Watts brings years of communications, advocacy experience to the association
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2017) — The Kentucky Oil and Gas Association (KOGA) announced today that Ryan Watts, of Frankfort, will serve as executive director. Watts joins the association after spending nearly 14 years in Kentucky state government where he worked in various communication roles.
“For nearly a century, Kentucky’s oil and gas industry has left an indelible mark on the state’s economy by providing low fuel costs, shaping a highly-skilled workforce and generating tens of millions of dollars in landowner royalties and severance revenue for local communities,” said Ryan Watts, KOGA’s executive director. “I look forward to preserving the industry’s storied history by expanding KOGA’s public outreach through effective communications and advocacy efforts.”
Watts began his career as the press secretary for Lt. Governor Steve Pence. Recently, Watts served as executive director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). In that capacity, Watts directed all communications and served as chief spokesman for the 4,400 employee agency, which is responsible for maintaining and preserving a vast infrastructure network across Kentucky.
“Ryan’s extensive career in government and communications will be an asset to the industry,” said Maurice Royster, president of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. “As we continue the dialogue on energy issues in Kentucky, KOGA is excited to welcome Ryan to his new role.”
During his career in state government, Watts collaborated with officials involved with various initiatives and projects including the Louisville Arena Authority, the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, goky.ky.gov, Pause-50 and most recently, the Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow (SHIFT). While at KYTC, Watts also initiated the snowky.ky.gov campaign to consolidate travel and roadway condition information for motorists during winter weather events.
Watts, originally from Bardstown, is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with degrees in political science and mathematics. He lives in Frankfort with his wife, Ashli, and two children.