see and those you cannot, like the indoor air quality from your HVAC and pest control. It’s vital to understand the importance of paying careful attention to these matters. We love when clients are curious about our process so that we can show them just what professional-grade service looks like. When you partner with us in maintaining the cleanliness of your facilities, we like to introduce an entirely professional element to suit your needs. We embrace the science of what we do, stay abreast of advances, and continue to pivot as these times demand.”

Rob believes in turning negatives into positives and taking setbacks as setups to prep up and take giant leaps forward. He traces the origin of his can-do attitude to the days when he first took on a small, entry-level position at a major cellphone company. “Through observation of how this big company made decisions that affected the employees on the front lines of customer service in both positive and negative ways, I learned how to run businesses. Both what to do and what not to do. It also taught me how to adapt and manage people the right way.” As a young, hungry, ambitious person, Rob would routinely work 80-hour weeks. He was recognized as Manager of the Year twice. Still, he didn’t rest on his laurels. “To me, it was all part of training for what I knew I wanted to keep doing.”

A natural leader and builder of bridges, Rob is also the Founder and President of the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild, dedicated to improving the multicultural aspects of the growing bourbon tourism industry in Kentucky. An excellent and invaluable initiative, KBBG’s impact on promoting community development and professional networking has been immeasurable. Rob is an Executive Bourbon Steward, meeting the certification for bourbon professionals and making him a bonafide mixology expert.

All this, and Rob is also a Kentucky Colonel! Despite all his accomplishments and the place of esteem that he’s carved out in the world, Rob says his primary emphasis is on continuing to grow and learn. “At the end of the day,” he says, “I’m still a student.”



Who’s Who



Born and raised in Atlanta, GA and a graduate of Georgia State University and the University of Georgia School of Law, attorney Chuk Obiechefu has established a new home in Louisville, serving clients in business and intellectual property law through his law firm The Obi Law Group. In his time here, he’s fully embraced the city by acting as a trusted advisor for businesses and valuable community partner.

“Luckily for me, Louisville has been an extraordinarily welcoming city, with a very recent, significant and sincere investment in advancing the business and entrepreneurial ecosystem within it,” Obiechefu explained. “The one trend I’ve seen is that there is a tremendous amount of good being done in this city.”

The Obi Law Group is doing more than its fair share to drive this trend. offering general business counsel, entity formation and structuring, estate planning for business owners, intellectual property protection (trademarks, copyrights, and licensing), and a wide range of additional legal services focused on business owners and professionals. Obiechefu’s practice has a particular focus on family owned businesses.

“During the pandemic, I saw how unprepared many entrepreneurs and small family businesses were to deal with all of the effects of the crisis, and it was especially painful knowing that most of those businesses were minority-owned,” Obiechefu said. “This led me to further focus my practice on protecting and advising small businesses and professionals. People are always interested in what my last name means.”, said Obiechefu, “I tell them “Obi” means “heart”. I’ve tried to embody that namesake in both my professional and personal life, while making it the foundation of my law practice. “Heartfelt Counsel” is at the core of everything I do, both for my clients and in the community. It fuels my mission to help Louisville business owners and their families thrive and create generational wealth through business ownership.”

CHUK OBIECHEFU, ESQ. CEO and Managing Attorney Obi Law Group, PLLC

Who’s Who


Known by colleagues and clients alike as a fixer, doer, and facilitator, Ebony Bartee offers unique expertise with Polo Real Estate Group as a “Hybrid” Realtor, representing both Commercial and Residential properties. “I work hard to embody friendliness, honesty, and care to EVERY person I meet with no boundaries in terms of age, race, or background,” she stated.

To date, Ebony’s career path has been diverse and versatile, but a consistent ability to take a business owner’s vision and make it grow successfully into something tangible — often exceeding expectations — has always served her well, even as she faces some challenges in her chosen field today.

