Tag: Fund for the Arts

Slime time: In the genteel world of old-money philanthropy, pizza king Schnatter is busting loose

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

When Tom Jurich chases the money John Schnatter gives to charity every year, it’s the ever-prowling cats that pose competition.

No — not those ones. I’m referring to the snow leopard and other big cats at Louisville Zoo, just five miles from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the University of Louisville colossus about to undergo a $55 million renovation that athletics director Jurich wants done in just two years.

Schnatter, 54, loves U of L. He’s donated more than $20 million to the 22,000-student school over the past decade, winning naming rights for his Louisville-based pizza chain for decades to come. (And Schnatter’s a Ball State graduate, to boot.)

Papa John's logoBut he also likes other charities — especially the zoo, according to the most recent IRS tax returns for his John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, which filed its 2015 return only last week. The returns show the foundation gave $111,000 to the zoo in 2012-2015; only one other recipient — U of L — got more, among the dozens of charities Schnatter and his wife Annette support. And that was on top of $1.1 million they donated to the zoo in 2008. To be sure, the zoo was just barely ahead of No. 3 on the foundation’s gift list (keep reading).

The returns offer an inside look at how one of the city’s richest couples — we’re talking $800 million — positions themselves in a pecking order where the right kind of philanthropy is the ticket to top-drawer society. This much is clear: the Schnatters don’t give a flying fig about old-money Louisville. They’re passing on virtually all the usual suspects: the Speed Museum, Actors Theatre, Kentucky Opera, the Fund for the Arts — cultural war horses favored by more established families like the Browns and their 150-year-old whiskey fortune, or the Binghams and their faded media empire from 1918.

Instead, the Schnatters devoted their relatively modest $1.9 million to 86 charities over the four years I examined, focused heavily on helping children and veterans; animal welfare and — crucially, for anxious development officers — advancing John Schnatter’s growing interest in free enterprise and limited government.

But he’s never been old money, anyway.

1980s: bustin’ out

After graduating from Ball State University in 1983, Schnatter started Papa John’s in a broom closet at his father’s tavern, Mike’s Lounge, which he famously saved from ruin with $2,800 he got selling his prized 1972 Camaro. Nearly 32 years and many millions of pies later, he stars in his own TV commercials blanketing the air, proving he’s not above getting dirty to make a sale — literally. In a Sony Pictures marketing tie-in this summer, he played a slimed Ghostbuster pizza delivery guy; that’s a still photo, top of page. (Can you imagine Brown-Forman Chairman George Garvin Brown IV dressed as a dancing mint julep for an Old Forester spot? Neither can I.)

Tom Jurich
Jurich

No matter. Schnatter’s laughing all the way  to the bank. Today, Papa John’s has more than 4,700 restaurants in 38 countries and territories. Its 22,000 employees include 750 in Louisville. And his stake in the $2.8 billion behemoth just soared past $800 million for the first time. That’s a lot of loot that’s arrived relatively fast. On a split-adjusted basis, Papa John’s stock has increased six-fold in the past five years alone. The question over at U of L: How much of that will Jurich wrangle for his $55 million stadium project? Continue reading “Slime time: In the genteel world of old-money philanthropy, pizza king Schnatter is busting loose”

Fund for the Arts raises $9 million, but campaign illustrates risk of shifting Louisville economy

The Fund for the Arts said it received $8.7 million in contributions during its fundraising campaign ended last month, up slightly from last year’s $8.6 million. The money will be distributed to more than 100 charities, schools and other nonprofits to support arts programs, according to The Courier-Journal.

Fund for the Arts logoBut in announcing the figures, the 67-year-old organization warned Louisville’s economy has made it harder to raise more money, especially when big contributions from companies such as GE Appliances and Humana may be threatened by ownership changes.

The Humana Foundation is one of the fund’s biggest supporters. Of the $8.3 million it gave to charity in 2014, $366,000 went to the arts fund, according to the foundation’s most recent IRS tax return. Only six other charities got more:

With $179 million, the Humana Foundation is the fourth-largest foundation in Louisville, according to Boulevard’s database of richest nonprofits. While it’s legally separate from the company, their leadership overlaps. The foundation’s five directors are Humana CEO Bruce Broussard; General Counsel Christopher Todoroff; board member David A. Jones Jr.; his father, company co-founder David A. Jones Sr., and Chairman Michael McCallister, a retired Humana CEO and former chairman.

Michael McCallister
McCallister

It’s unclear whether Aetna would change any of those officers — and the foundation’s giving, too — assuming the Hartford insurer completes its $37 billion purchase of Humana. That deal is subject to final regulatory approval, a hurdle that’s recently grown higher within the Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

Related: As GE Foundation gets new chief, its Louisville ties are less certain after Haier deal.

Louisville employer stocks jump again, as post-Brexit investor confidence rises; the Dow soars 285 points; and Walmart hits Amazon with free-shipping trial

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 6:18 p.m.

Brexit umbrealla
Clouds are parting.

Those employers’ shares closed higher today, as overall U.S. stocks clawed back half the ground lost after Britain’s surprise vote Thursday to quit the European Union. It was the second rally in two days on Wall Street, which had been rattled since Friday by uncertainty over the so-called Brexit. Britain’s stock market also has recouped losses in the same stretch, although other major markets in Europe and Asia have yet to bounce back fully, according to The Associated Press.

The three major U.S. stock indices all closed higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed 285 points, or 1.6%; the S&P 500, 35 points or 1.7%, and the Nasdaq, 87 points or 1.9%, according to Google Finance.

Here are today’s closing prices for the 10 employers tracked by Boulevard:

In non-Brexit news:

AMAZON: Walmart today launched a free 30-day trial of ShippingPass, its two-day shipping program to all U.S. consumers, as the world’s biggest retailer ratchets up the competition with Amazon’s Prime subscription service. ShippingPass costs $49 a year, half as much as Amazon’s $99 (Reuters and press release). Also today, Amazon slashed prices up to 50% on newly released, full-featured, unlocked Android smartphones for Prime members (company website). Amazon employs 6,000 workers in the Louisville area, at distribution centers in Jeffersonville, and in Bullitt County’s Shepherdsville.

KINDRED: Senior Vice President John Lucchese sold 4,341 shares for about $11.39 a share today for a total $49,000, the company said in a Form 4 regulatory filing (SEC document). Kindred shares closed this afternoon at $11.43, up 5%.

GE: U.S. regulators rescinded stricter oversight of the company’s finance arm, GE Capital, after saying the conglomerate had made changes that significantly reduced its threat to U.S. financial stability (Wall Street Journal). Its former residential home appliance business, now owned by Haier Group, employs 6,000 workers in Louisville.

John Yarmuth
Yarmuth

In other news, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville has once more donated his entire congressional salary — $174,000 — to charity, making good on a campaign promise when he was first elected a decade ago. The 17 recipients include three arts and humanities groups: Louisville’s Fund for the Arts, Louisville Orchestra, and the Muhammad Ali Center (WDRB).