Business Briefs

Uofl Names Kansas Provost Neeli Bendapudi As 18Th President

A University of Kansas provost with extensive academic and business experience has been selected as the next president at the University of Louisville.

Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, was selected after a months-long search that drew more than 50 candidates from across the nation. The UofL Board of Trustees approved her appointment at a special meeting Tuesday, April 3. She is expected to start at UofL on May 15.

“We conducted a thorough search for a dynamic, proven leader who would help reenergize the university and serve as a strong, visible advocate not only for UofL and our students, faculty, staff and alumni, but for the City of Louisville and for higher education throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said J. David Grissom, chairman of the UofL Board of Trustees. “We found that person in Dr. Bendapudi. Her academic credentials are impressive, her leadership skills are outstanding and her enthusiasm is both undeniable and contagious.”

“I am deeply honored and truly excited to join the Cardinal family,” said Bendapudi. “I have seen the great spirit and graciousness of this community on bold display throughout the search process, and Venkat and I are truly excited to call Louisville home. I am looking forward to working with our students, staff, faculty, alumni and community – as one team – to deliver on our promise of excellent higher education. I know we have a bright future ahead at UofL.”

Bendapudi has held her current position since May 2016. She previously had served as the Henry D. Price Dean of the School of Business at Kansas since 2011. Prior to her tenure at KU, she taught at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where she rose from assistant professor in 1996 to full professor in 2008. She was also an assistant professor of marketing at Texas A&M University.

A member of the American Association of Universities, the University of Kansas has an enrollment of more than 28,000 students and an operating budget of almost $1.3 billion. As KU’s provost, she oversees more than 11,000 employees, 12 schools and colleges and a budget of about $698 million.

As School of Business dean, she increased undergraduate enrollment in the school by 62 percent, improved undergraduate job placement from 55 percent to 77 percent, implemented significant curriculum changes in both the undergraduate and MBA programs and oversaw almost $200 million in fundraising for the school.

An outstanding instructor, she has received many department, college, university and national teaching awards, including the Academy of Marketing Science Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award.

Bendapudi also has significant business experience, including service as executive vice president and chief customer officer for Huntington National Bank in Columbus, Ohio. She has consulted with many national and international companies, including Cardinal Health, Cessna, Cintas, Nationwide Insurance, Procter & Gamble and Wendy’s, among others.

A frequent speaker on marketing with a concentration on consumer behavior in service contexts, she has appeared on CNBC and NPR and has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times.

Bendapudi, 54, is married to Venkat Bendapudi, senior lecturer in KU’s School of Business. Their daughter, Sirisha, and son-in-law, Kyle Ladd, live in Chicago.

Throo The Zoo Celebrates 25Th Anniversary

Registration is now open for the 25th anniversary of the wildest 5K in town. Throo the Zoo is set to occur on May 12, 2018 at the Louisville Zoo. Race proceeds benefit the Louisville Zoo, which is dedicated to its mission of bettering the bond between people and our planet.

One of Louisville’s most distinctive road events, the course takes participants “throo” the Zoo – past some of their favorite animals and exhibits. The start and finish lines are just outside the Zoo gate, but along the way, participants will be able to see bears, lions and giraffes. The chip-timed course is open to runners and walkers at all fitness levels, including guests with strollers.

“Norton Audubon Hospital is excited to be part of Throo the Zoo’s 25th anniversary,” said Jon Cooper, chief administrative officer at Norton Audubon Hospital. “Not only is the Zoo one of our neighbors in the Audubon community, but also a wonderful asset to our region. As a hospital organization, we value the great benefits of exercise and family fun the Zoo offers.”

To celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary, the Zoo has teamed up with race sponsors and community partners to offer 25 days of giveaways leading up to the May race. Twice weekly, the Zoo will be announcing a randomly drawn winner on the Louisville Zoo Facebook page. Anyone registered for the race is eligible to win; the earlier participants sign up, the more chances they have to win.

Along with entry into the 25 days of giveaways drawings, race registration fees also include a commemorative cotton t-shirt, post-race refreshments, entry to win door prizes and free Zoo admission and parking on race day. Race participants also have access to discounted tickets for family and friends to join them in a post-race visit to the Zoo. New this year for the 25th anniversary: finishers will receive a commemorative race medal.

Registration starts as low as $30 for this important Zoo fundraiser and can be completed online at

A pre-race party will be held on May 11 at Whole Foods located at 4944 Shelbyville Road. Pick up your race packet and t-shirt and enjoy some great store savings from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Whole Foods will offer special beer tastings and samplings from 5 to 7 p.m. during the party.

New for 2018: racers unable to attend the event on May 12 can register for the Zoo’s virtual Throo the Zoo race. The virtual race option allows guests an opportunity to complete the 5K distance on their own at a date, time and course of their choosing. Participants will be mailed a commemorative race bib and finishers medal allowing them to be part of them fun no matter where they race! Virtual race registration also includes entries into the 25 days of giveaways drawings.

Throo the Zoo is presented by Norton Audubon Hospital with additional support by Aquafina, Outfront Media, Heine Brothers, Whole Foods, USA Image, Swag’s Sports, Trader Joe’s, New Balance, Louisville Water Company, Total Body Chiropractic and Home Fit Personal Training.

ROAD CLOSURES: Illinois Avenue will be closed from Grenade Avenue to Trevilian from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and Illinois Avenue from Taylor Avenue to Grenade Avenue from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m.

Ac Hotel Louisville Downtown Now Accepting Reservations For Dates Beginning On May 2 And After

The AC Hotel Louisville Downtown, located in the NuLu (New Louisville) neighborhood at 727 East Market St., is accepting reservations for Wednesday, May 2. The new five-story hotel, nestled among NuLu’s shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries, is making final touches before opening its doors. The hotel has created buzz during the last year for its unique modular construction approach. Reservations can be made by visiting

Located at the north corner of Market and Shelby Streets in the heart of the NuLu neighborhood, AC Hotel Louisville Downtown will feature a distinctive European-inspired design and décor package appealing to design-conscious travelers who also want a location that offers an experiential stay. Sleek furnishings and refined design with emphasis on technology will comprise key aspects of the experience. The AC Lounge will serve up handcrafted cocktails in an atmosphere distinct from any other downtown Louisville hotel, complementing the fun and quirky vibe of its NuLu surroundings.

“We are elated to open our doors to guests and visitors,” said Mike Reidy, general manager. “Our location, in the heart of NuLu, is a great opportunity to invest in this thriving district and help support nearby businesses as we are able to offer our guests a range of entertainment and cultural experiences right outside our doors and across all of Louisville.”

The five-story, 156-room hotel is 73,000 square feet with a 195-parking space garage. The property is being developed by The 725 Partners: Ron and Mollie Turnier, who founded Creation Gardens; Rob Webber, chief operating officer of Creation Gardens; local developer Terry Chynoweth and Steve Kersey, the lead architect and partner of Kersey and Kersey.

Concord Hospitality Enterprises based in Raleigh will manage the property, which will operate as an AC Hotel by Marriott brand. Assisting with the financing are the Whitman Peterson real-estate investment and management company and the Bluegrass International Fund.

New Louisville Company Gives Drivers a Chance to Drive Their Dream Car

Locals now have the chance to get behind the wheel of some high-end and eye-catching vehicles. Derby City Dream Cars, located 2129 Old Shepherdsville Road, offers the experience of driving some of the most luxurious and sought-after automobiles on the market.

Locally owned and operated, the staff at Derby City Dream Cars can connect drivers with the perfect vehicle to suit their tastes. Options including a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce or Maybach give clients a wide selection of the fiercest and most powerful vehicles on the market. Starting at a few hundred dollars per day, you can get a taste of the opulence and ingenuity provided by these cars to their operators.

Derby City Dream Cars is fueled by a team of auto enthusiasts who hand pick each car to ensure a variety of options are available. With connections across the country, the rental experts can track down nearly any vehicle you wish to take for a spin.

Perhaps you’re craving an adrenaline rush rather than just a cruise around the city. Open it up at full throttle with the Derby City Dream Cars closed course experience. Test your driving skills with no traffic and no limits in a Corvette Z06 or an Audi R8 for a truly unique experience.

To see their impressive line of cars, rates and packages, visit or call 502.892.0180.