Michael E. Berry was appointed by Governor Andy Beshear to serve as Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet on December 10, 2019. Prior to his appointment, Berry served as the longest serving President and CEO in the history of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Under his 22 years of leadership, the Kentucky Derby Festival orchestrated the award-winning two-week celebration for over 1.5 million attendees annually generating an economic impact of $128 million for Kentucky.
In 2008, Berry was inducted into the IFEA Hall of Fame and the Phi Kappa Tau National Fraternity Hall of Fame. He is also graduate of Leadership Louisville and a former recipient of Business First of Louisville's "Forty Under 40" award. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Louisville Defender Outstanding Community Service Award, the later in 2012, Berry was inducted into the DeMolay International Hall of Fame. Most recently, Berry received the Silver Anchor Award from the Waterfront Development Corporation and the Dan Mangeot Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau (Louisville Tourism).
Berry holds a BA in American Studies and Political Science from Georgetown College and is a graduate of Waggener High School in Louisville.