By Bella Portaro-Kueber

Influencing young philanthropists in our city comes with a big responsibility. Meet two women who have taken that responsibility to heart — Ina Miller and Marcella Kragel, founders of the event planning company Ina Marcella Events.

Little did they know that the foundation of their future was set the moment they took the field together in high school by supporting one another as team members at Atherton High School of Louisville.

In addition to running their company, they are the co-executive directors of the Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council. The LYPC gives teenagers the opportunity to learn how to run a non-profit (501(c)3) philanthropic foundation – and then helps them to put what they learn into practice by making grants of $5,000 in the Louisville area. Its annual celebration and awards dinner at the Kentucky Science Center was a showcase led by the students when they presented their respective organizations with $20,000 in grants.

Ina Miller (left) and Marcella Kragel are using their talents and resources to plan an event that supports non-profit organizations. Photo by Sunni Wigginton 

They can use their event planning skills for that event, but it was merely one of their 38 events in 2017. Whether planning small dinners for a bourbon distillery or large-scale productions at massive venues, Ina and Marcella create distinctive events that focus on fundraising, food, and fashion. Their keen sense of taste and attention to detail is a result of over 20 years of combined experience and a strong artistic vision.

With their demanding schedule, they’re used to working and organizing to stay prepared for anything to happen, and they have to keep their “why” with them to power them through. “One day before we had a big meeting during the busiest time of the year, we decided to write out on different post-it notes why we’re doing this. Marci and I wrote out three words each and we stuck them on our wall in the office, and anytime we have a bad day we look at them and we know that we’re doing this because we love making an impact as a team in our community and being a great example as mothers.”