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State Seal Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Appointments to the State University Boards
Press Release Date:  June 30, 2004
Contact:  Doug Hogan
Jeannie Lausche
Jason Keller

Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today his first appointments to the university governing boards at each of the state’s public postsecondary educational institutions and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. On June 10, the bi-partisan Postsecondary Education Nominating Committee delivered a list of nominees for gubernatorial appointment for each university governing board to the Governor. Appointees were chosen from the list of nominees. Each gubernatorial appointment will be effective July 1, 2004 and each appointee will serve a term of six (6) years.

“I am proud to announce each of these appointments as they have displayed life-long results of effective leadership and rock-solid values,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. “Each appointee has a deep passion for the University they will serve and I am confident that they will use their extensive personal and professional experiences and relationships for the benefit of the University and our great Commonwealth.”

University of Kentucky

  • Mira Ball – Lexington – Chief Financial Officer, Ball Homes - Republican 

Mira Ball, of Lexington, is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Ball Homes, and is a 1956 graduate of the University of Kentucky where she majored in business education. Ms. Ball has been a leader in the advancement of UK for more than a decade having served on the board of the A.B. Chandler Medical Center and participated in development campaigns for UK’s new career center, the construction of a new campus administration building and creating an endowed Chair in honor of former UK First lady Gloria Singletary.  Ms. Ball’s leadership in higher education has not been limited to UK. She also served as Chair of the Board of Midway College, Kentucky’s only women’s college where during her tenure the college experienced unprecedented growth in both enrollment and endowment. Mira and her husband Don are owners of Donamire Farm, a horse farm and vineyard, where she also serves as CFO. She is also active in the civic affairs of greater Lexington as former Chair of the Bluegrass Community Foundation, former Chair of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the endowment board for Kentucky Educational Television (KET).

  • Stephen Branscum – Russell Springs – President and Chief Executive Officer, Branscum Construction Company, Inc. - Republican 

Stephen Branscum, of Russell Springs, is the President and CEO of Branscum Construction Company, Inc. Branscum’s commitment to higher education includes an eleven year stint on the Board of Trustees of Campbellsville University, overseeing the transition of that institution from college to University status. A major supporter of UK’s initiatives to improve its status as one of the nation’s preeminent research universities, Branscum has participated in UK development activities as a Henry Stites Barker Fellow. He currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the new UK basketball practice facility. Branscum has statewide leadership experience as Chairman of the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky. Active in the civic affairs of south-central Kentucky, Branscum has served as Chairman of the Russell County Industrial Development Authority and President of the Russell County Chamber of Commerce.

  • Ann Brand Haney – Nancy – Public Librarian - Republican 

A six term veteran of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association Board and recipient of the prestigious UK Alumni Service Award, Ann Haney, of Nancy, was nominated in March by her fellow UK alumni to serve as alumni member of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Haney is the founding member of the UK Lake Cumberland Alumni Association and is a 1971 Graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Education. She is the Community Relations Specialist for the Pulaski County Public Library where she directs an adult literacy outreach program. 

University of Louisville 

  • William A. Stone – Louisville – President and Chief Executive Officer, Louisville Plate Glass Company - Republican

William A. Stone, of Louisville, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Louisville Plate Glass Company. He has served on the Board of Overseers of the University for more than a generation and is a past executive committee member. In addition, Mr. Stone has been President of the UofL Associates, and served on search committees that have hired a President, a Provost, and two athletic directors. He was also named an Honorary Alumnus by the University and has a scholarship in his name at the UofL School of Business. He is a 1957 graduate of the University of Michigan, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

  •  Steve Poe – Louisville – Real Estate Developer, Poe Investments - Republican

Steve Poe, of Louisville, is a Real Estate Developer with Poe Investments. Recognizing Louisville’s role as the economic engine of Kentucky, Poe is at the forefront of the downtown renaissance by leading the building of the downtown Louisville Marriot Hotel. Active in the civic affairs of Louisville, Poe is a member of the President’s Circle of Greater Louisville, Inc. His wife, Merry-Kay, is a graduate of the University of Louisville.

