KCC has six candidates (plus two write-in slots) to total eight positions for the 2017-2018 election period. Candidate statements are below. Ballots are being sent to current KCC members in good standing and can be returned via mail to KCC, PO Box 1152, Frankfort, KY 40602 or can be returned  in-person during the KCC Annual Meeting on January 21, 2017.


Alice Jones

Dr. Alice Jones is a Professor of Geography and is Director of Sustainability and the Coordinator of the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Minor Program at Eastern Kentucky University. She is an area coordinator and water sampling trainer for the citizen-based Kentucky River Watershed Watch, and a science advisor for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Dr. Jones holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin; a Master’s Degree in environmental geography from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State); and a Ph.D in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.


Don Dott

Don is the recently retired Director of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, where he was the longest-serving Director in the Commission’s history. During his  tenure, the Commission’s protected lands have grown into 63 preserves with 27,897 acres across the Commonwealth.  Don’s role as Director of KSNPC included communicating with legislators on the agency’s issues, serving on the Heritage Land Conservation Fund board and coordinating with other state, federal and private conservation partners in Kentucky.  Don is an avid outdoorsman and former attorney in the enforcement office of the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet. Don is also currently chairman of the Kentucky Land Trusts Coalition and lives in Shelby County.


Ben Evans

Ben Evans is co-founder and director of the award-winning eco-docu-comedy, YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip and owner of BEgreenCreative which creates engaging media and content for environmental groups and businesses regionally and nationally. He is also the co-founder/producer of the Bluegrass Bioneers Conference (Kentucky’s edition of the national Bioneers Conference) and the co-founding director of The Green Institute. Ben is a past board member of Louisville’s Green Convene and current board member of the Louisville Biodiesel Co-Op and Bluegrass Bioneers. He is a graduate of Stanford University (B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society).


Sarah Lynn Cunningham

Ms. Cunningham has the technical problem solving abilities of an engineer, the communication skills of an educator, the creativity of an artist and the passion of an advocate. She holds a Master of Science, in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a major in environmental education and a minor in environmental history, and a Bachelor of Applied Science, in Environmental Engineering, both from the University of Louisville. She is a graduate of the Kentucky Nonformal Environmental Educator Certification Program. Ms. Cunningham is founder and director of the Louisville Climate Action Network.


Ruth Bamberger

Ruth Bamberger is a native of northern KY now living in the Ohio River city of Ludlow.  She is a retired college teacher in American Political Studies, received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Ohio State and taught at Drury University in Springfield, MO for 29 years.  While a Springfield resident, she was active in the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, and was an officer of the Greene Co. Democratic Committee.  She moved to Ludlow in 2005, and shortly thereafter became active in the NKY Sierra Club group, serving as a member of the ExCom and Chair for two years.  Currently she is Legislative Chair for the Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club, member of KFTC, KCC, and KWA.  She is also active in two Ludlow civic organizations and initiated the city’s recycling program which took 8 years to get through City Council.  She is honored to be asked to serve with the KCC and believes that her participation can forge stronger bonds with those state organizations working toward the same goal of a clean healthy environment for KY citizens.


Dick Shore

Dick Shore has many years of experience volunteering with environmental, social justice, and faith-based organizations. He is a retired industrial engineer, has a Ph. D. in zoology, and is a first-person interpreter of John Muir. During the 1990’s he worked as lobbyist for the Kentucky Conservation Committee.

The Following Candidates are being considered under the “write-in” provision, subject to approval of the current KCC Board.

Other “write-in” candidates who would like to be considered should
please contact Sarah Lynn Cunningham, KCC President.


Benjamin Knoll

Dr. Benjamin Knoll is the John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics at Centre College in Danville. He earned an B.A. in political science from Utah State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa with a specialization in public opinion and voting behavior. At Centre College he teaches classes on American politics, including State and Local Politics. He is the director of the Boyle County Exit Poll and the Colonel’s Canvass Survey. Dr. Knoll’s research can be accessed here and he also regularlyblogs for Huffington Post on a variety of political and social topics.


Gerry James

Gerry James is the Director of The Explore Kentucky Initiative( EKI), a Steering Committee member of the Kentucky Rural Urban Exchange, widely published outdoor adventure writer/photojournalist, and newly minted Outdoor Afro leader. Since the founding of EKI his senior year at Campbellsville University, Gerry has strived to advance the fields of adventure tourism, environmental advocacy, and initiatives promoting diversity across Kentucky. EKI inspires individuals to engage in an active lifestyle fueled by adventure in Kentucky’s outdoors. The organization evolved from a viral social media campaign with the intent to entice Kentuckians and tourists to explore the great outdoors and grow a passion for protecting natural spaces. Now in 2016 with over 80,000 individuals that follow EKI’s content, the organization has partnered with Kentucky State Parks, US Forest Service, Kentucky Division, Kentucky Natural Land Trust, various  outfitters and several other entities to host rock climbing clinics, nature hike, racing events, environmental festivals, clean-ups, and more. EKI also does design and consulting work for outdoor oriented organizations with client that include River City Paddlesports, Pine Mountain Settlement School, and Southern Paddlesports.Through this work, Gerry has embedded himself in many  Kentucky communities and counties to work on various projects. He is also an avid paddler who is certified by the American Canoe Association in the Stand-Up Paddleboard and Canoe disciplines. He is also a storyteller who uses photography, cinematography, public relations, journalism, and mixed media to tell stories about the landscapes and people he encounters in his travels across the Commonwealth and beyond.Gerry is a December 2013 graduate of Campbellsville University with a bachelors of science in Mass Communications (Area) with additional academic and professional study in environmental science. He is working to be accepted to Kentucky State University to pursue a masters of environmental studies.