AAF-Louisville Names Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr. 2018 “Louisvillian of the Year”

AAF-Louisville Names Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr.  2018 “Louisvillian of the Year”

AAF-Louisville Names Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr. 2018 “Louisvillian of the Year”


Aug 15, 2018

American Advertising Federation – Louisville Names Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr. 2018 “Louisvillian of the Year”
Honorees will be recognized with the award, the oldest of its kind in Kentucky, on September 14

LOUISVILLE – The American Advertising Federation – Louisville (AAF-Louisville) today announced the 2018 Louisvillian of the Year award honorees – Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr. The couple will be recognized at an award breakfast, presented by APPRISS, on Friday, September 14, at 8:30 a.m. at The Olmsted (3701 Frankfort Ave).

Wheeler is an education policy strategist currently serving as Executive Director of 55,000 Degrees, a multi-sector public-private partnership dedicated to increasing educational attainment in the Louisville area. She previously served in various cabinet roles in Louisville’s Metro Government, focused on enhancing education, health, and youth services through initiatives. Wheeler is the immediate past chair of the Kentucky Board of Education, having served on the board from 2010-2018. She currently serves on UofL’s Board of Overseers, the NCFL board, and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Jones is one of the leading venture capitalists in mid-America and a well-respected voice in healthcare business and innovation. He returned to Louisville after working in the U.S. Department of State and teaching national security law at Georgetown University. Jones founded Chrysalis Ventures in 1993 and currently focuses on applying digital tools to improve human well-being and efficacy. He is a director of The Humana Foundation and Treasurer of the C.E. & S. Foundation. Jones served one term as an elected member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, including two years as board chair (2015-2016).

Wheeler and Jones were chosen for their on-going advocacy and philanthropic efforts in education. The couple, married for over 30 years, met at Yale University and discovered a passion for education while teaching in China. It was there that they saw how education can be the key to unlocking human potential and breaking down barriers.

“Although typically presented to an individual, AAF is known to award couples when their joint professional, civic, and philanthropic contributions to the community are so extraordinary,” said AAF-Louisville President, Chris Nation. “Wheeler and Jones were a clear choice for Louisvillian of the Year for their passionate commitment to education advocacy, working tirelessly to break the cycle of poverty through education.”

AAF-Louisville’s Louisvillian of the Year award is the oldest of its kind in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, having recognized outstanding Louisville community members since 1950. This year’s winners were selected by a panel of past honorees. Previous honorees include Chairman and CEO of Republic Bank, Steve Trager, former Mayor of Louisville David Armstrong, Tori Murden McClure, George Fischer, Bernard M. Trager, Alice K. Houston, Mary Bingham, Muhammad Ali, Junior Bridgeman, and Mary H. Griffith.

Tickets for the Louisvillian of the Year award breakfast are $35 for AAF-Louisville members and $50 for non-members. Reserved seating is available with table sponsorship. Tickets may be purchased online here. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 10:00 a.m. Media are welcome to attend. Media credentials will serve as a ticket.

About AAF – Louisville
American Advertising Federation – Louisville, formerly the Advertising Federation of Louisville (AdFed), with more than 500 members, represents Louisville’s $1 billion advertising industry and is a Division I member of the American Advertising Federation. AAF-Louisville is a twelve-time AAF Division 1 “Club of the Year” winner, receiving the award in 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2017 — competing with clubs in top-tier markets including Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota, New York and Philadelphia. Originally incorporated on January 30, 1908, today’s AAF-Louisville is the area’s oldest membership organization for marketing, advertising, and other communications professionals. To learn more, visit www.aaflouisville.org.