Kentucky Historical Society
Kentucky Historical Society Elects New Board Leadership

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 17, 2015  
Contact Information:  Laurel Harper
502-564-1792, ext. 4489

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2015) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) recently installed new officers and members of its Governing Board. The board is the policy-setting body for KHS, a state agency that educates and engages the public through Kentucky’s history in order to confront the challenges of the future.


Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd swore in the KHS member-elected officers and board members Nov. 6 during the society’s annual meeting at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort.


Officers are:


Michael J. Hammons, president, of Park Hills. Hammons is the director of advocacy at Children Inc., and serves as director of Kentucky's Voice for Early Children, which is Children Inc.'s online advocacy network. Hammons helped found the Kenton County Historical Society and the Dinsmore Homestead Foundation, has written several historical works and published others, and helped preserve the home of renowned artist Frank Duveneck.


J. McCauley Brown, first vice president, of Harrods Creek. Brown is a vice president at Brown-Forman Corp., where he focuses on strategic pricing, family relations and business planning. A history enthusiast, he most recently was KHS second vice president and is on the boards of the Filson Historical Society and the Frazier History Museum.


Constance Alexander, second vice president, of Murray. Alexander, a former AT&T executive in sales, marketing and strategic planning, began her own consulting practice in 1984, specializing in organizational change. She also is a poet, playwright, author, book editor and newspaper columnist. Most recently Alexander was third vice president on the KHS board and also has served on the Kentucky Oral History Commission board.


Tommy Turner, third vice president, of Magnolia. Turner has served as LaRue County’s judge executive since 1986. His history interests have included service as co-chair of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; commissioner of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; founding member of Preservation of Lincoln's Kentucky Heritage; and a director of the Lincoln Museum in Hodgenville.


Newly elected committee members are:


Rick Adams, of Mayking. Adams is a high school history teacher in the Letcher County Schools system. He has taught at both Whitesburg High School and Letcher Central High School.


John A. Hardin, of Bowling Green. Hardin is a history professor at Western Kentucky University. He has been a member of the Kentucky Oral History Commission since July 1995 and served as its chair from 2006 to 2009. Among his other activities, he also was appointed to the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and serves as its vice chair.  


Bobby W. McCool, of Van Lear. McCool is chief institutional officer at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. He serves as the college’s contact with partnerships in Pike County, and has helped preserve the area’s history with the rebuilding of the McCoy House and restoration of the York House in downtown Pikeville. 


Wayne Onkst, of Erlanger. Onkst was appointed Kentucky’s State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Commissioner in 2006 and will retire from that post this month. Before that he served as director of the Kenton County Public Library. He is a member of the Kentucky Oral History Commission and other organizations.


Cynthia Torp, of Corydon, Indiana. Torp is president and owner of Solid Light Inc., in Louisville, a design company that produces visitor experiences for museums, corporations, nonprofit organizations, universities and visitor centers across the country. Her work includes the Toyota Hall of Governors exhibit for the Kentucky Historical Society, and she serves as the Southeastern representative of the National Association for Museum Exhibition.


In addition to these officers and newly elected members, the KHS Governing Board includes the governor of Kentucky (who serves as chancellor), 11 other elected members and one person designated by the State Archives and Records Commission. The committee meets quarterly at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort.


For more information, contact Laurel Harper, KHS director of marketing communications, at 502-564-1792, ext. 4489, or




The Kentucky Historical Society, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, was established in 1836 and educates and engages the public through Kentucky’s history in order to confront the challenges of the future. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about KHS and its programs, visit