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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.


Celebrating Unity and Progress: The JFCS MOSAIC Awards Honoree Luncheon

Today, Louisville is abuzz with anticipation as the Jewish Family & Career Services (JFCS) hosts the MOSAIC Awards Honoree Luncheon. This prestigious event is more than just a ceremony; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with stories of resilience, diversity, and community service. Among the honorees is Di Tran, a testament to the spirit of determination and entrepreneurship. However, the spotlight shines equally on all the remarkable individuals who have come together to celebrate their shared commitment to workforce development and community enrichment.

The MOSAIC Awards are a tribute to those who have left behind their familiar surroundings, high-ranking positions, or humble beginnings in their countries of origin to start anew in the United States. Each honoree’s journey is unique, yet they all share a common thread: a relentless pursuit of self-improvement and societal contribution. They have embraced workforce development not only as a means of personal growth but as a way to add value to the society that has welcomed them with open arms.

The luncheon is a melting pot of cultures, with honorees hailing from diverse backgrounds such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia, Mexico, Cuba, Somalia, Guatemala and more. Despite their varied origins, they all share a dedication to uplifting the immigrant community and integrating them into the workforce. Many of these individuals have achieved high levels of education in the U.S., while others have transitioned from having limited English proficiency to becoming successful entrepreneurs and professionals.

The MOSAIC Awards symbolize love, family, inspiration, and inclusivity. They celebrate the hard-earned successes of those who have faced and overcome significant challenges. The stories shared at the luncheon are a powerful reminder that adversity can be transformed into opportunity, and that diversity is a strength that propels Louisville and the state of Kentucky forward.

As the honorees share their experiences and aspirations, the room is filled with a sense of unity and purpose. Each individual, in their own way, is contributing to the fabric of the community, pulling others along with them to achieve greatness. The MOSAIC Awards Honoree Luncheon is not just an event; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of hope, resilience, and collective progress that defines the city of Louisville and its vibrant immigrant community.

Di Tran himself shared, “I am among the great of all honorees here and felt small in contribution to the Louisville city and Kentucky State, and I am learning hard to accelerate my rate of contribution like all of you here in the room.” His eagerness to learn and contribute further highlight the essence of the MOSAIC Awards – a celebration of individuals who are not only achieving personal success but are also dedicated to uplifting those around them.

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Unity and Purpose: Di Tran’s Inspiring Encounter with Rip Hatfield at Kentucky’s JusticeFest

On a crisp February afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, a gathering of the city and state’s most compassionate and influential leaders convened for the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation JusticeFest. Among them was Di Tran, a revered figure in the community, invited for the second time as a judge for this impactful event. As he checked in at 2 pm, badge and booklet in hand, he encountered Rip Hatfield, a former chairman of the festival, for the first time.

What struck Di Tran immediately was the profound level of care and dedication Rip Hatfield exhibited. Despite his esteemed status, Hatfield had been volunteering since 7 am, embodying the spirit of selflessness that Di Tran himself so deeply values. Their conversation quickly turned personal, with Di Tran expressing how programs like JusticeFest uplift individuals from humble beginnings, like himself, a third-world country immigrant who now found himself in esteemed company.

Rip Hatfield, with calmness and humility, shared his own story of growing up in a shared three-bedroom home in Portland during the 1950s, before moving to the Southern end near National Turnpike, not far from where Di Tran’s primary residence on Kingston and 3rd St now stands. Their mutual reflections on the miraculous paths their lives had taken were a testament to their belief in a higher purpose.

At 42, Di Tran sought to understand the meaning and purpose of life, a question he posed to the 80-year-old Hatfield. With serene wisdom, Hatfield responded, “I am still trying to figure that out, but that’s not important. You do the small things you can. I am here today, and I enjoy every moment of it.” This simple yet profound advice resonated with Di Tran, affirming his belief in adding value to the world, one small step at a time.

As they parted ways, Di Tran, inspired and reflective, raced to judge his session, eager to learn more from the diverse voices in the room. The encounter with Rip Hatfield was a reminder of the power of humility, service, and the small yet significant contributions that shape a meaningful life.

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Empowering Women in Louisville: A Dedicated Mission Led by Gretchen Hunt and Supported by Di Tran

In Louisville, Kentucky, a compelling initiative is transforming the landscape of gender equity and empowerment, led by the passionate efforts of Gretchen Hunt, the Director of the Office for Women. Gretchen’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the status of women through education, advocacy, and legislation has significantly propelled the cause of gender equality forward. Her advocacy, deeply rooted in a passion for social justice, plays a crucial role in catalyzing positive change within the community.

