Welcome to the Jan. 22 Monday Business Briefing, your business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

United Way crosses over $1 billion raised in 100 years

Metro United Way campaign celebration: $100 billion raised in 100 years. | Courtesy Metro United Way

The race is over and greater Louisville is the winner.

On Thursday, Metro United Way celebrated two milestones: the organization serving seven counties beat a goal of raising $36 million in a year and that led to a satisfying finish for its Race to $1 Billion campaign as it celebrates 100 years.

According to a news release, through Metro United Way’s first 99 years, the organization brought in $964,000,000. Add to that $36,017,655 raised in 2017 — 46 percent more than in 2016 — and the grand tally is $1,000,017,655.

“We set this ambitious goal in order to address the needs of today and ensure that we can continue to support our community for the next 100 years,” said Metro United Way president and CEO Theresa Reno-Weber in the release.

Last year, Metro United way said it provided financial resources, training and technical assistance to 99 community agencies that manage more than 150 programs, touching the lives of 1 in 3 people across its seven-county region.

During a celebration on Thursday, Metro United Way recognized UPS, Brown-Forman, Humana, GE Appliances, and LG&E KU Energy as their top five corporate partners. Mickey Meece

Norton Commons hosting second annual restaurant week

Tea Station Chinese Bistro is one of the participants. | Courtesy of Norton Commons

Starting this week, eight restaurants will offer customers the opportunity to order a special prix fixe meal Monday through Sunday.

Cost of the prix fixe meals range from $15 to $25 per person for an appetizer, entree and dessert.

“As far as independent dining and shopping goes, I think Norton Commons is clearly on the rise and stacks up well against any community in the region,” Ming Pu, executive chef at The 502 Bar & Bistro, said in a news release. “I know everyone has worked hard on special, inventive menus that will make a big impression on both first-time and longtime guests.”

Norton Commons Restaurant Week participants are: Citizen 7, Johnny Brusco’s, Karem’s Grill & Pub, Mercato Italiano, Tea Station Asian Bistro, The 502 Bar & Bistro and Wild Ginger. Commonwealth Tap also will offer nightly sommelier-selected wine and bourbon flights for $20 each, and Château Bourbon is offering discounted rooms at $199 a night.

Check out Norton Commons’ website for more information about the restaurants and their menus for the week. —Caitlin Bowling

Papa’s new CEO to get same base salary as Papa

Steve Ritchie

Papa John’s new president and CEO, Steve Ritchie, will get a base salary this year of $900,000, the same amount that former boss John Schnatter made, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said that the compensation committee of the board set Ritchie’s salary on Tuesday.

In fiscal 2016, Schnatter made $3.5 million including performance-based bonuses. Ritchie, who was COO last year, made $2.5 million that year, with a base salary of $777,000. Boris Ladwig

Louisville-made Navigator named truck of the year

2018 Lincoln Navigator. | Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator, made at Ford Motor Co.’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, has been named North American Truck of the Year.

The company received the award, the “Oscar of the auto industry,” at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It marked the first time that a Lincoln has won the award in its 24-year history.

The Navigator is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 450 horsepower. It has a towing capacity of up to 8,700 pounds. Ford said the new Navigator banks on technology, with a new heads-up display that is “customizable to complement the 12.3-inch digital cluster — incorporating the same groundbreaking digital light processing technology used in movie theaters.”

The vehicle starts at about $72,000. A loaded Black Label edition, with a 20-speaker audio system, Venetian leather seats and a rear seat entertainment system with wireless headphones, can cost more than $100,000.

The Ford Expedition, also made at KTP, was one of three finalists for truck of the year. KTP primarily makes the Ford Super Duty pickup.

More than 60 jurors from print, online and broadcast media judged vehicles on criteria including innovation, safety and value.

The 2018 Navigator received a more dramatic update than its Ford Expedition sibling and its impact for the brand will be stronger as a result,” juror Ron Sessions, of The New York Daily News, said in a news release. “With its design now aligned with the Continental, the Navigator becomes an even more important image — and the profit-maker for Lincoln.”

Ford sold 10,523 Navigators last year, up 1 percent from 2016.

