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The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Meet Andy Shea

It’s not often you meet someone like Andy Shea. He’s a mover, a shaker — he means business. His heart is big and his vision for the Lexington Legends is even bigger. His passion for people and genuine love for what he does was effortlessly evident when we spoke.

Andy had never been to the state of Kentucky before he moved here in 2005. He came to work in ticket sales and fell in love. Philadelphia, where he grew up will always have his heart but Lexington is home.

As the President and CEO of the Legends you run everything and own the organization?

Yes. My family owns the stadium, owns the team, owns the property, and we have our own food & beverage business here. The Legends have been here for 17 years and we have owned it for the past 13.

It looks like you are very much into giving back – specifically with kids.

Definitely – both personally and with the Legends. I first joined Big Brothers Big Sisters a little over 8 years ago with Christian. And then through Christian it grew to Curtis, Deron, Byron, and Keon.

And you keep up with all of them still?

Oh yeah. When Curtis went through college I paid for his tuition. Same with Christian and eventually Deron. I had custody of Byron for two years which made me kind of like a single dad for a little bit. I still stay actively involved with all of them.

Andy lends a helping hand wherever he can. He adopted a stray dog that showed up at the park — who is aptly named Royal as the Legends are a Kansas City Royals affiliate. He was also able to give Royal a friend: a pet pig he won at an event for the American Diabetes Association. I was in awe listening to how Andy makes it a focus to give back

What is a typical day for you like?

Frankly thats why I love this job because there isn’t a typical day. Any given day we could be wearing shorts and Nikes and we are here till 11:30 or it’s full suit or it’s business casual or its helping pick up trash in the stadium. That is whats amazing about this business. There is a little bit of everything: internal meetings, planning, games, concerts, the high school state tournament, and various different events. It keeps things exciting around here!

What is something you have implemented at the park that you are most proud of?

Something tangible I’m most proud of is Red White & Boom. It was in Lexington, but not at the ballpark. We were able to first host it and then grow it in to the biggest country music festival in the region and arguably one of the biggest in the country. It started out as an event with a lot of up and coming artists but now we have brought many top stars. 

Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Blake Shelton — those are six of the top 15 biggest names in country music.


I’ve been so impressed with this. It’s not often you have the chance to see this many huge names together — let alone in your backyard. When did you decide to take on the go big or go home mentality with this event?

That is kind of my personality as a whole. It would have been very easy to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and do the standard four hours a month. That wasn’t enough for me. It would have been very easy not to get involved with Red White & Boom the first time because of the risk involved with it. Thankfully we saw success and were able to then take a step back and see how we could continue to grow it. I try not to stay complacent — I always want to do better.

Is there any certain artist you are most excited to see?

Luke Bryan for sure. I saw him for the first time in Cincinnati two years ago. It was one of those moments where I felt like a high school girl because I just wanted to hang out with him. He is always smiling. You can tell he is genuinely having fun.

Is there a ticket count you are trying to beat?

We had about 43,000 people last year over the three days and I am confident we will beat it this year. If we average 15,000 per day — i’ll be pumped! I think that is the sweet spot for the facility and the sweet spot for the fans. I think there is value to this atmosphere. I saw Luke among 50,000 people so being able to see him and the other artists in a more intimate spot just makes for a better fan experience.

Besides Red White & Boom, what other big events do you have coming up at Whitaker Bank Ballpark?

September 22nd the Lexington Philharmonic is doing a Harry Potter themed concert here!

That is so creative! Who came up with that idea?

That was me. It is something I have wanted to do for years. Finally this year it just worked out perfectly with scheduling and what we had available. The Lexington Philharmonic is in a really great spot as well right now so it was the perfect addition to their concert line up.

How awesome to be able to dive in to so many other avenues with a venue like this.

Absolutely. And it gives us the chance to meet so many different people. We have hundreds of thousands of fans that come here every year which means we have hundreds of thousands of customers who come from different backgrounds whether that is geographical, age, socioeconomic — you name it. It is so fun to talk to all of these people who are so different but come together to enjoy the same thing.

What I love most about Andy is that he is game for any idea. He is willing, eager to listen to new ideas, and happy to help implement if it is attainable...

This ten year old who comes to a bunch of games, knows I have a pet pig. He has a pet chicken and had asked for weeks when we could have a barn at the park. I brought my pet pig, he brought his chicken, and there was a mini horse here that day as well so we had a barn at the park.

Andy has helped to curate a very smooth operation at the park. It is refreshing to see a leader so willing and open. He yearns for new inventive ideas. No is a word he uses scarcely. If he can make it happen — he will. He has taken kindly to the Field of Dreams attitude: if you build it, they will come. 

This is seen time and time again with all of the special events he has made possible at the park and all of the attendees that show up because of them. I for one know where I will be on Labor Day Weekend — enjoying Andy’s hard work and some fine country music. 

