Staff | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth


Lisa Abbott

Deputy Organizing Director for Just Transition

Lisa Abbott is a member of KFTC’s organizing team, and serves as Deputy Organizing Director for Just Transition. She joined KFTC’s staff in 1992 and served as organizing director from 2002 to 2015. In her current role she coordinates KFTC’s work on Just Transition, sustainable energy, and climate change. She also serves on the board of the New World Foundation and is a Philanthropic Trustee of the Solutions Project. She was instrumental in the formation of the Student Environmental Action Coalition in the late 1980’s. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

E'Beth Adami

Communications & Development Manager

E'Beth has roots in western Kentucky, but lives and works in Louisville. She did her undergraduate studies in political science at the University of Kentucky before completing her master's in social work at the University of Louisville. In her free time, E'Beth enjoys cooking, too many podcasts, taking pictures of her two dogs, and exploring Kentucky's beautiful parks.

Julia Basil

Madison County and Wilderness Trace Organizer

Julia has roots in northern Kentucky, but now lives in south-central Kentucky. She studied the history of colonization as an undergraduate student at Ohio State University and completed a Master's in library science at the University of Kentucky. In her free time, Julia enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and whatever her toddler wants to do.

Morgan Brown

Deputy Director for Operations

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.

Corey Dutton

Organizer Apprentice

Corey grew up in eastern Kentucky and always said she would move out of state – but fell in love with Louisville and Kentucky organizing. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s in history and French. She is passionate about building a better, progressive South, and believes that Kentucky will be a leader in this process. In her (minimal) spare time, Corey is a complete book nerd and can be found reading anything and everything on her front porch.

Tayna Fogle

Democracy Fellow

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 Rolling Bluegrass

I have been blessed to work for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth in Northern Kentucky since 2010, and with the Rolling Bluegrass 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!

Laura Greenfield

Research & Data Visualization Manager

Laura is a University of Kentucky graduate with a degree in Geography. Laura works to utilize and understand geospatial technology as a tool, one of many, with the capability to support environmental and social justice work. Laura is passionate that the technology has a power to produce beneficial data analysis, provide solutions for daily logistics management, and enhance an organization's visual engagement pathways.

Jerry Hardt

Director of Content Management

Jerry has worked with KFTC for 35+ years in various roles, including balancing the scales editor, media coordinator and occasional financial manager! He lives in Magoffin County.

Laura Harper Knight

Southern Kentucky Organizer

Laura is a graduate of Western Kentucky University , where she majored in Phiolsophy and Public Relations. She has been a member of KFTC since 2015, having served on the Steering Committee and Economic Justice Committee, with a special interest in housing issues. She feels that engaging the arts is a critical part of our organizing strategy. She lives in Bowling Green with her husband, dog, and two cats. In her free time, Laura enjoys playing cello in a local alternative rock band.

Alexa Hatcher

Economic Justice Organizer

Pronouns (She/Her)
Prior to joining the staff, Alexa was involved in chapter work as an active member and as a voter empowerment organizer for the fall 2018 election cycle, as well as an Organizer Apprentice for 14 months. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied Sociology with a minor in Citizenship and Social Justice and a concentration in Community, Environment and Development. It was during her time as an undergrad that she grew extremely passionate about, and began to practice, community organizing. Alexa also was a member of the pilot cohort of the KFTC Organizing Academy. She lives in Bowling Green, although she will always call Hart County home. Alexa has a background in food justice, gardening, poverty and inequality. 

Jessica Hays Lucas

Organizing Co-Director

Jessica has been on KFTC's Organizing Team since September 2006, first working with with the Economic Justice Committee and the Leadership Development Committee, and now is Co-Director of the Organizing Team. 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 family. 

Amy Hogg

Communications & Development Director

Amy joined KFTC’s staff team in 2008. She works to build grassroots power by overseeing KFTC's communications and development work. 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.

Erik Hungerbuhler

Data & Digital Communications Manager

After many years as KFTC's website manager/e-organizer, Erik has shifted into a data and digital communications role. 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.

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

Organizing Co-Director

Carissa 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 two children.  She enjoys spending time telling bad jokes, cooking, and playing with her family.

Jacob Mack-Boll

Eastern Kentucky Organizer

Jacob is an Organizer working in eastern Kentucky, living in Letcher 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 joined the team at KFTC after several rewarding years spent working at the Hindman Settlement School.

Ashley Meece

Operations Associate

Ashley grew up in Salyersville, KY and moved to London in 1999 where she now lives with her partner Daniel and his two kids. She joined the KFTC staff in November 2016 as the Operations Associate and provides day-to-day operational support to the Operations Manager and Deputy Director. In her free time she enjoys reading, embroidering (poorly) and half-finishing DIY projects.

Dave Newton

Democracy Organizer

Dave is our Democracy Organizer, working to build a Democracy in Kentucky while advancing issues, empowering people, and making sure our next elected leaders are a little more deserving of titles like "Representative."  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with degrees in History and Political Science and has experience organizing with the Kentucky Democratic Party, union organizing with SEIU, and most recently was Deputy Director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland, CA.  He now lives in Covington, KY after coming back to us after 5 years out of state.  He's also a giant nerd who loves sci-fi.

Nikita Perumal

New Energy & Transition Organizer

Nikita grew up in Louisville and is the New Energy and Transition Organizer with KFTC. After five years away, Nikita returned to Kentucky to work on the issues she feels most passionate about, in the place she calls home, with the organization that first sparked her interest in activism. Prior to moving back, Nikita organized for fossil fuel divestment at her university, worked at the Responsible Endowments Coalition, and completed a Fulbright research grant on climate change adaptation in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. She is a 2016 graduate of the Dual BA Program between Columbia University and Sciences Po, with degrees in Human Rights and Political Science. In her spare time, Nikita enjoys writing, making Indian food, and taking pictures of her cat. She now lives in Lexington.

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 husband Chris and son Kaden.

Kevin Short

Organizer Apprentice

Kevin was born in Lily in southeastern Kentucky and is a member of the Cumberland KFTC chapter. In high school he was the president of the Kentucky High School Democrats.

Jessie Skaggs

Program Associate

Jessie began with KFTC in 2013 and currently works with the administrative team to support our foundation fundraising. She did her undergraduate studies in graphic design at the University of Louisville before completing her Master's in Public Affairs at Indiana University. When not cooking, reading, or playing D&D, Jessie can be found somewhere probably taking a picture of a dog. Jessie lives and works in Louisville but will regularly remind you that she's from eastern Kentucky.

Caitlin Sparks

Visual Communications Manager

Caitlin grew up in Burlington, Ky but currently lives in Dayton and works as the Visual Communications Manager from KFTC's Northern Kentucky office. She is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. 

Meredith Wadlington

Central Kentucky Organizer

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 Western Kentucky University. 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.