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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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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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“You Also Ought to Wash One Another’s Feet”: Celebrating Service at Harbor House of Louisville with Louisville Beauty Academy

Louisville, KY – November 16, 2023 – Di Tran, the esteemed owner of Louisville Beauty Academy, was a notable attendee at the Harbor House of Louisville’s appreciation celebration event tonight. The event, a significant milestone for Harbor House, marked the expansion of their services and the announcement of their partnership with Tran for the establishment of a new beauty school within their $17+ million facility.

Maria Smith, the CEO of Harbor House, in her address to the attendees, quoted Jesus: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Seamlessly, Smith connected this Biblical teaching to the ethos of Harbor House, saying, “At Harbor House, we literally wash everyone’s feet already.” Her words resonated with the organization’s commitment to service and care.

The statement struck a chord with Di Tran, who reflected on how Harbor House’s actions embody a level of godliness, both literally and metaphorically. Tran, whose Louisville Beauty Academy is renowned for its comprehensive beauty education, saw a profound alignment with his own philosophy of care and service. His decision to establish a second academy at Harbor House is driven by a desire to instill a mindset of genuine care in future beauty professionals, mirroring Harbor House’s exemplary methods and dedication to serving God.

The new facility, boasting modern equipment including brand-new pedicure chairs, will offer extensive training in hair, nail, and skincare, with a special focus on pedicures. This aligns perfectly with the literal act of washing feet, coupled with the metaphorical implication of serving and caring for others.

In a moment of inspiration, Di Tran approached Maria Smith with the idea of placing Jesus’ quote about washing feet at each pedicure station. This would serve as a constant reminder of the deeper meaning behind their services. Smith immediately agreed, recognizing it as a wonderful way to encapsulate the spirit of their collaboration and the essence of their shared mission.

The event concluded on a high note, with attendees feeling inspired and uplifted by the potential of this new partnership. Harbor House of Louisville and Louisville Beauty Academy are set to embark on a journey that not only enhances skills but also enriches the soul, staying true to the values of service, care, and community.