KCTCS Board of Regents

KCTCS is governed by a 14-member Board of Regents. Eight members are appointed by the Governor and six are elected members; two teaching faculty elected by faculty, two nonteaching personnel (staff) elected by nonteaching personnel, and two students elected by students.

Current Members

Barry Martin

Mr. Barry K. Martin lives in Lexington, Kentucky and is the Chief Executive Officer of Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky (PCCEK). PCCEK operates four rural health clinics in the heart of Appalachia in southeastern Kentucky. He started the organization in 2003 with the goal of providing quality healthcare to the residents of the region and to contribute to the communities where the patients live.

Mr. Martin began his career in healthcare straight out of college as a Kentucky Medicaid Auditor. He worked as a Controller in a long-term care facility after he left State Government. His next move was to the position as the CFO of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington, KY. During his experience at Shriners, he remained involved in working with RHCs as a consultant and this helped him decide to return to his home region to make a difference.

Mr. Martin’s work ethic, along with his 30 years of diverse health care experience has given him the business understanding and industry knowledge to build a clinically integrated, multi-tiered, patient centered primary care system using the RHC model. The practice includes Family Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Behavioral Health, Dentistry, Diabetes Center, Pharmacy and other ancillary services all in one location. Additionally, he has developed unique relationships with various partners to meet the needs of the patients PCCEK serves. Working with the local hospital, the University of Kentucky, and a regional Community Mental Health Center he has developed innovative approaches to issues faced by the patient population served by PCCEK. Mr. Martin has the willingness to adapt to an ever changing healthcare environment and he makes needed investments to serve the patient population and meet their needs.

He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and obtained a Master of Health Administration degree, also from the University of Kentucky, in 1995.

Mr. Martin currently serves as Finance Chair of Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA) and has been Chairman, a board member and/or committee member of the organization for over 25 years. In addition to his duties as Finance Chair he currently sits on the organization Executive Committee, IPA Committee and Kentucky Medicaid Primary Care Technical Advisory Committee. He was also recently appointed to the Kentucky Advisory Council for Medical Assistance by the Governor to represent KPCA. Some of his community service includes Chair of Kentucky Mountain Health Alliance, Past President of the Hazard Rotary Club.

In June 2023, Mr. Martin was elected as the KCTCS Board of Regents Chair for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2024. He will serve a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2023. Mr. Martin was appointed to the Board in July 2020. He will serve a six-year term that expires in 2026.

Keith Hamilton

Mr. Keith Hamilton lives in Louisville, Kentucky and is the President/CEO of LB Manufacturing, LLC corporately based in Springfield, Kentucky. During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Hamilton has led his company to exponential growth and success. 

Mr. Hamilton purchased his first company in 2005 and quickly expanded the customer base and core automotive manufacturing capabilities in metal stampings, robotic welding, plastic injection molding, and window glass assemblies.

Mr. Hamilton earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo with a minor in Business/Entrepreneurship and is a graduate of the Business Executive Management Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 

Mr. Hamilton is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. His board affiliations include the Tristate Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC), and the Mayor’s Community Action Partnership (CAP) Board in Louisville, KY. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and has been an active supporter of and sponsor of the YMCA Black Achievers Program for several years. 

In April 2022, Mr. Hamilton was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Damon Allen, who resigned. He will serve the remainder of Mr. Allen’s term which expires in July 2024. In June 2023, Mr. Hamilton was elected as the KCTCS Board of Regents Vice Chair for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2024. 

Brianna Whitten headshot

Brianna Sanders Whitten lives in Mt. Olivet, KY. She teaches English at Maysville Community and Technical College where she is a member of the Liberal Arts & Education Division. Professor Whitten’s leadership experiences include: three terms as Chair of the KCTCS Senate Council, six terms as the Chair of the Maysville Faculty Assembly, Maysville Operations & Oversight Committee, Chair of the KCTCS Senate Advisory Committee on Promotions, and membership on the KCTCS English, Women and Gender Studies, and Anthropology Curriculum Committees. Professor Whitten was in the inaugural class of the KCTCS LEAD Academy. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, her Master of Arts from Georgetown College, and is working on her doctoral degree in English Pedagogy from Murray State University. In October 2021, Professor Whitten was elected to serve a three year term as the General Education Faculty Regent. Her term ends in October 2024.

