Our Leadership

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.

Statewide Officers

Amy Copelin

At-large Representative

Amy Copelin lives in Florence in Northern Kentucky and has been a KFTC member since 2013. She has lobbied at the Kentucky General Assembly, rallied locally for environmental, social justice and fairness initiatives, and registered voters in the area. She is involved in racial justice and concentration of poverty/affordable housing groups within the local chapter.

Cassia Herron

Vice Chairperson

Cassia is a native of Richmond, KY and has lived in Louisville for most of her adult life. She is a community development professional and advocate with over 10 years experience working on projects at the intersections of community and economic development, food and the built environment and has a unique perspective on these issues as they relate to West Louisville. Cassia is a member of KFTC, Community Farm Alliance and works with New Roots as the farmer liaison with the Smoketown Fresh Stop market. As a budding entrepreneur, Cassia has a growing interest in renewable energy and sustainable development and has professional expertise in community engagement, grant-writing, policy development and strategic planning. Cassia is a graduate of the University of Louisville and has a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Mary Love

At-large Representative

Mary joined KFTC in July of 2007 and immediately became active in various aspects of KFTC's work. Although she is not a native Kentuckian and currently lives in Oldham County near Louisville, her Appalachian roots are deep in the mountains of East Tennessee. She retired in 2010 and now devotes her time to KFTC and her local church. In addition to being an active leader in the Jefferson County chapter, Mary has been involved with the work of the Land Reform and High Road committees, the Alliance for Appalachia, the KFTC Steering Committee, and the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance.

Meta Mendel-Reyes

Chairperson

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.

Christian Torp

Secretary-Treasurer

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!

Chapter Representatives

Chanda Campbell

Perry County Representative

Chanda Campbell was born and raised in Hazard, KY. She is a mother of two, a career woman, and a self-proclaimed nerd. Chanda studied Theatre at Northern Kentucky University as well as Cosmetology at KCTCS. She is also licensed in multiple fields. She joined KFTC, because it has never seemed more important to be involved. When Chanda isn't working or fighting the good fight, she is playing her ukulele. 

Joy Fitzgerald

Shelby County Representative

Joy Fitzgerald is an environmental professional within public and private sectors. She is a life long social justice activist and has been a member of Shelby County's KFTC Chapter since 2015.

Rebecca Tucker

Madison County Representative

Rebecca first became involved with KFTC going to protests as a 3 year old with her parents. She enjoys making things with her hands and hanging out in the woods, but she is often thwarted by reading everything on the internet.  Rebecca is interested in the future of DACA, Fairness, and a Just Transition for the Appalachian region.

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Tina Jackson, Big Sandy

Carly Muetterties, Central Kentucky

David Miller, Cumberland

Chandra Cruz-Thompson, Jefferson County

Melissa Roth, Northern Kentucky

Amelia Cloud, Rolling Bluegrass

Fannie Madden-Grider, Rowan County

Summer Bolton, Southern Kentucky

Amanda Groves, Western Kentucky Representative

Shannon Scott, Wilderness Trace

Alternates

Margaret Gardiner

Wilderness Trace Alternate

After retiring to Kentucky in 2009, Margaret was pleased to discover a grassroots organization whose purposes she completely endorsed.  Living abroad in Europe for decades, Margaret always considered Kentucky her home.  "KFTC is the group that has heart and makes me feel part of a community and a commonwealth." 

Russell Oliver

Perry County Alternate

Russell lives in Hazard, which is roughly the geographic center of Appalachia. He has been a long-time member of the Land Reform Committee and the Economic Justice Committee. He has lobbied at both the U.S. Capitol and the Kentucky General Assembly. He is involved in a wide variety of community activities in Hazard.

OPEN, Central Kentucky Alternate

Damien Hammons, Cumberland Alternate

Sheyanna Gladson, Harlan County Alternate

Connor Allen - Jefferson County Alternate

Adam Funck - Madison County Alternate

Lauren Gabbard, Northern Kentucky Alternate

Mary Marion, Rolling Bluegrass Alternate

Ezra Dike, Rowan County Alternate

Cynthia Dare, Shelby County Alternate

Teresa Christmas, Southern Kentucky Alternate

Jim Gearhart, Western Kentucky Alternate