Shea named to head 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival

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Mike Shea

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release)Louisville native Mike Shea will chair the 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival. Shea, who has served on the Festival’s board for 20 years, was elected by the Festival’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting Wednesday.

Shea is a partner in the government relations firm, Government Strategies, LLC. He follows the leadership of Judy Hess, who will continue serving as Immediate Past Chair of the Derby Festival.

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“The Derby Festival brings a spirit to our community every spring that is irreplaceable,” said Shea. “I’ve grown up a fan of the Festival, and it’s an honor to serve as Chair for the upcoming season. We’re looking forward to welcoming all of our fans back to events again.”

Shea, who has served as a senior policy advisor and associate to members of the U.S. Senate and Congress, was raised in Louisville. He addresses federal issues management, coalition-building and grassroots/grasstops programs for some of the nation’s largest corporations and associations. Shea studied at Bellarmine College and the University of Kentucky and is a St. Xavier alum.

He was first elected to the Derby Festival Board in 2001. He became a member of the KDF Executive Board in 2003. He has also served on committees for several Derby Festival events and programs, including Great Bed Races, Great Steamboat Race, New Event and Review Committee, Finance Committee, Spelling Bee, $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Contest, Nominating Committee, WineFest and others.

Shea’s proudest achievements are his five children and ten grandchildren.

Matt Gibson serves as President and CEO of the Derby Festival. Ken Selvaggi, Vice President/General Manager of WAVE 3 News was elected Chair-Elect; Erin Rasinen, Messer Construction, was elected Vice Chair; Al Cornish was elected Secretary; and Natasha Collins, LG&E was elected Treasurer.

Joining the 75-member board as newly elected directors are: Phillip Baker, Jefferson County Public Schools; Jason Chin, Humana; Leslie Eberle-Raeber, Liberty Financial​; Eric Fow, Summit Media; Erin Grant, Kroger; Jo Graves; Cassidy Hyde, YPAL​; J. Dillon Miles, University of Louisville; and Paula Bishop, President, The Fillies, Inc.

The final event of the 2021 Derby Festival, Caesars Foundation of Floyd County FamFest, is scheduled for next Thursday, June 24, in New Albany from 4-8 p.m. More details can be found on the Festival’s website at KDF.org.

Planning is underway for the 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival. Event dates and information will be released in the coming months.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.