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Derby Day Diversity: How Vietnamese and Asian Nail Businesses Enhance the Kentucky Derby Experience with Di Tran and Gene McLean

In the vibrant setting of the Rotary Club of Louisville’s weekly luncheon, an exceptional gathering unfolded featuring Di Tran, a prominent figure in the Louisville community, and Gene McLean, a seasoned journalist with deep roots in the Kentucky horse racing scene. The occasion was timely, as it occurred just weeks before the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby, a cornerstone event of Kentucky’s cultural and economic landscape.

Di Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant who has made Louisville his home for nearly three decades, shared insights into his journey of continual learning and growth within the city. His story is a testament to the enriching experience of integrating into and uplifting the community around him. Di, an advocate for the nail salon industry, highlighted the significance of manicure and pedicure services as an integral part of the Derby culture. He emphasized that for many, getting their nails done is a cherished ritual during the Derby festivities.

Gene McLean, president and publisher of The Pressbox, enriched the luncheon with tales from his extensive career covering Kentucky’s horse racing scene. Having grown up in a family deeply connected to horse racing, Gene’s personal anecdotes and professional experiences offered a fascinating glimpse into the world of thoroughbred racing. He spoke with passion about the evolution of the Kentucky Derby and its profound impact on the local economy and culture.

This meeting underscored the unique intersections of community, culture, and industry that define Louisville. It served as a reminder of the dynamic interactions that contribute to the city’s charm and vitality, particularly highlighted by the anticipation surrounding the landmark 150th Kentucky Derby. Both Di Tran and Gene McLean exemplified the spirit of mutual learning and community engagement, embodying the core values championed by the Rotary Club of Louisville.

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Navigating the Tax Season: Insights and Updates for 2024

The tax filing season is a crucial time for individuals and businesses alike, and staying informed about the latest changes and offerings is key to a successful filing experience. As we navigate the 2024 tax season, several updates and resources have been introduced to assist taxpayers in this annual endeavor.

Direct File: A New Way to File for Free One of the most notable introductions this year is the IRS Direct File program. This new tax filing service is available in 12 states and allows eligible taxpayers to file their 2023 federal tax returns online for free, directly with the IRS. The program is designed to be user-friendly, providing a step-by-step guide to ensure that tax returns are complete and accurate. It also offers support through a live chat feature, available in English and Spanish, to assist taxpayers throughout the filing process.

Extended Hours and Saturday Events Recognizing the need for additional support during the tax season, the IRS has extended its hours and introduced Saturday events at many of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). These centers will be open on select Saturdays to provide in-person help with tax account issues, identity authentication, and other services. However, it’s important to note that cash payments and tax return preparation services are not available during these special events.

Multilingual Resources In an effort to make tax information more accessible, the IRS has expanded its resources to include translations in multiple languages. Taxpayers can now find key topics and federal tax information in languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole, and Chinese (both traditional and simplified) on the IRS website.

Protecting Against Scams As always, the IRS warns taxpayers to be vigilant against scams, especially during the tax season. Scammers often use tactics such as impersonating IRS agents, promising large refunds, or threatening legal action to steal personal and financial information. Taxpayers are reminded to be cautious and to report any suspicious activities.

Filing Deadline and Refunds The filing deadline for the 2023 tax returns is April 15, 2024, for most taxpayers. Those who request an extension to file have until October 15, 2024, to submit their tax returns. It’s important to note that an extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. As for refunds, taxpayers who file electronically and choose direct deposit can typically expect to receive their refunds in less than 21 days.

Conclusion The 2024 tax filing season brings new resources and services to help taxpayers navigate the process more smoothly. From the introduction of the Direct File program to extended hours at TACs and multilingual resources, the IRS is committed to improving the customer experience. As always, taxpayers are encouraged to file accurately and stay vigilant against scams to ensure a successful tax season.

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The Rise of Women and the Inevitable Shift Towards Diversity and Inclusion

In the past few decades, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in the landscape of higher education. Since the turn of the millennium, there has been a noticeable trend: more women are graduating from college than men. The statistics speak volumes, with women now making up 60%-70% of college graduates. This shift is not just a number; it’s a reflection of a broader societal transformation that is reshaping our expectations and norms.