Gretchen’s influence extends beyond her role at the Office for Women. As a founding member of La Casita Center and a board member of the Governors Scholars Program and Mothers Esquire, she actively contributes to various facets of community development and empowerment. Her academic background, with a bachelor’s and juris doctorate from Boston College, underpins her expertise and dedication to the cause. Outside of her professional pursuits, Gretchen enjoys travel, thrifting, paddleboarding, hiking, and nature, sharing these passions with her husband and two children.

The initiative also gains strength from Di Tran, the force behind the Louisville Beauty Academy and Louisville Beauty Academy at Harbor House. As a Kentucky State-Licensed and State-Accredited Licensing Beauty College, Di’s academy is a testament to the power of dedicated education in empowering individuals, especially women. With over 1,000 graduates, predominantly women, flourishing in their careers or running their own businesses, the academy demonstrates the significant impact of education on women’s empowerment.

The academy serves as a beacon of excellence in beauty education, fostering a community that uplifts a diverse group of students – women of color, immigrants, mothers, entrepreneurs, and caretakers. This mission aligns seamlessly with the goals of the Office for Women, celebrated and supported by Gretchen Hunt’s leadership. Together, they work towards creating a stronger, more inclusive, and supportive environment for all women in Louisville.

This partnership underscores the importance of working together to prevent domestic violence and human trafficking, highlighting the collective effort needed to tackle these critical issues. The shared vision of Gretchen Hunt and Di Tran exemplifies the power of collaboration in driving societal change, emphasizing that when women are provided with equal opportunities and their achievements are recognized, the entire community benefits.

As Louisville leads the way in gender equity, the contributions of Gretchen Hunt and Di Tran serve as an inspiration for cities everywhere. Their combined efforts are a beacon of progress, encouraging us to continue the vital work of empowering women and advancing gender equity for the betterment of our society.

#EmpowermentInAction #CelebratingWomen #FrontAndCenter #WomenLead

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Kentucky Pharmacy LLC: A New Era of Expertise and Passion in Pharmacy Care

Louisville, Kentucky — In a significant addition to the local healthcare landscape, Kentucky Pharmacy LLC proudly announces its coming soon grand opening. At the helm of this innovative venture is the experienced and passionate pharmacist, Vy Truong. Her exceptional skills and dedication are setting a new standard in pharmacy care, reaching out to every member of the community.

A Pharmacist with a Mission

Vy Truong’s journey in pharmacy is marked by an unwavering passion for her profession. With years of experience, Vy brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of pharmaceutical care. Her expertise extends beyond dispensing medication; it involves a commitment to providing comprehensive health solutions tailored to individual needs.

Comprehensive Care for All

At Kentucky Pharmacy LLC, the focus is on holistic healthcare. Recognizing the diverse needs of our community, the pharmacy is committed to serving everyone – families, professionals, seniors, and young adults. Vy’s approach combines the latest in pharmaceutical advancements with traditional values of care and attention, ensuring that each client receives the best possible service.

Personalized Attention: The Core of Our Service

Vy and her team at Kentucky Pharmacy LLC believe in the power of personalized care. Each client is treated with the utmost respect and consideration, with services tailored to their unique health requirements. This personalized approach is not just a business model; it’s a reflection of Vy’s passion for making a positive impact in the lives of her clients.

A Modern Pharmacy with Traditional Values

Kentucky Pharmacy LLC is more than just a place for medications; it’s a resource for health and wellness. Vy’s extensive experience in pharmacy has shaped a service that blends modern healthcare with the traditional values of empathy, respect, and personalized attention.

Join Our Health Journey

We invite you to experience the difference at Kentucky Pharmacy LLC. Whether managing a chronic condition, seeking wellness advice, or in need of a reliable healthcare partner, Vy and her team are here to assist. Join us in celebrating this new chapter in healthcare, where expertise, passion, and personalized care come together to serve every individual in our community.

Welcome to Kentucky Pharmacy LLC – where your health is our passion.

New Addition: Pet Medication Services

In our commitment to cater to the entire family’s healthcare needs, Kentucky Pharmacy LLC is delighted to introduce a new service: Pet Medication. Recognizing that pets are integral members of many families, we now offer specialized medication services for your furry companions. From prescriptions to wellness supplements, our experienced team, led by Vy Truong, is here to provide the same level of care and expertise for your pets as we do for our human clients. This new service underscores our dedication to being a comprehensive healthcare resource for every member of your family.

