KCC has seven candidates (plus one write-in slot) for a total of eight positions for the 2019-2020 election cycle. 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 12, 2019.


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.


Ruth Bamberger

Ruth Bamberger has served on the Board of the KY Conservation Committee since 2015.  She is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Drury University, Springfield, MO, where she co-directed the Environmental Studies Program and taught Environmental Politics.  She currently lives in the Ohio River town of Ludlow, KY, and led the successful effort there to initiate curbside recycling.  She was president of the Ludlow Historic Society for three years and still serves on the Board.  Bamberger has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1979, and served as its Northern KY Chair for two years;  she is currently Legislative Chair for  the Cumberland Chapter,  working closely with the KCC lobbyists on environmental and energy issues.


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 regularly blogs 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.


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.


Tracy Powell-McCoy

Tracy Powell-McCoy is a recently retired teacher — and  — environmentalist and political junkie.  Federal environmental rollbacks and climate change top her environmental concerns.  She was the 2003 Ky. Science Teachers Association’s “Middle School Teacher of the Year,” and is a former board member of both the Ky. Riverkeeper Alliance and Ky. Environmental Foundation.  


Jena Scott

Jena Scott is a 2014 graduate of Bellarmine University. She was the first student to ever receive the school’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. During her time at Bellarmine, she was the chair of both the student Environmental Club and College Republicans and was involved with the local Sierra Club chapter. After graduation, she worked in Republican politics, public relations, and communications. She has always had a passion for promoting conservation, environmental protection, and environmental justice from a conservative voter’s standpoint. Jena currently serves as an account executive at an association management firm in Lexington and enjoys spending her free time on her family farm with their various rescued creatures.


Continuing board members:
Kay Harker (term expires at end of 2019).

Watch this space for additional “Write-in” candidates. These are subject to approval of the current KCC Board.

If you would like to be considered as a “write-in” candidate
please contact Sarah Lynn Cunningham, KCC President.