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

Tanelle Sawyer

Tanelle Sawyer

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

Benjamin Donlon

Benjamin Donlon

President-Elect

Organization that actually pays you: Metro United Way

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 with my first international trip being at age 24.

Ask me about: Where you should travel next.

 

Woo Smith

Woo Smith

Immediate Past President

Organization that actually pays you:  Terracon Consultants, Inc.

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Emerging Leaders Program 🙂

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Compete in powerlifting!

One thing you love about Louisville: Genuine connections. 

#WhyIYPAL: To empower and elevate other YPs in the community!

Something interesting about you:  I am a competitive powerlifter 🙂

Ask me about:Environmental regulations, working in the engineering industry, being a powerlifter, serving on a board and other volunteering opportunities within the community!

Matt Bowman

Matt Bowman

Treasurer

Organization that actually pays you:  MCM CPAs & Advisors

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

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Spending time with my wife and daughter! Also, enjoy playing sand volleyball and golf.

One thing you love about Louisville: The food scene

#WhyIYPAL: I YPAL to continue to build out my network in a meaningful way. Also, to grow personally and professionally in order to give back to the Louisville community.

Ask me about:Food places, breweries and anything sports-related

 

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

Charlie Todd

Charlie Todd

VP of Connection

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.

Sean Southard

Sean Southard

VP of Engagement

Organization that actually pays you:  Republican Party of Kentucly

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

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Explore coffee shops and bookstores in Louisville

One thing you love about Louisville: The food scene.

#WhyIYPAL: To connect with driven young professionals and to help make Louisville home.

Ask me about: Politics

Miriam Nally

Miriam Nally

VP of Development

Organization that actually pays you:  Greater Louisville, Inc. 

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Emerging Leaders Program!

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):Catch up with friends over brunch, dinner, or drinks! It fuels my soul!

One thing you love about Louisville:There is always something new to try or check out around the city and something for everyone!

#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!

Sam Draut

Sam Draut

VP of Public Relations

Organization that actually pays you: WDRB News

YPAL event you can’t miss: If you attend all the events, you won’t miss any.

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

 

Bansari Mehta

Bansari Mehta

Director of Membership

Organization that actually pays you:  Eye Associates of Southern Indiana

YPAL event you can’t miss: You’ll find me at almost all of them!

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL):Work, work, work, work, work……

One thing you love about Louisville:The history and architecture

#WhyIYPAL: To invest in the community, my network and my professional growth is #WhyIYPAL

Something interesting about you: I’ve never watched Game of Thrones

Ask me about:Mentorship, serving on a board, how to travel on a low budget, what is the universe made up of and keeping up with politics and world views. I love to learn and talk about everything under the sun.

Paris Parada

Paris Parada

Director of Recruitment

Organization that actually pays you:  Galen College of Nursing

YPAL event you can’t miss:  5:48 networking

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Powerlift

One thing you love about Louisville: The diversity

#WhyIYPAL: Building network and helping others

Something interesting about you:  I’m a combat veteran

Ask me about: Networking and LinkedIn

Tammie Haynes

Tammie Haynes

Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Organization that actually pays you:  JP Morgan Chase

YPAL event you can’t miss:  YPAL 101

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Shop, do absolutely nothing and travel

One thing you love about Louisville: YPAL

#WhyIYPAL: The people- amazing individuals whose path I may not have never crossed without YPAL… relationships that I will have forever.

Something interesting about you:  I have over 100 pairs of shoes. 

Ask me about: Banking

Ben Barberie

Ben Barberie

Director of Public Issues

Organization that actually pays you:  Frost Brown Todd/ West Sixth Nulu

YPAL event you can’t miss:  Frankfort 101

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

Peggy Schnell

Peggy Schnell

Director of Community Outreach

Organization that actually pays you:  National MS Society

YPAL event you can’t miss: Coffee with the Candidates or volunteer opportunities

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Attend UofL games

One thing you love about Louisville: The close-knit community and our ability to impact the city!

#WhyIYPAL: To connect with and learn from people and experiences I otherwise would not have the opportunity to know.

Something interesting about me: 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: Musical theatre (I can’t sing but love to watch!)

Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson

Director of Leadership

Organization that actually pays you:  University of Louisville Athletics

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Gym, sports, food, music, festivals, travel, outdoors, family

One thing you love about Louisville:All the local and small business, plus UofL sports 🙂

#WhyIYPAL: I YPAL to connect and collaborate with like-minded people to build my own network and have a great time doing it!

Something interesting about you:  I’m a DJ!

Ask me about:UofL Athletics, Local Restaurants, Music

Mclean Shutt

Mclean Shutt

Director of Professional 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

Director of Communication

Organization that actually pays you:  FORVIS

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, Churchill Downs, best outdoor adventures around the state

Sarah Kelley

Sarah Kelley

Director of Technology

Organization that actually pays you:  UofL College of Business

YPAL event you can’t miss:Member Meet-Ups! Come see a cool part of Louisville and get to know other YPALers 🙂

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Rollerskating, listening to podcasts, 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 develop myself professionally.

Something interesting about you: I saw the Northern Lights (twice!) on a trip to Iceland last year.

Ask me about: The best spots in town to play pub trivia.

Christine Lund

Christine Lund

Director of Social Media

Organization that actually pays you:  Rodeo Drive

YPAL event you can’t miss: Attend all the events and you won’t miss any.

Favorite thing to do (other than YPAL): Sing karaoke and play the piano.

One thing you love about Louisville:This city has a great connection with the community, and the local food is the best!

#WhyIYPAL: I YPAL because of the people. I work in retail, so I’m constantly talking and listening to my clients and YPAL has so many members that I can meet and connect with.

Something interesting about you:I have been teaching myself to read and speak Russian.

Ask me about: Fashion

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