When diverse leaders team up, everybody wins!


When diverse leaders team up, everybody wins. Tammy York Day, CEO of Louisville Healthcare CEO Council (LHCC), and Tawana Bain, founder and chair of the Derby Diversity & Business Summit (DDBS), are both launching pitch events in Louisville Derby week. The Louisville business leaders are coming together to host a matchmaking event between diverse entrepreneurs, CEOs, and c-suite decision-makers in the healthcare and other sectors in partnership with LEAP – LEAP is a collaboration between the University of Louisville, Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, XLerateHealth Inc. Greater Louisville Inc.'s EnterpriseCorp and 1804, and is powered by Kentucky Innovation.

In either of their positions, some of us might think of the other event as competition, but Bain and York Day saw it as an opportunity to join forces and to make both Louisville Derby events even more impactful.

DDBS’s Emerging Gen XYZ – Drivers of Innovation Pitchfest, taking place on Wednesday, May 1, invites Millennial and GENz, diverse entrepreneurs to reveal their innovations to each other, diverse business leaders, and executives of major corporations like Delta Airlines and Procter & Gamble.

LHCC’s CareTech Derby Pitch Competition, taking place the Thursday before Derby, is focused on finding innovations to unpaid caregivers. Each year, families, partners, and friends provide $506b in free caregiving, but data reveals many feel they are in constant crisis. Contestants are invited to pitch ways to lighten those burdens and connect those caregivers with innovative, relevant resources.

LHCC brings together 12 top healthcare CEOs that drive $85bn in revenue each year. While these corporations are internationally known, the fact that they are headquartered in Louisville is not. York Day said highlighting Louisville and its outstanding healthcare sector during the Derby was a big part of the inspiration. 

York Day is co-founder, with her sister Tonya York Dees, of the Unbridled-Eve Derby Gala which is entering its eighth year. York Day asked a question she was prepared to find an answer for:

“How do you curate a weekend where you have something iconic like the Derby that is very interactive and social, to put people together so relationship building leads to contracts and investments?”

Impressed by Bain’s success with the Derby Diversity & Business Summit in 2018, knowing what LHCC was looking to do, York Day said, “Tawana and I got really excited when we realized there was such opportunity to combine efforts in a very strategic way, that can be game changing.”

“I knew that Tawana would be able to reach entrepreneurs that were diverse,” she said. “Innovation is coming from a broad group of people, and we need those innovations.”

York Day said when the ability to broaden beyond healthcare and host a matchmaking event in partnership with LEAP came up, they both looked at each other and just said, “Whoa.” Bringing together Bain’s connections with business titans in town for DDBS and the CEOs of LHCC and their c-suite representatives represents an enormous opportunity.

“People are always asked what their drivers are. Is it money? Is it security?” For herself and Tawana Bain, York Day said, “It is impact and the belief that what we’re doing is the right thing and in the right way.”

“I couldn’t agree with Tammy more, Bain said. This is what the Power of Intersectionality looks like and exactly what DDBS stands for. It’s reaching out and partnering with others when it makes sense, regardless of their background. Diverse suppliers often ask for access. We have delivered.”

The cross pollination began in earnest, and the results will be felt Derby week, as entrepreneurs from the healthcare, entertainment, financial, food, and logistics fields make their rounds among decision-makers from both the healthcare sector and DDBS’s corporate sponsors. 

Laurel Kemper