Staff

Lisa Abbott

Empower Kentucky Organizer

A KFTC organizer in eastern Kentucky for five years, Lisa became the Leadership Development Coordinator in 1997.  She received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy with an emphasis in Leadership Development from the University of Maryland in 2001. Lisa returned to KFTC in 2002 as the Director of Organizing and Leadership Development. She currently is KFTC's organizer for the Empower Kentucky initiative.

E'Beth Adami

Development Associate

E'Beth has her roots in western Kentucky, but lives in Louisville and works as a Development Associate from KFTC's Jefferson County office. She did her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the University of Kentucky before completing her Master's of Science in Social Work at the University of Louisville. In her free time, E'Beth enjoys cooking, travel, and getting outdoors as much as possible.

Morgan Brown

Operations Manager

Morgan joined our staff in summer of 2009. She was born, raised, and still lives in Knox County, surrounded by her extended family.  Morgan enjoys spending time with her husband and their two wonderful children. She works out of our London office.

Jonah Cabiles

Organizing Apprentice

Jonah is a graduate of Berea College and a former KFTC steering committee representative for the Madison County Chapter. As a member of KFTC he has worked on issues around racial justice, immigration rights, LGBT fairness, and voter engagement. Jonah will be working in Eastern Kentucky around New Energy and Transition work in the London office and is excited to support Eastern Kentuckians in shaping just and sustainable communities. He lives in Berea and enjoys hiking.

Aubrey Clemons

Organizing Apprentice

Aubrey is a Louisville, KY native who decided to dedicate his life to social justice in 2010. Since then Aubrey has launched a boxing program for urban teenagers, was awarded grants for programs he wrote to promote healthy living and community enrichment, published two nonfiction novels, and volunteered with several local non profits. After connecting with KFTC at a community event he attended hosted by Network For Community Change Aubrey made KFTC his home base for social justice and  empowerment. KFTC invited Aubrey to attended several seminars,  trainings in facilitation, deep canvassing, lobbying, fundraising and voter empowerment. While working with KFTC he and fellow founders started the Smoketown based non profit “Hope by Hope”.

Tayna Fogle

Organizing Apprentice

Tayna Fogle is a mother of two young men, a grandmother of eight, and a basketball player extraordinaire. In order to stand up for the issues that were important to her family, she had to bravely defend against harsh drug sentencing policies and learn to navigate bureaucratic mazes to regain her right to vote. Tayna has created Re-entry programs, trainings and ministries in many Kentucky counties. She has been a motivational speaker and community activist, Developer and past Instructor of “Steppin To A New Beat”, and the Re-entry/Employment Specialist for Ex-Offenders. Tayna has empowered others for 11 years with the Kentuckians For The Commonwealth as she volunteered, worked on campaigns for the right to vote. She is a former felon that paid her debt to society.  She was the captain of a SEC championship basketball team at the University of Kentucky in 1982. She is also a former drug abuser. She spent several years in prison. She believes that her story has inspired and motivated many citizens to take part in this movement of restoring an individual’s self esteem, dignity, and self respect. 

Joe Gallenstein

Chapter Organizer with Northern Kentucky and Scott County

I have been blessed to work for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth in Northern Kentucky since 2010, and with the Scott County chapter since 2013. If you share our commitment to justice and a desire for a strong democracy then please join us at an upcoming KFTC event!

Lesley Garrett

Organizing Apprentice

Lesley is a Paducah native with a passion for social sustainability. Currently working on a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts at Murray State, she hopes to meld academic theory with accessible action steps toward a fair democracy. Along with studying, Lesley has volunteered with nonprofits across Haiti, interned with the City of Paducah Planning department, and worked at McCracken County Public library. In her free time, Lesley can usually be found taking analog photos or hanging out with her chickens and golden-collie, Aria.