“Being taken seriously & professionally in an industry that sexualizes you before you’re professionalized is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.” Bartee explained. “So I meet these challenges by letting my work precede my reputation and not putting so much emphasis on what I do, but how I do it!”

Bartee has established a niche for herself in the Louisville Real Estate market with an uncanny ability to listen to and understand the needs and goals of her clients, putting THEIR best interest first, and from there, be able to collaborate and innovate, maximizing everyone’s potential growth. Through that service, Ebony has come to be a leading member of the community she loves & serves.

“What makes me love Louisville is that there’s this grounded and true, genuine love for life and community that’s deeply rooted in the hearts of the people and shared throughout this city,” she concluded.

EBONY BARTEE, POLO REAL ESTATE GROUP (C) 502-851-1812 PO Box 5802 Louisville, KY 40255 (E)


EVENTS Black Heritage Pioneers in Racing and ArtKentucky Derby Museum

Camille White, Tracy Davis Joi McAtee, Wanda Mitchell-Smih, Bridget Dale Tami Darden, Toni Swipe, Ciera Lewis, Shervita West Shannon Paddymo, Chris Yarbrough, Nicole Yates Casey and Natalie Townsend Valerie Terry, Luther Harrison, Kristy Miles Pearson Eric Stout, Hannah Drake, Tracy Davis, Nicole Yates, Eldridge Harris Kevin Triplet, Kenneth Washington,Tony Long, Robert Sellers Kentucky Derby Museum - Artwork

Noir Realty Kentucky is a one-stop real estate firm offering real estate consultation, sales, and services of personal and investment residential property, commercial real estate sales, property management, and leasing services for single-family, multi-family, corporate rentals, and real estate project development.

2 locations are available to serve you:

9900 Shelbyville Road Suite 1B Louisville, KY 40223

2900 W Broadway Suite 223 Louisville KY 40211 OR

Tamika Jackson, Broker and Agent
DARE TO SOAR Grow and rise above with a 100% online degree or certificate at UofL. Join our diverse, inclusive and supportive Cardinal family, and soar toward your brighter future! Online Bachelor’s, Master’s Doctoral and Certificates Take Flight Today! 23


Unity and partnerships are the driving forces behind Dream Center Academy Christian School, a “One-StopOne-Shop, Home-Away-from-Home Empowerment Zone” in the Chickasaw neighborhood. Dream Center Academy Christian School and New Day Ministries founder Tod Moore and valued partners and sponsors hosted a capital campaign event on July 19, 2022, at MercedesBenz of Louisville. Moore says, “Invested partners are coming together to make things happen because they believe in the vision of Dream Center Academy Christian School.”

Tod Moore was born the youngest of three boys raised in the former Cotter Homes housing project, now the site of the Park DuValle neighborhood. His parents sold drugs to make ends meet, and his father was in and out of prison for most of Tod’s life. Despite being one of four Western High School seniors named “Most Likely to Succeed” in the 1979 yearbook followed by a stable, well-

paying job with UPS, it wasn’t enough to keep Tod from “the generational curse” of drug dealing.

In May 1993, Tod was sentenced to 25 years to life for his part in an August 1991 gang-related incident resulting in the deaths of three men. He turned to Christianity on September 28, 1992, and began his ministry behind bars. Tod assisted with prison chapel services, led Bible studies and prayer meetings, and mentored and tutored his fellow inmates.

On June 7, 2012, Tod envisioned a “Dream Center” to serve youth in blighted West End neighborhoods, planting the seed for Dream Center Academy Christian School. After serving 26½ years in prison, he was released on January 2, 2018. Tod received an official pardon from thenGovernor Matt Bevin on December 7, 2019. Finally, New Day Ministries’ outreach was able to expand with community empowerment and youth engagement.


