Asher09On April 1, Venture Connectors will host John Asher, vice president of racing communications for Churchill Downs Race Track. Asher will discuss the business of horse racing, including insights into specific factors that make the industry profitable and relevant. Asher has worked in the Thoroughbred racing industry as an award-winning journalist and publicist for more than 30 years. He joined Churchill Downs in January 1997 and has served in his current position since March 1999.

As a radio journalist at WHAS-AM and WAVE-AM in Louisville, Asher earned five Eclipse Awards for “Outstanding National Radio Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing.” Other horse industry honors include the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners’ Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year award in 2006; the Charles W. Engelhard Award for excellence in media coverage from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders; the Dean Eagle Award from the Knights of Columbus Bishop Spalding Council No. 2761; and a media award from the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association.

In March 2010, Asher was selected as one of 128 individuals recognized as Connectors by the Leadership Louisville Center. He is a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Louisville program, and also was a member of the center‚Äôs Bingham Fellows Class of 2012. He earned the center’s ‚ÄúSpirit of Yes!‚Äù award in 2012, which honors an individual for positive and enthusiastic commitment to community leadership.

A native of Leitchfield, Ky., and a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Asher is a former president of the WKU National Alumni Board of Directors and was honored by his alma mater in 2008 with a “Summit Award” that recognized his volunteer efforts on behalf of the university. WKU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting honored him as its 2004 “Public Relations Practitioner of the Year.”

He currently serves on the board of trustees of WLKY-TV’s “Spirit of Louisville Foundation,” which oversees the annual Bell Awards for community service, and the boards of directors of GuardiaCare Services and Simmons College of Kentucky. GuardiaCare honored him in 2014 with its “Joan Baldwin Dedicated Service Award” in recognition of extraordinary service by a board member. He previously served on the board of directors of the Kentuckiana Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and was honored as that organization’s “Volunteer of the Year” in 2004, and on the boards of the Catholic Education Foundation and Presentation Academy.

Venture Connectors’ luncheon meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting runs from noon-1:15 p.m. Registration is required at: Members attend free; associate members pay $30. Guests who register online by noon the day before the lunch pay only $40.