DDBS is excited to join forces with Eden Bridgeman and The Trifecta Gala for our 2019 summit!


The Derby Diversity and Business Summit (DDBS) is excited to join forces with Eden Bridgeman and The Trifecta Gala for our 2019 summit.

Eden Bridgeman is chief marketing officer of Manna, Inc., the Louisville restaurant concept affiliate started by her father, Junior Bridgeman, in 1988. The company holds 455 restaurants -- some widely known, like Chili’s, Wendy’s, Perkin’s and Golden Corral, and some local favorites like The Napa Valley Grill and Mark’s Feed Store.

Bridgeman has donated tickets for The Trifecta Gala to be awarded to winners of two DDBS events. The Art of Negotiation Contest – taking place Tuesday, April 30th , and the Emerging GenXYZ Pitch Fest – scheduled for Wednesday May 1st . The Art of Negotiation Contest, presented by UofL College of Business is designed to fine tune our diverse suppliers negotiation skills to master the RFP process and the pitch fest is designed to present diverse owned starts ups to the Silicon Valley and Louisville Venture Capital community. “Derby is a magical time in Louisville and collaboration is key to ensuring our guests have the best experience afforded to them. Our family is so blessed on many levels: financially, communally and spiritually. We believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.” Shared Eden Bridgeman.

I tip my hat to Eden, said Tawana Bain – founder of DDBS. She’s got grit and compassion for the foundation we are laying and I do not take it lightly. Bridgeman’s support of DDBS during a time when she has plenty on her plate as it relates to Derby, is a strong example of her commitment to the advancement of the diverse business community and its overall success. I admire her for stepping up and being a leader.

“While many of our local attendees understand the magnitude of Trifecta, we know that our out of town guests do not” said Bain. “It’s important to me that our attendees near and far understand the value of our partnership with Trifecta, and just how amazing their event is.”

This year’s Trifecta Gala’s headliner is Usher. The emcee hasn’t yet been announced, but past galas were hosted by Sinbad and Arsenio Hall. Guests have included Michael Jordan, Michael McDonald, Anthony Anderson, Angela Basset, Terrence Howard, and Star Jones.

The event is unique, Bridgeman said, in that, “It’s meant for people to mingle in an unprecedented way.” Celebrities aren’t roped off from the rest of the attendees.

For many, attending Fashion Week, NBA All-Star weekend, and the Super Bowl would be pure fun, but for Eden Bridgeman and her brothers, Ryan and Justin, these events are also opportunities for research and development. “My brothers and I are blessed to attend so many diverse events,” she said, and they don’t take those opportunities for granted.

They are always on the lookout for what’s new and exciting. Last year, guests entered the grand ballroom at the Omni Hotel via an atmospheric fog wall. They patterned a champagne wall after one Eden saw in Jamaica on New Year’s Day.  Attendees were invited to create their own old-fashioned with the Master Distiller from Beam Suntory.  The headliner was Stevie Wonder.

Eden Bridgeman recommends guests get to the gala as early as possible. The menu and artists, activations, and surprises won’t be repeated, and those who are there for the entirety of the gala will get to experience it all.

This year, The Trifecta Gala added a third charity to its beneficiaries. Last year, the event benefitted The West End School and The University of Louisville Autism Center. This year, they’ve added The V Foundation for Cancer Research to that list.

For years, Bridgeman’s father, Junior Bridgeman hosted a Derby Eve gala that featured big name hosts and headliners and guests from the worlds of professional sports and entertainment. In 2017, the former NBA player, restauranteur, and CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company christened the charity event The Trifecta Gala in honor of his children.

In 2018, the Bridgeman siblings took over planning, and opened the event to the public. It’s their intention to bring as much fun and excitement to The Trifecta Gala as the Derby does to Louisville. This year’s Trifecta Gala promises its biggest and most well-attended  yet, and guests will have an experience of a lifetime. DDBS sees this as the beginning of a bridge (no pun intended) that will provide access to our suppliers and Trifecta’s corporate sponsors that will pay dividends for all involved. Learn more about Trifecta at www.trifectagala.com

Laurel Kemper