Russell Cox headshot

Mr. Russell F. Cox lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Cox assumed his current position of CEO of Norton Healthcare on Jan. 1, 2017. He joined Norton Healthcare in September 2000 as vice president of support services. He was appointed senior vice president, operations and development, in October 2002; executive vice president in September 2004; and executive vice president and chief operating officer in September 2005. Mr. Cox has more than 38 years of executive experience in health care. Before joining Norton Healthcare, he spent six years as executive director of resource operations at Caritas Health Services in Louisville. Before that, he worked for Humana Inc., Galen Healthcare and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., in various executive roles, including human resources, development and acquisitions, and operations support.
Mr. Cox is active in the community by serving on various nonprofit and volunteer boards. He currently serves as chair of the Bellarmine University Board of Trustees and is a member of its Executive Committee; Kentucky Chamber Board of Trustees; chair-elect Greater Louisville, Inc. Board of Trustees; Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, LHCC, Inc.; Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents; and Simmons College of Kentucky’s Kerner Commission 2.0. He previously served on the Downtown Development Corporation Board as treasurer and member of its Executive Committee; Kentucky Country Day School Board of Trustees as board chair and member of its Executive Committee; and as past chair of the Leadership Louisville Foundation Board. In 2018, he was honored by the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana with the “Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout” award. In 2019, he was named one of the Most Admired CEOs in the Louisville area by Louisville Business First. In 2020, he was inducted into the Kentuckiana Business Hall of Fame; and in 2021, he was named a Health Care Heroes Health Equity Champion by Louisville Business First.
Mr. Cox earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development. He also attended the Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management in Nashville, Tennessee, and completed the requirements for certification from its Executive Development Institute. Mr. Cox was appointed to replace Dr. Gail Henson, whose term had expired. He will serve a six-year term that expires in 2027.

Karen Finan headshot

Ms. Karen A. Finan, lives in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. She is President & CEO of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance, formed in 2017 to focus on strategic initiatives in the areas of regionalism, health, education, job growth and community vibrancy. Finan had been partner at Gilman Partners since September 2013 where she built a talent recruiting practice specializing in real estate, economic development and construction. Fortified with extensive background in a variety of industries, Ms. Finan previously served as SVP for Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) where she led relocations/expansions at the national level accounting for over $250 M in Capital investment in the Northern Kentucky region. She previously directed national marketing and new business efforts at Duke Realty Corporation and Duke Construction. Active in the regional community, Ms. Finan is past chair of the Northern Kentucky Education Council and Aviatra Accelerators, an organization that enables women to start and sustain businesses by providing the resources needed for success. She is past chair of Redwood and serves on the Notre Dame Academy board. Ms. Finan serves as the Vice- Chair for Finance of the KCTCS Board of Regents. Ms. Finan was appointed to replace Mr. Porter Peeples, Sr., whose term had expired. She will serve a six-year term that expires in 2024.

Chris Girdler headshot

Mr. Chris Girdler lives in Somerset, KY.  Mr. Girdler is the President & CEO of Somerset Pulaski Economic Development Authority, also known as “SPEDA”.  In addition to being elected senator for Kentucky's 15th district in 2012 (a position he decided not to run for a second term), Girdler is a graduate of Pulaski Southwestern High School and Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned a earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Mr. Girdler previously served as a CEO in the houseboat manufacturing industry and is the founder and President of Possum Trot Investments LLC, an investment and consulting company.  Mr. Girdler resides in Somerset, KY, with his wife Courtney, and has two daughters, Charleston and Channing. Mr. Girdler was appointed to replace Mr. Donald Tarter, whose term had expired. He will serve a six-year term that expires in 2025.

Kimberly Greene headshot

Ms. Kimberly Greene, lives in Somerset, Kentucky. She is a Human Resources Specialist at Somerset Community College. Ms. Greene received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Strategic Communication from the University of Kentucky and Master of Science degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of Louisville. In October 2021, Ms. Greene was elected to serve a three-year term as the General Education Staff Regent. Her term ends in October 2024.

Layah Hodges

Layah Hodges is a second-year student at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, KY. She is working on an Associate of Arts to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Communications, when she transfers to a four-year university, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in her college’s Communication Arts Technology Program, with a specialization in Advertising Design. Layah has lived in Kentucky over the past two years, moving from her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In this time, she has heavily become involved with her school and greater community, striving to enact change and influence those she meets to make the world a more equitable place for all. Layah’s future career lies in human services and marketing with the ultimate goal of starting her own nonprofit. She is excited to communicate and share the voices of her peers across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In June 2023, Layah was elected as a student representative for a one-year term to the KCTCS Board of Regents.

Joe Heerdink
Mr. Joe L. Heerdink is the Regional Director of Information Technology providing IT leadership for Henderson & Madisonville Community Colleges. As the IT Director Joe delivers leadership, strategic planning, and direction for each of the colleges Technology Solutions departments. His teams are responsible for the computers, servers, student technology, & network infrastructure on both the HCC & MCC campuses.
In 2013 Joe received his Bachelor of Science in Information and Operations Management at Indiana University Southeast as a non-traditional student with a minor in Computer Science. In 2022 he received his Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance at Western Governors University.
Before taking on his roll as Regional Director of Information Technology at KCTCS, Joe has served in many technology roles. From 1997 to 2008 he was the IT Director for F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS. While obtaining his bachelor’s degree he worked full time for Indiana University as an IT Specialist. Post undergraduate work Joe worked as a Business Operations Support Specialist for Wide Open West, later taking on a brand-new role as a Regional IT Support Specialist for Peabody Energy.
Mr. Heerdink was first elected through a special election to fulfill the Staff Regent vacancy to the KCTCS Board of Regents, in July 2020. In October 2021, Mr. Heerdink was elected to serve a three-year term as the Occupational/Technical Education Staff Regent. His term ends in October 2024.