Alexandria Goldsmith

Organizing Apprentice

Alex is a recent graduate from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Sociology and Criminology. She has been learning about, and participating in community organizing for a couple of years now, and it is something that she is very, very passionate about. She is incredibly excited about this Organizer Apprenticeship and especially about being as involved with KFTC as possible and helping to build new, empowered leaders to assist in making our future happier, healthier and fair. 

Jerry Hardt

Communications Director

Jerry is KFTC’s Communications Director. He has worked with KFTC for 30+ years in various roles, including balancing the scales editor, media coordinator and occasional financial manager! He lives in Magoffin County.

Laura Harper

Organizing Apprentice

Laura is a graduate of WKU and has been a member of KFTC for a year and a half. She served on the Steering Committee and Economic Justice Committee and is especially interested in housing issues. She feels that engaging the arts is a critical part of our organizing strategy. She lives in Bowling Green with her fiancée, dog, and two cats.

Michael Harrington

Program Associate

Michael lives in Madison County and works at KFTC’s Berea office. Michael started working with KFTC in 2017 as a Program Associate to provide support across KFTC’s program of work and organizational needs. He enjoys spending his free time reading outdoors!

Jessica Hays Lucas

Organizing Co-Director

Jessica has been on KFTC's Organizing Team since September 2006, working primarily with the Economic Justice Committee and the Leadership Development Committee. She grew up in south-central Kentucky, moved out of state for three long years, and got involved with KFTC in 2004 when she moved back to Kentucky. Jess lives in Lexington with her husband Shawn, their sons, and too many animals.

Angel Hill

Organizing Apprentice

Angel grew up in Corbin, KY and moved to Richmond in 2014. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in December with a degree in Sociology. During her time at EKU she minored in Appalachian Studies, which drove her passion to work back home in Southeastern Kentucky after graduating college. She is excited to have the opportunity to work in an area that she loves and cares about, and to continue working towards a just transition!

Amy Hogg

Development Director

Amy joined KFTC’s staff team in 2008. As Development Director, she works to build grassroots power by building KFTC's membership. She's originally from Letcher County and now lives in Berea with her husband, Mike, and daughters Ellie and Claire. She’s inspired by the energy and commitment of KFTC members and hopes to be like them when she grows up. Her first book, a novel for children called Callie Rose, was published in 2012.

Beth Howard

Central Kentucky Organizer and Deputy Organizing Director for Leadership Development

Beth Howard grew up in Morgan County. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Master’s in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Beth served for five years as a lead organizer with a grassroots organization in Daytona Beach, Florida called Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony (FAITH). She returned to Kentucky in 2011 and worked as a case manager facilitating classes in parenting, job coaching, and interpersonal skills for a multi-county program based in West Liberty and started organizing with KFTC in 2013. Beth is a student of yoga, she is rarely ever without a book, and lives in Lexington with her dog Sandy. 

Erik Hungerbuhler

Website Manager/E-Organizer

Erik is our Website Manager/E-Organizer.  He grew up in Corbin and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.  He was involved with KFTC in a number of different roles as a member before joining the staff and is excited about integrating the website and social media into our organizing strategy.  He currently lives in Lexington with his wife and  two daughters. He spends some of his free time geeking out on sci-fi, playing board games, and helping at his wife's yarn store, Rebelle. He is an accomplished knitter and always willing to teach others.

Alicia Hurle

Deputy Organizing Director for Democracy

Alicia is originally from Louisville and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Louisville with a concentration in Non-Profit Management and a Graduate Certificate in Pan-African Studies. She has been with KFTC since January 2013, spending her first 4 years as the Jefferson County Community Organizer before transitioning into her current role in the spring of 2017. In her free time, Alicia is a volunteer leader with Outdoor Afro and enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and watching indie movies. 

Becky Jones

Organizing Apprentice

Becky grew up in Louisville and is excited for the chance to join KFTC's staff as an Organizing Apprentice. They studied History and Political Science at Oberlin College and have spent time living in Philadelphia working as an outdoor educator. They spend their free time hiking, climbing, practicing Capoeira, and staying up late dreaming of communities built on love, mutual care, and resource sharing. 

