About Us

Louisville Forward is an integrated approach to economic and community development, combining business attraction, expansion and retention activities, and talent and workforce attraction, with all of the city's real estate development, land use and planning and design functions to present a unified solution for job growth and quality of place. 

View our organizational chart

Meet the Chief, Mary Ellen Wiederwohl

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Cheif Wiederwohl, Louisville, Louisville Forward, Economic Development

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl leads Louisville Forward – the city’s, integrated approach to economic and community development. Louisville Forward combines business attraction, expansion, and retention activities with all of the city’s real estate functions and talent development to present a unified solution for job growth and quality of place. Louisville Forward has been named a Top Ten Economic Development Organization four times by Site Selection Magazine, the leading trade publication for economic development, with announced projects totaling more than $5 billion of investment and more than 22,000 new jobs since 2014. Louisville Forward leads the planning and implementation for the city’s built environment agenda, playing an integral role in recent TIGER and CHOICE grants, the revitalization of west Louisville, and catalytic projects throughout Louisville.


Meet the team

Business Cluster Project Managers

Small Business Development Team 

Learn more about the departments in Develop Louisville and Codes and Regulations


Rankings and Recognitions


TripAdvisor ranks Louisville on its like of 'Top Cities to Visit in 2019'



CBS News named Louisville to its 2018 list of 'Top Cities for Job Hunters'

Glassdoor ranks Louisville a 'Best City for Jobs'

Perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Jetsetter named Louisville to its list of 'Top 5 Hip Cities'

Louisville Forward recognized as a 'Top Economic Development Group' by Site Selection magazine -- Four years in a row!

Louisville named "Co-Major Market of the Year" -- tying with Nashville, TN -- by Southern Business & Development 

Forbes names Louisville a 'Top 10 City where Manufacturing is Thriving'

SmartAsset names Louisville a 'Top City for New College Grads'

Louisville recognized as 'Best in Class' among cities using data

EPA ranks Louisville a 'Top Midsize City' for most Energy Star certified buildings

Governing magazine recognizes Louisville as the 'Top Performer' in its Equipt to Innovate Report 

SmartAsset ranks Louisville a 'Top City' for women in technology

National Geographic named Louisville to it's list of 'Best Small Cities in the U.S.'

VinePair ranks Louisville in its list of the 'World's Top 10 Beer Destinations for 2018'

Lonely Planet says Kentucky is a 'Top 10 Destination' to visit in 2018

Forbes says Louisville is a 'Top 15 City' for affordable living

Southern Living ranks Louisville on its list of '15 Incredible Solo Vacations to Take in the South'

SmartAsset ranks Louisville in its 'Top 15 cities Where Millennials are Moving'



Forbes ranks Louisville the No. 1 city in the U.S. for manufacturing

Louisville Forward named a Top Economic Development Group for 2016 by Site Selection magazine

SmartAsset ranks Louisville among the top 10 U.S. cities with lowest cost startup costs

Lumina Foundation designates Louisville as a 'Talent Hub'

Thumbtack ranks Louisville a Top 10 City for Small Business Friendliness

Perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, 2015, 2016 and 2017

WalletHub names Louisville in top 10 2017 'Best-Run Cities' -- back-to-back ranking!

Glassdoor ranks Louisville as a 'Top 10 Best City for Jobs'

NerdWallet ranks Louisville in its list of Top 20 Best Cities for Quality of Life

CNN named Louisville to it's list of 15 Charming Cities in the South

Realtor.com names Louisville's 40217 zip code as one of the Hottest Hipster Markets in the U.S. 

Redlining Louisville map selected as Harvard's first-ever Map of the Month

Louisville ranked a top 5 'Best Theatre City' by Paste

Travel + Leisure named Louisville one of America's Favorite Places

Louisville designated SolSmart Gold for solar energy development 

Kentucky ranked in Top States by Site Selection magazine

Louisville ranked as a Top Metro for the South Central and East North Central regions by Site Selection magazine

Named a Top 10 Best City for Job Seekers by ZipRecruiter



Recognized by Site Selection magazine as a Top 10 Metro and a Top Economic Development Organization for 2014 and 2015

Named a Top 50 'Global Future-Ready Economy' by DELL

Louisville included in Huffington Post's list of 'Five Soccer Cities Making America Great Again'

Louisville ranks as one of Wallet Hub's 2016 'Best-Run Cities'

Ranked #18 on Glassdoor's 'Best Cities for Jobs' for 2016

Named 'Best Destination Experience' by World Food Travel Association 2016

Louisville named as a 'Top Destination on the Rise' by Trip Advisor

Back-to-Back perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, 2015 and 2016

Named a 'Top LGBT Travel Destination' by Orbitz Travel

TIME magazine recognized Louisville as one of '240 Reasons to Celebrate America Right Now'

Conde Nast named Louisville to its list of '18 Underated Cities in America'

Forbes recognized Louisville as 'One of Five Surprising People, Places and Things to Watch'

Travel+Leisure named Louisville one of the 'Friendliest Cities in America'


Job Openings

Join the economic development team that is helping make Louisville a better place to live! Click here to view current city job openings. 


Connect with us
Louisville Forward
444 S. Fifth St., Suite 600
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

(502) 574-4140

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