Marty Sutherland

Marty L. Sutherland is a professor of engineering and electronics technology at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. Mr. Sutherland has been employed as a member of the ECTC faculty since 2002, where he has served in several positions of leadership. He currently serves as the chair of the engineering and electronics curriculum committee and was recently elected to the KCTCS Senate Council for ECTC with a term beginning in August. He earlier served on this council from 2016-2022.

Mr. Sutherland is the program coordinator for engineering and electronic technology and serves as chair of the Engineering and Electronics Curriculum Committee. He is also the coach of the only VEX U robotics team across KCTCS.

A resident of Elizabethtown, Sutherland holds a bachelor’s degree in workforce education, training and development from Southern Illinois University as well as numerous professional certifications. He also attended Florida Community College at Jacksonville.

alexandra martin

Alexandra Martin resides in Maysville, KY, and is currently pursuing her associate degree in business administration at MCTC. In 2024, she plans to transfer to the University of Kentucky to complete her bachelor's degree in the same field. At MCTC, she actively participates as a member of the board of appeals and contributes to the residency review team. Throughout her academic journey, she has consistently achieved the Dean's List at MCTC and was recognized as the Business Student Spotlight in September 2022. In June 2023, Alexandra was elected as the student representative to the KCTCS Board of Regents.


Candace McGraw

Candace McGraw is an aviation professional with more than 30 yearsof operational and legal expertise who has led the transformation ofthe Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) into athriving enterprise, which has been recognized by Skytrax as the “Best Regional Airport in North America” for eight years since 2011.

Candace is proud to lead a team that has positioned the airport forcontinued future success by navigating a once-in-a-generation pandemic; completing a 2050 Master Plan Study; consolidating operations into a renovated and expanded terminal; diversifying revenues through targeted cargo, land, and concessions improvements; finalizing modernized Use Agreements with air carriers; introducing low-cost air carriers to the airport; expanding the airport’s international passenger air service; and growing startup businesses to support the airport ecosystem and Cincinnati region.

CVG has been positioned to become the epicenter of e-commerce for the United States. Currently the 7th largest cargo operation in North America, CVG is home to the Amazon Air mega cargo hub, its largest operation in the world, as well as DHL’s Global Super Hub for the Americas, its second largest operation in the world.

Candace is a globally recognized leader in the airport industry. She is the incoming Chair of the World Board of Airports Council International, which represents 90% of all commercial airports throughout the world. Candace was appointed to serve on two U.S. Department of Transportation boards: the Women in Aviation Advisory Board and the NextGen Advisory Committee, charged with providing counsel and recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration as to operational capabilities and technology that affect the future of the national air traffic system.

In addition to serving on numerous local and state boards, Candace serves as Chair of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She is on the board of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and is a member of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board, which oversees the strategic plan and goals for the Commonwealth’s Cabinet for Economic Development. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Fifth Third Bank.

Candace is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree

from Duquesne University.

Kimberly Green

Ms. Katheen Kelly Rabinowitz lives in Versailles, KY. She is married to Jonathan Rabinowitz with whom she has three children: Caroline, Madelynn, and Charlotte. Kelly presently oversees the day-to-day operations of Rose Hill Rentals and Amsden Properties. Kelly previously taught high school business for 11 years at Ballard High School and Central Hardin High School. During her time as a teacher she served as department chair, on SBDM, grant coordinator and dual credit teacher. Presently, KelIy is a member of the Woodford County Tourism Board and Woodford Forward. She is a graduate of Newberry College with a degree in Business and a graduate of University of Louisville with a Master of Education. She was appointed to replace Ms. Lisa Desmarais, whose term had expired. She will serve a six-year term that expires in 2028.

James Stevens headshot

 Mr. James Lee Stevens, lives in Madisonville, Kentucky. He is a retired Superintendent of Hopkins County Schools having served 45 years in public education, 42 years of which were served in Hopkins County, and thirteen of which were served as the Superintendent. Mr. Stevens also served 24 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He has been active in community and service organizations, including serving as a member of the School Facilities Construction Commission (past chairman) until December 2020, Urban Superintendent Association, Kentucky and National School Boards Associations, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows (past-Chair), the Kentucky Education Association (over 30 years) the Kentucky Parent Teacher Association (life-time member), and Phi Delta Kappa. Mr. Stevens received a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Physical Education, a Master's in Political Science, and Rank I in School Administration from Murray State University. Mr. Stevens has been married to his wife Kaye, for 59 years. He has two children John Aaron Stevens, who lives in Louisville and Ann Kaye Stevens who lives in Lexington. In June 2021, he was re-elected as KCTCS Board Vice Chair for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2023. Mr. Stevens was elected as the KCTCS Board of Regents Chair in a special election held August 30, 2022. He will serve a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2023. Mr. Stevens was reappointed to the Board in July 2021. He will serve a six-year term that expires in 2027.