Molly Kaviar

Southern Kentucky Community Organizer

Molly is excited to join the team as a community organizer in the Southern Kentucky region. She is a Louisville native and graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in Spanish and Anthropology. She enjoys camping, traveling, cooking and doing puzzles.

Burt Lauderdale

Executive Director

Burt is our Executive Director.  He is a graduate of Auburn University and has been with KFTC since 1983.  His responsibilities include leadership identification and development, campaign development, organizer training, strategy development and fundraising.

Carissa Lenfert

Carissa Lenfert

Organizing Co-Director

Carissa grew up in southern Indiana and joined the KFTC staff team in 2008.  She has a bachelor's degree from Ball State University and a Master's degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.  She previously worked as a grassroots organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement where she focused on organizing family farmers and rural residents for economic and environmental justice.  She lives in Louisville with her husband and son.  She enjoys spending time telling bad jokes, cooking, and playing with her family.

James Line

Organizing Apprentice

James Line grew up in the Louisville area and has lived in Bowling Green for the past four years. A graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Political Science and minors in History and Journalism Writing, James has been active in the Southern Kentucky chapter of KFTC, focusing on issues such as housing justice, LGBT fairness, and voter empowerment, and in the summer of 2016, he interned with the ACLU of Kentucky. A fan of dogs, pasta, and Star Wars, James is thrilled to continue his work with KFTC as an Organizer Apprentice.

Jacob Mack-Boll

Jacob is an Organizing Apprentice working in Eastern Kentucky, living in Knott County. His people are from Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he first became politicized and was introduced to organizing as a young person grappling with how to respond to the Iraq war. From there he could never quite go back, and has been grateful to learn from incredible groups working towards change for everything from jail expansion to LGBTQ issues in faith communities, from mountaintop removal to militarism, and wage theft to local foods. Jacob graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Peacebuilding and Development. Jacob is thrilled to be joining the team at KFTC after several rewarding years spent working at the Hindman Settlement School.

Sharon Murphy

Organizing Apprentice

Sharon Murphy is a Lexington, KY native who grew up in North Lexington. She received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Kentucky and received her Master of Public Policy, concentration in Social Policy from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Sharon moved to Ohio, where she became a Spring 2014 Fellow for Organizing for Action campaign on educating and enrolling people for the Affordable Care Act. After returning to Lexington in August 2014, she became a Voter Empowerment Organizer for KFTC.  Sharon recently just completed two statewide programs; Emerge Kentucky and New Leaders Kentucky. She also is a tutor at Nerd Squad, a STEM outreach organization dedicated to inspiring the next great minds by bringing to life STEM activities.

Tyler Offerman

Tax Justice Organizer

 Tyler is KFTC’s Tax Justice Organizer and supports our state-wide work to create a fairer and more equitable tax code. He is the co-owner of Homeplace High Adventure, an outdoor adventure guiding company that teaches backcountry skills and guides groups into the wilderness of eastern Kentucky. He grew up a 3rd generation flatlanding Floridian, often found catching alligators in the Everglades before moving to Lexington in 2012 with his now wife Cara. He has organized around ending modern slavery with the Coalition for Immokalee Workers, getting young people involved in the electoral process with the Florida YES Coalition, and passing comprehensive energy transition legislation with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition. He spends most of his free time playing in the Red River Gorge, planting fruit trees, and listening to podcasts.

Sara Pennington

New Energy and Transition Campaign Organizer

Sara is a New Energy and Transition Campaign Organizer with KFTC. She joined KFTC's staff in April 2009 as an organizer working to reform Kentucky's rural electric cooperatives and move them toward more energy efficiency and clean energy. She now works on KFTC's broader issue of new energy and a just economic transition for coal-impacted communities and beyond. Originally from West Virginia, she lives in Whitesburg in Letcher County. Sara holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University and published her first chapbook of poetry in 2014. She's currently learning to play the upright bass. 

