Business Briefs

Bourbon Women, Kentucky Distillers’ Association Honor Dynamic Leader

Kate Shapira Latts, vice president of marketing for Heaven Hill Brands, received the fifth annual Lois Mateus Networking Award on Aug. 24, honoring her thoughtful leadership and meaningful contributions to Kentucky’s signature bourbon and spirits industry.

Latts oversees the strategy, marketing and new product development for the diversified portfolio of brands for the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer. Heaven Hill is the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky bourbon.

Latts accepted the award at the opening dinner of the Bourbon Women Sip-osium, held at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto.

Bourbon Women President Kerri Richardson and the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair Director Mary Gratzer presented Latts with a silver bourbon barrel cup to commemorate her outstanding work in elevating and promoting Kentucky’s treasured spirit.

“When women lead in bourbon, more women come to bourbon,” Richardson said. “Having Kate in a position of leadership in one of the world’s largest and most historic bourbon houses means that Kate has outside influence in the way people think about and enjoy bourbon. We applaud her contributions and congratulate Kate on her outstanding work in promoting America’s native spirit.”

In addition to growing the success of Heaven Hill, Latts is an active participant in the WSWA Women’s Leadership Council and Women of the Vine and Spirits – the world’s leading women’s organization dedicated to empowerment and advancement in the alcoholic beverage industry.

“Kate’s strategic vision and execution has been immeasurable in growing our signature industry, creating opportunities for others – especially women – to succeed,” said KDA President Eric Gregory.  “We are honored to present her with this year’s Lois Mateus award.”

The award is named for Lois Mateus, retired senior vice president of Brown-Forman Inc., and the first woman ever to serve on the KDA board. Her two-year term in 1992 paved the way for other women in high-ranking roles throughout Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.

“I’m honored to be recognized as one of this great industry’s female pioneers,” Latts said. “Lois’s vision and leadership have been an inspiration for so many amazing women helping further the artistry of bourbon whiskey.”

Mateus said, “Kate is a remarkable woman, carrying on her family’s legacy of leadership and collaboration in the bourbon industry by sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm of this great spirit with consumers. She’s a networker and a brand builder.”

Latts’ father, Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira, said his greatest accomplishment was attracting the third generation of family back to lead the business.

“I’m deeply proud that Kate as my daughter, a professional and a woman has been recognized for her commitment to American whiskey, which to this day, is the heart and soul of our business,” he said.

“Heaven Hill has been a cornerstone of leadership in this industry for three generations,” Gregory said. “Kate’s dedication and dynamic initiative is a big part of that, and it is a privilege to be able to recognize her success in this way. On behalf of the KDA and our 39 members, we congratulate Kate on her achievements and thank her for her significant contributions to the strength, integrity and longevity of Kentucky’s beloved bourbon and distilled spirits industry.”

Spalding U. leaders celebrate record $30 million capital campaign

Spalding University announced last week that it has reached a milestone in its ongoing, largest-ever capital fundraising campaign: surpassing $30 million in total contributions since 2014. They have supported new construction projects, facility improvements and academic and scholarship programs that broadly impact campus and student life.

The $30.4 million raised to date is a record for a Spalding campaign, and it far outpaces the original fundraising goals – $20 million by 2020 – set by the university’s board of trustees when it voted to launch the campaign four years ago. The goal was officially upped to $30 million in 2016.

“We are extremely grateful for the individuals and organizations who have stepped forward in support of our campaign and the mission and progress of Spalding,” Chief Advancement Officer Bert Griffin said.  “We’ve made improvements all over campus and have not used any tuition dollars to make it happen.”

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure added: “Through this campaign, we have provided our students and the community with more resources and services while making our campus greener and more beautiful. We are grateful to our many partners who are helping us meet the needs of the times and change our community for the better.”

Some highlights of the $30 million capital campaign are:

• Nearly $11 million in student scholarships and fieldwork stipends have been or will be distributed by way of the campaign, including more than $4 million in federal grants for clinical psychology and social work students from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

• More than $7 million has been donated or pledged in support of a greening initiative that has beautified the 23-acre downtown campus. Completed projects include the Mother Catherine Spalding Square green space on West Breckenridge Street between South Third and South Fourth and 2.2-acre Trager Park, which, in partnership with Louisville Gas and Electric Company and the Trager Family Foundation, opened last fall at the corner of South Second and West Kentucky. The Trager Park site was formerly an unused asphalt lot.

Ongoing outdoor projects are the seven-acre athletic fields complex between South Eighth and South Ninth streets that will be the home of Spalding’s NCAA Division III softball and soccer teams and the Contemplative Garden at Spalding University, which will be a meditation space at 828 S. Fourth St. that is designed to honor Trappist Monk Thomas Merton and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Thanks to a recent anonymous $500,000 challenge grant, installation of the playing surfaces at the fields complex is expected to begin this fall, and it could be ready for competition by late spring 2019.

• Kosair Charities has contributed more than $1.2 million to Spalding in support of the Kosair Charities Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (enTECH) assistive-technology resource center, the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and the Spalding School of Nursing.

• A $500,000 challenge grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation has helped raise $1 million to develop programs focused on restorative justice and restorative practices as well as Spalding’s Center for Behavioral Health.

• Nearly $1 million was raised to renovate the lower level of the Columbia Gym into a student fitness center and lounge.

• Other facilities that have undergone major improvements and modern updates are the Republic Bank Academic Center, which is the home of Spalding’s nursing and social work programs; the Spalding Library; the historic Tompkins-Buchanan-Rankin Mansion; and the Egan Leadership Center Lectorium.

Salsa Soul at the Speed “Breaking the Mold”

The seventh annual Salsa Soul at the Speed, a lively multicultural social event celebrating our region’s diverse professional community, was held on Aug. 25 at The Speed Art Museum.

Presented by Prospanica, this event showcased and celebrated diversity and inclusion within our global Louisville community. This event was supported by generous contributions from PNC and Papa Johns, who were their Community Sponsors; Jack Daniels as Special Contributor Sponsor; Elite KY as Homes Sponsor; and Al Dia en America, La Ruta TV, El Kentubano, La Poderosa Radio and Juandeleon Designs & Printing also provided in-kind donations and support for this event.  All proceeds benefit the Louisville Chapter of Prospanica in its continued efforts to host events and fund scholarships for the members of the community.

Salsa Soul at the Speed Art Museum lobby was filled with people from every part of the world gathered in their finest to celebrate the diversity of our global community, bringing to life the theme of “Breaking the Mold.” The event featured a special guest for the night, Gerron Hurt from Fox’s “Masterchef,” one of the top ten chefs in season nine, who did a quick demonstration of his skills as a chef. This was followed by well-known local dance instructor Chelsey Owen, who kicked off the night with a salsa lesson for beginners and the not-so-confident salseros. The popular salsa band, Kentucky Salsa All-Stars, started playing and everyone gathered to dance the night away. DJ Xavi kept the crowd moving with several hits from a variety of cultures. CEO of Prospanica Thomas Savino made a special trip from Connecticut to be part of this celebration. Guests had the chance to capture the evening’s memories on the red carpet and the crowd favorite Framester photo booth.