New Day Ministries L.O.V.E. (Love Overcomes Violence and its Effects) WALKS focus on Louisville neighborhoods impacted by poverty, unemployment, youth violence, gang activity, and low academic performance. The L.O.V.E. WALKS provide “opportunities to speak with residents, listen to their issues, assess community needs, identify potential community revitalization projects, and meet the young people affected by these issues.“ Through L.O.V.E. WALKS, CampChange, and the L.I.F.E. (Love Inspiring Future Excellence™) Summer and After-School enrichment programs, West End residents learn about Dream Center Academy Christian School. According to Moore, it is intentional. “We are infiltrating communities with the love of Christ.”

New Day Ministries and Dream Center Academy Christian School are based on a 4-L approach to building relationships: Listen to Learn to Love to Lead, inspired by the Holy Spirit during Tod’s time in prison. With Christian love and a family atmosphere, the private school has been in operation since January 3, 2022, and follows the JCPS calendar. DCACS started with ten students, half unable to read and write. By the first open house on February 18, the children could not only read and write but presented “TED Talks” to the fortyseven guests in attendance.

Dream Center Academy Christian School is located at New Covenant Baptist Church at 1190 South 40th Street, the first of nine satellites planned across West End neighborhoods. New Day Ministries acquired a van (with a vision for seven more) for their Safe Transportation Portal, providing students safe, reliable transpsortation to DCACS. The school has a 5-1 student-teacher ratio and has so far enrolled 25 students for the 2022-2023 school year. Teachers who buy into the DCACS vision are encouraged to express their interest through the online form found at

Dream Center Academy Christian School is launching its STEAM magnet program in partnership with the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering. Parents have a $300 per child buy-in each year to ensure they remain invested in their children’s education. Tuition is $5000 for elementary students, $6000 for middle school, and $7000 for high school. That is where fundraisers come in. “Fundraiser attendees see how we empower God’s Children to soar to new heights. The kids show all they’ve learned to do and how Christ has taken them from where they were to where they are. The possibilities are endless for these kids.”

For more information, visit dreamcenteracademychristianschool



The temperatures are dropping, which means only one [important] thing... sweater weather!

Fall is the season of beautiful and playful fashion when it comes to finding clothes that are not only functional but stylish.

1 | Oversized Pocket Cardigan, $55 | Banana Republic 2 | Women's Quilted Quarter-Zip Pullover, $79 | L.L. Bean 3 | Wiltshire V-Neck Pullover Sweater, $98 | Madewell 4 | Smile For Days Sweater, $74.95 | Altar'd State 5 | Gray Weekend Sweatshirt, $65 | Mamili 1 2 3 4 5
1 | Balloon Sleeve Sweater Dress, $119.50 | Boston Proper 2 | Saint Knee High Boots, $100 | Altar'd State 3 | Long-Sleeve Mockneck Mini Sweater Dress, $56 | Abercrombie 4 | Colleta Off-Shoulder Dress, $140 | Banana Republic 5 | Classic Plaid Scarf in Blackwatch Plaid, $24.50 | J.Crew 6 | Nestly Booties, $175 | Dolce Vita 1 2 3 4 5 6
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EVENTS Simmons College Dedication

Simmons College of Kentucky Women’s Basketball Team Simmons College of Kentucky Marching Falcons Aaron Thompson (President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Barnetta & Dr. Kevin Cosby with Dr. Frank Smith Restored building named the Ida B. Wells Hall Aaron Thompson (President of the Ken tucky Council on Postsecondary Education) Dr. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. presenting a check from the NBCA for Simmons College of Kentucky to Dr. Kevin W. Cosby Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman
Contact us Today at 502.776.1443 ext. 5126 Or DEGREE PROGRAMS: Earn an AA Degree in General Studies or Religious Studies in just 2 years! 4 YEAR ACADEMIC PATHWAYS INCLUDE: BA in Applied Math, Applied Psychology, Business Entrepreneurship, Cross-Cultural Communication, Music Performance, Religious Studies and Sociology BS in Computer Information Systems N N PR O OSTIF URBON BARRELS LOC A L REXHIBIT TIST SPONSO SR L C A L 20 20 1 20 3 WWW. BOURBON WITH HEART .ORG COMING 2023 TO A R 33

Robin K. Hall & Michelle James


for justice-involved individuals.

