The VIPP Report: Lady Veterans Connect Announce Inaugural Gala

(Winchester, KY) Lady Veterans Connect will host their inaugural Lady Veterans Gala on Monday, November 8th in Lexington at the Hilton Downtown, 369 West Vine Street from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. 

The evening is all about embracing the ‘sheroes’ of the armed forces.  The event will have a red-carpet entrance so guests can see the veterans as they arrive followed by the welcome address at 6:00pm.  Dinner will be served at 7:00pm.  Gala guests will be able to enjoy entertainment, raffles, and a silent auction. 

Female veterans will get to enjoy the gala free with prior registration.  You can purchase a table for ten for $600 and individual tickets are $75.00.

Phyllis Abbott, Executive Director says “Kentucky is currently the home to over 24,000 women veterans.  We honor our lady veterans every year but couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to participate from family, friends, and supporters.  By moving it to the Hilton Downtown it’s gives us a chance to increase awareness and our reach about the contributions these ladies have done for the military.  We want them to come out and enjoy the evening as we kickoff activities and events for Veterans Day (November 11th).  I hope you join us and support our initiatives.”

To be a sponsor, purchase tickets and/or if you need transitional housing go to or call 859-806-4297. 


Lady Veterans Connect is an organization created to provide high quality, comprehensive services to assist female veterans in transitional support and preventing homelessness. Founded in 2012 under the name Sheppards Hands by Phyllis Abbott, LVC was officially renamed in 2016 and opened the first transitional healing home, the Thurman-Abbott House, for female veterans in Kentucky. Since then, LVC has connected over 500 lady veterans in Kentucky with needed resources.


The VIPP Report: African American Bloodstock Agent Seeks Winner’s Circle at Kentucky Derby


LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, Aug. 24, 2020 – The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby will be like none other.  There will be no fans in the stands at Churchill Downs, and for the first time in 13 years, African Americans will have ownership in a derby qualifying racehorse.

Ray Daniels, a Lexington businessman and Greg Harbut, a Lexington Bloodstock Agent are two of three owners of the Kentucky thoroughbred, Necker Island.  The two are among a tiny group of Black men to ever own a Derby qualifying racehorse.  “My family and I are excited and truly blessed to be part of such a momentous event,” Daniels said. 

Especially noteworthy of this historic accomplishment is Harbut’s lineage.  He is the grandson of Tom Harbut, a groom and subsequently the general manager for Harry F. Guggenheim’s breeding stallion operations in the 1960s.  Tom Harbut owned a racehorse, Touch Bar that ran in the 1962 Kentucky Derby.  He did not attend to watch his horse because Black’s were not allowed to sit in the grandstands.  Greg is the great-grandson of Will Harbut, the legendary groom for Man o’ War from 1930-1946.  Many industry experts consider Man o’ War to be the greatest racehorse of all time.  “My family has been on this journey for nearly 100 years.  Horseracing is in our blood and I am humbled and honored to continue the legacy of my grandfather and great-grandfather,” Harbut said.     

Many organizations are calling for a boycott of the Derby as a pathway to justice for the unarmed killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville Police Department.  “There is a powerful social movement sweeping the country that cannot be ignored,” said Daniels.  “Black lives matter, and I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the family of Breonna Taylor in the call for justice.” 

Necker Island is a colt by Hard Spun who finished second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and amassed nearly $3 million in career earnings.  Necker Island will be ridden by Miguel Mena on Sept. 5th.


!cid_A431B594D7B4419F8E91FA0D5F1A9765@SherlenePCVIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.


The VIPP Report: Showcasing Kentucky Black Authors in Lexington at an Expo


In celebration of Black History Month, it’s the Kentucky Black Authors Expo at the Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street in Lexington on Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Some of the authors featured will be Rev. Dr. Jim Thurman, Frank “X” Walker, Rev. Dr.C.B. Akins, Rev. Herbert Owens, Vanessa Sanford, Ron Spriggs, Dr. Junior Greenlee, Rosetta Quisenberry. James “Chali” Jones, Shonda White plus many other talented writers.

The Kentucky Black Authors Expo is free and open to the public.



The VIPP Report: Former UK and NFL player Jared Lorenzen teams up with Rajon Rondo Foundation, Kroger and Now Let’s Get Fit Foundation for Health and Wellness Tour

JaredLorenzenGet Fit

Louisville/Lexington (May 7, 2019) Former NFL Quarterback and University of Kentucky Hall of Famer, Jared Lorenzen has teamed with the Now Let’s Get Fit Foundation, Kroger and the Rajon Rondo Foundation for the 2019 Kentucky Health and Wellness Tour.

