Our Leadership

YPAL is led by a stellar Executive Director and volunteer Board of Directors, and boasts an impressive list of Advisory Council members and Ambassadors. Our leaders are an assemblage of some of Louisville’s most impressive innovators, community builders all motivated by creating community for YPs in our city.

YPAL Board of Directors

Benjamin Donlon

Benjamin Donlon

President

Organization that actually pays you: Double Click Consulting

YPAL event you can’t miss: Any cool tours that aren’t open to the public!

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Travel!

One thing you love about Louisville: How there is something for everyone! I love helping friends and family experience Louisville for the first time.

#WhyIYPAL: Young professionals are the pipeline for a vibrant city. YPAL creates an environment of attraction to keep people here and I want to be a part of that.

Something interesting about you:I travelled to 30 countries before 30 (currently at 35) with my first international trip being at age 24.

Ask me about: Where you should travel next.

 

Sam Draut

Sam Draut

President Elect

Organization that actually pays you: WDRB News

YPAL event you can’t miss:YP Unite Summit

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Reading and writing.

One thing you love about Louisville:The commitment and passion of the community to help Louisville improve as a city in a multitude of ways. The citizens in Louisville have so much pride and loyalty to the city.

#WhyIYPAL: To improve the lives of the people in the Louisville. I believe YPAL is an organization that not only benefits young professionals but also works to help people around the entire community.

Something interesting about you: I published my first novel in 2019 titled “The Destruction of a Psychopath by an American Beauty”. The printed version and the eBook edition is available online.

Ask me about:News in Louisville

 

Tanelle Sawyer

Tanelle Sawyer

Immediate Past President

Organization that actually pays you: Kentucky Community and Technical College

YPAL event you can’t miss:  YPAL 101

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):Some of my favorite things: international travel, reading a good book, listening to podcasts, brunch on a patio, working out, and loving on my sweet fam.

One thing you love about Louisville:I love the small town feel and community connectivity within the city. I am also a huge fan of the local foodie scene!

#WhyIYPAL: I joined YPAL to connect with individuals who were engaging in impactful work in our community. I truly believe it is so important to be surrounded by people who recognize the good and do greater. I now, as YPAL President, am committed collectively growing Louisville in being a prominent city for Young Professionals to thrive, but also equip those professionals to play a key part in the shaping the future success of our city.

Something interesting about you: I think I’m addicted to Chinese food. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Ask me about: Fitness + The Foodie Scene in Lou, Hidden Gems, Education Industry, Workforce and Economic Development, Travel

Dillon Wells

Dillon Wells

Treasurer

Organization that actually pays you: Cherry Bekaert Advisory LLC

YPAL event you can’t miss: The required ones

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Shooting pool & playing golf

One thing you love about Louisville: The city has a lot of character and a diverse community and that there is always something to do.

#WhyIYPAL: The organization pursues a purpose of bringing people together and giving new professionals a voice and way to get involved. Community is the most important to make a place home.

Something interesting about you: I have played nearly 5000 games played on chess.com

Ask me about: Current Events & Markets (Stocks, Derivatives, Commodities, Real Estate and Crypto)

 

Jameson Gay

Jameson Gay

Secretary

Organization that actually pays you: Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Emerging Leaders Program

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Travel

One thing you love about Louisville: It’s the biggest small town.

#WhyIYPAL: To meet talented young professionals that are motivated to make a difference in the community and to help create a supportive network where we can grow personally and professionally together.

Something interesting about me: I was in the Navy for 8 years. I had tours in Hawaii and at the Pentagon. I also deployed to Djibouti and Sigonella, Sicily.

Ask me about:Kentucky sports, running, and breweries

Miriam Nally

Miriam Nally

VP of Connection

Organization that actually pays you: Greater Louisville Inc. – Metro Chamber of Commerce

YPAL event you can’t miss: ELP

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): I’m getting into golf! I’m not very good, but I’m a good time!

One thing you love about Louisville: I love that you can go explore any part of the city and feel like a tourist! Always something new to try and experience!

#WhyIYPAL: I YPAL to pay it forward! As a transplant to Louisville, YPAL has been a great organization and resource for me to connect and engage in the community. I want to help make sure those eager to get connected in our city feel as welcomed as I did!

Ask me about:Southern Indiana! There are so many hidden gems across the river!

Sarah Kelley

Sarah Kelley

VP of Engagement

Organization that actually pays you: 1L Student at Brandeis School of Law

YPAL event you can’t miss: YPAL 101 and YP Day at the Capitol!

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):Reading, exploring Lou, and trying new local beers

One thing you love about Louisville: There’s a tight sense of community here, and people take pride in our city and what it has to offer.

#WhyIYPAL: I YPAL to make connections, try new things, and engage with the community.

Something interesting about you: I’ve been to Oktoberfest in Munnich, Germany!

Ask me about: What’s going on in the city!

Mclean Shutt

Mclean Shutt

VP of Development

Organization that actually pays you:  Mercer

YPAL event you can’t miss: Any of the YPAL Members Only events!

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Anything outdoors!

One thing you love about Louisville: I love Louisville’s, “Big Small-Town-City” feel

#WhyIYPAL:  I YPAL to connect with other young professionals who are working to make Louisville a better place for us all.

Something interesting about you: I was a vegetarian for 3 years.

Ask me about:Human Resources, Total Rewards, Compensation

Aaron DuVall

Aaron DuVall

VP of Public Relations

Organization that actually pays you:  Forvis Mazars

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Behind the Scenes Tours

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Explore new restaurants and bars

One thing you love about Louisville: How easy it is to get involved and build your personal brand

#WhyIYPAL: YPAL offers so many fun networking and engagement events plus chances to learn and develop skills. Most of all, YPAL gives me the opportunity to really feel connected to our community.

Ask me about: Restaurants, bars, & community development

Charlie Todd

Charlie Todd

Director of Membership

Organization that actually pays you:  Stored Value Solutions

YPAL event you can’t miss: YP Day at the Capitol! To hear from elected officials about the issues that directly impact KY is an awesome opportunity.

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):Explore the city! There is always some new hiking trail, festival, volunteer opportunity or restaurant to explore! Never a dull moment and always something new to do.

One thing you love about Louisville: The fact that anything you could ever want can be found here! Busy Downtown, Beautiful “countryside”, Sporting Events, Festivals, Outdoor experiences, and so much more. There truly is something for everyone in the city.

#WhyIYPAL: YPAL has been a source of so many opportunities. It has helped me grow in my involvement within the city, other orgs, volunteer options or just connecting with amazing YPs. If you’re looking to find something new in Louisville, joining YPAL would be the best first step!

Something interesting about you: I worked in the Boundary Waters in Northern MN for 2 years as a outdoor guide.

Ask me about:Ask me about new restaurants, parks, breweries or stores to visit. Chances are we can exchange knowledge and both learn something new about Louisville.

Enidza Torres

Enidza Torres

Director of Recruitment

Organization that actually pays you: Backside Learning Center

YPAL event you can’t miss:  YP Day at the Capitol

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): DANCE!!!

One thing you love about Louisville: How alive it becomes during the Spring/Summer time

#WhyIYPAL: To connect with my peers, pave the way for younger Latinx professionals, and be an ally/point of resource for those navigating new spaces

Something interesting about you:  I have my life starting from high school until now written down in journals

Ask me about: The best places to dance the night away

Jeliah Logan

Jeliah Logan

Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Organization that actually pays you:  C2 Strategic Communications

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Lunch for 11 at 11

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):  Travel, Brunch, and Fitness!

One thing you love about Louisville:  The food scene.

#WhyIYPAL: To build connections with some amazing individuals and develop myself through networking, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.

Something interesting about you: I’m a classically trained singer!

Ask me about: Food, Music, Sports, and Community Development

Ben Barberie

Ben Barberie

Director of Public Issues

Organization that actually pays you:  Frost Brown Todd

YPAL event you can’t miss: YP Day at the Capitol

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Anything UofL, Louisville City, or Racing Louisville related.

