This month to show appreciation of our Board of Directors, we’re focusing our spotlight on board member, Todd M. Read. In addition to being on the Board for Friends of the Waterfront, Todd is the Visitor Information Coordinator for SoIN Tourism. We appreciate everything he does for Friends of the Waterfront and the community! Get to know a little bit more about him below.
Where are you from? How did you end up in Louisville?
I was born and raised in Southern Indiana. I lived in Louisville for a few months before I got married and bought a house in Jeffersonville. My wife was born and raised in Louisville, but I’ve converted her to a Hoosier!
Tell us about your career and how you got there.
Currently, I am the Visitor Information Coordinator for SoIN Tourism. I have been in my position for nearly three years. I started off as a middle/high school Social Studies teacher. I taught in Clarksville, JCPS, and at Providence High School. After I finished my first Masters from IUS, I started teaching Secondary Education Social Studies Methods at IUS for six years. After I finished my second Masters in History from the University of Louisville, I took the jump into the field of history/public history. I worked at the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany for six months before accepting the position at SoIN Tourism. In addition to my full-time position, I am an adjunct History professor at Ivy Tech in Sellersburg. I am also on the Community Advisory Board for Louisville Public Media.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve been involved with during your career so far?
The coolest thing about the tourism bureau is traveling and networking with colleagues around the country. I have visited Salt Lake City, UT; Colorado Springs, CO; Tucson, AZ; Nashville, TN; and Columbus, OH, in addition to my travels around the state of Indiana. I work with a lot of great people.
What got you involved with Friends of the Waterfront?
My good friend and fellow board member Kelly Gream suggested that I apply for the board to help bridge the gap between the Louisville waterfront and the SoIN waterfront. We are connected by bridges and I thought it would be a great way to improve our relations with Louisville to help visitors see us as one united region.
What is your role with FOTW?
I am a member of the Membership Committee on the FOTW Board.
What other causes are you passionate about?
Obviously, I am passionate about history and the ways that our community understands the past and how it relates to the present. I attempt to bring a historical perspective to all of my efforts to help keep history “alive.” I am also heavily engaged in social justice movements and I continue to work to enhance the lives of minority groups in our region.
What do you do around town for fun?
I love to take my family to local festivals like Abbey Road on the River, Waterfront Wednesday, and the Flea Off Market. My wife and two girls (Stella and Penny) try to walk the Big 4 Bridge every weekend in addition to visiting the Jeffersonville Farmer’s Market and free yoga by Inner Spring Yoga at the Jeffersonville RiverStage. Also, we love visiting all of the local museums and bourbon experiences.
What are your favorite events in Louisville?
Abbey Road on the River, Waterfront Wednesday, World Fest, Pride Parades in Louisville and Jeffersonville, and Harvest Homecoming.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A quote from George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to see myself in the same position in ten years managing visitor services to larger audiences in SoIN.