Why I’m Here: Lucas Jean-Marie

Why I’m Here is a collaboration between Insider Louisville and Live in Lou that highlights the stories of people who have chosen to call Louisville home — in their own words.

Whether you’ve moved here to start a new chapter in your life, or if you’ve spent time away and boomeranged back, we’d love to hear your story.

For the inaugural story of Why I’m Here, meet Lucas Jean-Marie.

About Lucas:

I currently work for Kindred Healthcare as a Corporate Development Manager, which entails executing mergers and acquisitions for the company along with broader strategic initiatives. Outside of work I enjoy traveling, staying active, and spending time with my family and friends.

How many years have you lived in Louisville?

I was in NYC for two years and moved back to Louisville about a month ago. [In all] I’ve lived in Louisville for 17 years.

What was the reason for your move back?

I was in New York City working in the finance industry. I enjoyed living in the city, but always knew in the back of my mind that it was likely was not a place I’d live forever — but I also did not want to sacrifice advancement in terms of my professional growth. Sure enough, a great job opportunity back in Louisville was presented to me that I decided to apply for and ended up accepting. Knowing that I’d have better work life balance, a lower cost of living, and the opportunity to leverage my prior work experience in the new role all added in my decision to move back. My immediate family also still lives in Louisville so it was great I’d also be able to reunite with them.

How has Louisville changed in the time you were away?

Locally-owned restaurants and stores now seem to be a common theme throughout the city, which I think is a product of Louisville being supportive of the entrepreneurs here. There are plenty of new restaurants I’m looking forward to trying, and I’ve enjoyed exploring the neighborhoods around town that were in the process of being developed while I was away.

What neighborhood do you live in, and what do you love about it?

I live in the Westport Road area of East Louisville. I enjoy the fact that the neighborhood is minutes from Tom Sawyer State Park, offers a great selection of shopping centers, and is a prime location for getting to most parts in Louisville within 15-20 minutes by car.

What’s your favorite fun fact about Louisville?

Central Park definitely was one of my favorite parts of New York City so I find it pretty interesting that the designer of the park, Frederick Law Olmsted, was also responsible for many of the parks in Louisville.

If you’re trying to convince someone to move to Louisville, what’s your pitch?

Louisville is a place where you can have a taste of what a modern city offers while not comprising on a great quality of life. The city is diverse in both the people who live here and also in their interests/hobbies, so it welcomes everyone with open arms. For professionals there are a number of great companies to work for, but if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, it is possible to successfully grow your business and the reasonable cost of living aids in doing so.

I’ve had the privilege of calling Louisville home for most of my life, but the city is also home to the fastest two minutes in sports, Fortune 500 companies, and plenty more — so there is no doubt that it can certainly become home for an outsider contemplating making the leap here.

Have your own Why I’m Here story to tell? Email [email protected] with the subject line “Why I’m Here” to get started.