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Kentucky Historical Society elects new governing board members

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Historical Society(KHS) is pleased to announce nine newly elected members to the 2023 KHS Governing Board, ranging from established writers and historians to seasoned policy advisors and economic development professionals. Elected by the KHS membership during the Kentucky Historical Society’s Annual Meeting, the KHS Governing Board is representative of all regions of the commonwealth. These history ambassadors join current board members to fulfill the mission and uphold the values of KHS to bring together all who share their interest and passion for Kentucky history.

“One of the many highlights of the year is to welcome our newly elected officers and board members at the swearing-in ceremony in Kentucky’s Old State Capitol,” said Scott Alvey, executive director of KHS. “Through their service to KHS, they bring a vast amount of expertise, contribute important insights, and demonstrate dedication to preserving and exploring Kentucky’s rich and fascinating past.”

Newly elected members are:

Jennifer Brown, President – As an experienced and independent journalist, Ms. Brown has written extensively about local history, especially African American history. She is the founder and editor of the Hoptown Chronicle, former editor of the Kentucky New Era, and previously served as a governing board officer for the Museum of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, she now resides in Hopkinsville.

Cynthia Torp, 1st Vice President – Ms. Torp is a design professional with over forty years of expertise in inspired visitor experiences in museums, universities and visitor centers. The owner of Solid Light Inc., she was named 2015 Distinguished Contributor by Southeastern Museums Conference in recognition of her outstanding service and innovation in the world of museums. Torp was born in Louisville and now calls Corydon, Indiana, home.

Shelia Mason, 2nd Vice President – History is a passion of Ms. Mason, who is the co-author of Community Memories: A Glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort. She serves as a member of the Capital City History Museum Board and the Frankfort African American Historic Context Project. Mason has served the Legislative Research Commission in various research and administrative positions. Mason is a lifetime Frankfort native.

Dr. Alicestyne Turley, 3rd Vice President – Dr. Turley recently published The Gospel of Freedom, for which she received the 2022 Black Appalachian Storyteller Fellowship Award. Among other accomplishments, she is the founding director for Berea College’s Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education and the founding director for Georgetown College Underground Railroad Research Institute. Originally from Hazard, Turley now lives in Clay City.

Dee Alvin Davis III, Member/two-year term – As founder and president of the nonprofit Center for Rural Strategies, Mr. Davis uses communication to raise awareness of rural policy gaps and opportunities and works in alliance with service and advocacy organizations to create public information campaigns on rural issues. Among other civic endeavors, Davis has volunteered with The American Academy of Art and Sciences Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. Davis called Hazard home before moving to Whitesburg.

Ryan Craig, Member/four-year term – Mr. Craig is a student media advisor at the University of Kentucky. He was the owner and publisher of the Todd County Standard and has won over two hundred awards in writing, photography, and design from the Kentucky Press Association. Craig has a special interest in legal history, the Civil War, the ongoing debate on Kentucky’s categorization as a southern state, and the intersection of Kentucky’s food, culture and music. Originally from Hopkinsville, Craig now lives in Lexington.

Haley McCoy, Member/four-year term – Ms. McCoy has the honor of being both the first woman and first person of color to serve as President and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. She spent twelve years performing a Kentucky Chautauqua historical drama as Lawrenceburg native 1st Lt. Anna Mac Clark, WWII WAC for Kentucky Humanities. Her education in mass communication, theological, and intercultural studies has shaped her civic and volunteer involvement. McCoy is a native of McKee and resides in Richmond.

Dr. David Childs, Member/four-year term — As a professor of social studies, history, and black studies at Northern Kentucky University, Dr. Childs uses his expertise to volunteer as Board Chair with First Antioch Ministry, a 501 (c) (3) organization that focuses on education, food and housing insecurity in Cincinnati. He also serves on the board of the Newport Museum at the Old Southgate Street School. Childs was born in Hamilton, and calls Cincinnati, Ohio, home.

Tommy Druen, Member/four-year term – Mr. Druen is the Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of the Speaker in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He also serves as a deacon of Georgetown Baptist Church, is a syndicated columnist for ten Kentucky newspapers, and edits a newsletter for the Lafayette Chapter Sons of the American Revolution. In his spare time, Druen is involved with the Georgetown Gentlemen Vintage Base Ball Club, of which he is the founder and team captain. Druen is originally from Glasgow and resides in Georgetown.

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