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Legacy of Learning and Community: The Story of David Jones Sr. and the Familial Roots of Humana

In a compelling narrative of legacy and entrepreneurial spirit, David Jones Jr. presents his late father David Jones Sr.’s journey, an account that resonates deeply with listeners such as Di Tran. Tran, a small business owner who also ventured into authorship as a tribute to his own mother, finds a kindred spirit in Jones Jr.’s dedication to completing his father’s book.

David Jones Sr.’s story is one of a modest beginning, borrowing a mere $1,000 to build what would become Humana, a testament to the family-oriented business ethos that still permeates the company’s operations in Louisville. This same commitment to community and family values echoes in Tran’s business philosophy and his written work, “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERs.”

Jones Sr. was a voracious reader, known for his wagonful of library books, and his proactive nature in applying learned knowledge is highlighted as a key to his success. This appetite for learning and immediate application is an inspirational takeaway for entrepreneurs like Tran.

The foundational pillars of education and faith were also pivotal in Jones Sr.’s life. His advocacy for public education, specifically the Jefferson County Public Schools, and the structured, community-centric environment provided by church attendance, were not just about religious doctrine but about instilling discipline, responsibility, and a sense of community in his children—values that have undoubtedly contributed to the family’s lasting impact on the business and philanthropic landscapes.

As Tran reflects on these learnings, the story of the Jones family not only honors the memory of a father but also serves as a beacon for current and future generations of entrepreneurs.

P.S. – In a moment of heartfelt gratitude, Di Tran approached David Jones Jr., extending a handshake filled with appreciation. “Thank you to your family, and Humana, for you made me who I am today—an American, an engineer which I was the principal software architect, holding the top ranking as an engineer and living the American dream right here in our proud Louisville, Kentucky,” he expressed, his words echoing the profound influence of the Jones family’s legacy on individuals and the community at large.

Community Corporation Drop the FEAR and Focus on the FAITH Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERS Guiding Lights: A Journey of Courage, Compassion and Faith Self-Improve Small Businesses Workforce Development

The Profound Impact of Work Beyond Monetary Value: A Reflection

In today’s fast-paced world, where success is often measured by monetary gains and titles, there emerges a compelling narrative that challenges the status quo. The tale of a 95-year-old attorney in Louisville, KY, who worked with unwavering dedication until his very last breath, exemplifies the idea that work is more than just a means to a paycheck. This perspective is echoed in the writings of Di Tran, author of “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERs” and the soon-to-be-released “Drop the FEAR and focus on the FAITH”, who believes in the philosophy of “work until you drop” because “adding value is to life”.

Recently, Di Tran’s philosophical journey brought them to a quaint coffee shop in Louisville, KY, where they sat down with a small business owner, aged beyond 65. Their discussion unveiled a poignant narrative: the business owner’s father, a dedicated attorney, had passed away at the age of 95. What’s astonishing is not the longevity of his life, but the tenacity with which he approached his vocation. Even in his final moments, the elderly attorney had just closed a court trial, embodying Tran’s belief that one should “work until you drop” because “adding value is to life”.

For many, the very essence of work is closely tethered to monetary gain. However, both Tran and the aforementioned attorney highlight a perspective that is seldom explored. To them, working transcends the boundaries of mere financial benefits. Instead, it becomes a medium of self-satisfaction, a testament to the value and impact one can bring to the world. As Di Tran often emphasizes, work is a contribution to life, an embodiment of the assets one accumulates over a lifetime.

In “Drop the ME and focus on the OTHERs”, Tran delves deep into the importance of shifting the focus from oneself to the broader community. By contributing consistently, irrespective of age or societal expectations, one embraces a life that’s rich in experiences and values. This echoes the sentiments of authors like Viktor E. Frankl, who, in his seminal work “Man’s Search for Meaning”, expounded on the profound satisfaction derived from leading a purposeful life.

Retirement, a phase often associated with relaxation and disengagement, is viewed differently by individuals like Di Tran and the 95-year-old attorney. For them, it’s not about stepping back but rather about continuing to forge ahead, driven by passion and purpose. Their narrative challenges the societal norms that often associate age with ineffectiveness.