Women Leading the Way

The increasing number of women in higher education is a testament to the progress we’ve made in gender equality. It’s a sign that barriers are being broken down and that women are claiming their rightful place in academic and professional spheres. This trend is particularly inspiring because it challenges the traditional expectations that have long held women back. The notion that men should be the primary breadwinners or that women should prioritize family over career is becoming outdated. Today, women are leading by example, showing that they can excel in both academia and the workforce.

The Parallel with Diversity and Inclusion

The rise of women in higher education is parallel to another significant trend: the increasing diversity of our society. Just as women are breaking through the glass ceiling, people of color and immigrants are making their presence felt in all areas of life. Predictions suggest that what we currently consider minorities will soon form the majority. This shift is inevitable, yet it’s a reality that some still try to resist.

The resistance to diversity and inclusion is reminiscent of the challenges women have faced in their journey towards equality. Just as women have had to fight for their place in academia and the workforce, so too do minorities and immigrants face obstacles in their pursuit of recognition and respect. The reluctance to embrace diversity and inclusion is a reflection of a fear of change, a clinging to outdated norms that no longer serve our evolving society.

Embracing the Inevitable

The rise of women in higher education and the increasing diversity of our population are not just trends; they are indicators of a fundamental shift in our society. They signal a move towards a more inclusive, equitable world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of gender, race, or background.

As we move forward, it’s essential that we embrace this shift. We must recognize that diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords but are critical to our progress as a society. By valuing the contributions of women, people of color, and immigrants, we can build a stronger, more vibrant future for all.

In conclusion, the rise of women in higher education is not just a statistic; it’s a symbol of a broader movement towards equality and inclusion. It’s a reminder that change is not only possible but inevitable. As we look to the future, let’s celebrate the progress we’ve made and continue to push for a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.


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A Tale of Resilience and Belief: Di Tran’s BELIEF Bourbon and Steven Yeng’s Skrewball Whiskey

In the heart of Louisville, KY, a remarkable meeting took place at Liquor Barn between two extraordinary individuals, Di Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant and proud American, and Steven Yeng, a refugee from Cambodia. Both men, hailing from humble beginnings, have carved out successful paths in the world of entrepreneurship and spirits, showcasing the power of resilience, belief, and the American dream.

Di Tran, a man of many talents, is not only a nurse, licensed nail technician, and computer engineer but also a serial entrepreneur. With a journey that began in dirt-poor Vietnam, Di and his family sought refuge in the United States, where they worked tirelessly to build a better life. Di’s relentless drive and passion for education led him to establish multiple businesses, including the Louisville Beauty Academy and a chain of nail salons, before venturing into the world of bourbon with his exclusive BELIEF collectible bourbon.

On the other side, Steven Yeng’s story mirrors that of Di Tran’s. As a refugee from war-torn Cambodia, Steven grew up in a world far removed from the comforts many take for granted. His fascination with peanut butter, a novel flavor in his new homeland, inspired him to create a best-selling peanut butter whiskey cocktail at his bar and restaurant. Alongside his wife Brittany, a lawyer and chemist, Steven developed Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, a spirit that celebrates diversity and the unconventional paths that lead to success.

The meeting between Di Tran and Steven Yeng was a moment of mutual admiration and recognition of their shared journey from adversity to prosperity. Di Tran, out of excitement and respect, offered Steven a bottle of his BELIEF bourbon, a symbol of their common belief in the power of hard work and determination. Their encounter was a testament to the fact that, regardless of one’s background, success is attainable through perseverance and a strong belief in one’s dreams.

As they exchanged stories and took pictures, Di Tran and Steven Yeng looked forward to future conversations, each wishing the other continued success. Their meeting serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us that the American dream is alive and well, fueled by the belief in oneself and the unwavering spirit to overcome obstacles.

In a world where stories of success often overshadow the struggles behind them, the tales of Di Tran and Steven Yeng stand as beacons of hope, reminding us that from the most challenging circumstances can emerge the most remarkable achievements. Here’s to the dreamers, the believers, and the trailblazers who show us that anything is possible when you hold onto your belief and strive for greatness.

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Di Tran Reflects on His Journey from UPS Intern to Serial Entrepreneur at Event with UPS Airlines President Bill Moore

At a recent event, Di Tran, a humble member of the Louisville community and a serial entrepreneur, had the opportunity to attend a meeting with Bill Moore, President of UPS Airlines. There, Moore elaborated on the wonders of UPS Worldport in Louisville, the heart of UPS’s global air network, and the technological advancements that facilitate the movement of 2 million packages each night.

