Across Kentucky, in statewide and local campaigns, hundreds of KFTC leaders are deeply engaged and actively leading others. These leaders grow through skills training, mentoring, exchange with other groups and on-the-job practice.
Member leaders also govern our organization. Each chapter chooses a representative and alternate to the statewide Steering Committee. Members also serve on statewide issue committees such as Land Reform, Economic Justice, and New Energy & Transition, as well as governance committees like Personnel, Leadership Development and Finance. Many engage as New Power Leaders.
Dana lives in Bowling Green with her husband and children. She is passionate about economic justice, empowering low-income communities, and restoring government to what it should and can be. When she isn't registering voters, teaching people about Kentucky's tax structure, learning about how to protect people who rent their homes, or studying energy policies to help low-income families, Dana spends her time singing (her not-so-secret-anymore passion), getting involved in community events, and enjoying life with her family.
Immediate Past Chair
Steve served many years as a math professor and administrator at Berea College. Now retired, he lives in Madison County with his wife, Patty. Before being elected to the Executive Committee, Steve served on the Steering Committee as the Madison County Chapter representative. He has worked extensively on economic and tax justice campaigns with KFTC, and is interested in green building and energy-related issues.
Rick is a retired state employee who formerly worked for the Kentucky State Police. He became involved with KFTC in 2004 when Motts Branch coal company opened up two mines near his home. Soon after, he and his neighbors started having problems from dust and mud on the road and in the community. It became so bad that some community members were unable to raise gardens or enjoy sitting on their porches. Rick began organizing his community and soon they met and joined forces with other communities in Floyd County, then decided to revive the Floyd County KFTC Chapter in the spring of 2007. He has a daughter who attends Pikeville College.
Megan lives in beloved Berea, Kentucky. As a college student, she was captivated by KFTC while working with Bev May to protect her holler in Floyd County. After graduating from Berea College, Megan thought she might be bound for the west coast; but at the end of one year in Seattle, she heard this Bluegrass State calling her back to what is now her home. She loves Kentucky and misses her very goofy family in Ohio. Besides working with KFTC, she finds great joy in baking pies, hiking, playing banjo and singing with the band Sugar Tree.
Sue lives in Morehead and teaches Appalachian Sociology at Morehead State University. She became involved in KFTC after being inspired to by her students. "Democracy doesn't happen on its own," she has said. "As ordinary citizens we have to come together and make it happen." She has served as the Rowan County Chapter representative on the Steering Committee, as a member of the Land Reform Committee and Litigation Team, and as the Rowan County Chapter chair and publicity coordinator.
Northern Kentucky Representative
A lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky, Ben has been active with KFTC since 2009 and is a founding member of the Northern Kentucky Chapter. Upon seeing first-hand the devastating effects of mountaintop removal in Eastern Kentucky, Ben felt an urgent need to help protect his home state's environment and her residents. He now finds himself lobbying his legislators on many different issues and becoming more involved in the democratic process of the Commonwealth. In his free time Ben likes to hear live music, travel the backroads of Kentucky reading every historical marker, and pilot small aircraft.
Floyd County Representative
Whitney joined KFTC in 2012 and was excited to jump in head first! She has a love for eastern Kentucky that can never be taken away. As a small child, she noticed things that needed to change. In 5th grade she told herself that she would somehow make a difference in her community. In 2013, she is looking forward to being a part of the Steering Committee. Her main focus is fairness and equality but she is also going to be working on things such as voting rights, water testing, and the abolition of the death penalty. In her free time she loves riding side by sides, reading, art, learning about the universe, yoga, listening to music, and going to shows. She's very much a free spirit and aspires to travel the world and soak up as much culture as possible.
Southern Kentucky Chapter Representative
Originally from Somerset, Travis now lives in Bowling Green with his wife, Lydia. Travis works for Connected Nation, where he is responsible for researching the impact of broadband in communities all over the U.S. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Travis is currently a student in Iowa State University’s community development graduate program, studying sustainable economic development. Travis is also interested in studying how technological innovations can empower social and environmental justice. In addition to representing the Bowling Green and Friends chapter, Travis is a member of KFTC’s New Energy & Transition Strategy Team. He would love to see a new KFTC chapter in his hometown of Somerset. When he’s not in the office or at a KFTC meeting, Travis enjoys riding his motorcycle through Kentucky’s rural back roads.