In conclusion, Di Tran’s rendezvous in Louisville, KY serves as a powerful reminder. Through references from their books and the real-life story of the attorney, we’re prompted to rethink our preconceived notions about work, value, and purpose. In a world that often measures success through tangible assets, Tran’s philosophy encourages us to view work as a never-ending journey of adding value, not just to our lives, but to the broader tapestry of humanity.

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Why Di Tran’s Taste Shifted from Cognac to High-Proof Bourbons: A Scientific Exploration

Di Tran, the acclaimed author of “Drop the ME and focus on the others” and other notable books, had an unexpected encounter with bourbon that forever changed his palate. For someone who spent over 28 years in Louisville, KY—a city that breathes bourbon—it might seem peculiar that Tran avoided the drink for so long. Yet, when he finally did taste bourbon, it was not just any bourbon, but T. George Stagg that won him over. Why did Di Tran switch from Cognac, a common drink among Asians, to barrel-proof bourbons? Let’s dive deep into the scientific nuances behind this transformation.

Cognac vs. Bourbon: Understanding the Basics

To appreciate the change in Di Tran’s preference, it’s vital to understand the fundamental differences between Cognac and bourbon:

  1. Origin & Raw Materials: Cognac is a variety of brandy made in the Cognac region of France, distilled from white wine made of Ugni Blanc grapes. Bourbon, on the other hand, originates from the U.S., and its primary ingredient is corn, with at least 51% of its grain mixture being corn.
  2. Aging Process: Cognac matures in French oak barrels, whereas bourbon often ages in new charred oak barrels, imparting distinct flavor profiles to each spirit.
  3. Taste & Flavor: Cognac usually presents flavors of fruits, nuts, and sometimes floral notes, given its grape origin. Bourbon boasts a more comprehensive range of flavors, from caramel, vanilla, and oak to more intense flavors like spice, leather, and tobacco, often due to the charring of barrels.

The Science Behind the Shift in Preference

  1. Complex Flavor Profile: High-proof bourbons like Weller Antique, Old Forester Single Barrel, and 1792 Full Proof have an intense flavor because of the higher concentration of alcohols and congeners—compounds that give flavor. These bourbons provide a robust and multi-layered tasting experience. It is possible that after years of drinking Cognac, Tran’s palate was seeking complexity, and barrel-proof bourbon provided that depth.
  2. Mouthfeel: The high alcohol content in barrel-proof bourbons leads to an intensified ‘burn’ or ‘tingling’ sensation on the palate, often associated with a richer, more full-bodied experience. This might be appealing to someone looking for a spirit with character and assertiveness.
  3. Chemical Compounds: The various compounds in bourbon, including lignin, lactones, and tannins from the oak, contribute to its unique flavor. These interact differently with our taste buds compared to the compounds in Cognac, providing a distinct tasting experience.
  4. Cultural Influences: Living in Louisville, the heart of bourbon country, there might have been subconscious cultural influences at play. The popularity and reverence of bourbon in the region might have piqued Tran’s interest and predisposition towards it.

Is Di Tran’s Preference for High-Proof Bourbon Uncommon?

Not really. While many people enjoy a wide range of alcohol proofs and flavors, some gravitate towards stronger, high-proof spirits for their boldness and intricate taste profiles. It is akin to someone preferring dark chocolate over milk chocolate due to the intense and pure cocoa experience. The beauty of alcoholic beverages lies in their diversity, and everyone’s palate is unique. What might be overpowering for one might be just right for another.

In conclusion, while Di Tran’s transition from Cognac to high-proof bourbon might seem intriguing, it can be scientifically understood by delving into the complexities of flavor profiles and the chemical interactions of these spirits. His specific preference showcases the vast spectrum of human palates and the joy of discovering and evolving one’s tastes.

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The American Dream: From Lao to Louisville, a Father-Daughter Tale of Hard Work and Inspiration

In the heart of America, the story of Ti Lin Khounkham and his daughter Lily Lin offers a vivid illustration of perseverance, hope, and the indefatigable American spirit. Originally hailing from Lao, the Khounkham family epitomizes the essence of the American Dream, embodying the ideals of hard work and determination.

As the morning sun peeks over Louisville, Kentucky, the city witnesses an endearing tableau: a young 16-year-old, Lily, giving her hardworking father, Ti Lin, a pedicure. It’s not just any pedicure; it’s one she has honed and refined as a student at the renowned Louisville Beauty Academy. Founded by Di Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant and a beacon of the American spirit, this academy stands as a symbol of accessibility, affordability, and most importantly, dreams achieved. Serving the underserved, the academy has proudly graduated over a thousand students, each with a unique story of resilience.