  •  Margaret Handmaker – Harrods Creek – Consultant, Mercer Human Resources Consulting - Republican

Margaret Handmaker, of Harrods Creek, is a Consultant with Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Handmaker is a graduate of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She is currently the Chair of the University of Louisville Board of Overseers and she serves as a member of the UofL School of Business National Visiting Committee. Handmaker is also a member of the Board of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a joint venture between the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital. She is a former Secretary of Revenue under Governor Paul Patton and is a member of Governor Fletcher’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Government Reorganization. Handmaker will represent UofL alumni as the alumni member of the Board of Trustees.

Eastern Kentucky University 

  • Pheli Roberts – Louisville – Pharmacist, The Kroger Company - Republican

Pheli Roberts, of Louisville, is a pharmacist with the Kroger Company. Roberts is a member of the Kentucky Pharmacist’s Association and is the former Vice-President of the Christian Pharmacist Fellowship Association. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, where she was honored for skills in patient counseling. Roberts has indicated strong support for Eastern Kentucky University’s diversification of students and curriculum, especially in the area of law enforcement. She is married to Erwin Roberts, the Commonwealth’s Director of Homeland Security

  • Hunter Bates – Prospect – President, Bates Capitol Group - Republican

Hunter Bates, of Prospect, served as Student Body President and Student Regent at Eastern in 1989. He led his fellow Student Body Presidents from around the Commonwealth in establishing the Board of Student Body Presidents where he served as its first President. He is a 1989 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and graduate of Harvard University Law School. In Washington, Bates served as Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Whip and Kentucky’s senior United States Senator, Mitch McConnell, before returning to Kentucky in 2002. 

Kentucky State University

  • Michael Alexander – Louisville – Deputy General Counsel to the Governor - Democrat

Mike Alexander is currently the Deputy General Counsel to the Governor, a position that he has been entrusted with by three Kentucky’s governors. Alexander is currently a member of the Kentucky and National Bar Associations and the NAACP. He is a graduate of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Alexander has indicated a deep desire to give back to the University as each of his teachers between the first and sixth grades were graduates of KSU. Alexander also looks forward to working with Governor Fletcher and KSU’s new President Evelyn Sias to implement the Governor’s goal of having KSU ranked as one of the top 10 universities for young black students.

  • Yvette Haskins – Campbellsville – Retired - Republican

Yvette Haskins, of Campbellsville currently serves as Co-Chair of Greater Campbellsville United, Chairman of the African American Heritage Trail Task Force and serves on the Board of Directors of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District. Haskins attended Kentucky State University and is a former member of the Warren County Board of Education.

Morehead State University

  • Jill Hall Rose – Winchester – Attorney, Rose Law Offices, Inc. - Democrat

Jill Hall Rose, of Winchester, is an attorney with the Rose Law Offices in Lexington. Rose is also the owner of Don Hall GM SuperCenter in Ashland, KY, which is a leader in development efforts for Morehead State. Rose is a 1986 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law. Rose is a member of the Heritage Bank Board of Directors and the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Sponsorship Committee. Growing up in Ashland, Rose has indicated numerous educational benefits that she, and others in northeastern Kentucky, have received from Morehead State University’s outreach programs. She is married to the former Kentucky State Senate President, John A. “Eck” Rose.

  • John O’Cull – Vanceburg – Dentist, John D. O’Cull Denstistry, PSC - Independent

Lewis County’s first member of the Morehead State University Board of Regents in almost 50 years is Dr. John O’Cull of Vanceburg. A practicing dentist, Dr. O’Cull graduated from Morehead State University with a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry. While studying at Morehead, O’Cull won the Kentucky Board of Dentistry rural Kentucky scholarship. He has held a variety of both elected and unelected leadership posts, including previous service as Lewis County Coroner.

Murray State University

  • Alan C. Stout – Marion – Crittenden County Attorney - Republican

Alan C. Stout, of Marion, is the Crittenden County Attorney. Stout is a 1978 graduate of Murray State University and a 1981 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. A committed Racer Alumnus, Stout is the former Vice President of the Murray State University Alumni Association, and is the current President-Elect. Stout is a Bankruptcy Trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky. He is the immediate Past President of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, and is the Chairman of the Western Kentucky Industrial Foundation.

