For decades, Ben Brown and Don Hudson worked in banking, making sure customers’ money was secure and available. Now, they are ensuring Keeneland patrons’ days at the track are enjoyable and trouble-free.
Prior to what’s now his third year as an usher in the guest services department and concierge for corporate box patrons, Brown climbed the ranks in the banking industry. The journey began as a clerk at Central Bank in Nicholasville. Twelve years, a few promotions and a transfer to First National Bank later, Brown was named president of Nicholasville’s First National Bank in 1976. After First National Bank was sold in 1995, Brown and some local directors went as far as organizing a new bank themselves: Citizen’s National Bank of Jessamine County.
“It was just one of those things that happened,” Brown said about his 34-year career in banking. “I found that during my banking career I was able to help a lot of people in various things,” Brown said.
In addition to his accomplished banking career, Brown also served as a member of the Jessamine Country 4-H, chairman and president of the Jessamine County Library Board, United Way, the American Red Cross and the Jessamine Chamber of Commerce, where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Brown was a busy man, so it’s no wonder that his retirement in 2013 didn’t last long.
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But why go to work for Keeneland, rather than simply enjoying retirement?
“I always thought it was a beautiful facility, the grounds and the buildings. It was something to do,” Brown said. “After 50 years, it’s hard not to get up and do something.”
Hudson, on the other hand, had a much different path in banking, beginning in 1979 at First Security Bank in the collections department. But then credit scores came into existence, and his focus turned to automobile loans and, ultimately, managing numerous branches before retiring in 1993.
These days, Hudson works in admissions at Keeneland, just as he has for the past six years, as one of 12 turnstile booth clerks selling and scanning passes and tickets.
“I thought this would be neat to do so I came out and I love it,” Hudson said. “You meet so many different people. It’s something different every day and the people out here are just fantastic.”