Meet the Staff

About US

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Meet the Staff

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Keisha Deonarine

Executive Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations



Keisha Deonarine

Keisha Deonarine serves as the inaugural Executive Director of Nspire – A Park Community Initiative,

Prior to her position, Keisha served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Passport Foundation focusing on developing programs beyond clinical care that improve social determinants of health for people in under-served and low-income communities throughout Kentucky.

In addition, Keisha was the Senior Community Health Director for the American Heart Association in the Kentucky market. In her role, Keisha worked to create, develop, and initiate strategies in focusing on social determinants of health and drive positive health changes in underserved and low-income populations.

Keisha was also Economic Development Manager at Louisville Forward, focusing on the Lifelong Wellness and Aging Care Strategy. Keisha managed successful economic development projects, including the landing of the Evolent Medicaid Center of Excellence’s headquarters in January 2016, ONCO360’s new Louisville headquarters, and Kindred Healthcare’s $39 million expansion in 2015.

While at Louisville Forward, Keisha located more than $200 million in project investments, worked with over 70 health care start-up companies through expansion and helped bring more than 6,000 jobs to Louisville. Keisha was the lead coordinator of the Louisville Innovation Summit, which focused on aging innovation strategies for over 400 national and international attendees.

Keisha is an Executive Committee and Board member of the Kentucky Science Center, and a Board member of Family Scholar House. Keisha completed Leadership Louisville in 2019 and Leadership Kentucky in 2018. She has completed several local and national leadership programs in her career, including Welcome Academy in 2017, SISGI Leadership Group, Ignite Louisville, Leadership Oldham County, and Wells Fargo Leadership. She has two children and enjoys the ballet, the arts, and spending time with family and friends.

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Ellie Yerkes

Development Associate


Ellie serves as the head Unicorn Tamer for Nspire while serving as the Development Associate and Grant Writer.

She began her career with Park Community Credit Union in 2006 as a Director of Business and Community Development and became a certified Credit Union Business Development Professional through the CUNA. While working in community development, Ellie created awareness of the credit union and fostered community relationships to gain new growth strategies. Currently, Ellie is co-chair of Park Community Credit Union’s internal Autism Awareness Committee and serves on the planning committee for the Annual Girls Summit.

Ellie has served on several civic boards and nonprofit associations. She has worked, both personally and professionally, with several community organizations through the years. Most recently she served on The Girls Scouts of Kentuckiana Board Development Supervisory Committee. Over the years she has served on the Executive Board for The Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce and for The Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce. She has been an active member on the Main Street Association Board, served as an ambassador for Greater Louisville Inc. and participated in Leadership Louisville’s 2018 Focus Program and is a graduate of Leadership Bullitt County.

Ellie began her career in South Carolina as an associate with Wordsmith Public Relations Firm and as the Marketing Associate for the Magic of Allen Valentine Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Moving back to Louisville in 2000, Ellie served as the Public Relations Manager for the Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce from 2000-2006 and worked on the planning and implementation of the Annual Gaslight Festival.

A proud graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, Ellie has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentration’s in business, journalism and public speaking. She is an alumni of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and currently resides in Louisville with her husband William and two beautiful children. Ellie has a passion for all things related to her children’s activities and loves to travel with her family to the beautiful beaches of South Carolina.

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Nichole Leachman

Financial Education Specialist

Nichole Leachman is the Director of Financial Education for Park Community Credit Union and Nspire. She oversees the delivery of all the financial education print, social media, and presentations to local non-profits, schools, colleges, and affiliates. Nichole is the former Director of the Center for Housing and Financial Empowerment at the Louisville Urban League. Nichole brings a rich experience in homeownership and financial counseling. She holds numerous certifications, including HUD Certified Housing Counselor, Neighbor Works certified Financial Coach, as well as a Dave Ramsey Financial coach.

Nichole has held similar positions at highly respected financial capacity building agencies, including The Housing Partnership, Inc. of Louisville and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. She has overseen several federal, state, local and private grants. Nichole regularly presents at Simmons College of Kentucky, Kentucky State, and U of L Athletics, Louisville Urban League, LCCC, and more. Nichole Leachman received the 2018 Whitey M. Young Jr. Award for Excellence in Housing Counseling Management from National Urban League. Her certificates and training include Financial Management, Fair Housing, Building Financial Capability Programs, Scam Prevention and Reporting, and Avoiding Foreclosure.

Originally from Indianapolis, IN, where she graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, Nichole is married and has a blended family that includes three children. Her youngest child currently attends Eastern Kentucky University. Nichole is also a proud member of the graduate chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Eta Omega Louisville Chapter.

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Nicole Robinson

Philanthropy Programs Administrator


Nicole Robinson has been working in the non-profit sector for over 18 years. Nicole started her career as a fiscal assistant with a community action agency in Jasper, Indiana. After graduating from college, she relocated to Louisville and continued her non-profit work with University Pediatrics Foundation, University Physicians Associates, now known as University of Louisville Physicians, and Passport Health Plan. Nicole is currently the Programs Administrator for Nspire – A Park Community Initiative.

Nicole brings her knowledge and experience in accounts payable/receivable, office/project management, schedule/travel management, and governing board support/engagement to the newly created role. Nicole enjoys being crafty, reading, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family. She lives in Southwest Louisville with her husband and fur babies.