Moore shared that UPS’s aircraft, with the capacity to virtually pilot themselves, are a testament to the company’s innovative spirit, with two pilots present largely for backup and redundancy. This high level of automation ensures efficiency and safety, supported by a workforce of 3,000 pilots and 1,500 mechanics, cementing UPS as a top employer and a source of pride for the local community.

A special note was made on UPS’s educational initiatives, offering part-time employees free tuition and full health benefits for just four hours of work daily. This program not only highlights UPS’s stature as a leading employer but also its commitment to nurturing the next generation—a cause close to Di Tran’s heart, given his work with Louisville Beauty Academy, the Louisville Institute of Technology and Kentucky Pharmacy.

During the event, Di Tran, who once walked the halls of UPS as a computer engineering intern, recounted his early days at the company. He expressed profound gratitude for the invaluable experience gained there, which laid the foundation for his journey into entrepreneurship. As a business owner and mentor, Tran’s story is a testament to the opportunities that a company like UPS can provide to young, ambitious individuals.

The meeting, punctuated by Moore’s insights and Tran’s reflections, served as a remarkable narrative of growth, technology, and community contribution. It was a vivid illustration of how one’s career trajectory can evolve from intern to industry leader, and how companies like UPS play a critical role in shaping the professional landscapes of cities like Louisville. Di Tran left the event inspired and thankful, carrying with him the lessons of a past enriched by opportunity and a future brimming with potential for the young minds of Louisville.

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Reflecting on Aging: A Personal Journey at 41

As I navigate through my early forties, an unusual feeling has begun to settle within me—a sensation of weirdness as I observe the undeniable signs of aging not only in myself but also among the people around me. It’s a phase of life where the youthful dreams of fame, power, recognition, money, and material wealth start to give way to a more profound understanding of what truly matters.

Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a group of friends in their mid-sixties. The topic of family gatherings came up, and one of them responded with a poignant smile, “Yes, often at funerals now.” This statement, though delivered with a touch of humor, struck a chord deep within me. It served as a stark reminder of the relentless march of time and the inevitability of change.

In our younger years, we are often consumed by a relentless pursuit of achievements and acquisitions, believing them to be the epitome of success. Yet, as we age, the realization dawns on us that perhaps we’ve been chasing shadows. The true essence of life doesn’t reside in the accumulation of wealth or accolades but in the moments we share, the time we spend, and the values we cherish.

Di Tran, reflecting on this shift in perspective, captures the essence of this transition beautifully. He posits that instead of chasing the ephemeral, we should aim to add value to every second of our existence. This doesn’t necessarily mean making grand gestures or undertaking monumental tasks. Rather, it’s about enriching our lives and those of others through kindness, compassion, understanding, and gratitude.

The acknowledgment that our time is finite should not fill us with dread but rather with a sense of urgency to live more meaningfully. It’s a call to cherish the present, to appreciate the beauty in the mundane, and to acknowledge the impermanence of life itself. This realization brings a certain clarity, shifting our focus from the pursuit of what we can accumulate to what we can contribute.

As we get older, the importance of building and nurturing relationships becomes more apparent. The bonds we forge with family and friends, the love we share, and the memories we create become the most cherished treasures of our lives. These are the things that endure, the legacies we leave behind.

In light of this, the witty remark about family gatherings at funerals serves as a poignant reminder of the cycles of life. It underscores the importance of coming together, not just in moments of sorrow, but in celebration of life itself. It’s a reminder that in the grand scheme of things, the moments we truly live for are those filled with love, laughter, and the company of those we hold dear.

In conclusion, the realization that we, and everyone around us, are getting older can initially feel unsettling. However, it also offers an invaluable perspective shift. It teaches us that the pursuit of time and the value we add to every second of our lives is far more rewarding than any materialistic endeavor. As Di Tran aptly reflects, it’s about being thankful for the time we still have and making the most of it by living a life filled with purpose, love, and gratitude.

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Empathy, Love, and Care: The Cornerstones of Joyful Living and Business Success

In the hustle of modern life and the competitive world of business, it’s easy to overlook the fundamental human values that enrich our lives. Di Tran, an accomplished author and successful small business owner, advocates a powerful mantra: “Always start with empathy, love, and care for each other.” This philosophy, he believes, is not just the key to personal happiness but also a pivotal factor in business success.