  • Vickie C. Travis – Murray – Civic Activist - Republican

Vickie C. Travis is a 1978 graduate in Elementary Education and graduated with a Master of Arts in Education in 1987. Travis’ dedication to the institution includes service as a member of the Murray State University President’s Club since 1990 and Racer Club since 1982. Travis has served as the President of the Murray State University Alumni Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. Travis’ civic involvement includes service on the Federal Judicial Selection Committee for Kentucky and the Major Events Chairman of the Murray First Baptist Church Capital Campaign.

Northern Kentucky University

  • Joyce Griffin – Elsmere – Civic Volunteer - Republican

Joyce Griffin, of Elsmere, is a civic volunteer and current member of the Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents, where she serves as Secretary of the board. Griffin also serves as a member of the Northern Kentucky University Foundation Board. She has served on the Covington Catholic High School Board and on the Catholic Social Service Board.

  • Denise H. McClelland – Lexington – Attorney, Frost Brown Todd, LLC - Republican

Denise H. McClelland, of Lexington, is an attorney with the firm of Frost Brown Todd, LLC. She specializes in the practice area of commercial litigation. McClelland is a 1974 graduate of Southwest Missouri State University, a 1978 graduate of Vanderbilt University, and a 1983 Order of the Coif graduate of the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. While at Northern Kentucky University, McClelland served as associate editor of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. McClelland currently serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the Lexington Philharmonic Society. McClelland also serves on the Board of Trustees of Midway College.

Western Kentucky University

  • Judi Hughes – Bowling Green – President, Hughes Homes, Inc. - Republican

Judi Hughes, of Bowling Green, is President of Hughes Homes, Inc. Hughes graduated in 1969 from Indiana University with a degree in education. She then attended Western Kentucky University as a graduate student in sociology. While studying at Western, Hughes served as a teaching assistant. She is the daughter of the late Ken Given, the first “voice of the Hilltoppers,” and traveled with him to many Western sporting events as a child. Hughes has served as Chairman of Public Affairs for the Bowling Green Women’s Club and is a Sunday School teacher at Christ Episcopal Church.

  • Larry Zielke – Louisville, Attorney, Pedley Zielke Gordiner and Pence, PLLC - Democrat

Larry Zielke, of Louisville, is the Senior Partner of  Pedley Zielke Gordiner and Pence, PLLC. Zielke graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1970 with honors. During his matriculation at Western, Zielke served as student body president. After graduation, Zielke worked as a staff member in the office of the Dean of Students at Western. He is also a 1974 graduate of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where he was the Executive Editor for the Journal of Family Law. Zielke previously served as Chairman of the Parents Council at WKU. He is the former City Law Director for the City of Louisville, Kentucky.

Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority

  • Spencer Noe – Lexington – Attorney, Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love - Republican

Spencer Noe, of Lexington, is an attorney with the firm of Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love. He is a 1965 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College and a 1967 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He is a former Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Fayette County and currently practices in the areas of litigation, insurance, and commercial law. Noe serves as member of the Board of Directors of the Martin School for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the New Cities Foundation.

  • Dr. Sarah Laws – Lexington – Provost, Midway College - Republican

Dr. Sarah Laws, of Lexington, is the Provost of Midway College. She is a 1964 and 1965 graduate of Western Kentucky State Teachers College (now Western Kentucky University) with a bachelor’s degree in English and mathematics and a master’s degree in secondary education. Laws graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1985 with an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision. She has served on the faculty of Midway College since 1994, and has served as Chair of the Teacher Education Program. Laws was selected as Midway College’s Outstanding Faculty Member in 1997.

KCTCS Board of Regents

  • Larry Savage – Union– Chief Executive Officer, Humana Health Plans of Ohio - Republican

Larry Savage, of Union is the Chief Executive Office of Humana Health Plans of Ohio, based in Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University in rehabilitation counseling. Savage’s managerial experience spans twenty years, including serving as the Vice President for Administration of the Nerco Coal Corporation in St. Louis and Senior Vice President of ChoiceCare Health Plans, Inc. Savage is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Board of Directors for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

“I look forward to working with these fine individuals who represent the best of what Kentucky has to offer to ensure that our postsecondary institutions are good stewards of public funds,” summarized Governor Fletcher. “These people understand that their obligation to the public, to the parents, students and staff of these respective institutions, and to the Commonwealth as a whole is among the most prestigious the Commonwealth can bestow and I am honored to call these Kentuckians my first University Regents and Trustees.”

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Last updated: Thursday, June 02, 2005