Meet the Economic Development team

The staff at 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. 


Leadership Team

Rebecca Fleischaker, Co-chief of Louisville Forward and Director of the Department of Economic Development
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Rebecca oversees the economic development arm of Louisville Forward and works daily to attract new companies to Louisville, as well as help businesses already located in our city get started and expand. Together, with Jeff O'Brien, she works to ensure Louisville remains a great place to live, work and do business

Email Rebecca, or call her at (502) 574-2974.


Jeff O'Brien, Co-chief of Louisville Forward and Director of Develop Louisville

Jeff O'Brien

Jeff oversees the community development arm of Louisville Forward, including Planning & Design Services, the Office of Housing, the Office of Community Development and Codes & Regulations. Together, with Rebecca Fleischaker, he works to ensure Louisville remains a great place to live, work and do business.

Email Jeff, or call him at (502) 574-1354.


Andrea Brown, Deputy Director, Department of Economic Development 

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Andrea manages, evaluates, and implements economic development programs, policies and services. As Deputy Director, Andrea develops departmental strategies and priorities and works with internal and external stakeholders to maximize the utilization of department resources for Louisville's business community. 

Email Andrea, or call her at (502) 574-4771.


Stephanie Kertis, Assistant Director of Louisville Forward

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Stephanie Kertis is a native Louisvillian with over a decade of experience in real estate development, management and sales. As Assistant Director of Louisville Forward, Stephanie serves as liaison between Metro Government and real estate developers to help see projects come to fruition. She also oversees various development incentive programs, including Tax increment Financing projects. 

Email Stephanie, or call her at (502) 574-3503. 


Business Cluster Project Managers

Joshua McKee, Ph.D., Senior Economic & Workforce Development Manager

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Joshua serves as our point person for RFIs/RFPs, university town/gown partnerships and manages economic development projects for the business cluster team. In addition, Joshua focuses on talent attraction and workforce development by working closely with Greater Louisville Inc. and KentuckianaWorks to grow Louisville's high-skilled talent pipeline. 

Email Joshua, or call him at (502) 574-1526.


Sara Bowman, Food & Beverage Economic Development Manager
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Sara specializes in the Food & Beverage sector and works to advance Louisville as the bourbon and culinary capital of the world.

Email Sara, or call her at (502) 574-1343.


Alex Mercer, Advanced Manufacturing/Logistics & eCommerce Economic Development Manager
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Alex specializes in the Advanced Manufacturing sector and supports economic development of businesses in the Logistics and eCommerce sector.

Email Alex, or call him at (502) 574-6279.


Mae Marks, Health & Aging Innovation Economic Development Manager

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Mae specializes in the Health & Aging Innovation sector and supports attraction, retention and expansion efforts within the Louisville healthcare ecosystem. 

Email Mae, or call her at (502) 574-1379. 


Jacob Medley, Business Services Economic Development Manager

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Jacob specializes in Louisville's largest sector, Business Services, and works to retain, attract and grow businesses that specialize in traditional back-office and HQ operations like tech, finance, accounting, law, consulting and much more.

Email Jacob, or call him at (502) 574-4596.


Small Business Development Team

Christy Jarboe, Senior Small Business Development Manager

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Christy focuses on development across Louisville and specializes in providing resources and information for aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners.

Email Christy, or call her at (502) 574-6235.


Brenda Hyatt, Small Business Development/METCO Manager

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Brenda administers Louisville Metro Government’s small business loan program overseen by the Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO).

Email Brenda, or call her at (502) 574-1521.


Emanuel Black, Economic Development Manager

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Emanuel works alongside Christy Jarboe and focuses on development across Louisville. Emanuel specializes in providing resources and information for aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners. 

Email Emanuel, or call her at (502) 574-1140

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