Lori Kommor may now oversee the city’s biggest annual fashion event, but as a child, her focus wasn’t on couture clothes and extravagant designs. Born and raised “right over there by Churchill Downs,” Kommor fell in love with the massive thoroughbreds that raced around the track, where she played as a kid with the son of jockey Johnny Sellers, the now-late Hall of Fame rider who won the Kentucky Derby on Carry Back in 1961. Inspired by the Hall of Fame rider, Kommor decided, “I wanted to be a jockey.”
While that childhood dream never did come to fruition, Kommor’s love for the equine industry and accompanying fashion intensified, and she honed her own signature style, so much so that she was one of the winners of The Voice-Tribune’s Best Dressed of Louisville 2008. The very next day after walking the runway, Kommor received a phone call from the publication’s managing director, Tracy Blue.
“I was going to my son’s soccer game when she called and started small talking with me. I knew her, but I didn’t really know her,” Kommor recalled. “Tracy kind of beat around the bush, and then she asked me to chair Best Dressed – and it was successful then. I got Ron Wolz, one of my best friends on board, and then after Douglas Riddle attended Best Dressed 2009, he was on board.”
This year’s Best Dressed, presented by Churchill Downs, was by far the most fabulous, said Kommor. “The feedback we keep getting is what an amazing show and how are you going to top it?”
For now, Kommor is back to focusing on her role as a columnist and event planner for The Voice (stay tuned for more on the latter). But her first priority is being a mother to her two kids – Kennedy, a 16-year-old junior, and Regan, 12, a seventh grader – who are back in school at Collegiate. “They both play soccer, so it’s soccer games, school, sports, soccer games, school,” Kommor said, breaking into a deep, throaty laugh.
The trio also enjoy entertaining in their Highlands home. “When Regan asks me what’s for dinner, her next question is who’s coming,” Kommor said. That’s because on any given night (or weekend afternoon), there could be a motley crew of guests mingling about. They often vary in ethnicity, profession, economic status, gender and age. Their common bond? Kommor, who chats as easily with CEOs, judges and artists as she does with her lawn guy and the wisecracking server at her favorite hole-in-the wall tavern.
“I don’t think it’s anything that I consciously try to do, it’s quite simply just who I am. Growing up, my house was always the house to go to. When I had an apartment by the old Toy Tiger with my best friend Alyson Griffith, it was always the place to go,” Kommor said. “I love to be around people that don’t take themselves too seriously, because one of my favorite things to do is laugh.”
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.