Congratulations to our graduates!

The Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL) is proud to announce its 22nd graduating class of our Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) presented by Republic Bank. The Emerging Leaders Program is a three-month accelerated and intensive experience designed to address the leadership development needs of young professionals. These young professionals represent one of Greater Louisville’s greatest resources: talented young people committed to making our community a better place to live, work, and play. The Emerging Leaders Program is one of the most significant ways that YPAL grows and nurtures talent in our region.

Thanks to our presenting sponsor Republic Bank, and our supporting sponsors Mindset Collaborative, Michele Shelton, Story Louisville, and the YPAL Foundation, the program includes training led by Mindset Collaborative’s team Lenae Price and Jessica De La Rosa, wherein participants take an introspective look at their strengths, values and leadership style and get advice from community leaders. The objective of the program is to provide participants with a clear understanding of their strengths, values, and personality in the context of becoming a more effective leader. Our participants also engaged in a Decade 4 Diversity: A Leadership Conversation for A New Generation class hosted by Michele Shelton, DEI Strategist & Workplace Activist.

This Fall 2023 class is full of authentic leaders with enthusiasm and vision for Louisville. They dove deep into leadership development with a heightened focus on emotional intelligence, and meeting people where they are. Their program was the first of its kind with support from new leaders, interactive workshops, and intentionally lifting up their purposes for participating in the program. They are driven, dedicated, and one of the hardest-working groups of young professionals in our community. In each session, their dedication to inclusion and having fun was inspiring. We can’t wait to see what’s next for our 22nd class of Emerging Leaders!

As part of YPAL’s goal to continue supporting local diverse-owned businesses, we want to thank the following companies that provided our cohort with excellent meals and a graduation celebration: The Black Italian, The Salad Chic, Loz Aztecas, Summa Dis Summa Dat & More, Safier, and Jockey Silks.

The Fall 2023 class of the Emerging Leaders Program concluded their coursework and final group presentations on November 13. The 31 graduates include:

  • Alex Laurentin Costa, Republic Bank
  • Chester Delph, Univesity of Louisville College of Business
  • Elise Welsh, Story Louisville
  • Tra Jones, Mercer
  • Caroline Abell, Louisville City FC
  • Eli Jacob, Migration & Refugee Services
  • Julianna Sims, The Salvation Army
  • Jalyssa Smith, Knipper Health
  • Ariel Powell, Exploited Children’s Help Organization
  • Bethany Schagane, Heaven Hill Brands
  • Camille Fort, Louisville Water Company
  • Claire Puffer, Doe-Anderson
  • Diana Dillman, Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Easton Depp, Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP
  • Evin Munson, Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Ginny Hoyt, Kentucky Science Center
  • Jennifer Davis, Charter Communications
  • John Davies, Mellwood Art Center
  • Kate Hatter, High10
  • Katherine Yochum, RunSwitch PR
  • Kurt Tyree, Terex
  • Laurel Mallory, Metro United Way
  • Maya Jamner
  • Demiche Sewell, Devine Noire Media Group
  • Natalie Gober, UofL Trager Institute
  • Pam Rodriguez, Stantec
  • Samantha Crowder, KPFF
  • Saravanan Murugan, Humana
  • Taylor Burke, Northwestern Mutual
  • Tommy Staffieri, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
  • Tommy Steppe, FORVIS

Applications for the Spring 2024 program will open in December. Nominations are open now. The program, scholarship, and childcare stipend information can be found at:

If you have any questions, please email Catherine Thompson, YPAL’s Director of Leadership, at