Founded in 2007, NTC is a womanowned, federal, state, and locally certified company with a mission “to provide quality services and uplift communities through the process.” In providing Traffic Control, Workforce Consulting, and Safety Equipment, NTC helps people reestablish their work history, provide for their families, and become valued members of society.

When Robin and Michelle started the company, there was no other woman-owned company like theirs. “Getting in the door was extremely hard,” says Michelle. But those circumstances only served to make them more relatable to their employees, who had “doors shut to them left and right.” Robin began her career in real estate in 1988 and moved into the construction field in 1992. Michelle worked in government for 21 years. Their combined experience and expertise allow them to provide thorough strategies and quality service and products, all with a culture of giving back to the community.


“Our husbands do not work here,” Michelle declares emphatically. “Robin and I run the show!” Robin says they will continue to “promote growth, care about and believe in people, and honor the TEAM acronym: Together, Everyone Achieves More.” They see any mistake as a learning opportunity, not a failure. “We all strive to be better every day.”


Second-chance employment is built into NTC business contracts and job sites and is the cornerstone of the workforce consulting division. During their off-season in the winter months, NTC is involved in programs to assist and empower underprivileged youth before they are in a position to enter the justice system. Still, Michelle wonders, “Why aren’t we doing more for second chance folks?” And Robin points out that “so many small businesses and companies are struggling with workforce-related issues these days.”

For NTC, second-chance was a natural direction, even before the pandemic signifi cantly altered the job market. According to Michelle, “Most companies are down 40% or better in the workforce. We’ve been able to grow and succeed when everyone else is struggling.” Michelle and Robin have had no regrets about their hiring strategy. “It’s not easy,” says Robin. “But it’s not always hard,” pipes in Michelle, finishing Robin’s thought. And their former second chance employees know that, if they need to, they can always come back to NTC.

NTC employee Bryan Lusco is a prime example of how second-chance employment benefits the company, the workforce, and our community. “I have been with NTC for three years in March 2022. Upon being welcomed to NTC, I was having major difficulties finding adequate employment that would provide for my family. Since then, I have been promoted to a Supervisor position with a takehome vehicle. I am truly thankful that I was given the opportunity to provide for my family, that my past does not define who I am. It’s safe to say that I

am living proof that once a person decides to make a change in their life, it can be achieved if someone believes in them. NTC believes in people like myself. I consider NTC as family, and they treat us as such. Now my bills are paid, my family sees the positivity in me, and I feel like I have a purpose.”

NTC has about 35 employees working in traffic control, setting up and executing safe, smart work “zones and cones” for property development, construction projects, paving companies, utilities, and emergency response. NTC also sells quality PPE and safety equipment to hospitals, fi rst responders, construction companies, and state and federal agencies out of their own warehouse. With workforce consulting, Robin and Michelle teach and train other companies on how to rebuild their labor workforce through second-chance. “We work with companies to deal with HR and be more hands-on, says Robin. “There is a lot of paperwork involved, and it’s important to have an open-door policy.”

Spring and summer are the busiest seasons in construction. Robin and Michelle encourage the public to keep safety and patience in mind while driving. People on their cell phones behind the wheel make work hazardous for NTC employees. For those interested in their services, booking requires at least 24 hours’ notice, while the consulting schedule is more open. Dozens of people are coming off incarceration in the coming months. Now is the time to get up to speed on second-chance. “Our clients are always happy.”

For more information, call 502-384-2125 or visit


I could go in crying. Or go in f ighting.

“I have gone through it. Losing my hair, my fingernails, my breasts. I had to decide what I was going to do with this journey. I knew I had to fight. That’s why I went to Norton Cancer Institute. And now I know that being a cancer survivor is what I’m supposed to do — be a survivor and be there for the next person.”

– Wanda A., Breast Cancer Survivor Learn more at

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