Kevin Pentz

Canary Project Organizer

Kevin is the Canary Project organizer.  After working as an organizing intern with KFTC in 1996, he moved west to work with an organizing group in Montana.  He returned to KFTC as an organizer in 1999.  He has a degree in Environmental Science from Saint Lawrence University.

Ryeshia Reves

Jefferson County Organizer

Ryeshia a Louisville native and grew up in Fern Creek. She has always had a passion for democracy and the great commonwealth of Kentucky. After spending a few years traveling and providing direct service Ryeshia decided to bring what she learned back to her favorite city. She feels honored to work with the members of KFTC to help create a stage for Kentuckians to work for the changes they want to see.

Heather Roe Mahoney

Deputy Director

Heather grew up on a farm in Lewis County, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville more years ago than she'd like to admit.  She came to KFTC in 2005 after working for seven years at Democracy Resource Center, first as project coordinator, then as co-director. She works closely with the Executive Director, helps with foundation fundraising, provides administrative oversight for KFTC, and staffs several of our leadership teams including the Steering Committee, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee.  She lives in Lexington with her son, Kaden.

Jessie Skaggs

Eastern Kentucky Chapter Organizer and Program Associate

Jessie began with KFTC in 2013 and works as a Program Associate. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a degree in graphic design and worked in that field for four years. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University, with an emphasis on sustainable development. Jessie enjoys cooking, shopping for books, and lives in Johnson County with her dog Marley. 

Caitlin Sparks

Communications Associate

Caitlin is a member of the Communications & Development Team. She is the co-owner of a small media production company called Numediacy (Numediacy.com) with the mission to create media for the “responsibility movement.” Caitlin has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Northern Kentucky University and lives in Covington with her partner Jason Gray. She is an active member of the NKY Sierra Club Group and an avid outdoors-woman.

DeBraun Thomas

Organizing Apprentice

DeBraun Thomas is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Lexington in 2008. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2012, he began working as an intern at Lexington's NPR station WUKY and was brought on staff in 2013. History and storytelling are big passions of his and he was able to do both in producing The Unghosting of Medgar Evers (2012) and a documentary on the March on Frankfort (2013) for WUKY. DeBraun does a weekly feature on local musicians in Lexington called Local Music Monday and is also the host of the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturdays at 9pm on WUKY.  Speaking out on social issues is something he's felt is his duty as a person of color. In 2016 DeBraun founded the Take Back Cheapside Movement, a coalition of various organizing groups with the goal of removing confederate statues located at Cheapside, the site of a former slave market in Lexington. In addition to producing radio features and organizing, DeBraun also spends his time writing and performing music. He released his first album, All My Colors Are Blind, in 2015 and continues to perform regionally with his band. DeBraun is looking forward to working with KFTC and gathering more tools to use in the fight against oppression.

Meredith Wadlington

Organizer Apprentice

Meredith works as an organizer with the Central Kentucky Chapter of KFTC. She was born and raised in Memphis, but her Kentucky roots are in Bowling Green, where she became a KFTC member with the SOKY Chapter in 2008. A proud Hilltopper for life, Meredith studied English and Social Justice at WKU. In 2016 she moved to Lexington and began producing the KFTC podcast _Power To The People_ on Lexington Community Radio. She loves long distance running, thoughtful media, and togetherness. Check out the podcast here.

Sasha Zaring

Madison County and Wilderness Trace Chapter Organizer

Sasha was raised in Rockcastle County and that is where she spent most of her adult life as well.  While always passionate about environmental concerns and economic justice, it wasn't until she moved to Berea with her children that she found herself in the position to volunteer with a local KFTC chapter.  She quickly became active in the Madison County chapter and greatly valued the hard work of our members.  Over the election cycle of 2014 she worked as a Voter Empowerment Organizer and then came onto staff full time in the summer of 2015 as the Madison County and Wilderness Trace Chapter Organizer.  She is excited to serve on staff within this role and be of help to the amazing folks that make up the whole of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth!