IFEA 64th Annual Convention & Expo IFEA 64th Annual Convention & Expo
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Professional Reflections: Lessons Learned During a 33-Year Career at the Kentucky Derby Festival

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Room - Allegheny A

Mike Berry, CFEE
Kentucky Derby Festival, President & CEO

Mike Berry is the Chief Architect and Instigator of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a whirlwind of more than 70 events leading up to the first Saturday in May. Starting as an Assistant to Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins placed him on a career path that has lasted 33 years at KDF, the last 23 as CEO. He has been inducted into the International Festivals and Events Association, DeMolay and Phi Kappa Tau Halls of Fame and is currently serving on the boards of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisville Theatrical Association, Order of the Eastern Star and the Episcopal Church Home Foundation. Mike was the 2004 Board Chair of IFEA and the 2011 Chair of the IFEA Foundation.


In a world where people change jobs as often as underwear, Mike Berry is wrapping up the latest chapter of his career after a 33 year stint with the Kentucky Derby Festival. His presentation will talk about the seismic changes that have occurred in the special event industry and also as well as the the foundation constants of the business -- like t-shirts!  If nothing else, be shallow and come for the door prizes.