Search is on for KDF’s new leader

kdf derby festival logo

Louisville, KY.   – For the first time in more than two decades, the Kentucky Derby Festival is looking for a new leader to oversee one of the world’s largest community celebrations.

 This comes on the heels of current CEO Michael Berry’s planned retirement after 22 years on the job.

 “The Kentucky Derby Festival has experienced unprecedented growth over the past several years,” said Marita Willis, 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival Chair. “We’re looking for someone who has the passion and vision to continue growing the Festival in the years to come.”

kdf derby festival logo

 A KDF search committee, comprised of members with diverse backgrounds and professional experience, will vet and interview potential candidates with the goal of naming a new CEO in late 2019. Interested candidates can apply through May 8.

 “We look forward to a vigorous and successful search,” said Willis, who is leading the search committee.

 Since 1956, the Kentucky Derby Festival has brought together the Louisville community in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization led by a 75-member civic Board of Directors with the support of 4,000 volunteers and more than 400 businesses and civic groups. Over 1.5 million people attend the Festival each spring, making it the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

More information on the search and application process can be found at

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