Lily is no ordinary teenager. With her accelerated studies, she graduated high school early, showcasing an unparalleled drive. As she preps for college, she has her eyes set on acquiring her nail technology license from the Louisville Beauty Academy. For Lily, this license is more than just a certificate; it’s a ticket to independence, allowing her to earn a significant income through college and beyond. She mirrors the journey of Di Tran, the founder of her school. A proud American and an immigrant, Di Tran, with his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD (ABD) in computer engineering, used his nail license as a stepping stone to support his education. Today, he juggles the roles of an active nail technician, salon owner, and an educator with aplomb.

Parallelly, Ti Lin Khounkham stands as a testament to the art of craftsmanship. As a skilled construction worker, he remodels homes, pouring his dedication and expertise into every project.

The synergy between father and daughter is palpable. Ti Lin’s grit and hard work, combined with Lily’s passion and determination, make for an inspiring duo. Their journey, from Lao to Louisville, is not just their own; it’s a tale that resonates with every immigrant, every hardworking individual aiming for a better life.

In the words of Di Tran, witnessing such profound moments of love and ambition, “Can this be more beautiful?” Indeed, America thrives on these stories. As the Khounkham family continues their journey, they remind us that dreams, when chased with unwavering spirit, do come true.

God blesses their path and the countless others who tread similarly, reminding us of the boundless possibilities that await in the land of the free.

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Celebrando el Arte, la Diversidad y el Espíritu Emprendedor: Un Enfoque en la Conexión de Di Tran con el Artista Cubano Humberto Lahera

El 14 de julio de 2023, Louisville, Kentucky se llenó de vida con una rica muestra de unidad multicultural, arte y espíritu emprendedor durante la reunión de exalumnos de la Welcome Academy. El evento, organizado por Crane House of Louisville y patrocinado por la Oficina de Asuntos de Inmigrantes de Metro de Louisville, reunió a inmigrantes de todo el mundo, incluyendo India, Cuba, México, Filipinas, Somalia y otras naciones.

Di Tran, una figura influyente en la comunidad y un defensor del espíritu emprendedor entre los inmigrantes, asistió al evento. Tran, aunque no es artista, tiene un profundo aprecio por el arte y los artistas que lo crean. Este aprecio fue especialmente palpable en su interacción con Humberto Lahera, un artista cubano reconocido por su meticuloso trabajo fotorrealista.

Humberto Lahera es un artista especializado en fotorrealismo y retrato. Graduado de la Academia de Arte de Holguín y la Universidad de las Artes de Cuba, Lahera trae sus interpretaciones meticulosas e íntimas de la naturaleza y la belleza a cada pieza que crea. Su arte y murales no sólo han alegrado las paredes y las vidas de la gente en Cuba, sino que también han cruzado fronteras para enriquecer los espacios públicos y privados en los Estados Unidos.

Aunque la maestría artística de Lahera y los emprendimientos empresariales de Tran parecen mundos aparte, encontraron un terreno común durante la reunión. Tran, que conoce bien los desafíos y recompensas de ser dueño de una pequeña empresa, expresó su deseo de ayudar a los artistas como Lahera a prosperar en su oficio y ganarse la vida con él.

Como líder de la New American Business Association, Tran ayuda a las personas a aprovechar sus talentos y valores únicos para construir pequeñas empresas exitosas. Cree que el arte, como el de Lahera, no sólo debe ser admirado, sino que también debe servir como base para el espíritu emprendedor sostenible. Aboga por la idea de que los artistas empaqueten sus trabajos en acuerdos que se ajusten a una gama de posibles clientes y sus variados presupuestos.

Con el espíritu de fomentar conexiones más vibrantes entre el arte y el espíritu emprendedor, Tran anima a cualquier persona interesada en el trabajo de Lahera a que se ponga en contacto con él directamente en LinkedIn aquí.

Esta colaboración entre Tran y Lahera, entre los negocios y el arte, es un vívido ejemplo de cómo puede florecer la rica diversidad de Louisville, KY. Es un testimonio de la unidad y el espíritu de colaboración que prospera en esta vibrante ciudad, un lugar donde el arte y los negocios van de la mano, y donde la población inmigrante juega un papel crucial en la configuración de su paisaje cultural y económico.