Kevin Flanery’s life was first touched by the Kentucky Derby and its historic home, Churchill Downs, like many others who spent all or part of their childhood years near the track. He helped park cars on the streets located around the track’s historic Twin Spires for a modest fee. Despite that start, the notion that he might someday lead the great racetrack never entered his mind. Nevertheless, neighborhood kid Kevin Flanery serves today as president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, and is just the 13th person to serve in that post since Meriwether Lewis Clark founded the track in 1875.
Kevin describes his career as having two common threads: construction and managing the growth of properties, and government affairs.
Kevin served in the public sector as Secretary of Kentucky’s Finance and Administration Cabinet, where his responsibilities included oversight of the maintenance and construction of government buildings.But his first direct experience working for Churchill Downs came in 2005, when he launched a career that included work in community affairs, government affairs and communications. In 2009, he was appointed president of the home of the Kentucky Derby. Under his leadership, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks have experienced record growth, and the track has enjoyed success with continued improvements to the world famous facility.
Kevin enjoys his work at Churchill Downs and appreciates the passion displayed by employees at the 144-year-old track. At the same time, he understands the need for the organization to work to remain relevant in today’s ever- evolving entertainment market.
Kevin met Lori Hudson in law school and they married in 1991. They live in Simpsonville and have four children – Kendall Kassinger, Jared, Hayden and Micah and two grandchildren, Jackson and Connor. In his leisure time, Kevin enjoys reading and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
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