Meet Drew McCoy: A Man With A Gaze For Glaze

One thing in this world that has never let me down? Donuts. I love every type, every consistency, every glaze. What I love even more is being able to build my own. The coolest new spot in Lexington is making that dream a reality. Metropolitan Donuts serves doughy goodness made to order. You select the base, the toppings, and the drizzle. They also have preset donuts you can try if you’re too overwhelmed to create your own concoction. 

In honor of celebrating their 6 month anniversary, I spoke with owner Drew McCoy. 

Special thanks to Hartley Social for sponsoring this interview!!  

Did you always know you wanted your own business? Specifically donuts? 

I did — not necessarily donuts, but I knew I always wanted to open a restaurant. I have a cousin who owns an Italian restaurant and I grew up watching what he did and I just kept leaning towards wanting to create something of my own. We had some friends in Naples that owned a donut shop and after watching their operation I realized the schedule this kind of store would need really fit our family.

Tell me more…

We try to make our donuts throughout the day in small batches. This way they are always fresh. You can compare us to the way subway or chipotle works. We are a donut bar. You decide what is on it. You pick your glaze, your toppings, your drizzle and we whip it up for you. 

There are similar shops to Met but according to Drew they are the only shop that does mini made to order donuts! 

How did the name come about?

Evelyn [my wife] and I would much rather always live in the city and a Metropolitan vibe felt like us. I knew I wanted a simple, sleek, modern look — white countertops and subway tiles. Then one day it hit me. Metropolitan wasn’t just the vibe — it was our brand and that is how the name came to be.

Side note: People love giving things a nickname. It makes you feel close to people and brands when you are able to do so. I.E: Metropolitan Donuts as MET DONUTS.  

I love that you built this donut empire with your wife. You two seem to be quite the dream team! 

I know what I want but I can’t always see it. My wife, on the other hand, gets a vision. She can take my ideas and make them a reality. We walked in the space and within two minutes she was already coming up with a plan on how to achieve the look and feel we wanted. 

K: So she’s the Joanna to your Chip.

D: Laughs — kind of. I don’t know a hammer from a screwdriver but she can do it all. She owns and runs a decor and design shop called Polished Interiors. Her store is off Old Lafayette. Her ability to create and make dreams a reality is evident in this space.

Do you have a favorite Donut?

Honestly I’m so simple. Cinnamon sugar. It’s my go to and if you put honey over it — it’s awesome

What makes you stand out?

There are plenty of places that do a donut of the day. We do as well. What makes us different is that if you love that certain donut and we take it off the menu — it’s not really gone. We still have all the toppings here to make it for you.

I know you also have different types of coffee. Tell me more about how this became a part of a staple at Met. 

I know people love donuts but from a business standpoint I was afraid they don’t eat them everyday. I mean I love pizza, but I don’t eat it everyday. Most of us do drink coffee everyday. I wanted to be different. I made it a point to bring in roasters from around the country. We have roasters from Canada, California, and Michigan. They are all specially roasters. We are talking top 10 roasters in the world. I was nervous to reach out to them but I thought, I might as well swing for the fences

Clearly he hit a home run…

These roasters were really excited to get their coffee in to the heart of America — none of their beans were in Kentucky and they really loved the concept of the store. They wanted to be a part of it. Plus, a restaurant doesn’t source their wine from one vineyard or put one brewery on tap so we took the same approach. Why use just one roaster when we can offer so many others? 

Drew has made people believers in his coffee selections. It can be tough to get them to try new things. 

There have been people to walk in with Starbucks cups and I tell them we will give them a free cup to try if they ditch what they currently have. After they try ours they vow not to go back. So we are slowly converting our customers. More and more they come in and buy bags of coffee to take home.

Speaking of new things — you must now go try The Karaboo: my exclusive donut creation at Met. 

Having a donut named in my honor is my greatest achievement in life. I’m not sure I can do better than this. Truly this is better than an Oscar, A Tony, A Grammy — it trumps them all.

It is an amazing thing to support a brand when you can get a feel for those behind it. Drew [and Evelyn] have created an amazing concept — but Metropolitan is so much more than that. The staff are fun, upbeat, and you can tell they truly love working for Drew. He welcomes the ideas of others. He listens. 

However, the thing I love most about Drew is learning that he and his family have become big fans of WWE. What started out as something his son loved grew into a family affair. He plans to create donuts inspired by some of their favorite wrestlers for the next they have a show in town. 

I’m rooting for Drew in more ways than one. I hope he gets to meet some of his favorite wrestlers. I hope they can see what a fabulous place Metropolitan Donuts is. Most importantly — I hope Met grows into the staple of Lexington I know it is meant to be. 

Now go try it for yourself TOMORROW. It will officially be the donut of the week: THE KARABOO

This Guy That Saved The Puppies: Meet Jordan Kahana.

