LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June. 27, 2024) — Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL) celebrated 25 years of serving young professionals in the Louisville area on Wednesday, June 26.

YPAL Homecoming presented by Deloitte celebrated the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary, honored former leaders of the organization and unveiled details for the future. More than 250 people, including YPAL members, community leaders and alumni attended the event hosted at Louisville Slugger Field in downtown Louisville.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg spoke to the audience and presented the inaugural Rebecca Jackson “Spirit of YPAL” Award to Christy Ames. Ames was YPAL‘s second president and serves as General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Republic Bank & Trust Company.

Since the organization was founded in 1999, YPAL has focused on leadership development, educational opportunities and philanthropic support to young professionals in Louisville to benefit the community. YPAL now has more than 1,250 members living out a mission to connect, engage and develop through community, professional and social opportunities.

YPAL has had incredible success over the past 25 years. Starting as a powerful group of young people convened by Rebecca Jackson, to create meaningful spaces for young professionals to connect, engage, and develop, YPAL has grown to mean so much to so many people,” YPAL Executive Director Cassidy Hyde said. “We reflected on how we got to where we are today and boldly claimed who we are for the next 25 years. In year 25, we are evolving, innovating, and moving forward stronger together. We are perfectly positioned to be the leader in talent retention our city needs, and the amplifier of young professional voices that our young people need.”

The organization has a strong alumni base who served on YPAL’s board of directors. Those early leadership roles in YPAL led to successful careers, some of whom are listed below:

  • Ben Reno-Weber, Louisville Metro Council member
  • Jim Sheehy, former president of e3 Marketing
  • Cynthia Knapek, president and CEO of Leadership Louisville

“We have thousands of alumni doing incredible work in our community,” Hyde said. “Many credit YPAL as a critical piece of their success and the belonging they found in Louisville.”

YPAL also recognized the 2024 YPAL Award Winners. These seven young professionals are sterling representatives of leaders in Louisville and examples of YPAL’s mission. This year’s YPAL Award Winners are:

  • Belle Townsend
  • Peyton Brock
  • Annette Dangerfield
  • Marcus Goodwin
  • Monteva Hodo
  • LaDaya Kami Owens
  • Gentille Ntakarutimana

For more information on YPALclick here.

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