The tour will kick off Saturday May 18 at Kroger locations in Louisville at 12501 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville Middletown store.

The next day Sunday May 19 will be in Lexington Kroger at 3101 Richmond Rd location.

Both events are from noon-4:00 pm.

Let’s Get Fit Foundation’s mission is to combat obesity and instill Health and Wellness through Fitness and Nutrition. Each event is family friendly, Free to the public and includes fitness classes, nutrition stations, health screenings (for obesity related illness), kid zone activities and giveaways. Jared Lorenzen along with other former local athletes will be in attendance and participating.

“I want to show everyone that it’s never too early or too late to start the journey towards health. I want people to know that if I can do it then you can do it. My goal is to use the tour to put a face to obesity. Each event is a platform that everyone can join, have fun, feel safe to express themselves, get the inspiration and answers on health and wellness they need to make the change in their life.”  Jared Lorenzen.

Prior to Jared’s journey he had reached 500 lbs.  In the last year, he has lost 100 lbs. and counting.  Jared understood that he had to admit that there was an issue and then he got busy to get it.  We invite you to meet Jared and fitness professionals that can show you techniques that can help you and your entire family get fit.

Sponsors for the event are Kroger, Optup, Powerade Zero, Core Power, Rajon Rondo Foundation, The Little Clinic and Planet Mogul. The tour will extend to other locations in Louisville, Lexington and surrounding areas the remainder of 2019.

To learn more follow visit and sign up for Fitness Classes at or contact Anthony Holt or call 323.365.3371

If you would like to setup an interview with Jared Lorenzen and/or other team members, please contact Sherlene Shanklin at or by phone at 502-295-0435.


vippnewlogoVIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event    mgmt & production firm  headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.

The VIPP Report: A “Top” cooking competition show will move to Kentucky for Season 16


“Top Chef” announces they are setting up shop in Lexington, Kentucky and will visit several cities in the Commonwealth including Louisville

By Sherlene Shanklin

With four episodes still ahead for the hit show “Top Chef” are now going where it’s never gone before.  Do you think that’s odd that they took distinguishable theme from “Star Trek”.  Weird or is it?  The science fiction television series’ main character was Captain Kirk played by Actor William Shatner.  He currently lives in Versailles, Kentucky near Lexington on a horse farm he owns.  So, it appears that Shatner and the show will be neighbors for a while.

“Top Chef” is heading to Lexington, Kentucky for Season 16.  The show will have a new batch of cheftestants battle it out for the coveted title of Top Chef with the thriving culinary scenes of Louisville, Lexington, and Lake Cumberland serving as the backdrop. Plus, with the Bluegrass State’s culinary traditions of bourbon and barbecue, this is sure to be the tastiest season of Top Chef yet.

So you better believe we’re excited to see what awesomeness Kentucky brings to Top Chef in Season 16. “We are always looking for rising culinary destinations and are looking forward to planting our flag in Kentucky and soaking up a diverse region of the country that we haven’t yet explored on Top Chef,” Shari Levine, Executive Vice President, Current Production, Bravo Media, said in a statement. “Kentucky has a strong food identity and we know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the bourgeoning culinary scene, known for its innovative takes on Southern cuisine, melding flavors, and use of Kentucky’s agricultural bounty.”

Production on Season 16 of Top Chef is set to begin this spring with a premiere date later this year.  They are casting for that show and if you would like to be a part of it go to for more information.

If you become a cheftestant and you live in the Bluegrass please let me know.  If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can also follow me on Twitter @sherlenemediapr @thevippreport @vippcomm for real-time entertainment and community news.


The VIPP Report: Veterans from all over the Bluegrass gather in Lexington



 (LEXINGTON, KY) The 2nd Annual Kentucky Women Veterans State Conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, August 5th at the Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newton Pike.  The conference will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Admission is free but would like for guests to register.  (see link below)

Veterans will be able to network, share their experiences through workshops and speakers plus enjoy lunch, door prizes and vendors.  There will also be a fashion show for everyone to enjoy.  Speakers, Workshops, Networking, Lunch, Door Prizes, Vendors, and a Fashion Show. Complimentary Admission.