Jordan Kahana is a cool guy with a cool name. He is self assured and tries to stray away from the pack — that is until he rescued two puppies on a road trip through the desert. Now he rolls only in a pack everywhere he goes. The Adventure Squad is hands down the most delightful trio you will ever meet. 

I’m sure you’ve told this story 1000 times, but I have to know more about you finding the pups! 

Back in December I went on a road trip to cap off the year, create some personal travel content and meet up with friends along the way. On my way up to the Grand Canyon I was forced to swerve out of the two-lane highway for two 8-week old pups. In a panic, I immediately pulled over and ran out to get them from this dangerous situation. There was no better option than to take them with me. From that day forward, "The Adventure Squad" was born and we have continued our adventures from there. Currently on a month-long road trip around the west coast national parks. 

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You must have people question the reality of the story…

I do, but keep in mind I work in production. I had a camera in the front seat with me throughout my trip — constantly filming. I was planning on putting together a compilation of my travels and then life threw a curveball. My journey with The Adventure Squad began. 

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Tell me their names and how you came to pick them! 

One is a boy and one is a girl. Their names were originally Hermes and Sedona. 

I was driving from Sedona when I found them. That was an easy one — such a pretty name and it just fit. I was really in to Greek Mythology during my time in college and so I looked up the Greek God of travel which is Hermes who is also the messenger of Zeus. 

J: People always wanted an explanation for the name Hermes or thought it was pronounced like the fashion label Hermes. I have this thing on Halloween — if you have to explain your costume, you didn’t do a good job. This is what I felt like was happening with the name Hermes. 

K: Or it just sounded too much like Herpes. 

J: Laughs. I wasn’t going to bring that up, but I did have two people ask if that was his name. The second time it happened I was done. We leveled up in Greek mythology and went with Zeus! 

I know there is more to you than being this guy who rescued the dogs. What are your other interests? 

I’m into being active. Being artistic has always been a part of me since I was young. I don’t get to draw or paint as much as I’d like to, but I love it. I want to be on my bike or skateboard as much as possible. I play a lot of basketball. It’s been a great staple to keep me sane in LA. I play a Tuesday night run — its the one thing in my schedule that is consistent.

Side note: Jordan used to work at ESPN. He knows how happy my BBN readers are to hear that he is a balla. 

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Speaking of ESPN: Jordan wanted to be a sports broadcaster so he attended Mizzou — a school known for its journalism program. 
Tell me about your college experience. What did you learn along the way? 

When asked about college, the thing I recommend most is location. If you're passionate about the mountains go to a school like Colorado. For me, I focused on the schooling — which is contradicting to me. In 2nd grade I told my teacher, “school is getting in the way of my life” — true story. At the time I was dead set on becoming a sports broadcaster so I put my focus on the Journalism School at Mizzou. Your career path is all based on your hard work and connections you make along the way. It took me a while to enjoy my Mizzou experience and it provided me with a connection that ultimately landed my Dream Job (at the time) at ESPN. Despite not being in love with Mizzou I was able to study abroad while in college which sparked my love for travel.

Side noteJordan's passport photo is below. It could double as his mixtape cover. It looks as though he is about to drop the hottest album of 2017. 

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It seems like it set you up to be successful…

For sure. I quit my job at the end of April and May 1st I had the plan to go on a big adventure with the dogs — this west coast loop of the National Parks. I reached out to a handful of brands to see if they would be interested in content or imagery and I was able to partner with a few. They sent me product in exchange for assets and it has helped to build out a network early in this freelance game. 

I want it to be noted that Jordan was adorably flustered talking about this next bit. I think it won me over the most. 

K: The pups have to help your dating game.

J: The attention is there — this is the part where I get a little humble and shy. Honestly my focus is on them so it’s not the easiest thing to go on a date. I hate leaving them. But I’m doing alright. 

K: You just have to own it. I have a problem thinking you had trouble pulling girls before the pups. I don’t think this was ever an issue for you. 

J: Well thank you. Seriously though when you have TWO puppies — I mean no one even acknowledged me for the first three months I had them. 

It has to be cool also to see your social following climb or have people recognize you… 

By no means do I think I’m a celebrity, but it is really cool when I’m out with the dogs and it clicks with people who have seen the clip. I’m just happy and grateful I went viral for a positive reason and I’m not like the cashmeouside girl. 

Side note: The cashhhhmeouside reference got me tickled. Partly because that is where you will catch Jordan. Outside, traveling — being an awesome dog dad. 

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I love to see someone taking what life throws at them and really making the most of it. Jordan seems to roll with the punches and then he pushes whatever comes his way to its fullest potential. He noted that he isn’t sure who saved whom: him to the pups or the pups to him. I think it’s a very mutually exclusive turn of events. The Adventure Squad paired up just at the right time. 

And because it was too hard not to include more photos....enjoy:

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PS: Want to see the puppy rescue in action? Watch here!