The Role of Empathy in Business and Life

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is more than just a social skill. It’s a bridge that connects individuals, fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding. In the business world, empathy translates to understanding customer needs, empathizing with employee challenges, and building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. This connection leads to more meaningful interactions, loyal customers, and a positive workplace environment.

Love as a Guiding Principle

Love in this context goes beyond the romantic notion. It’s about cultivating a passion for what you do and showing genuine care for the people around you. Di Tran’s approach to love in business is about creating value with a sense of purpose and passion. This love for one’s work and for the people involved creates a contagious energy that can motivate teams, attract customers, and create a loyal following.

The Importance of Care

Caring in business is often undervalued, yet it’s a crucial component of long-term success. It means going the extra mile for your clients, taking care of your employees, and paying attention to the small details that matter. It’s about creating a culture where people feel valued and respected, which in turn leads to higher productivity and a more harmonious work environment.

Integrating These Values in Everyday Life

Di Tran’s philosophy extends beyond the confines of business. Integrating empathy, love, and care into everyday life can lead to a more fulfilling and joyful existence. It’s about being present in your relationships, listening actively, and showing kindness and understanding in all interactions.

Challenges and Rewards

Adopting this approach isn’t without its challenges. It requires a shift in mindset, especially in a business world often driven by profit and competition. However, the rewards are manifold. Businesses that operate with empathy, love, and care tend to have more engaged employees, satisfied customers, and a positive public image. On a personal level, living by these values can lead to deeper connections, personal growth, and an overall sense of well-being.


Di Tran’s message is clear and profound: embracing empathy, love, and care in all facets of life isn’t just a noble path but a practical one for achieving success and joy. In a world often marked by indifference and detachment, these values stand as beacons of hope and guiding principles for a fulfilling life and a successful business. As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, let us remember that at the heart of every interaction, every decision, and every relationship, should be empathy, love, and care.

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The Stepping Stones of Success: Creating Value by Empowering Others


In the realm of personal and professional success, the greatest achievement often lies not in what we accomplish individually but in how we serve as catalysts for the success of others. The true measure of value is found when we become the foundation upon which others build their dreams and ambitions.

The Essence of Being a Foundation for Others

The idea that our greatest contribution may lie in supporting others is a profound shift from traditional notions of success. When we become a platform for others, we offer more than just help; we provide opportunities for growth, learning, and achievement. This concept is encapsulated in the words of leadership expert John C. Maxwell, who said, “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

Examples from History and Modern Times

Throughout history, there are countless examples of individuals and organizations that have thrived by being the bedrock for others. Educational institutions, for instance, derive their value from the success of their students. Similarly, in the business world, companies like Google have created platforms that enable countless other businesses to flourish.

The Ripple Effect of Empowerment

When we empower others, the impact extends far beyond the immediate beneficiaries. This ripple effect can transform communities and societies. As social activist Marian Wright Edelman aptly put it, “You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.” This relentless pursuit of enabling others leads to a collective upliftment.

Challenges and Responsibilities

Embracing the role of a stepping stone for others comes with its challenges. It requires humility, patience, and a genuine desire to see others succeed. The responsibility is significant, as the impact of our support can shape the trajectories of those we aid.


In conclusion, the true value lies not just in our achievements but in our ability to be the foundation for others to create their own value. This approach to life and work fosters a more collaborative, empathetic, and ultimately successful society. As we endeavor to be platforms for a greater good, we not only enrich the lives of others but also find deeper meaning and satisfaction in our own.

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Gratitude in 2024: Embracing a Culture of Thankfulness

Gratitude, a timeless virtue, has taken center stage in 2024, transforming our personal lives, communities, and workplaces. As we navigate this year, starting all things with gratitude isn’t just a trend; it’s a powerful tool for cultivating positivity and resilience.

Gratitude Shapes Our Days: Each day in 2024 begins with a moment of thankfulness. Whether it’s a gratitude journal entry or a mental acknowledgment of something positive, this practice sets a tone of optimism and contentment.

Gratitude in the Community: Communities have embraced gratitude as a unifying force. Local events, from gratitude walks to thank-you note campaigns, foster a sense of togetherness and appreciation for the often-overlooked aspects of community life.

