Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Appoints Members to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Press Release Date:  Friday, September 21, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611
 


Henry Curtis will serve as chair

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has appointed eight members to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and reappointed one member.

Rev. Thurmond Coleman Sr., of Louisville, is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown.  He served as pastor of First Baptist for 45 years.  He is the former minister of Emmanuel Baptist Church and former interim pastor of New Canaan Baptist Church and the Greater Good Hope Baptist Church.

Coleman has served as vice president of the Louisville branch of the NAACP, chairman of the Louisville Urban League board, president of the Jeffersontown Association of Christian Congregations and chairman of the Joint Board of the Central District Association of Baptists in Kentucky.  He has served as a member of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, the NAACP Ministerial Coalition, the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Good Samaritan Society, the Jeffersontown Development Council and the Jefferson County Police Chief Search Committee.  He is married to Cora Elizabeth Coleman and represents the 4th Supreme Court District on the commission. His term expires Sept. 12, 2008.

Betty J. Dobson, of Paducah, is co-founder and board member of the Upper Town Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit preservation organization.  Dobson is president of the African-American Preservation Association of Kentucky, which is made up of several preservation groups from the western Kentucky area.  She is a graduate of Lyon County High School and attended Paducah Community College.  She is married to George T. Dobson and represents the 1st Supreme Court District on the commission. Her term expires Sept. 12, 2008

Dr. William H. Turner, of Lexington, is the former vice president for university engagement and associate provost for multicultural affairs at the University of Kentucky.  Turner received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UK and a master’s degree in sociology and doctorate in sociology and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame.  Turner previously served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UK and interim president of Kentucky State University.  He is a member of the Trotter Group, a Harvard University based network of black journalists, and is married to Vivian Turner.  He represents the state at large on the commission, and his term expires Sept. 12, 2008.

Henry L. Blythe, of Mayfield, is the U.S. Postmaster for Boaz, in Graves County.  Blythe is a graduate of Dunbar High School in Mayfield and a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant.  He is a member of the Mayfield Human Rights Council and represents the state at large on the commission. His term expires Sept. 12, 2008.

Ambassador George McDade Staples, of Pineville, is retired.  He is the former director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources for the U.S. Department of State.  From 1998 to 2001 he served as U.S. ambassador to Rwanda, followed by four years of service as U.S. ambassador to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.  He has held a number of assignments in the State Department, most recently serving as political advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe at NATO in Belgium.

Staples replaces Bonita Black, who was appointed to the Commission Sept. 10 but was unable to serve due to a professional conflict of interest.

Prior to his work for the Department of State, Staples served as a military officer in the U.S. Air Force and as a manager in private industry.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in business from Central Michigan University.  He has served as a member of various civic, political and business organizations.  He is married to Jo Ann Fuson Staples and represents the state at large on the commission. His term expires Sept. 12, 2010.

Robert S. Peters, of Lexington, is retired.  Peters worked for nearly 30 years for Ashland Inc., serving the company in a variety of roles.  From 1995 to 1998 he served as secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet and later served as executive director of the Governmental Services Center and special assistant to Gov. Paul Patton.  He has served as a member of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Bluegrass board and on the steering committee of the YMCA Black Achievers program.  He represents the state at large on the commission. His term expires Sept. 12, 2009.

Alma L. Randolph, of Owensboro, is a human resource and community relations specialist for the city of Owensboro.  She is also the city’s EEO officer.  Randolph, who is also a gospel singer, is the founder of the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation, which provides clothing for disadvantaged children.  She is past president of Leadership Owensboro and a member of the United Way board and the Owensboro Rotary Club.  In 1981, Randolph was elected to the Beaver Dam City Council, becoming the first black in Ohio County to be elected to public office.  She is a graduate of Ohio County High School and attended Brescia University.  She represents the 2nd Supreme Court District on the commission. Her term expires Sept. 12, 2009.

Duane Bonifer, of Greensburg, is director of public relations for Lindsay Wilson College.  Bonifer holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a double major in political science from the University of Kentucky.  He is married to Kelli Bonifer and represents the 3rd Supreme Court District on the commission. His term expires Sept. 12, 2009.

Henry J. Curtis, of Frankfort, was reappointed as the commission’s 5th Supreme Court District representative and designated as the group’s chair. Curtis is the deputy executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance. He received his master’s degree in political science and his master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and his juris doctorate from the University of Louisville. He is a member of the New Horizon Full Gospel Missionary Baptist Church of Louisville, the JCTC Foundation Board, Yearlings Club Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, NAACP and the Frankfort Rotary Club. He is married to Gloria Curtis. His term expires Sep. 12, 2010.

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is made up of 11 members, all appointed by the Governor.  The Commission encourages fair treatment for all people regardless of race or national ancestry. 


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