Geeks, shoe pickers and a giant armadillo provide lessons on regionalism, logistic

Lisa Brosky

Lisa Brosky (LL '12) vice president, community relations,
Jefferson Community and Technical College

Leadership Louisville Class of 2012 – March program day

It was a day about regionalism, but the lesson was logistics.

While this river city, which grew out of a need to portage around the Falls of the Ohio, has always understood the importance of logistics, logistics now drive the economic well-being of a two-state, multi-county region that is stitched by I-65, complemented by the Ohio River and punctuated by UPS Worldport.

As a result, we are all in this together: geeks in requisite black clip-on ties, shoe-pickers who walk 15 to 20 miles a day, a commerce park director longing for a bridge, and even a 7-foot armadillo in Western wear.

On March 13 Leadership Louisville visited two of several businesses that have located in Bullitt County thanks to the proximity to UPS and I-65.

Each day hundreds of computers are shipped to Geek Squad in Brooks for repair, and then back to their owners. Down I-65, on-line retailer Zappos in Shepherdsville, ships out thousands of shoes and household goods each day and returns are happily accepted.

Each day hundreds of people, both skilled and unskilled, go to work.

Thanks to logistics, our region benefits from the presence of Geek Squad “agents,” who take pride in their work and culture, down to the bottom of their shoes, stamped with the Geek Squad logo. Some even carry a badge.

At Zappos, where “shoe pickers” manage vast carousels of footwear, their paid benefits, free lunch and deals on cushioned shoes, are critical and appreciated parts of their compensation.

To the north in Clark County, Ind., River Ridge Commerce Center is expecting a major new tenant (Amazon?!), but eagerly awaits the east end bridge, which will bring interstate traffic nearly to the doorstep.

For me, the day also brought home the impact of Metropolitan College, a partnership of UPS, Jefferson Community & Technical College, University of Louisville, metro and state government. Students work for UPS and receive paid tuition and books, providing UPS a reliable workforce and opportunity to grow. How critical that has proven.

And, of course, there was an armadillo in a cowboy hat. We began our day with Andy Armadillo, mascot of Texas Roadhouse, which believes in good customer service and a good quality product. We were reminded, thank you Andy and team, that fun at work is a good thing (and starting your day with a rousing cheer feels pretty good). Texas Roadhouse, now nationwide, calls Louisville home. More good news for our region.

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What it’s like to ‘Wear the White Coat’

Kevin Lundy

Kevin Lundy (LL '10) director government affairs, Yum! Brands, Inc.

My knowledge of the medical community is limited to my annual physicals and medical care of my family.  Beyond that, I know little about what goes into the success of the medical profession.  Was there really more than a check-up, prescribing medicine and chicken soup?!  I have since learned that the answer is an unequivocal YES! 

Recently I had the honor of completing one of the community’s most humbling and rewarding programs, the Greater Louisville Medical Society’s “Wear the White Coat” program.  This program allows community leaders to experience the practice of medicine through a partnership with a Society physician member.  This eye-opening experience helped me realize not only the tremendous contributions physicians make in the community, but also the challenges they face in trying to provide immediate care to their patients.

The three part program included an introductory breakfast with interactive viewing of a heart surgery, a shadowing day with my physician partner and a closing dinner with dialogue on the approaches for achieving a healthier community.

The heart surgery viewing was very impactful to me, being the closest I had ever gotten to such a procedure.  Visually seeing the operation on TV helped prepare me for my day observing in the operating room.

My shadowing day was like nothing I have experienced before.  I was fortunate to shadow a wonderful general surgeon who had a packed day of surgeries planned.  I spent nearly six hours in the hospital operating room, viewing six different surgeries, all while not passing out!  While it was educational to learn and see where various organs are located in the human body, the most impressive part of surgery was seeing the teamwork and interaction between the tending physicians.  Each doctor depended on the others, ensuring the correct dosage of patient anesthesia, making each incision correctly and accounting for each medical instrument post-surgery.  Everyone needed to be one step ahead of the other in order to preserve the patient’s well-being. 

We owe a great deal of gratitude and appreciation to the medical community.  Their dedication to patient health and ensuring a healthier community is vital to our collective success.  I not only challenge others to take personal responsibility for their own health, but to participate in GLMS’ ongoing discussion on how to improve the well-being of the Louisville community.

What does Brand Me, Inc. look like?

Jaime Warren

Jaime Warren (IL '12), diagnostic imaging manager - outpatient centers, Norton Healthcare

Ignite Louisville March 2012 program day

As I turned onto Dixie Highway, I was given my first impression of Brown-Forman with its rich history being very visible from their campus. After being escorted to the conference center and enjoying a fantastic breakfast, our group was ready to go with learning how to create “Brand Me”. I quickly learned that this would be a very hard session as most of the questions were not immediately answered and required much deeper thought.

Kirsten Hawley, vice president, director of organization and leader development, walked our group down the path of starting the process of branding ourselves and what that should mean. We were asked what CEO, Me, Inc would look like. Three concepts were introduced: know your customer; deliver what matters; and keep your brand promise. What should be an easy task, I found to be very difficult.  What should my brand be? What do I bring to the table?

My “take-away” from today’s session was in three words. Ask. Listen. Repeat. Three simple words that when put together have a powerful message. I have wondered which of the three will be the hardest to complete. Ask is the easy part but listening to what the people you serve have to say… even when it’s hard to hear is not so easy. And then start the process all over again.

Over the next few weeks, I have challenged myself to create a “Brand Me” with starting with the three words above.

Have you ever eaten a slice of humble pie?

Liz Griffin Hack

Liz Griffin Hack (FL '12) sales and marketing specialist, Parallel Products

A definition of humble pie on urbandictionary.com is “to be forced to admit a fault”. I had my slice after going through Focus Louisville in February.

I am a native Louisvillian and so is my mom. I live in the East End and I am a product of Jefferson County Public Schools. Go Rams! I have family who live all over Louisville. I am a museum member and a season ticket holder. I have been volunteering in Louisville since my grandma took me to her church to help separate clothing donations for Louisville’s homeless. I had it all covered. If I had a question, I had my resources to answer it. That’s what I thought, anyway, before Focus Louisville.

I follow Leadership Louisville on Facebook and I get the e-newsletter. From all that wonderful content I got curious. Maybe there was something I could learn after all. Enter humble pie!

The 2 ½ days of touring, conversation and education re-invigorated me. We covered it all; local history, economic development, the arts, education, non-profits. I had no idea the national talent Actors Theatre cultivates in their Apprentice/ Internship program. I didn’t know how many schools are in the JCPS system, 155. UofL is doubling in size; building apartments while renovating hospitals for LEED certified status. I posted questions on Facebook like, “Did you all know that there are 1800 non-profits in Louisville?” Whether it was from speakers or classmates, I learned something new about my community in every session. I was reenergized and motivated to not just be in my community but to be a part of it.

After two days of tours, performances, power point and networking the class met to talk about moving forward from our experiences. Our last agenda action item from Focus Louisville is to reflect and commit to something after graduation. I committed to using my skills to engage with the community through volunteering. I have started volunteering with a group called, Do Something Green. It’s a call to action for the entire community to do something sustainable for our environment. So far it’s been a rewarding experience.

I ate my slice of humble pie and I bet I could share it with other Louisville natives. They’d realize too that it doesn’t taste so bad.