Our Valuable L.E.A.D. Team Members

Kelsey Barber
Kelsey BarberENGAGE Program Coordinator
Kelsey is a native Kentuckian who has a passion for serving & working with youth. Growing up in a small town with limited resources & opportunities, she grabbed every opportunity she could to invest in her own development as a leader.

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Kelsey is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Counseling at Liberty University and is a substitute teacher for Clark County Public Schools

Dawn Brockman
Dawn BrockmanENGAGE Program Coordinator
You could say Dawn was born to travel. As the daughter of a US Military man, she was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and spent time in Arizona, California and Illinois before she was six years old.

After many opportunities to travel the U.S., she had a strong desire to explore the globe. She has had a 26 year journey of investing in young people and leadership through a variety of non-profits and church activities. From camp counselor to heading a state-wide leadership program, she’s run the gambit of service roles and loved every second.

Dawn graduated from Asbury University with a Bachelors in Business Management and Ethics. She loves to use her knowledge and experience to help others expand their opportunities.

Dawn currently works as the Executive Director for The Lexington Forum and the Project Manager for The I Know Expo. Continuing to advance her personal skills, professional relationships and ongoing investments in our community.

KYL brings together a love of investing in youth, a passion for developing leadership skills and strong desire to travel the world. She couldn’t be more excited to invest in the students, their families and other volunteers.

Keith Brockman
Keith BrockmanScholarship Team
Keith is a Graduate of the University of Kentucky and has worked in the Social Work field for 20 years. He has a passion for helping people in need and it shows.

Keith put himself through college with his disc jockey service, Soundoff Mobile DJ. One of his favorite things to do is entertain people of all ages with music. He volunteers as a room tech at Quest Community Church each week in the Children’s Ministry area.

He is an avid UK athletics fan but his favorite thing to do is play with his children, Macy & Wyatt.

Donna (Dee) Fife
Donna (Dee) Fife
Dee’s experience focuses on building successful corporate partnerships through license/distribution agreements with both Fortune 1000 and privately held companies. She has developed a reputation for strong client relations and is considered a trusted advisor. She was recognized for organizational excellence by the independent sponsoring review board; and responsible for managing governmental relations. She has extensive experience in the championing marketing strategies; and been honored with multiple ADDY awards.

Outside of work, Fife served on the Board of Trustees for Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership, an international non-profit focused on youth leadership and service, chairing the Marketing and Brand Committee and serving on the Executive Committee as officer through 2012. She served in a leadership role on the Strategic Planning Committee and Field Operations & Programming Committee. She has a proven record in fund raising, multi-year sponsorships and partnership retention/growth. Her expertise has led to her speaking at various regional and international training workshops for the organization and partners on fund raising, program, recruitment, marketing/branding, and finance. She has also previously chaired several charity events, including the JAYCEES Toys for Kids program and the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships-USTA/ATP.

Her specialties include: strategic plan implementation, brand leadership, organizational management, partnership retention / growth, crisis management & public relations, product marketing, new business development, organizational leadership & P&L management.

Ben Howard
Ben HowardDeveloper
Ben is a graduate of Gatton Academy and University of Louisville. He is currently pursuing a career in Human Resources.

He loves bring order to events and is always seeking innovative ways to increase efficiency. His fun loving spirit and light hearted personality make him easily approachable and well liked by mentors, peers, and those following him.

In his spare time Ben loves to dance competitively and often invests time in the Dance Louisville Studio.

Courtney Mueller
Courtney MuellerLAUNCH Program Coordinator
Courtney Mueller first caught the travel bug in 2011 when she studied English Literature abroad at the University of Oxford.

After graduating from Georgetown College with her B.A. in English, Courtney continued her travels around the U.S. by completing a year of service with NCC FEMA Corps.

Courtney is a talented writer, whose past times include reading, obsessing over British television shows, and hanging out with her unbelievably gorgeous sisters.
Courtney also enjoys volunteering with her church’s youth group and attending musical theatre performances.

She is very excited for this opportunity to work with Kentucky’s current and future leaders and share her love of traveling with them.

Meredith Mueller
Meredith MuellerLAUNCH Program Coordinator
Meredith Mueller has always had a passion for educating young leaders, and is thrilled to be working with KYL.

Since earning her M.S. from the University of Cincinnati, Meredith has been working to improve the lives of children in Boone County through her career as a social worker.

In her spare time, Meredith likes to travel, read, volunteer with her church’s youth group, and watch Frozen repeatedly. Meredith also loves learning about other cultures and is conversationally fluent in French.

She is looking forward to sharing this travel experience with young leaders from Kentucky, and her stunningly beautiful twin sister.

Joan Neill
Joan NeillPR/Marketing/Branding
Joan Neill has lived in Kentucky for the last eight years. She became involved with KYL five years ago because her youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was active with the Kentucky Youth Leadership program here.

Leadership and leadership training were a part of her experiences early on with 4-H, school and church in Grantville, PA. This training helped to prepare her for college and later business challenges. She graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia with a BS degree in Communications.

Work has taken her to six states with several companies to manage projects, develop marketing and sales strategies, web development and implement enterprise CRM software.

She continues to use her communications skills to excite and encourage students to develop their communication and leadership skills.

Liz Neill
Liz NeillACHIEVE Coordinator
Born in Rochester New York in 1988 she has lived in 2 other states before settling in Kentucky in 2007. She has dual citizenship to France and went over often with her family which inspired her love of travel.

Liz has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Kentucky. She also has a Master’s in Student Personnel in Higher Education from Eastern Kentucky University.

She has been volunteering with youth for the last ten years and looks forward to this new adventure!

Joy Richmond
Joy RichmondLEAD Team
Joy is affectionately known as “Mama Joy” and brings laughter and nurturing to the table. Her educational background includes Northern Illinois University, Devry University and Waubonsee Community College.

She has served as the Office Manager of Bilmar Group, Inc since 1981. Her expertise in human resources, payroll, accounts payable and general management is extensive.

As the mother of four, Joy has mastered the art of multi-tasking. She has the ability to help the masses while never losing focus on the person in front of her.

She is an avid pet lover, an amazing painter and in the most unexpected moments a bit of a prankster.

Ryan Vicini
Ryan ViciniLEAD Team
A native of Cumberland, KY, Ryan is a proud graduate of the University of Kentucky, and a faithful fan of UK Athletics. He studied Integrated Strategic Communication and now serves as Staff Development Manager at University of Kentucky Center for Clinical & Translational Science.

Ryan has extensive event and conference planning experience and excels at structure and order. He loves investing in young leaders and brings an unparalleled level of enthusiasm to any group he leads.

He is an excellent gymnast and loves pushing himself to acquire new skills.

Kristy Wheeler
Kristy WheelerBluegrass Education Expo Coordinator
Kristy Wheeler grew up in eastern Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in marketing and management. She is now a stay-at-home mom to four children, one dog, one cat, and 10 chickens. In her free time, you might find her carrying a stack of books from the library, painting a room in her house, or digging holes for flowers, veggies, and trees.
“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 9:9-10