One thing you love about Louisville: Culturally and culinarily, the city punches far above its weight.

#WhyIYPAL: To build connections with other young professionals, exchange ideas and engage in meaningful discourse, and make a positive impact on the community.

Ask me about:Sports, economics, community development

Gentille Ntakarutimana

Gentille Ntakarutimana

Director of Community Outreach

Organization that actually pays you:  Metropolitan housing coalition

YPAL event you can’t miss: Homecoming

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Hiking, watching anime, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends

One thing you love about Louisville: The amount of restaurants that exist because of the diverse community we have

#WhyIYPAL: I ypal because I want my community to always remember that a seat at the table only exists when you bring your own chair (and I make sure mine is a throne) and sit down. I’m coming for all my goals and I want that to reflect in the work I do and inspire more people to keep pushing for their dreams as well.

Something interesting about me: I’m from Burundi and I had my poetry published in a book when I was in middle school and highschool

Ask me about: Best food spots in Louisville (I have a long list), ask me about best animes to watch and what new music to listen too (I listen to all music, like alllll so I gotchu)

Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson

Director of Leadership

Organization that actually pays you:  University of Louisville

YPAL event you can’t miss: Drinks and Details

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Sports (watch or attend), working out/lifting, outdoors, trying new restaurants/breweries, music, festivals, travel the world

One thing you love about Louisville: All of the local spots, restaurants, breweries, you name it. You never meet a stranger and it’s a small big town, you’ll always see someone you know.

#WhyIYPAL: Simple, I feel welcomed and wanted all the time. I love the people I meet daily from it and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Something interesting about you: I’m a DJ and bartender on the side.

Ask me about: UofL sports, DJing/music, craft beer, Junior League of Louisville

Jo Coffey

Jo Coffey

Director of Professional Development

Organization that actually pays you: Forvis Mazars

YPAL event you can’t miss: Any Member Meetup

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Shop (!!) and explore Louisville

One thing you love about Louisville: The constant growth! I left for school and came back to a much new and improved city

#WhyIYPAL: To form meaningful relationships while being engaged with the community

Something interesting about you: I’m the only person in my immediate family who did not join the military.

Ask me about: Soft skills, the accounting pipeline, resume tips, ELP, and Modern Family

Peggy Schnell

Peggy Schnell

Director of Communication

Organization that actually pays you:  National MS Society

YPAL event you can’t miss:  YP Day at the Capitol

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Cheer on the Cards

One thing you love about Louisville: I love how Louisville is home to celebrations as incredible and huge as the Kentucky Derby, yet Louisville still fosters its close-knit local community where anyone can find their place and passion.

#WhyIYPAL: To further develop my sense of self personally and my skills professionally.

Something interesting about you: Peggy is a nickname for my full name, Mary Margaret. Peggy became a nickname for Margaret as a variation of nicknames like Maggie and Meggy.

Ask me about: The next Broadway musical coming to Louisville!

McKenzie Gary

McKenzie Gary

Director of Technology

Organization that actually pays you:  Terigrowth

YPAL event you can’t miss: Lunch for 11

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):  I like to walk around outside and look at stuff

One thing you love about Louisville: All of the public parks, and the architecture

#WhyIYPAL: To engage with other people and entities in the Greater Louisville area.

Something interesting about you: I like loud music and cooking

Ask me about: Full-Time Entrepreneurship

Christine Lund

Christine Lund

Director of Social Media

Organization that actually pays you:  Rodeo Drive

YPAL event you can’t miss: If you show up to all of them, you won’t miss anything

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Spending time with my friends

One thing you love about Louisville: The food

#WhyIYPAL: The people, no matter if you are from here or new to Louisville, you can meet great people, leaders, and organizations. YPAL wouldn’t be here if it was not for young professionals and change makers. I have met a lot of great friends through this organization.

Something interesting about you: I’m an adventure junkie and spontaneous. If you ask me to go do something with you I’m always down for a fun time.

Ask me about: I know more about the details of the events because I’m posting on our social media. I don’t want anyone to be confused when it comes to our events. It should be easy and fun to understand.

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