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


   Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Chief of Louisville Forward

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl




Mary Ellen Wiederwohl leads Louisville Forward – the city’s integrated approach to economic and community development.





   Rebecca Fleischaker, Director of the Department of Economic Development

Rebecca Fleischaker



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.

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




   Erica Smith, Assistant Director of the Department of Economic Development

Erica Smith



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

Ben Moore, Benjamin Moore, Louisville Forward, Economic Development, Logistics, Lifelong Wellness and Aging Care, Louisville Metro Government, Louisville, Pride



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

Sara Bowman



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

Alex Mercer



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

Joshua McKee



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

Christy Jarboe, Louisville, Louisville Forward, Small Business, Small Business Development, Highlands, Louisville Metro Government, Economic Development, Business Plan



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.





   Jordan Turner, Small Business Development Manager

Jordan Turner, Small Business, Louisville, Louisville Forward, Economic Development



Jordan specializes in providing resources and information for aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners.

Email Jordan, or call him at (502) 574-1140.

   Brenda Hyatt, Small Business Development/METCO Manager

Brenda Hyatt



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.