Kentucky to the World’s (KTW)

mission is to enhance our state’s image at home and beyond by showcasing the talent, ingenuity, and excellence of outstanding men and women with strong Kentucky ties. By doing that, we are a catalyst for inspiring everyone – no matter their age, geography, or circumstance – to promote a positive narrative about Kentucky and to become image changers themselves.

KTW achieves its goals through multimedia programs that range from a live-audience speaker series, to the website’s written profiles, video interviews, and social media real time news.

The people whom KTW selects to feature will meet a pre-determined set of criteria including:

  • Claim a strong Kentucky connection – possessing one of the following:
    – Born or raised in Kentucky;
    – Attended and/or graduated from a Kentucky school;
    – Spent at least five years living, working, or contributing to a Kentucky community.
  • Possess a fresh story –KTW features renowned men and women, many of whom are not well known in the state. Some live outside of Kentucky and others make Kentucky their home.
  • Embody values including creativity, innovation, risk-taking, intellectual courage, and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Demonstrate work that is nationally and/or internationally significant as well as current and applicable to contemporary subjects of discourse and value.

KTW’s far-reaching goals include expanding online content and reach to become a major online media publication, growing the speaker series geographically to other cities in Kentucky, and capitalizing on educational efforts through a mentorship program that will allow our Kentucky-connected men and women to inspire and guide Kentucky’s students of today to attain their professional and community minded goals of tomorrow.

Why does Kentucky need “Kentucky to the World”?

For too long people in Kentucky have carried the weight of negative stereotypes. KTW tells a different story, one of leadership and success that extends far beyond our state borders. We are making people aware that they can claim Kentucky and also accomplish amazing things in the world.

KTW and its public relations efforts will enhance Kentucky’s image in ways that can impact business strategies and Kentucky’s perception in the rest of the country and around the world.

Being a Louisville-based organization, we know the time is right! Between the city’s efforts as “Possibility City” and all the growing positive national press – our sense of pride is on the upswing. KTW is here to elevate the intellectual perceptions of Kentucky.

Major Milestones

Kentucky to the World Speakers - 2013-2015

We couldn’t be more pleased with the diverse range of talent and excellence that we have been able to feature on our programs.

In October 2013, Saturday Night Live Emmy Award winning audio post-production engineer Devin Emke had a conversation with moderator Nat Irvin, a professor at the University of Louisville Business School.

In April 2014, Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, spoke with moderator Ted Smith, the Mayor’s Chief of Civic Innovation for Metro Louisville. They discussed the Washington D.C.-based foundation’s non-partisan, non-profit efforts dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency.

In August 2014, Jonathan Wolff, Louisville’s own award-winning composer, and moderator Devin Katayama of WFPL delivered an engaging conversation to a sold out audience about Jonathan’s life and professional experience that includes composing theme songs for 75 hit TV series, including Seinfeld and Will and Grace.

2015 began in March with Dr. Sander Florman, Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai, who discussed the ethics, politics and technology of organ transplantation. Laura Ungar, USA Today journalist moderated the discussion.

In July Bill Porter, a legend in American automobile design, took the audience on a joyride through decades of American culture and design moderated by curator Kay Grubola.

We finished up 2015 with New York Times journalist couple, Michael Wines, previously Moscow bureau chief, Johannesburg bureau chief and Beijing bureau chief and award-winning reporter Sharon LaFraniere having a conversation with journalist Pam Platt.

Marketing and Media

KTW’s public relations achievements include a large number of articles in local print and digital media, including the Courier-Journal, Business First, Insider Louisville, LEO, and others. Media sponsors include Louisville Magazine, Audience Magazine and Business First which have offered KTW pro-bono ads in exchange for in-kind event sponsorship. Additionally, KTW’s relationship with WFPL, the Public Radio Partnership, has garnered radio interviews, radio ads, and coverage online as well as ticket giveaways.

In order to bring Kentucky “TO” the World, we will continue to seek wide media and publicity outreach locally, regionally and nationally. Our new plans for social media and the website will allow us to reach beyond those borders to international ones. For example, KTW will offer content through webcasts, podcasts and other online distribution channels. KTW media sponsors will partner closely with us to ensure that their resources succeed in publicizing our events and content to their particular audiences.

Help us share these stories, and we’ll show the world what Kentucky is capable of achieving!

Download Kentucky to the World Development PackageDownload Kentucky to the World Development Package (.zip) which includes the documents that describe the organization and its mission, include the materials about the events that Kentucky to the World brought to Kentuckiana, and, most importantly, the donation levels at which you can support KTW.




Kentucky to the World, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  View the Kentucky to the World Board of Directors here.


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For PR and media inquiries, please contact:
Melissa Zoeller, (502) 553-9732, melissa.zoeller@gmail.com