LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has announced that civic and business leader Margaret Handmaker will serve as executive director of the new Louisville Accelerator Team, which will work with city agencies, the Metro Council and other partners on priorities for the $430 million that the city is expecting from the federal American Rescue Plan.
Handmaker will work under contract to coordinate the drafting of equitable spending priorities and convene leaders among the city’s businesses, nonprofits, foundations, faith groups and other partners to ensure that public and private-sector priorities and plans are aligned, so that federal dollars are leveraged for maximum benefit.
Handmaker is president of Ellico, which provides consulting services to large corporations and cities. Previously, she was a worldwide partner at Mercer Inc., where she had global responsibilities in various roles in New York, Chicago and Louisville.
During her nearly 30-year career at Mercer, she took a leave of absence to serve as secretary of revenue for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. After leaving Mercer, she was chief of international and economic development for Louisville Metro Government and later led the city’s Innovation Delivery Team, which was funded by a three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
She also served as the interim executive director of Louisville’s Downtown Development Corp., as well as What Works Cities, also funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Most recently, she was interim co-executive director of TARC (Transit Authority of River City). She has also held numerous roles with the University of Louisville, including serving on the board of trustees and the founding board of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. She is a graduate of UofL’s Brandeis School of Law.