LIFTOFF Communities

Each LIFTOFF cohort completes a rigorous experiential program to prepare them for launching a business in the Central Kentucky Bluegrass region. The first and most essential lesson the cohort learned (and then practiced) was the entrepreneurial mindset. They learned and applied CentreWorks’ Human-Centered Innovation Approach (HCIA) to develop their value proposition. They learned the basics of the business model along with foundational financial, legal, and digital marketing principles. The CentreWorks’ mission includes growing multiple LIFTOFF communities to build a regional innovation and startup culture and to spark new economic development and social enterprise opportunities. Keep an eye on our website for the next LIFTOFF community formation and consider joining.


LIFTOFF Community 1

Mimi Becker

Serving the arts community

Megan Berketis

Greek-American delivery and takeout restaurant

Roni Gilpin

Artist assistance and visualization aid to buying original art

Karen Hughes

Far Cry Farms — Gift baskets with an onsite farm shopping experience

Katherine Lander

Platforms for artist to share their work and build business acumen

Margaret Levi

Margaret Levi Jewelry – Jeweled lanyards

Diana Linville

Enrichment space for students

Nancy Mann

Exploring agricultural land use ideas

Gina Nicolleti-Bellinger

Intersect — Student leadership workshops & curriculum
@GinaNicBell (twitter)

Melissa Sheene

Mabel’s — Growing and enjoying herbs and vegetables

Kate Snyder

Children’s bookstore with artist studio
@willaray_art (instagram)

Susanna Thomas

Susanna Thomas, former journalist, social activist and consultant, Princeton University graduate and executive of a nonprofit, is a success coach who helps people maximize their potential and realize their personal and professional goals. Her aim is to inspire all to embrace and hone leadership skills to be used in bettering their lives, their places of work, and their communities. She works with individuals and groups and holds leadership workshops with horses on her farm in Mercer County.

Contact info: Susanna Thomas 859-421-2948

Melody Wray

reSOARces — Supporting disabled individuals and their families to employ required assistance
Facebook: reSOARces

Kathy York

York’s Corks and More — Repurposed, upcycled, functional art

A special thank you to CentreWorks’ RCorps student, Adonis Logan, for his role in support and facilitation of Community #1. Also, we are appreciative of the area businesses who supported LIFTOFF with guest appearances from their professional staff: Robinson, Hughes & Christopher Accountants, Sheehan & Barnett Law, Farmers National Bank and the Idea Farm.

FUSION Communities

The FUSION Community Collaboration Groups are initiated to make our community stronger. CentreWorks is using a human-centered innovation approach to address this community challenge. We have assembled a team of bright, passionate, and community-minded students self-proclaimed “Team FUSION” to promote and facilitate community involvement in this endeavor. Team FUSION actively listens to understand and proactively seeks representation of all community voices in their support of this initiative.


FUSION Community 1

Access to Fresh Food

John Bingaman ’24

“I’m excited to be a part of CentreWorks because of its core of empathy. This is a program that teaches students about success and leadership from a structure that is so rare yet so important. I know that through CentreWorks I’m learning more about myself as a leader and also as a human. CentreWorks is building connections amongst students and all community members!”

Maddy Jenkins

Maddy Jenkins ’22

“I am thrilled to be working on an initiative aimed at addressing food access in Danville/Boyle County alongside a dedicated team that shares many of my passions for connecting communities.”
Phoenix Staten

Phoenix Staten ’23

“Working with the CentreWorks FUSION has been extremely wonderful. I love our team’s ability to collaborate with each other at Centre and in the Danville community. CentreWorks provides a bridge for students who are wanting to be involved in something greater and allows for the opportunity for students to intentionally connect with others.”

Avery Duechle

Averey Duechle ‘24

“Being part of CentreWorks allows me to become inclusive within the community of Danville as well as personal growth of leadership and communication that is crucial to assessing situations attentively and wholeheartedly.”

Taylor Kennedy

Taylor Kennedy ‘24

“As the Student Ambassador for Centreworks, I am determined to collaborate with community to create leadership opportunities for students.”

Lyric Hyde ‘23

“Being a part of CentreWorks and FUSION means that not only can I work to help strengthen the Danville community, but that I can also closely connect with the residents of Danville who are directly impacted and get their input every step of the way.”

Lucy Swenson

Lucy Swenson ‘24

“I am ecstatic to join the FUSION team because of the team itself. Centre Works is all about the human-centered approach, and my dynamic and empathetic peers, mentors, and fellow community members daily inspire me to strive towards understanding and dedication in our efforts to approach community challenges.”