Judges recognized the Honda Accord as the car of the year and the Volvo XC60 as the SUV of the year. —Boris Ladwig

Kroger introducing digital price displays

Kroger recently introduced prepared meal kits for two. | Courtesy of Kroger

Before the end of the year, Kroger will install new shelving with digital displays in 200 of its stores. The grocery company is calling the technology Kroger Edge, according to Business Insider.

The advanced shelving will allow Kroger to adjust item prices using a software system as opposed to manually as employees do now. The display also will show nutritional information, video advertising and coupons.

In the future, it also will communicate with customers’ mobile phones to help them complete their shopping more quickly and easily, Business Insider reported.

“As you walk down the aisle, it will highlight the next item for you to pick on your shopping list,” Kroger Chief Information Officer Chris Hjelm told Business Insider.

The Washington Post also reported on the new technology, noting that it will give the grocery company the ability to adjust prices based on how many of a particular item the store has in stock.

Insider Louisville reached out to Kroger to find out when Louisville stores are expected to get the technology but did not hear back. —Caitlin Bowling

Yuengling beer is indeed coming to Kentucky — in March

Coming soon.

It’s official: Yuengling & Son beer will soon be available in Kentucky starting in March. Earlier this month, Insider reported that the rumors were true after talking with Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director of Blue Equity, which owns Kentucky’s Liquor Barn and Party Mart locations.

He said his stores would be getting the beer this spring — even referring to it as “the Pappy of beer” — however, the Yuengling folks would not confirm the report.

But now, reps for the Pennsylvania-based Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery, tell us that Kentucky will be their 22nd state, and the rollout in March will include the brand’s lager, light lager and Black & Tan beers.

“The expansion into the great state of Kentucky is long overdue,” said Dick Yuengling, owner and president of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. “We’re thrilled to bring our beer to our patiently waiting fans who have been requesting our brands for years.”

One thirsty Insider reader hinted that you might see Yuengling on tap starting March 5 and in cans and bottles by March 19. Cheers. —Sara Havens

Bevin’s proposed budget eliminates state funding for Kentucky Center

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is located on Main Street downtown. | Courtesy of Kentucky Center

Among the causalities in Gov. Matt Bevin’s state budget proposal released last week was the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Louisville, which had its current annual state funding of $325,000 slashed to zero in the next two fiscal years.

Described in the budget as “the Commonwealth’s premier performing arts center” and the home of the state’s largest orchestra, ballet, Broadway and children’s theater productions, the Kentucky Center currently derives 55 percent of its operating budget from earned revenue like ticket sales, with the rest coming from public funding, private donations and sponsorships.

The Kentucky Center told WFPL last week that this cut – along with the proposed elimination of Teacher Academies Program funding it receives – “will impact our non-profit mission and our service to the Commonwealth.”

Subsequent to that statement, the Kentucky Center’s spokesperson told IL that the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet its state funding comes from had requested that they handle all inquiries about the impact of the proposed budget. Cody Patterson, the spokesman for the cabinet, did not reply to multiple emails and voicemails from IL. — Joe Sonka

In Brief

Greater Louisville Inc. added four members to its board: Condrad M. Daniels, president of HJI Supply Chain Solutions; G. Bradley Smith, partner at MCM CPAs & Advisors; Jennifer Willis, vice president for commercial sales in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio for Humana; and nonvoting member Christen McDonough Boone, president and CEO of the Fund for the Arts.

The Organic Association of Kentucky will host its seventh annual conference focusing on organic farming and eating March 2-3 in Lexington. The event will include sessions such as grass-fed dairy, weed management, permaculture, fearless farm finances, hemp production, soil health and organic tomato growing.

Louisville chef Annie Pettry of Decca and Lexington chef Ouita Michael of Holly Hill Inn were named to Atlanta Food & Wine Festival’s first-ever all-female advisory panel. The festival is being held from May 31 through June 3 this year.

Louisville-based PBI Bank is changing its name to Limestone Bank “to reinvigorate our promise to help our clients build firm financial futures.” The bank, which operates in 12 counties, said customers “will keep their account numbers and information.”

AT&T said its fiber service is now available at more than 100,000 Louisville homes and small businesses. The company said download speeds approach 1 gigabit per second and allow customers to download a 90-minute high-definition movie in about 34 seconds.

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