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    Knapek, 45, is president of the Leadership Louisville Center, which is in its 40th year. (Alumni of Leadership Louisville programs voted on this issue’s list of Powerful People.) Knapek lives in Indian Hills.
     

    Describe the space you’re in right now.

    “My office with artwork painted by the talented team at Leadership Louisville.”

     

    Earliest childhood memory?

    “Being with cousins. Cousins are great because you spend just enough time together to know each other like family but enough time apart so you don’t fight like family.”

     

    When/where are you most creative?

    “During a good brainstorming meeting, I just let the ideas float and listen to the collection of ‘what-ifs?’ Afterward, when it’s quiet, I grab a blank sheet of paper and put a pen in hand and start to diagram my thoughts. It looks a lot like hieroglyphics — with symbols and arrows and interlocking circles — but for me it’s a roadmap.”

     

    If you could be mayor of Louisville for a day, what would you do?

    “Direct more money to beautification projects like what Brightside does. More daffodils on the interstate. Knockout roses on the exit ramps. Flowerpots on Main Street. More please!”

     

    The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public?

    “Always awkward to run into professional connections at the pool! Just because it’s called a swimsuit does not mean it’s an appropriate time for networking.”

     

    In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?

    “I help people find and amp up their superpowers. (Also, I attend A LOT of meetings. Maybe making meetings awesome is MY superpower?!?!)”

     

    The most unusual benefit of your job?

    “I am constantly surrounded by the smartest and most interesting people in town.”

     

    Your drink?

    “My husband Mark is a great bartender, so if he’s pouring, I am drinking. No mixes in our house. Only real ingredients — fresh mint, squeeze of lime, agave. He makes a particularly delightful margarita.”

     

    Favorite possession?

    “The art(ifacts) from my boys as they have grown up. Artwork with handprints and Mother’s Day cards with silly spelling are priceless.”

     

    Favorite thing hanging on the walls at home?

    “An oil painting of a field of poppies that we bought at the Piazza Navona in Rome.”

     

    What’s on your nightstand?

    “My Kindle. I am currently working my way through Reese Witherspoon’s booklist.”

     

    What are you wearing right now?

    “Hmmm, I am not sure how to read this question. Is this like a red-carpet question or a 900-number thing?”

     

    What’s on your credit-card statement?

    “A bunch of donations to the Community Foundation’s Give for Good day.”

     

    What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other?

    “Smoked pecans from Bourbon Barrel Foods. Not a dish, but they are delish!”

     

    Favorite Kentucky Derby winner?

    “American Pharoah. We brought our kids to that Derby, and I have this great pic of them leaning right on the rail with AP flying past only a few strides from the finish line. My little guy was six at the time, and he bet on Pharoah. I let him walk right up to the window and cash his own ticket. #momoftheyear”

     

    What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “I only need one. My brother Stewart passed away last year after a battle with cancer that robbed him of his ability to communicate. Oh, to have one last dinner conversation with him.”

     

    Best book you’ve read over the past year?

    “Just finished Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana, about a Cuban-American woman who returns to Havana years after Castro exiled her grandmother. She is there to discover her heritage and her family’s mysterious history.”

     

    Fill in the blank: “­__________’s Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building.

    “John Asher.” [Asher, the VP of racing communications at Churchill Downs, died in late August.]

     

    What’s something you wish you had known when you were younger?

    “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

     

    One thing Louisville is missing?

    “A network TV show filmed here! Like Nashville but with bourbon.”

     

    If forced, what tattoo would you get?

    “Ruby Slippers, with these words: You Had the Power All Along, My Dear.”

     

    PLUS 8 MORE

    An Actors Theatre production about your life would be called…
    Ruthless Prioritization.”

    What word do you overuse?
    “So….”

    Least-favorite word?
    “Tangential. Stumble over it every time.”

    Can’t-miss TV show?
    THIS. IS. US.

    What song’s been stuck in your head?
    “‘Blackbird,’ by the Beatles.”

    Have any superstitions?
    “Only Stevie Wonder.”

    Favorite movie scene?
    “The ‘Ha ha, you fool!’ scene from Princess Bride.”

    What triggers your “aha!” moment?
    “Good facts PLUS incredible story.”

    This originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine as the 21 Questions. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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