This year’s guest speaker for the conference will be American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones. She directs The American Legion’s DC Divisions headquartered in Washington.  Working tirelessly on issues such as policy and field operations. She’s the Legion’s direct liaison with the White House.  She goes above and beyond the call of duty by overseeing relationships at each level of the federal administration.

To register go to:  Register here:

For more information, call or email Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles, 502-545-4193, here:

For more information, call or email Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles, 502-545-4193,

If you would like to setup an interview with Verna Jones on site, please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at

Register here:

For more information, call or email Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles, 502-545-4193,

KY Women Veterans


The VIPP Report: Lexington native gets invited to showcase his artwork in France


(Lexington, KY) Glassmaker, abstract painter and creative photographer Mark Lenn Johnson will head to one of the greatest places in the world when it comes to art. Johnson has been invited by Ava Galleria to participate in their art fair with international exhibitions in Paris, France.  Visitors from all over the world will get to see the Kentucky native’s creative photography October 21st through the 23rd at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris where several images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls series will be on exhibit.  Gallery owners as well as the general public may purchase them to add to their collections.

Mark’s love of color and glass allows his creative juices to bloom into beautiful works of art.  His eye for detail is the inspiration behind his latest works as he invites you behind the lens to capture something as simple as a beautiful water drop and then encourages you to visualize the captured image which is free flowing, colorful, vibrant and soul stirring.

Johnson says “Art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  Every artist hopes that their work is seen and appreciated on the biggest stages and now I can say one of my dreams have come true.  Paris art galleries are among those that set the standard for the world so to have them invite me is an honor and a very surreal feeling.  It’s humbling and I don’t take that for granted.  I’m very honored that my art work is now being recognized”.

For additional information about Mark Lenn Johnson, his Fountainfalls series and his other art work go to
To setup an interview please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email at

Kentucky shows
Additional images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls series have been selected to the Kentucky Invitational Art Exhibit, hosted by Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts in Richmond Kentucky. The “sister” images – ‘Yara’, ‘Taura’, ‘Talora’ and ‘Maya’ – will be on display and available for sale through Dec 31, 2016.  Also of note, Eastern Kentucky University’s Library will be adding five images from Johnson’s series to its permanent collection.

Lastly, selected pieces of Johnson’s glasswork, abstract paintings and creative photography will be available at his art show in December at the Kore Gallery in Louisville.

If you have a story idea, and/or would like to advertise contact us at  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm and @TheVIPPReport

The VIPP Report: Janet Jackson puts all of her concerts on hold until spring

CXBrcpQUsAA3miTSpecial from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

Now that we are all back to work did you see Janet Jackson’s announcement on Christmas Eve?  The multi-Grammy Award winning artist didn’t send a news release but took to social media to let her fans and the media know that she was having surgery.  She never mentioned what kind but what was clear is that her tour is on hold.

Jackson says “It breaks my heart to tell you that I am forced to postpone the Unbreakable Tour until spring.  Every date will be rescheduled.  Please hold on to your tickets.”

So, that definitely means that Lexington’s show in Rupp Arena on January 30th is definitely on hold.  The Louisville show in the KFC Yum! Center is not until June. So, that concert is still a go.  Jackson’s team will makeup up the postponed dates before their Europe leg of the tour.

I guess we will have to wait and see.  Make sure you follow me for any updates and future concert announcements.

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The VIPP Report: DB Bourbon Candy will give two Breeders’ Cup events a taste of Kentucky


The Kentucky based business hits the exacta adding chocolate and bourbon

DB Bourbon Candy will participate in one of the richest events in thoroughbred racing with a $5 million purse, The Breeders’ Cup. Robyn Stuart and her elite brand of chocolate and bourbon will add to the pageantry of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championship at Keeneland held on October 30th & 31st in Lexington, KY.

There will be plenty to do before prior to the championship and DB Bourbon Candy will be at the big events showcasing their products. They have been invited to give U.S. and international guests a taste of Kentucky. They have been asked to participate in A Taste of the World. The private international culinary event feature chefs from 15 countries around the globe. Their dishes will be paired with cocktails, fine wines and a selection of beer.

The exclusive event will be for the owners, breeders, and trainers involved in Breeders’ Cup at the Win Star Farm.

DB Bourbon Candy will have custom design chocolates created just for the Breeders’ Cup weekend.

