Ted Smith

Ted Smith

Finally, we’re back!

We had to cancel last week due to the sub-zero temperatures.

But barring blizzards, floods, holidays, plagues of locusts or Martian attacks, our first Insiders Meetup of 2014 is Mon., Jan. 13.

And we’re starting the year off right with Ted Smith, chief of economic growth and innovation at Louisville Metro Government.

We’re hoping Ted will fill us in on where Our Fair City is headed economically. Also, he’s seriously plugged into the startup/entrepreneurial community here. Finally, Ted – who did post-doctorate studies in cognitive science at MIT – has national connections to tech companies such as CNET and innovation centers such as the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.

The last time we saw him was with EnterpriseCorp’s Executive Director Tendai Charasika at GE’s Entrepreneurs Open House reception for the tech community last October, one of the most exciting evenings of 2013. So it’s going to be great to hang with the cool kids Monday!

After 15 Insiders Meetups, we’ve learned two things … insiders like a good free-form, no-pressure get-together, and Vincenzo’s master bartender Joe Riggs is a magician with bourbon, Campari and Dubonet.

Or in the words of Insiders Meetup regular Matt O’Brien, with InsuraMax, we’ve perfected the “short-burst networking” format.

The event is free and open to the first 50 Insiders who register at Eventbrite here. A word to the wise: Recent Insiders Meetups with speakers have filled up quickly.

At 2013’s final event, we went waaaaay over our “limit” of 50 guests … again. More than 100 people turned out Dec. 16 to hear Gill Holland and Nancy Church discuss the now-mainstream green building trend in Louisville.

Future featured guests include:

Keith Starling, leasing and marketing manager at America Place at River Ridge, will join us Jan. 20 to discuss the success of his business park and the outlook for the entire River Ridge complex in Jeffersonville.

• Larry Kass, director of corporate communications at Heaven Hill, is scheduled to tell us Jan. 27 about the new Evan Williams Experience, Louisville’s first (and only, so far) urban bourbon distillery.

On Feb. 3, Stacey Yates, Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau vice president of Marketing Communications, and Cleo Battle, Executive Vice President, will discuss Louisville’s role as a rising star in the national convention and corporate meetings world.

So, now you know our secret agenda: Grab a cocktail, meet other Insiders and have fun. Monday Insiders Meetups are from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Vincenzo’s offers free valet parking (beginning at 5 p.m.) and drink and bar menu specials.

Joe Riggs, left, Jonathan Tarullo at Vincenzo's.

Joe Riggs, left, Jonathan Tarullo at Vincenzo’s.

Barkeep Joe Riggs, left, and events manager Jonathan Tarullo keep the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres coming.

Vincenzo’s is located at 150 S. Fifth St. But you knew that.

Previous Insiders Meetup guests include:

Gill Holland of The Green Building fame, and Nancy Church, executive director of the Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council.

Pip Pullen, XstremeMedia/Mightily, and Jason Falls, CafePress, on social media.

Residential real estate experts Jay Gulick, Kentucky Select Properties, and Tre Pryor, RE/MAX Champions

Metro Mayor Greg Fischer

Restaurant developer and attorney Chip Hamm, who is developing Doc Crow’s restaurant, The Comfy Cow ice cream parlors and other concepts. Hamm also is an attorney with Miller Wells.

Venture capitalist Bob Saunders, who helped found XLerateHealth accelerator for digital medical startups.

Mark Palmer, co-founder, Oohology digital design and marketing firm

Bill WeylandCITY Properties Group, who has developed The Henry Clay, Glassworks building and other major downtown projects

Nicki Sibley, Poe Companies. Poe Companies currently is developing RiverPark Place and other residential projects, as well as an Aloft Hotel on Main Street

Tyler Allen, co-founder of 8664

Terry McWilliams and Justin Brown, Real Estate Venture Exchange co-founders

Shine Contracting partners Matt Gilles, Gregg Rochman and Jonathan Bevan

Insider Louisville sports guru Mark Coomes