Category: In The News..

Who will lead Lexington into the next Season? Come hear from the candidates.

And then there were two…

From a pool of six candidates campaigning through the Winter and the Spring, two well-known figures in the Lexington community have now moved past the primary and will continue campaigning for your votes this November – former Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton and former Lexington Chief of Police Ronnie Bastin.

Be among the first to hear their respective positions as the Lexington Forum hosts the mayoral candidates for a discussion of their platforms prior to the general election. Below, please find links to each candidates website detailing their stances on many significant issues:

Linda Gorton for Mayor
Ronnie Bastin for Mayor
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking

7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Space is limited.
Reservations are required.
Seats are available on a first come first serve basis.
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Register Now!


Foster Care & Adoption in Kentucky

This year’s Lexington Forum Annual meeting will feature a panel discussion on Foster Care & Adoption in Kentucky.

Over 9,000 children in Kentucky are currently in foster care. While many children eventually receive permanent placement, hundreds of others remain unable to be reunited with their biological families, and yet not wanted for adoption. Join us as we have a panel of experts educate us about this dilemma and how we may can help.

Our panel, moderated by Davonna Saier, will feature the following individuals:

Sherry Postlewaite, SRAA (Southern Bluegrass Service Region Foster Care Recruitment and Certification)
Melynda Jamison, MPA Executive Director, CASA of Lexington (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
Megan Moore, MSW, CSWKVC Kentucky’s Director of Training, Development, and Compliance
Todd Wetzel, Foster Parent

Thursday, May 3, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Register Now – Click Here!

School Safety Initiatives

The Lexington Forum has made a programming change in order provide the Fayette County Public School District’s safety task force with an opportunity to complete its work.  After the task force issues its findings, we plan to invite members of the task force to join us for a program to discuss their recommendations.  The April meeting of the Lexington Forum program will still address the issue of student safety.
Please join the Lexington Forum as we welcome Transylvania University Police Chief Gregg Muravchick and University of Kentucky Police Major Nathan Brown, and Lexington Fayette County Police Chief Lawrence Weathers as panelists for the April meeting of the Lexington Forum.
Among various topics that will be discussed, we will learn how the University of Kentucky police department trains students and community members to respond to active aggressor situations. Transylvania University’s police Chief Muravchick, who was recently honored for his brave actions during a machete attack that occurred on Transylvania’s campus, will discuss how that incident impacted the Transylvania community. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers will discuss how the Lexington-Fayette police department provides overall assistance to active aggressor situations on school campuses, as well within Lexington-Fayette County as a whole.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking

7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Register Now!
The Lexington Forum
invites you and a guest
to join us and our special guests
The Leadership Lexington Class of 2017-2018
“Let’s Go To The Races”
Sunday, The Eighth of April 
Two Thousand and Eighteen  
11:00 am Gates Open
12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch  
1:05 pm First Post Time 
The Keeneland Room  
4201 Versailles Road
Lexington, KY, 40507
Admission cost is $65 and includes:
Lunch, Reserved Parking, Program
& a Spectacular View of the races
from Keeneland’s Fourth Floor.
Tickets will be available for pick-up at The Forum Breakfast Meeting on April 5, 2018. 
Registration is required for entry to this event!
The courtesy of a reply is requested by 
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Was Faulkner Correct When He Said “Civilization Begins With Distillation”?

Mississippi Judge Noah S. Sweat described bourbon whiskey as “the devil’s brew…the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty”.  In the same speech, Judge Sweat hailed bourbon whiskey as “the philosophic wine…that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars…to build highways and hospitals and schools…”

For more than two centuries, Kentucky’s distinct spirit has simultaneously caused condemnation and celebration. The Lexington Forum invites you to join us at our March 1st, 2018 meeting as we host Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers Association, Mark Coffman, Master Distiller at Alltech, and Marianne Barnes, Master Distiller at Castle and Key, to discuss all things bourbon. Whether you prefer your bourbon neat, on the rocks, or mixed, we promise the conversation will be barrel proof.

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking

7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Register Now!

The Forum had an incredible turnout for “The Social” on Thursday,  February 22nd!

Thank you to our hard working board members who served on the committee: Davonna Saier, Morgan Whitney, & Ryan Kelsch.  They put on a fabulous event and we are so very grateful for the time they invested.

A VERY special Thank You to our Hosting Sponsor
“The Ruddy Duck”.

They will be opening their doors to welcome the general public the first week of March. Be sure to swing by the old Cheapside location and show them some Lexington Forum style gratitude.  Remember to have a “conversation that matters” while you are there and invite someone to join us at the next meeting.

