Bevin appoints Brown-Forman, Glenview Trust, other big-money heavy-hitters to new UofL board; Schnatter and Frazier raise profiles

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:42 p.m.

Matt Bevin

Tightening his grip on the University of Louisville, Gov. Matt Bevin today added 10 more members to his reconfigured board of trustees, appointing a slew of business heavy hitters, including at least one with long family ties to the board.

Among them: Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter; Glenview Trust Co. founder and chairman David Grissom, who’s also a retired Humana executive; and Brown-Forman heiress Sandra Frazier.

Schnatter is a major UofL booster, donating millions for naming rights to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He and conservative industrialist Charles Koch donated $6.3 million to the school in March 2015 to establish an on-campus center to study the virtues of free enterprise; responding to criticism, the university said the money wouldn’t curtail academic freedom.

Sandra Frazier

Frazier, who is now cycling off the Brown-Forman board of directors, also is a director of Glenview Trust, a boutique investment firm that serves more than 500 of the area’s wealthiest families. Her late father, Harry Frazier, is a former UofL vice chairman, and her uncle, the late Owsley Brown Frazier, was once chairman.

Two other Bevin appointees are private equity and venture capitalists, according to The Courier-Journal: Dale Boden, now a partner with Weller Equity; and Douglas Cobb, who co-founded Chrysalis Ventures with David A. Jones Jr., a Humana director. Jones’ father, David Sr., co-founded Humana and is also a Glenview Trust director. The 10-member Glenview board comprises some of Louisville’s  biggest power brokers.

Here’s Bevin’s order, with the full list of appointees and their terms.

Bevin’s announcement today follows his surprise June 17 dismissal of the previous 20-seat board, which he called “dysfunctional” in its oversight of the university and President James Ramsey. He replaced them with an interim three-member board, which he filled out with today’s appointments. The school has been roiled with controversy over Ramsey’s seven-figure compensation; a sex scandal involving the marquee men’s basketball program, plus other administrative missteps. Ramsey offered to resign when Bevin dissolved the board, but a final decision on his future was deferred to the next board.

In other news:

KFC: An environmental group is using National Fried Chicken Day on July 6 (yes: there really is such a thing) to renewing its push to get KFC to stop buying chickens from suppliers who use antibiotics meant for humans. The Natural Resources Defense Council says of the drugs overuse contributes to the growing epidemic of drug-resistant infections in humans. The NRDC originally launched its campaign in May, including appearing at KFC parent Yum’s annual shareholders meeting in Louisville. It’s included a mascot named Auntie Biotic –a pill-covered chicken — that stars in a series of online videos with KFC customers; that’s one, above (blog post).

AMAZON: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren singled out Amazon and two of technology’s other biggest players in a speech about the perils of “consolidation and concentration” throughout the economy. In particular, the retailer “uses its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers,” she said in a speech today. The other two companies were Apple and Google. Warren’s already high profile and influence have only  grown in recent days as she has joined likely Democratic White House nominee Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail (Recode). The retailer has quietly launched its first-ever private-label foods, now selling Happy Belly coffee and Mama Bear baby food, in a move that confirms previous speculation the line was in the works (Cnet).

FORD said it had now sold more than one million F-150 pickups with energy-saving EcoBoost-brand engines in the United States since January 2011. The engines get an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway (press release). Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville employs 5,100 workers making F-250 and F-550 Super Duty pickups, plus Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators.

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