The second major event they will be involved in will be held on Thursday, October 29th at the Hill N’ Dale Farm. DB Bourbon Candy will provide samples for A Century of Sinatra featuring music by his son, Frank Sinatra Jr. They are preparing for the 400 plus guests at the black tie event. Stuart’s team will create more than 800 bourbon balls.

Robyn Stuart, CEO of DB Bourbon Candy says “I used to believe, I happen to be in the right place at the right time, but now I’m getting invitations to be a part of some of the biggest events in the U.S. from sporting events to nationally televised entertainment events many not on my radar at the time of the call. My corporate business is really beginning to increase due to upcoming holidays. My clients are always looking for that unique gift and I believe that DB Bourbon Candy can give that variety and fantastic blend of chocolate and bourbon which is good for any occasion.”

DB Bourbon Candy has been a part of the major events like the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Barbara Steinsand Weekend, Kentucky Derby events like Barnstable Brown Gala, the Grand Gala and 100 Black Men of Louisville Gala. They were invited to be the official gift bag for comedian/actor Chris Tucker’s Golf Tournament in Atlanta, GA.

You can find DB Bourbon Candy in participating Liquor Barns across Kentucky. You can visit DB Bourbon Candy’s website at

If you have a story idea, send it to us at  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.


The VIPP Report: Kevin Hart returns to Kentucky after his “What Now? Tour” adds additional dates

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, Louisville (ABC Affiliate)
The “What Now? Tour” adds additional concert dates and now fans in the Bluegrass get another opportunity to see Kevin Hart.  Save the date of Friday, October 9th at Rupp Arena in Lexington to see Hart.  According to Live Nation they say that this tour is the biggest comedy tour in history stopping at more than 50 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Tickets start at $51.50 and you can purchase them at,, the Rupp Arena box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.
If you have a story idea, send it to me at  You can also follow me on Twitter @sherlenemediapr and Instagram Sherlenemediapro.
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The VIPP Report: Lexington, KY church continues to be a community leader after 225 years




The First African Baptist Church in Lexington is planning a celebration as part of the 225th Church Anniversary & Homecoming.  From 1790 to 2015, the church has been a staple in the community meeting spiritual and social needs. Now, the members would like to reflect on their rich history and how resilient their congregation has become.  From the humble beginnings in 1790, First African Baptist Church has moved from Old Captain’s “Territory” in a log cabin to purchasing the old Douglas School property on Price Road from the Fayette County Board of Education in 1981. With the purchase of the Douglas School property under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. L. H. McIntyre, on April 14, 2002, the church held its Debt Free Mortgage Burning service after paying off a $1.2 million dollar mortgage.

To kick-off the weekend of celebration, we will hold an anniversary banquet at the Campbell House, 1375 S. Broadway on Friday, July 10th at 7:00 p.m.  Dr. Henry Wise Jones of the Mt. Zion 2nd Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA will be our Guest Preacher.

On Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. all are invited to First African Baptist Church for opening of The Legacy Room. On display will be memorabilia of the church’s storied history.

On Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. come out and celebrate with the members of First African Baptist Church.  We are located at 465 Price Road.  This year’s theme is “Remembering The Former Glory”, “Rejoicing In His Glory”, “Reaching For Future Glory”.  Dr. L.H. McIntyre will be the guest minister.

With all of the rich history within the four walls of the church, this landmark commemoration will undoubtedly be a staple in Kentucky and African American history.  The church has only had a total of 14 pastors to date.  Current pastor, Rev. N.L. Moore has been with the church since 2009 and couldn’t be happier to be a part of the congregation and this weekend’s celebration and homecoming. Pastor Moore says “We are the inheritors of a spiritual heritage filled with many achievements and accomplishments. As such we bask in the glory of God praising Him for all His wondrous favor toward us. Without a shadow of doubt, He has done great things for us and we are convinced He is not finished just yet.”

To learn more about our rich history, please visit our website

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The VIPP Report: General Colin Powell comes to Kentucky

Gen. Colin Powell comes to Lexington, KY in May

Gen. Colin Powell comes to Lexington, KY in May

Four-star General Colin Powell has served more than 35 years of service to the U.S. Army. He also served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor. Now, Powell will be in Lexington, Kentucky in May.
General Powell will share his insights on leadership at the opening session of Alltech’s REBELation Week.

Powell is the first African American to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. Powell is scheduled to speak on Monday, May 18th.
To learn more about REBELnation Week go to

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