Finally, none of this would have been possible without the support of our corporate sponsors.

Second Chance Employment In Kentucky

On January 13th, the New York Times reported that as the nation’s economy continues to improve, “a rapidly tightening labor market is forcing companies across the country to consider workers they once would have turned away”. Kentucky has been ahead of the game when it comes to realizing and recognizing the work ethic of individuals seeking Second Chance Employment Opportunities.
Stigmatized by various criminal convictions, some individuals are caught in a negative feedback loop where there was little hope for a stable job, let alone career advancement. This month’s panelists will discuss how Second Chance Employment Opportunities have not only provided skilled training curriculums to individuals who at first believed they had little prospect for success, but how by giving these individuals a second chance, they have unlocked a trove of compassion, entrepreneurism, and social benefit.
Please join member and moderator Tom Martin, along with the rest of the Lexington Forum, on Thursday, February 1st, as we welcome panelists Rob Perez, owner of DV8 Kitchen, Cary Plummer Executive Director of Jubilee Jobs of Lexington, and, of special note, longtime Lexington Forum member David Boggs, President/CEO of Opportunity for Work & Learning, to discuss what Second Chance Employment Opportunities means for Lexington’s place as an economic driver and market leader.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking

7:30 Breakfast and Program

Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Register Now!

Human Trafficking in Lexington

Human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime and extreme violation of human rights. Unfortunately, this corruption is happening behind the scenes in Lexington. Join us for a panel discussion, which will cover the problem as it relates to our community.  We will hear from experts addressing this often unseen corruption, including how law enforcement is contributing to the prevention and where we can help.
Panelists include:
  • Brittney Thomas, Co-Chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Task Force (  and leader of HOPE Children Campaign,
  • David Marye, Assistant United States Attorney and also Co-Chair
  • Marissa Castellanos, Program Director of the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative (
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Register Now – Click Here

More about our panelists…
Brittney Thomas
Having survived one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings at age 15, Brittney took her second chance at life and decided to live it with passion and purpose, honoring the lives of the friends she lost.  While living in a rural village in Cambodia, Brittney developed an untamed passion for social justice issues across the globe and in her own backyard!  She went on to receive her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Kentucky and in 2010 authored a protocol for health care providers on how to identify and assess victims of human trafficking.  This protocol earned Brittney the “Kentucky Liberation Award” for outstanding efforts in combating human trafficking.
Fueled by a new found love of coffee and dark chocolate, Brittney is serves as a CASA advocate, is the co-chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Taskforce and leads the HOPE Children Campaign, a street outreach in Lexington, KY aimed at providing resource information to domestic minors of sex trafficking.  You can learn more at:
David Marye
David A. Marye has served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Kentucky (EDKY) since October, 1987.  He has prosecuted violent crimes, economic and fraud crimes, immigration-related offenses, child sex exploitation offenses, and drug crimes.  He has served as both Acting Criminal Chief and Senior Litigation Counsel.  He is currently the Human Trafficking Point of Contact (POC) and the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the EDKY.
David graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, in 1974, and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, KY, in 1977.  He served as an Assistant Commonwealths Attorney in Fayette County (KY) for 10 years before becoming an AUSA.  He resides in Lexington with his wife, Mariana, two dogs, and a cat.  He has two daughters, one step-son, one son-in-law, a granddaughter and newly born twin grandsons.  Unfortunately for David, his older daughter, her husband and his grandchildren live in Hong Kong.
Marissa Castellanos
Marissa Castellanos received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Kentucky. Marissa is the Program Director for the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a program to combat human trafficking through Catholic Charities of Louisville. Marissa has worked at Catholic Charities for the last 10 years, previously as Human Trafficking Project Manager and Program Manager, as she helped start the program and develop a statewide anti-trafficking coalition. She provides trainings on human trafficking throughout Kentucky, assists in developing and maintaining local task forces, provides technical assistance to agencies in protocol development and policy, and works directly with identified victims of human trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.
Marissa has provided case management or advocacy services to more than 100 survivors of either sex or labor trafficking. She works closely with social service providers, health care workers, law enforcement, and others to ensure that human trafficking is being identified in Kentucky communities and that survivors are provided with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. Marissa has previously worked with community action agencies in Central Kentucky, primarily serving foreign national workers and their families through Migrant Head Start and other community service programs. Marissa has taught as an adjunct instructor for criminal justice and social work classes at St. Catharine College. Marissa currently co-chairs the Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force.