Kentucky Historical Society elects new leadership

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) has announced results of the election for new officers and members of its Executive Committee. The committee is the policy-setting body for the KHS, a state agency that engages people in the exploration of Kentucky’s diverse heritage through comprehensive and innovative services, interpretive programs and stewardship.

Elected by the society’s membership, the new officers and committee members were sworn in by Hon. Phillip Shepherd, chief circuit judge of the 48th District, during the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 8 held at the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort.

The officers’ terms will run throughout 2014. They include:

Brian Mefford, who will serve as president. A resident of Bowling Green, he is the chairman and CEO of Connected Nation Inc. and founder of The Coronado Group (Phoenix) and the Pareto Institute (Washington, DC). Mefford’s interest in history extends back to his days as a student of Dr. Thomas D. Clark and other passionate Kentucky history teachers, he says. His work today in the technology arena “makes it more clear now than ever that it is important to encourage and nurture a sense of place across all ages, especially with children,” he adds.

Renee Shaw, who will serve as first vice president. A resident of Lexington, she is producer/managing editor of KET’s public affairs programming and host of its legislative coverage. Shaw travels the state moderating public issues forums and speaking about diversity, media, public policy and state legislative matters.

J. McCauley Brown, who is the new second vice president. Brown, a resident of Harrods Creek, is a vice president at Brown-Forman Corp where he focuses on strategic pricing, family relations and business planning.A history enthusiast with strong roots in Kentucky, Brown is the current president of the Filson Historical Society’s board of directors.

Michael J. Hammons, third vice president. A resident of Park Hills, he is the executive director of the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative. Hammons’ lifelong interest in local, state and national history has inspired him to help found the Kenton County Historical Society and the Dinsmore Homestead Foundation, author several historical works and publish many others, as well as help preserve the home of renowned artist Frank Duveneck.

Newly elected committee members include:

Chris Black, a resident of Paducah and president of Ray Black & Son Inc. construction company, which is engaged in preservation and historic restoration. He currently serves on the Kentucky Heritage Council and is a member of the International Preservation Trades Network.

Jennifer P. Brown, a resident of Hopkinsville and opinion editor with the Kentucky New Era. A journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering public affairs in Christian and surrounding counties, she has written extensively about local history.

Dr. Betty Sue Griffin, a resident of Frankfort and CEO of The Griffin Group, a professional education and corporate coaching agency. A long-time educator at both the K-12 and university levels, she recognizes the value of history in helping students advance critical thinking skills.

Laureen Laumeyer, a resident of Elizabethtown and a social studies teacher in the Hardin County Schools system. Laumeyer actively promotes how history impacts today’s world through her board memberships with the Frazier History Museum, KET, Kentucky Council for Social Studies and more.

Jim Wallace, a resident of Golden Pond and retired superintendent of the Trigg County Schools. This sixth-generation Trigg Countian is an active member of his local historical society and helped publish a pictorial history of the Trigg County area taken during the development of the Land Between the Lakes.

In addition to these officers and newly elected members, the KHS Executive Committee 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.

Outgoing president Sheila Mason Burton also was honored during the membership meeting. Burton, who is with the Legislative Research Commission, was presented a Distinguished Service Award for her years of effective leadership and dedication to the KHS.

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


An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for 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 the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit


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