CENTRE ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR FOR 2001
CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED
The sun shines brightest on Kentucky each spring, when on the first Saturday in May, the eyes of the nation and much of the world focus on Churchill Downs. The running of the Kentucky Derby causes natives to swell with pride and others to look with admiration upon Kentucky and its rich traditions rooted in the breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds.
With the first Kentucky Derby having been run in 1875, this aspect of Kentucky’s cultural history now spans three centuries. Nonetheless, the longevity of a tradition is no guarantee of its future; traditions endure and remain vibrant only when creative people continue to invest energy and resources in them. Fortunately for the Kentucky Derby, it is hosted by an organization, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), that is itself a Thoroughbred in corporate America.
While CDI has existed as a legal entity since early in the 20th century, the Company has changed dramatically in recent years. In the process, it has become a leader in the horse racing industry and a model of strategic growth and modern corporate management. CDI now owns racetracks in Kentucky, Illinois, California, and Florida and has interests in a pari-mutuel operation in Indiana as well as various racing services companies. In the last year, CDI won acclaim for its merger with Arlington Park, another of Thoroughbred racing’s venerable tracks.
A commitment to community service is one of the guiding principles of CDI’s management philosophy. This commitment has found its most meaningful expression not in the Company’s promotional literature but in CDI’s actions; as a result, CDI is recognized as a model corporate citizen. Those making plans for the vice presidential debate at Centre College experienced this commitment first hand when CDI’s management team was asked for guidance and assistance in preparing for a national media event. The response was enthusiastic, generous, and enormously helpful.
In grateful recognition of its role in maintaining Kentucky’s premier position in the grand tradition of Thoroughbred racing, its business leadership, and its commitment to service in communities where it operates, Centre College is proud to recognize Churchill Downs Incorporated as its Centre Associate of the Year for 2001.