Our People

Kevin Flanery
President, Churchill Downs Racetrack
Senior Vice President, Churchill Downs Incorporated

Kevin Flanery was named the 13th president of Churchill Downs Racetrack on July 13, 2009. He also serves as a senior vice president for Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Flanery joined Churchill Downs in December 2005 as vice president of national public affairs and was promoted to senior vice president of national public affairs and communications in March 2008.

During his career, Flanery held important state government posts. He served as secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from January 2001 to December 2002 and as deputy secretary of the Cabinet between June and December of 2000. In that role Flanery served as the Commonwealth’s chief financial and procurement officer and led the Office of Finance Management, which controls the Commonwealth’s debt and investment portfolio. Flanery also had oversight of the Department of Facilities Management, which designs, builds, operates and maintains state facilities. Part of his statutory responsibilities included serving as chairman of the Consensus Forecasting Group, which determines revenues available for appropriation by the governor and legislature of Kentucky.

Flanery’s experience in state government extends to Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet where between October 1996 and May 2000 he served as deputy secretary and legislative liaison. In that post, Flanery managed all administrative functions for the Transportation Cabinet and served as its primary legislative strategist. An attorney, Flanery also served as the Transportation Cabinet’s executive director for the Office of General Counsel between February and September of 1996 where he served as chief administrative and legal officer.

Prior to joining the Churchill Downs team, Flanery served as president and chief operating officer of Hagan Properties.

Flanery holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Bellarmine College and a juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Ryan J. Jordan
General Manager

Ryan Jordan was appointed General Manager of Churchill Downs Racetrack in March 2012 and assumed duties of a post once held by Col. Matt J. Winn, the legendary executive credited with leading the Louisville, Ky. track and its premier event, the Kentucky Derby, to their ongoing status as icons in the sports and entertainment worlds.

In his role as General Manager, Jordan oversees Churchill Downs’ frontside and backside operations, Racing Office staff and ticket fulfillment operations.

Jordan ascended to the post of General Manager after joining the racetrack staff in late 2010 as a vice president with a focus on operations and facilities issues. Previously he had served the track’s parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") as Vice President of Operations for the Churchill Downs Entertainment Group ("CDE"), a wholly owned subsidiary created to expand entertainment offerings at CDI properties and other locations throughout the country. He accepted the CDE post in June 2009.

Jordan headed CDE’s operations and logistical efforts behind HullabaLOU, a three-day music festival held primarily on concert stages in the Churchill Downs infield that attracted nearly 80,000 fans in the summer of 2010, and the Fork, Cork & Style wine and food festivals held later that year at Churchill Downs and Arlington Park.

Prior to joining CDE, Jordan worked for the PGA of America as the Championship Director of the PGA Championship. In that position, Jordan was responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the Championship, including marketing, sales, operations, volunteers and administration. Jordan held this position for the 2007 PGA Championship and Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. and the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.

Prior to his assignment at the 2007 PGA Championship, Jordan served as Operations Manager for the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club where he was responsible for all logistical plans and execution, including security, emergency management, vendor oversight, government relations, and construction.

Jordan’s first event with the PGA of America came at the 2001 PGA Championship. From there Jordan held various operations positions at many of golf’s major championships including the 2003 and 2002 PGA Championship, the 2002 U.S. Open Championship and the 2004 Ryder Cup.

A graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Jordan has spent his career in sports management, marketing and event operations.

John Asher
Vice President, Racing Communications

John Asher, vice president of Racing Communications at Churchill Downs Race Track ("CDRT"), has worked in the Thoroughbred racing industry as an award-winning journalist and publicist for more than 30 years. He joined Churchill Downs, home of the world famous Kentucky Derby and the flagship operation of Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI"), in January 1997 and has served in his current position since March 1999.

As a radio journalist at WHAS-AM and WAVE-AM in Louisville, Asher earned five Eclipse Awards for "Outstanding National Radio Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing." Other horse industry honors include the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners’ Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year award in 2006; the Charles W. Engelhard Award for excellence in media coverage from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders; the Dean Eagle Award from the Knights of Columbus Bishop Spalding Council No. 2761; and a media award from the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association.

His general reporting was recognized with national honors that included a National Headliner Award and Scripps-Howard Award, and regional honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, Radio & Television News Directors Association and Kentucky Broadcasters Association. He was honored seven times by the Associated Press as Kentucky’s radio’s “Best Reporter” in large market radio.

In March 2010 Asher was selected from a pool of more than 5,500 regional nominees as one of 128 individuals recognized as Connectors by the Leadership Louisville Center ("LLC"). Connectors were described as individuals that are successful in getting things done because of their distinctive style of "trusted leadership." The Connector Project was launched in the fall of 2009 as a signature initiative for the Leadership Louisville Center’s 30th anniversary.

Asher is a 2010 graduate of the LLC’s Leadership Louisville program, and is currently is a member of its 2012 Bingham Fellows class.

The Western Kentucky University ("WKU") School of Journalism and Broadcasting recognized Asher in 2004 as its "Public Relations Practitioner of the Year." A former president of the WKU National Alumni Board of Directors, Asher was honored by that group in 2008 with a “Summit Award” for volunteer efforts on behalf of the university. He serves on the board of trustees of WLKY-32’s "Spirit of Louisville Foundation," which oversees the annual Bell Awards for community service, and the boards of directors GuardiaCare Services and Simmons College of Kentucky. He previously served on the board of directors of the Kentuckiana Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and was honored as its "Volunteer of the Year" in 2004, and the boards of the Catholic Education Foundation and Presentation Academy.

A native of Leitchfield, Ky., Asher is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Dee, and they have three daughters.

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