Jefferson County Representative
Shekinah was transplanted to Kentucky in 2000, and after living in a number of states, finally found a place that she wanted to call “home”. After meeting some folks from KFTC, she became enamored with their vision and their focus on positive, values-based change. She began working on Tax Reform with KFTC, helped to craft tax legislation through the Partnership for Kentucky's Future coalition, and joined the Economic Justice committee where she has served since 2010. Shekinah spends much of her free time talking about tax reform to anyone who will listen, trying to find excited new leaders to share their stories, and studying tax policy, tax structures and anything else pertaining to best economic practices. When she isn't working as a member, she can be found knitting, watching Star Trek or famously bad films, but usually, she's talking to someone about taxes.
Madison County Representative
Meta is a professor of Peace and Social Justice Studies at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. After graduating from college in her home state of California, she spent fifteen years as a labor organizer, including four years with migrant farm workers. Meta is the author of Reclaiming Democracy: The Sixties in Politics and Memory (New York: Routledge, 1995). She has lived in Kentucky since 2000. “Limbo” is her first creative nonfiction essay to be published.
Wilderness Trace representative
Born in Danville, Daniel grew up amongst the farms and forests of the nearby knobs where he developed his own appreciation for the environment. With parents who have been activity involved in strip mining and social justice issues, he grew up aware of many of the issues KFTC promotes. He attended George Washington University in Washington D.C. where he studied history and economics which helped him hone his views and values on the world. In recent years, after getting his masters degree from the University of Kentucky, he has worked as a high school history teacher in central Kentucky. He has also studied American Sign Language with the intent of becoming an ASL-English Interpreter. He has been involved with KFTC for the past year, working to get the Wilderness Trace Chapter up and running. Daniel is an avid runner having competed with success in high school and college; he has completed four marathons in three states and on two continents.
Letcher County Representative
After moving to Kentucky when she was four, Elizabeth grew up in Floyd and Knott Counties, where her dad was a teacher, but attended high school in Cincinnati when her family moved for new job opportunities. After college in Washington DC, Elizabeth made her way back to the mountains she knew as home, serving as an AmeriCorps*VISTA at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County. There she spent over a year working in gardens and helping organize the first year of the Grow Appalachia project in the area. She now lives in Whitesburg and works with YouthBuild USA's Rural and Tribal Development Initiative, which also allows her to work with the National Rural Youth Assembly. Elizabeth is a volunteer hip hop DJ on WMMT 88.7, a crafter, and a star gazer.
Perry County Representative
Cleveland joined KFTC through the Perry and Knott County organizing with the EPA to protect his family's watershed in Dickerson Fork off Lott's Creek. Since Spring of 2011, he has shared his story and vision with legislators in Washington DC and Frankfort, top EPA officials, neighbors, and his family and peers. Cleveland also serves on the STAY (Stay Together Appalachian Youth) Steering Committee and is a recent graduate of Cordia Community School in Knott County and Appalshop's youth media training program, Appalachian Media Institute.
Central Kentucky Representative
Christian came to Kentucky in 2002 to attend UK College of Law from rural New York after a road trip with a college friend he was visiting who’s folks had moved to West Virginia, “hey, let’s go to Kentucky...” After hearing glowing things about KFTC over the years he found his entry point at Singing For Democracy and hasn’t looked back. In his time at KFTC Christian has developed a real passion for the people of Kentucky and the issues of KFTC. Self described as a lawyer/activist he is heavily involved in both the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining and the restoration of voting rights for former felons and he is indebted to KFTC. Christian is proud to serve our members in Central Kentucky and be a part of this new power!
Rowan County Representative
Ted lives in Rowan County with his wife, Dana, and son, Galen. He is retired from the Kentucky Division of Water. The environment has been his 40-year passion, and takes more of his time now than ever. As the Big Sandy & Little Sandy River Basin Coordinator, he witnessed firsthand the devastation to the people and the land that mountaintop removal has done and is working to see the end of this devastating form of mining. He believes KFTC empowers citizens with a voice and the opportunity to work within our democracy for justice. The Rowan County KFTC Chapter is very active in the community and has had many positive impacts. Ted has found retirement from state government an opportunity work unfettered on environmental justice issues. He is a member of the Steering Committee, Litigation Team and Land Reform Committee.