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.


Erica Smith, Assistant Director of the Department of Economic Development

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Erica supports business development efforts and manages operations for the Department of Economic Development, including reporting and budget oversight.

Email Erica, or call her at (502) 574-3901.


Business Cluster Project Managers

Benjamin Moore, Senior Business Cluster Manager

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Benjamin specializes in working with businesses in the Lifelong Wellness and Aging sector, as well as the Louisville Film Commission.

Email Benjamin, or call him at (502) 574-1379.


Sara Bowman, Business Cluster 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, Business Cluster 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.


Joshua McKee, Workforce Solution Manager

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Joshua focuses on workforce development and works closely with KentuckianaWorks to grow Louisville's high-skilled talent pipeline.

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


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.

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