Under the leadership of Tendai Charasika '96 and Michael Bodner '96, a group of twelve young alumni created the Saint Xavier Business and Professional Association in 2008. The group's mission is to enhance the value of all Tiger graduates, serving as a catalyst for connecting our alumni for the intent of professional career development through networking, mentoring relationships, and volunteer opportunities.
Recently, the decision was made to invite and include ALL members of the St. X community - parents, grandparents, friends, business associates, and, of course, alumni. By opening to the larger St. X community, XBPA increases networking and educational opportunities for all participants.
The group has had tremendous success in helping to organize several speaking engagements involving high-profile St. X graduates in the business community. The kickoff event was held in 2008 and a crowd of 300 was on campus to network and hear John '71 and Rich '76 Lechleiter.
Since that time, XBPA has featured an extraordinary line-up of guest speakers. In 2009, they included Paul Charron '60, Paul Varga '81, Gary Ulmer '75, David Heintzman '77, Ja Hillebrand '87, and Greg Sandfort '73. The following year, our speakers were Chris Sternberg '83, Andrew Varga '83, Joe Steier, III '84, and Brad Rives '76.
The slate of speakers in 2011 featured Rob Samuels '92, Nick Simon '77, Mike Simon '78, Steve Lannert '69, David Hardy '83 and Colin Underhill '00. In 2012, XBPA attendees heard from Harry Rothgerber '65, Mike Grisanti '69, Earl Reed '69, Jerry Plappert '71, Eric Gunderson '90, Will Wolford '82, Ed Glasscock, Steve Sautel '87, Joe Ackerman '72, and Bob Thieman '76. In 2013, our guests included Attorney General Jack Conway '87, Marty McGee '77, Paul McGee '80, Jack Wolf '67 and Chris Burke '98.
In 2014, Pat Alagia '74 spoke about the changing landscape of health care in Louisville, Kevin Nolan, Vice President of Technology at GE Appliances provided an insider's view about the company, and Peter Buecker '91 and Bert Kremer '98 outlined ways to reduce stress and improve your life. In 2015, an evening gathering was held for JK McKnight '99, who is the founder of The Forecastle Festival and The Forecastle Foundation, a breakfast was held in June featuring Tim Reilly '81 and a breakfast was held in September with Tom McDonough '79 as the guest speaker.
2016 featured custom-made brews at Against the Grain Brewery with Adam Watson '01 and an entrepreneur panel which included Dr. Rebecca Booth, OB/GYN, author, and cofounder of VENeffect Skincare, Bobby Bailey '96, founder of Louisville Geek, and Chris Bailey '03, founder of GearBrake. We kicked off 2017 with guest speaker Chris Morris '76, the Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve. More than 125 graduates, parents and guests attended this bourbon tasting experience! In April, Laurie Wolf, founder and partner of Starlight Racing and StarLadies Racing, was the featured speaker at a breakfast gathering at Churchill Downs. Most recently, a hollywood theme saw screenwriter Carl Ellsworth '90 and actor William Mapother '83.
For information about the association or upcoming events, e-mail Michael Bush.