Workplace Culture Revolutionized: Companies in 2024 have integrated gratitude into their cultures. Regular expressions of appreciation among colleagues, gratitude boards, and recognition programs have enhanced employee morale and productivity.

Education Emphasizes Gratefulness: Schools have adopted gratitude-focused curriculums. Teaching children to express and recognize gratitude contributes to their emotional and social development, preparing them for a more compassionate future.

Gratitude and Mental Health: Mental health professionals emphasize gratitude’s role in wellbeing. Practicing gratitude has been linked to reduced stress and increased happiness, making it a key component in therapeutic approaches.

Technology Supports Gratitude Practices: Innovative apps and platforms make it easier to practice gratitude daily. These tools offer reminders, prompts, and sharing capabilities, keeping the spirit of thankfulness alive in our digital world.

Gratitude’s Environmental Impact: A grateful mindset extends to how we interact with our environment. Appreciating nature leads to more sustainable choices, fostering a healthier planet.

The Power of “Thank You”: Simple yet profound, saying “thank you” has gained new significance. This small act of acknowledgment builds stronger relationships and spreads kindness.

Gratitude, Beyond the Individual: The ripple effect of gratitude touches every aspect of society. From strengthening bonds to enhancing mental health, gratitude is more than a personal practice—it’s a societal cornerstone.

Conclusion: As 2024 unfolds, the power of gratitude is unmistakable. Embracing thankfulness in all aspects of life creates a more joyful, cohesive, and compassionate world. Let’s continue to start all things with gratitude, not just this year, but as a lifelong commitment.

Community Corporation Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS Early Childhood Education Guiding Lights: A Journey of Courage, Compassion and Faith Self-Improve

Everything Takes Time to Develop: The Power of Sowing Today for a Better Tomorrow

In a world where instant gratification is often the norm, it’s important to remember the timeless adage: everything takes time to develop, and everything you reap is sown by you. This principle holds true in every aspect of life, from personal development to professional success.

Understanding the Process of Growth

The process of growth and development is not an overnight phenomenon. Whether it’s nurturing a relationship, building a career, or developing a new skill, it requires patience, persistence, and a clear understanding of the end goal. The seeds you plant today through your actions and decisions are the fruits you will harvest in the future.

The Importance of Caring and Loving

One of the most significant areas where this principle applies is in our relationships with others. Being caring and loving are not just emotional states but actions that require effort and time. By investing in our relationships and showing genuine care, we sow seeds of trust, respect, and affection that grow over time into strong, lasting bonds.

Starting Ventures and Personal Projects

The same principle applies in the realm of entrepreneurship and personal projects. Starting a venture, be it a business or a creative endeavor, is a journey that begins with a single step. Each step, no matter how small, is a progress. When you’re stuck, remember that even small progress is a step forward. Embracing this mindset encourages continuous growth and adaptation.

The Power of Reading and Listening

Educational and personal development activities like reading books or listening to podcasts are also forms of sowing seeds for intellectual and emotional growth. These activities broaden our perspectives, enhance our knowledge, and equip us with insights that prepare us for future challenges and opportunities.

Business and Career Development

In the professional realm, working towards a business or career goal is a classic example of this principle. Every effort, every learning experience, and every challenge overcome contributes to your professional growth. Accepting no progress as a failure is not an option. Instead, embrace every small step as a victory.

The Half Step: Embracing Small Progress

When progress seems slow, remember that a half step forward is still a step in the right direction. Consistency, even in small doses, can lead to significant achievements over time. It’s about maintaining momentum, no matter how minimal it might seem.

Refusing to Accept Zero Progress

A key aspect of this philosophy is the refusal to accept zero progress. There is always something to be gained, learned, or improved upon. This mindset ensures that you are always moving forward, even if it’s just by a tiny margin.

Doing Everything with True Care

Finally, the most crucial aspect of this principle is to do everything with true care. Whether it’s a personal project, a professional task, or an act of kindness, doing it with genuine care and attention ensures that the seeds you are sowing are of the highest quality, leading to the best possible outcomes.

In conclusion, the principle of ‘everything takes time to develop, and everything you reap is sown by you’ is a powerful reminder of the importance of patience, persistence, and purposeful action. By embracing this philosophy and applying it to various aspects of our lives, we can ensure that we are consistently moving towards a brighter, more fulfilling future. Start sowing today for the things that matter and watch as your efforts blossom into remarkable achievements.