W. Bruce Lunsford is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lunsford Capital, LLC, a private investment company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ventas, Inc., a healthcare real estate investment company (REIT), listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Mr. Lunsford is also the founder, former Chairman, President and CEO of Vencor, Inc., a Fortune 500 healthcare company, now known as Kindred Healthcare based in Louisville, Kentucky. During his 15-year tenure, Vencor became the largest full-service, long-term healthcare provider in the United States. The Vencor network consisted of 61 long-term acute care hospitals, 293 skilled nursing centers and employed over 65,000.
Mr. Lunsford is the former Chairman of Valor Healthcare, Inc., which operated outpatient clinics for military veterans under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs until the company was sold in July 2012. Mr. Lunsford is also the former Chairman of Deyta, Inc., a leader of healthcare satisfaction management and clinical quality improvement program services, which was sold to HealthcareFirst in April 2015. He became a member of the Board of Directors of Zirmed, Inc., a medical technology company, in 2012 and served until October 2017 when it merged with Navicure. Mr. Lunsford is a former board member of Vita-Stat, LLC, a Louisville-based health care device and software company from 2016 to 2021 when it was acquired by Glennis Solutions, LLC.
Mr. Lunsford is the Chairman of Arcadia Communities, LLC, a Louisville-based real estate development company, which specializes in senior living communities. In October, 2015, Mr. Lunsford joined the Board of Directors of Edumedics, LLC, a Louisville-based healthcare company that provides complete care management solutions for individuals with chronic conditions. He was elected Chairman of Edumedics in July, 2017, and the company rebranded as SentryHealth in July 2018, expanding its services to improve health outcomes and drive significant savings for employers. SentryHealth merged with WellView in 2022, and Mr. Lunsford continues to serve on the board. In July, 2018, Mr. Lunsford became a board member of GoWild Alpha, Inc. a free social media community for hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts to help them improve their skills and find better equipment.
In 1996, Mr. Lunsford founded Atria Communities Inc., the third largest assisted living company in the U.S. He served as Atria’s Chairman and recruited its original management team. In 1998, Atria was sold to Lazard Freres, and the company continues to maintain its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1999, Mr. Lunsford was one of the original investors and initial chairman of Xodiax, Inc., a supplier of data center and Internet services that grew a customer base of nearly 150 companies in the Louisville area. Xodiax was purchased by Peak 10, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2004.
An individual with varied interests, Mr. Lunsford, as a thoroughbred owner, raced the brilliant Grade I filly, Madcap Escapade, the outstanding Grade I two-year old colt, First Samurai, the Grade II filly, Bel Air Beauty, the Grade III filly, Tessa Blue, and the Illinois Derby winner, Vision and Verse, who also finished second in the 1999 Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes. Additionally, as a breeder, he bred Grade I winner, Golden Missile, and multiple Grade I winner, Arravale, who was named Canadian Horse of the Year in 2006. Most recently, Mr. Lunsford bred and raced the prolific Art Collector, winner of the Grade I Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park in 2021, the Grade II Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in 2020 and the Grade II Charles Town Classic in West Virginia, as well as the Ellis Park Derby in 2020 and the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in 2021. Mr. Lunsford is a former member of the Board of Directors of Churchill Downs and the Breeders’ Cup Limited.
Mr. Lunsford was a co-founder of Hart-Lunsford Pictures, a production company which produced nine feature films with casts that include Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Billy Crudup, John Cusack, Claire Danes, Zac Efron, Frank Langella, Lucy Liu, William H. Macy, Virginia Madsen, Tim McGraw, Mandy Moore, Matthew Perry, Mary Steenburgen, Hilary Swank, Juno Temple and Dianne Wiest. Two of Hart-Lunsford’s first pictures, “Dedication” and “Grace is Gone” were accepted into the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January 2007 and received significant critical acclaim. In addition, “Grace is Gone” received the coveted Audience Award and its screenwriter received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. In 2008, “Birds of America” and “Diminished Capacity” were accepted at Sundance, while “Trucker” and “Bart’s Got a Room” were accepted at the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2009 and 2010, respectively, “Me and Orson Welles” and “Dirty Girl” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2012, HLP co-financed “Great Expectations” featuring Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine and Robbie Coltrane.
In 2013, Mr. Lunsford became an investor and partner in the revitalization of Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park and Hurricane Bay Water Park in Louisville. This popular venue reopened in May 2014 and provides entertainment to families throughout the region. It was named a top 10 amusement park for 2015 by MSN Travel and Fodor’s Travel and was sold to Herschend Companies in March 2021.
Throughout his career, Mr. Lunsford has had a strong interest in public service, beginning with his service in the administration of Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. as Kentucky’s Secretary of Commerce from 1980 to 1983. During his tenure, Kentucky realized unprecedented economic growth, as well as the location of a UPS hub in Louisville and a Delta Airlines hub in Northern Kentucky.
From 1983-1997, he served a variety of organizations, including the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky, Bellarmine College, Centre College and Salmon P. Chase College of Law, as well as Chairman of Kentucky Country Day School and the Kentucky Economic Development Corporation.
In January of 2007, Mr. Lunsford entered the race for Governor of Kentucky, along with Greg Stumbo, the state’s Attorney General as his Lt. Governor candidate. After a campaign by Mr. Lunsford that introduced his Blueprint for Change, he finished second in a primary consisting of seven candidates. Mr. Lunsford was then recruited and encouraged by numerous local and national Democrats to run for U.S. Senate, and on January 29, 2008, he entered the Democratic Primary as a candidate for that position. He won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate on May 20, 2008 and ran an extremely competitive race, receiving numerous political endorsements, most notably from the Courier-Journal, Kentucky’s largest newspaper. His opponent, incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, narrowly defeated Mr. Lunsford in the November election with a 53/47% share of the vote.
Through the W. Bruce Lunsford Foundation, Mr. Lunsford has made significant contributions to a variety of charitable organizations and educational institutions throughout the region for more than 20 years. Most recently, his gifts have enabled his alma mater, Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University to establish the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business and Technology to better prepare young lawyers for the age of information, and as a result of the success of the first 10 years of the program, Mr. Lunsford has significantly increased his commitment to Chase for the next 10 years. In addition, he established the Lunsford Scholars Program in Citizenship and Public Service in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Sciences to encourage students of his undergraduate alma mater to devote themselves to service in the Commonwealth and beyond.
Mr. Lunsford is a former member of the Board of Directors of ResCare, Inc., a leading provider of support services for persons with special needs and at-risk youth, as well as a former member of the Board of both National City Bank, Kentucky and National City Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio.
A native of the Greater Cincinnati area, Mr. Lunsford, a CPA and an attorney, was employed by Alexander Grant & Company of Cincinnati from 1969 to 1974. In 1974, he joined the law firm of Keating, Muething and Klekamp of Cincinnati.
Mr. Lunsford was graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1969 with a B.A. degree and from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1974 with a J.D. degree. He has three daughters, Amy, Cindy and Brandy, and seven grandchildren, Isabella, William, Noah, Phoebe, Degife, Leo and Wylie. In December, 2021, Mr. Lunsford married Eleanor Porco, and he has two stepsons, Luke and Jack.