Joe Childers, Chair of the Board of Directors for KRC, graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law and has over 30 years of legal experience with specialties in environmental, mineral, and civil rights litigation. He has been successful in winning some of Kentucky’s most notable cases, including unmined mineral taxation, the notorious "broad form" mineral deed, and surface owner’s rights against natural gas companies. He currently lives in Lexington with his wife and two children.
Joe graduated from Summa Cum Laude from Transylvania University in 1986 with majors in Accounting and Business Administration and minors in Political Science and History. Joe was a Certified Public Accountant and McDonald's franchisee for 30 years. He currently serves on as a Board Member of the Kentucky Resources Council, the Bluegrass Community Foundation, the Nursing Home Ombudsman Association of the Bluegrass, and the executive committees of the Woodford County and Kentucky Democratic Party, Woodford Tomorrow, the Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback and Water Trails Alliance, and the Woodford County Community Foundation. He and his wife Debbie live on a small farm between Frankfort and Versailles with a couple of bicycles, his golf clubs, fishing poles, and their cat Pixie. Joe is a candidate for the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Betsy Bennett lives in Louisville and is an environmental lawyer who graduated from Bryn Mawr College, University of Colorado, and University of Kentucky College of Law. She has volunteered with the Sierra Club for 35 years, served on the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission for 12 years, and has been a fan of Fitz and KRC for as long as she can remember. She is also currently on the board for River Fields and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence. She is married and has 2 adult children and 5 grandchildren. In the photo at left, Betsy is awarding the Sue Anne Salmon Community Service Award to Winnie Hepler during KRC's Second Annual Meeting.
Sarah Lynn Cunningham is a professional environmental engineer and environmental educator who graduated from the University of Louisville with degrees in environmental engineering, environmental history, and environmental education. She has worked with the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, Jefferson County Board of Health, and Kentucky Division of Water. She was co-founder of the Louisville Climate Action Network in 2007, where she serves as its part-time Director. Sarah Lynn is also a Board member of the Kentucky Conservation Committee.
Arnita Gadson is a steward for those with environmental concerns as she is the executive director of the Environmental Quality Commission in Louisville. She has managed Louisville’s air pollution by securing funding that established a state-of-the-art laboratory at the University of Louisville to measure air toxins. Her achievements prevent human suffering and contribute to the Louisville economy by protecting the health of each citizen.
Jim is an alumni of Sue Bennett College and Cumberland College, with a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Biology Education from Union College. Jim brings a wealth of experience to the Council in understanding the aquatic biology of the Commonwealth and of the importance of stewardship. He formerly served as Director of the Rockcastle River Project for the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, and Director of the Rockcastle River Project for the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Since 2016, he has been Director of Friends of the Rockcastle RIver. Jim lives in London, Kentucky.
After 35 years of leadership in the non-profit and for-profit sectors, Mimi Zinniel retired from Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy in 2017. Her interests in public service and environmental issues serve her well in her current post-retirement volunteer activities, including the Kentucky Resources Council Board; the Felix E. Martin Foundation Board; and as City Council member for Indian Hills, Kentucky. Mimi spends her spare time in at home in Louisville pulling weeds from her garden, and at her cabin in Laurel County, kayaking and hiking with her friends and dogs.