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Kentucky business leaders to take fact finding trip to Pittsburgh

More than 300 business and community leaders from Kentucky’s largest cities – Louisville and Lexington – will leave on Monday, May 10, to study best practices that can be used to strengthen population centers in the state. The 2010 Leadership Expedition will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to explore how the city transformed itself from a struggling steel town into one of the most vibrant regions in the nation, recently named the #1 most livable city in America.

The trip will put attendees in touch with Pittsburgh’s top executives and civic leaders to learn about its successes in innovation, arts and philanthropy, entertainment technology, higher education, civic engagement and regional success. Agenda highlights are included below, along with innovative social media efforts to help attendees and both the Lexington and Louisville communities take part in the discussion.

“Regionalism is essential to competitiveness in today’s global economy, and Pittsburgh is a shining example of the power of regions,” said Joe Reagan, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “Our 70-mile region contains both Louisville and Lexington, and it’s our hope that the trip will serve as a catalyst for greater coordination and innovation between two of Kentucky’s most energized communities.”

Bob Quick, president & CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc., added, “While we are encouraged by what Pittsburgh has to offer and the strides it has taken reinvent itself, we recognize that this particular trip is very much about our communities and how we can use our common strengths to our advantage.”

Trip highlights include sessions with James Rohr, CEO of PNC Financial Services Group; Mark Nordenberg, chancellor or the University of Pittsburgh, who will serve on a higher-education panel with University of Kentucky president Dr. Lee Todd and University of Louisville president Dr. Jim Ramsey; Bill Strickland, author of Make the Impossible Possible; and Don Marinelli, executive producer of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon.

More agenda highlights: www.commercelexington.com/doc_lib/PittsburghAgenda.pdf.

Kim Menke, manager of community and government relations for Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and co-chair of the Expedition’s planning committee, said, “This will be a great opportunity for our two cities to learn more about Pittsburgh’s transformation, while collaborating with our colleagues from Louisville on ways we can work together on a number of key issues.”

The trip will also utilize a variety of social media opportunities to keep the community connected to the information, speakers and discoveries of the trip. Interested citizens and the media can follow the latest news from the 2010 Leadership Expedition on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/CommerceLex, and can track activities through Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PittsburghExpedition. A special iPhone app will be released soon to allow attendees and those interested in the trip to access information about Pittsburgh, commonalities between the community and Louisville, background on speakers and venues, and other trip details.

TRAVEL NOTES: The Expedition group will depart Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport beginning at 7:30 a.m. and Louisville International Airport at 8:00 a.m. Accommodations for participants are at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh (1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh). Conference sessions are slated for Heinz Field on May 10, the Westin on May 11, and a combination of the Westin and the August Wilson Center on May 12.

About the 2010 Leadership Expedition

The 2010 Greater Louisville Inc. and Commerce Lexington Leadership Expedition, presented by CHASE and E.ON-U.S., will take place May 10-12, 2010. The trip studies new ideas, strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives that can enhance Kentucky cities, and will encourage statewide thinking, breakthrough ideas, regional networking and business collaboration. The 2010 trip is co-chaired by Evelyn Strange, President of Advanced Electrical Systems, Inc. (GLI), and Kim Menke, Manager for Community Service and Outreach at Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc. (Commerce Lexington).

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