The former First Lady of Louisville, Madeline Abramson, is now the Lieutenant Governor’s wife, and she is as comfortable, charming, and absolutely approachable –as she has always been. She enjoying her new, bigger scope of the entire state, but she has slowed down since her days in the mayor’s office. We met her at Maryhurst for our photo shoot (an organization near and dear to her heart) and got an update on her life.
Tell us what you have been doing as the Lieutenant Governor’s Wife.
As the wife of the Lieutenant Governor, I feel as though I have the best of all worlds. I am in Louisville enough to remain involved with organizations that mean a great deal to me such as Maryhurst, the Red Cross, and the Kentucky Center for the Arts. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the state with the Lieutenant Governor, the First Lady and on my own. I’ve met many wonderful people who are just as passionate about their communities as I am.
Do you miss the hustle and bustle of being the Mayor’s wife? Or are you relishing the downtime (comparatively speaking)?
It was an honor and a privilege for both of us to serve the community we love so much for so many years. I do miss the time I spent in our area schools doing everything from giving fifth grade commencement speeches, to reading out loud to children, to judging poster contests. I am just happy we have such a wonderful and active First Lady of Louisville in Dr. Alex Gerassimides.
How long have you been involved with Maryhurst?
I had the opportunity to take a tour of Maryhurst about 25 years ago. I went there with no intention of getting involved but after meeting the courageous young women and the impressive staff members who cared for them, like Judy Lambeth, I knew I was hooked! I’ve served as a Board member and volunteer ever since.
Tell us about Madeline’s Cottage at Maryhurst.
Our Board voted to embark on a Comprehensive Campaign almost four years ago and we were truly fortunate to have Julie LaValle Jones take the role of Campaign Chair. One of the components of the campaign is to raise funds to build a new cottage, on our campus, to replace an aging two story residence built in the 1970’s. All of our residence halls are named for someone, and the Board decided to name our newest residence, Madeline‘s Cottage. I am extremely humbled, and honored, by this gesture.
Louisvillians consider you family and we miss seeing you. How are “Mayor Jerry”and your son Sidney doing?
We are happy to remain in our home, in Crescent Hill, even though we spend quite a bit of time on the road. My husband can still ride his bike all over Louisville, when time permits on the weekends. Our son, Sidney, graduated from Bellarmine University this past May and is living and working in Louisville. As you can imagine, that makes us very happy!
What is the biggest life lesson you have ever learned?
My late father, Jack Malley, always liked to quote Eldridge Cleaver, particularly when my sister and I were complaining about some injustice. He would listen to us, for a short time, then say, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” I consider that one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.
Who is your mentor?
I’ve been truly fortunate in my life to have had a number of mentors in a variety of roles. I still do not consider myself too old to learn from someone else every day.
What is best advice that you have received in business?
A wise person, with whom I worked, once told me to “never burn any bridges behind you.” In the business world, and in life, you never know when you will cross someone’s path again.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
I feel as though I have the perfect life. I am living the dream! I have a wonderful husband, son, family and friends. My days are exciting, challenging and sometimes a bit hectic. Can’t imagine life any other way.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am out and about so much that I think some people would be surprised to know I could spend days at home and never be bored.
What is your favorite place to go eat?
Any restaurant on Frankfort Avenue, but if I had to pick one, it would be Porcini.
Where do you like to shop?
What is a treat or a luxury you do for yourself?
Working out at the JCC and doing machine based Pilates, with a trainer, or walking around the Crescent Hill Reservoir are all ways I treat myself. I think it’s important for all of us to take the time to care of ourselves, as best we can.
What is your weakness?
If I have to answer, it would be my fondness for re-runs of old sitcoms like Gilligan’s Island and the Golden Girls.
What is your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
How much time do you have? Whether it’s UofL Women’s Basketball, the Louisville Orchestra, the Ballet, a concert at The Clifton Center, inviting friends to sit on our front porch and share a glass of wine … there is always something fun to do in our hometown.
What are you reading right now?
What are three of your favorite things right now?
- The cooler air so I can leave the windows open
- The sound of cicadas
- The start of the Orchestra and Ballet seasons … not to mention Football!
We so enjoyed chatting with Madeline Abramson and seeing all the exciting plans at Maryhurst. She is a delight.
As always, much gratitude to my FACES photographer Adele Reding and her fantastic work. See her profile here: www.facebook.com