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Muhammad Ali Center Welcomes Barbara Sexton Smith as Its Next Daughters of Greatness Speaker

Smith will speak on Friday, August 7

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (July 8, 2015) — The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce its upcoming Daughters of Greatness speaker: Barbara Sexton Smith. Ms. Smith will speak at the Center on Friday, August 7th at 8:30 a.m.

Throughout the year, the Daughters of Greatness breakfast series invites prominent women engaged in social philanthropy, activism, and pursuits of justice to share their stories with the Louisville community. The Daughters of Greatness series provides a place for dialogue and discussion on current issues of justice, community engagement, and social movements within the Louisville area and beyond.

Barbara Sexton Smith

Barbara “re-wired” while those around her retired. She likes to say, “There’s no such thing as “retirement” – it’s “Re-Wirement!” As President & CEO of the Fund for the Arts, Barbara turned the reins over to the next generation and became the Chief Liaison for the Compassionate Schools Project. As one of Louisville’s Connectors, Barbara Sexton Smith helped raise more than $220 million while working with the Fund for the Arts, Metro United Way, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, NCCJ, West Louisville Boys and Girls Choirs, Community Hunger Walk and many others. Out of 59 United Art Funds in America, the Fund for the Arts was named the #1 United Art Fund in 2012 for most new dollars raised.

She also teaches the highly sought after Street-Smart Principled Negotiation program which focuses on getting others to do what you want. Her clients have included Norton Healthcare, Humana, Nissan, General Electric, Brown-Forman, D.D. Williamson, Alcoa, Old National Bank, and Yum! Brands. Barbara was nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was appointed by Governor Beshear to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Board of Directors, and by Mayors Armstrong, Abramson, and Fischer to serve on the Metro Louisville Air Pollution Control District Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Kentucky School of Art, SouthArts, Muhammad Ali Center, Simmons College of Kentucky, FFTA Properties and the Hermitage Farm Charities Board.

An interview with Louisville Magazine revealed that Barbara’s favorite childhood meal was navy beans, cooked cabbage and skillet cornbread. Her youngest childhood memory is hiding in potholes while dreaming of becoming the manager at Walgreens. After graduating from the University of Louisville’s College of Business in 1979 Barbara says she learned everything she needed to know about management and leadership at Wendy’s.

Along the way she hosted a weekly radio show and posted more than 100 CEO video blogs as the Fund’s Avatar! And, she managed to make sure 400,000 arts experiences are provided for schoolchildren in her region every year! Barbara has one daughter and six stepchildren.

Hot breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The program will follow from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Seating is limited.

Tickets are $20 for Ali Center Members, $25 for non-Members, $15 for students, and $200 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, please contact Erin Herbert at (502) 992-5341 or click here.


The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit