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

Lisa Desmarais headshot

Ms. Lisa V. Desmarais, KCTCS Board Chair, lives in Covington, Kentucky. She is a retired technology, finance, and operations professional who most recently was the Director of Technology Services for Kenton County, KY. Ms. Desmarais previously worked for the city of Covington, KY as the Director of Finance & Operations and spent 12 years in the nonprofit sector as an Executive Director and as a Director of Facilities and Technology in the K-12 school system. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Ms. Desmarais worked in for profit companies for 16 years as a technology professional. She is active in her community serving on nonprofit boards and committees. She currently serves as a Board Member of Covington Partners, an educational support organization that serves the Covington Independent Public Schools. In addition, she is a Board Member of the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, KY. After receiving her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Northern Kentucky University in 2012, she joined the faculty of Northern Kentucky University as an adjunct professor where she taught classes in the MPA program. Along with her husband, Normand Desmarais, who currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Regents at Northern Kentucky University, Lisa received two awards for community service and leadership: the Behringer-Crawford Museum Two-Headed Calf Award in 2016 and the Friends of Covington, KY Award in 2019. In June 2021, she was elected as KCTCS Board Chair for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2022. She will serve a six-year term that expires in 2022.

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 13 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's 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 57 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 elected as KCTCS Board Vice Chair for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2022. Mr. Stevens was reappointed to the Board in July 2021. He will serve a six-year term that expires in 2027. 

Wendy Fletcher headshot

Dr. Wendy Fletcher, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP lives in Morehead, KY. Dr. Fletcher is a Principal of the CheráWen Group, LLC, and APRN at Main Street Medical Associates in Morehead, Kentucky. She serves as the President of the KY Association of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives and is a two-time past president of the KY Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives. Dr. Fletcher has held several leadership offices within that organization over the last 20 years, and has served on the KY Board of Nursing’s Advanced Practice Council, as well as KY Medicaid Nursing Technical Advisory Committee. In 2005, Dr. Fletcher founded Health Plus, PSC, in Morehead, where she cared for over 5,000 patients in her nurse led primary care practice. Dr. Fletcher has experience as a nursing educator, having taught undergraduate assessment and lab courses and graduate-level health policy and leadership education. She continues to be active in the community, serving on nonprofit boards and providing financial and service support for several organizations, including the Morehead State Alumni Association, the Hope Pregnancy Center, the Northeast chapter of KY Right To Life, and the KY Long Rifle Association. Dr. Fletcher earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from Morehead State University, a Masters of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Kentucky, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University. She resides in Morehead, KY, with her husband Richard, and has two daughters, Allison and Reagan. In June 2021, she was re-elected as KCTCS Board Secretary for a Board Officer term that ends June 30, 2022. Dr. Fletcher was appointed to replace Ms. Karen Finan, who resigned. Dr. Fletcher will serve the remainder of Ms. Finan’s term that expires in 2023. 

Russell Cox headshot

Russell F. Cox lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Bio coming soon.

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.

Brooke Gallagher headshot

Ms. Brooke K. Gallagher lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She is in her second year at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She is on pace to graduate in the Spring of 2022 with her Associates in Arts. Ms. Gallagher plans to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Louisville and hopes to use her love of law and policy to go to law school and continue advocating for others. She is active on campus, serving as the Vice President of Scholarship in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and representing JCTC at various leadership events on and off campus. Outside of school, Brooke runs a small house sitting and pet sitting business, which allows her to fund her education and living expenses. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering as a peer tutor for writing courses, helping her fellow students to become more confident writers. In August 2021, Ms. Gallagher was elected as a KCTCS Student Regent. She will serve a one-year term that expires in August of 2022. 

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

Kimberly N. Green lives in Somerset, Kentucky. Bio coming soon. 

Louisville, KY – Bio and photo coming soon. 

Joe Heerdink
Mr. Joe L. Heerdink is the Regional Director of Information Technology at Henderson
Community College and Madisonville Community College. As the IT Director he
provides leadership, planning, and direction for the 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. He is currently attending Western Governors University pursuing
a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.

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 brandnew 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.

Dr Patsy Jackson headshot

Dr. Patsy Jackson, EdD, DNP, MSN, BSN, APRN, FNP-C lives in Salyersville, KY and currently serves as Professor of Nursing and Program Administrator/Coordinator for the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Dr. Jackson joined the college in 1993 and has served students and colleagues as the Program Administrator/Coordinator for the Associate Degree Nursing Program, the Licensed Practical Nursing Program and the Health Science Technology Program. She also served as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for General Education for 7 years. Other pertinent experiences include her practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner and as adjunct faculty for undergraduate nursing programs at Morehead State University and the University of Pikeville and graduate nursing programs at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dr. Jackson is a committed clinician, educator and leader. She began her professional nursing journey in 1988 when she earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Prestonsburg Community College. Since that time, she has continued her commitment to lifelong learning by earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Kentucky. She also earned her Post-masters Certificate as a Rural Family Nurse Practitioner and her educational doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Eastern Kentucky University. She has served in multiple roles of community leadership through her service on various Boards for Mountain Comprehensive Care, the Home Place Clinic and the Magoffin County Board of Health. She has also served in various shared governance roles including the BSCTC Faculty Council Co-Chair, BSCTC faculty representative to the Board of Directors, KCTCS Advisory Committee on Appeals, KCTCS Senate Council, KCTCS Advisory Committee on Promotions, and as a KCTCS Rules Senator.

In October 2021, Dr. Jackson was elected to serve a three year term as the Occupational/Technical Education Faculty Regent. Her term ends in October 2024.

Barry Martin

Barry Martin lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Bio coming soon. 

Andrea Shouse headshot

Ms. Alexandrea Shouse lives in Lexington, Kentucky and is a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). She is a graduate of Lafayette High School, the Chrysalis House, and is a first-generation college student. She is pursuing her Associate of Arts Degree and hopes to transfer to a four-year university to obtain a bachelor’s degree. She currently serves as BCTC’s Newtown Campus Senator and is active with the Student Government Association, in addition to being a Trio Student Support Services representative. She is a mother to six children, all of whom are now very excited to attend college one day as well. Her passions include mental health awareness, veteran suicide prevention and awareness, homelessness, diversity and youth programs, and addiction and recovery programs for mothers and pregnant women.

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.