By Lucy M. Pritchett

If you happen to be at any one of the Kentucky Derby Festival events this year, look for a small woman with a big smile, bursting with enthusiasm and energy. That will be Lisa Stevenson, the 2017 chairman of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Please stop her and say ‘hello.’

Lisa has served on the KDF board for nine years and served on the executive board the last seven years. During that time she has worked all the A events — the miniMarathon, Thunder Over Louisville, and the Pegasus Parade. “I was too tired to be tired,” she says about those times. “My day might begin with pushing porta potties around and end that evening having dinner with celebrities.”

When she is not wearing the KDF black jacket with tan horses that identifies her as a member of the executive board, Lisa oversees the Academic Learning Lab at duPont Manual High School, where she has worked for 28 years. The lab is the place where students — they all call her Miss Lisa — can come to enhance learning, get peer tutoring, and take online classes for high school credit. Lisa is also the school’s assistant athletic director and attends home games, sells tickets, works the concession stand, and, as she says, “does whatever needs to be done.”

Lisa uses a planner to stay on track with managing her multiple responsibilities. Photos by Patti Hartog 

Her duties as KDF chairman include showing up at the majority of the 70 events to make opening remarks and pass out rewards and appreciations. Most importantly, she says, “I wear The Jacket.” Lisa has put a little spin on hers and had a special lining made from patterned material in the Festival’s colors of orange, teal, purple, and yellow. “The lining doesn’t really show, but I know it’s there. I think it’s fun.”

At school or at KDF events you won’t find her without her Garmin activity tracker watch, and she carries extra goodies in her Jam tote featuring gold and silver fleurs-de-lis on a bright pink background. Fitting accessories for this woman and her many activities.

But, here are three things that absolutely work to keep her organized and moisturized.

Balfour six-year reference calendar
I have to keep my school life, family life, and Derby Festival life all in one place. I picked up this planner at the FedEx store in St. Matthews. I like that it has so many years so that I can look back and see what I have been doing or ahead to see what needs to be done. Of course I personalize it with my own cover. I sometimes change that out after a while if I get tired of the one look.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
This is a light and breathable moisturizer. I buy it at Macy’s. It costs $27, which may sound expensive, but a little bit goes a long way. Believe me, if I was traveling and I had forgotten this, I would spend $30 on a cab to find a place that sold it.

Bonnie Bell Dr Pepper Lip Smacker
I have used these Lip Smackers since 1977. I have tubes all over my house. I have gotten friends hooked on it. It’s a good product that costs $2 at Walgreens. It puts a little color on my lips and it is very comforting and soothing to me. If I had to, I would spend $60 on a cab if I found myself out of town without my Lip Smacker.

(To impress upon you how important this product is to her, Lisa was in a panic when she couldn’t find the tube in her purse to show me. Her purse is a whole other world in which she carries a little box of chocolates, her inhaler, lots of little colorful pouches full of more treasures, a screwdriver, and a corkscrew. And that was just the top layer. This woman is prepared!)