MEET THE STAFF

STAFF OF KRC

KRC staff currently consists of the Director, Ashley Wilmes, Senior Staff Attorney, Tom FitzGerald; Staff Attorney, Liz Mosler; Communications Associate, Amy Carpenter; Development Associate for Major Gifts, Donna Counts; Office Administrator, Sarah Mitchum; and Intake Specialist, Sam Kessler. 

 

 


ASHLEY WILMES, DIRECTOR 

The Board and staff of the Kentucky Resources Council are pleased to announce the hiring of Ashley Wilmes as the new Director of the Council, effective October 1, 2021. Tom FitzGerald, better known as “Fitz,” Director of the Council for 37 years, will assume a senior staff role through the end of 2021 and will assist the Council in a part-time status in 2022.
 
Since 1984, KRC has worked to protect those who live downhill, downwind, and downstream, and who have suffered the burdens of environmental pollution and injustice” said FitzGerald. “With the support of friends and members, KRC has achieved numerous successes in protecting Kentucky’s built and natural environment. Under the leadership of Ashley Wilmes, and with our dedicated staff and volunteers, KRC’s best days as a pragmatic, thoughtful, and unapologetic force for environmental accountability, environmental health and environmental justice, are ahead of us." said FitzGerald.

The selection of Ashley Wilmes followed an extensive national search, and the Board appreciates each of the candidates who applied for the position. Ashley’s education, experience, and passion for environmental justice make her uniquely qualified to lead KRC as the organization looks forward to the challenges ahead, as Kentucky’s only statewide source of pro bono legal assistance on environmental and energy matters.

Wilmes attended Centre College and the University of Oregon School of Law, where she earned a specialty certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Before joining KRC, she practiced environmental law as a solo practitioner, served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and worked as in-house counsel for environmental advocacy organization WildEarth Guardians. Wilmes has represented organizations across the country on environmental matters and has argued cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. She is Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association.


“KRC’s accomplishments with Fitz as director are truly inspiring, and I am honored to be leading the Council into its next chapter,” Wilmes said. “I look forward to continuing the Council’s work in protecting and improving Kentucky’s land, air, and water, and to furthering its reach and impact.”

Email Ashley at ashley@kyrc.org


TOM "FITZ" FITZGERALD,
SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY

Tom FitzGerald (“Fitz”) was Director of the Kentucky Resources Council from 1984 until October 1, 2021. KRC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization providing free legal, strategic and policy assistance to individuals, organizations and communities concerning environmental quality, resource extraction, energy, and utility issues. Fitz received his Juris Doctor from the UK College of Law in 1980 (Order of the Coif ) and was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1980-1982. He is an alumni of Roger Williams College (now University), Bristol, Rhode Island with a B.A. in American Studies with distinction. Fitz has been a lowly Adjunct Professor of Energy and Environmental Law at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville since 1986, and has published a number of articles.

He received the Environmental Quality Commission Lifetime Achievement Award; the Henry R. Heyburn Public Service Award from the UK College of Law, the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Biological Diversity Award, the inaugural Professional Achievement Award from the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association, the 14th Heinz Award in the Environment Category, and the Brennan-Haly Award from the University of Louisville Department of Political Science. He has been a fixture in the halls of the Kentucky General Assembly since 1978.

Email Fitz at fitz@kyrc.org


LIZ MOSLER, STAFF ATTORNEY 

Liz Mosler is KRC's staff attorney and works in all aspects of the organization's litigation and policy advocacy programs to ensure the protection of Kentucky's natural resources and communities. She has over a decade of experience working in energy and environmental law and policy in the non-profit sector, private practice, and with state and federal government officials. Prior to stepping into her current role, Liz served as the director of energy and environmental policy for a national non-profit organization where she helped state government officials from across the country develop innovative environmental and energy policy solutions and strong working relationships. Liz alos owned her own law firm for several yeasr where she worked to protect and secure settlements for Kentucky landowners and communicaties adversely affected by extractive industries. In addition, Liz also worked as a consultant and project manajr on multi-million dollar, high-profile federal government projects to develop policies and regulations to reduce the environment impacts of coal mining in Appalachia. 

Liz first came to work at KRC in 2007 as a law clerk and then served a two-year fellowship as a staff attorney. She then served on the Council’s board of directors until she began working in her current position in 2017. Liz has also served as the Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law Section and regularly publishes law review and other articles and speaks on energy and environmental issues. Liz graduated from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, cum laude, in 2007, where she served as the Senior Notes Editor of the Brandeis Law Journal. She received her B.A., cum laude, with a self-designed major in environmental law and policy from the University of Louisville in 2004.

Email Liz at liz@kyrc.org


SAM KESSLER, INTAKE SPECIALIST 

Sam is a Grawemeyer Scholar at the University of Louisville, and alumnus of WKU’s Gatton Academy. He is pursuing a degree in Environmental Analysis (B.S.) and self-designed major in Environmental Mitigation (B.A.) which combines engineering, biology, sustainability, and political science focused in pre-law. At UofL he has worked with the ENVIROME Institute to develop cumulative methods for stream sampling, and founded the Commonwealth Policy Coalition Think-Tank to translate university research into policy solutions for the state legislature. There he has studied economic incentives for managing bourbon stillage waste and developing renewable biogas in Kentucky. Sam plans to get a master’s degree in public policy and attend law school, to support sustainable relations between the environment and people who live in it.

Email Sam at intake@kyrc.org


DONNA COUNTS, DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE FOR MAJOR GIFTS 

Before coming to KRC, Donna worked as the Assistant Treasurer at the University of Kentucky where one of her roles was administration of gifts and endowments. Before UK, she worked as the Commissioner of Finance for the City of Lexington and as an economist for the Legislative Research Commission. While her professional background is in public finance and economics, she has a long personal history of environmental action, advocacy, and support. Donna received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Kentucky in Agricultural Economics, specializing in Environmental and Public Policy Economics. Donna will assist the Director with the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift fundraising from individuals and family foundations.

Email Donna at donna@kyrc.org


SARAH MITCHUM,

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR/BOOKKEEPER 

Sarah is KRC’s Office Administrator/Bookkeeper. Her past administrative experience is as a business owner in the for-profit job market. After taking a few years off to take care of her family, she was ready to join the work force again. Sarah is excited to bring her administrative skills to the non-profit job market, where she can feel good about the work being done.
 

Email Sarah at sarah@kyrc.org


AMY CARPENTER, COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE 

Amy is KRC's Communications Associate supports a number of projects to help share KRC's mission of protecting Kentucky's natural and built environments.

Before coming to KRC, Amy worked as the Director of Communications at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Administrator at St. Joseph Montessori Children's Center, and the Executive Director of Burnamwood Camp and Conference Center. For the past 10 years, she has been heavily involved in the work of non-profits with a specific focus on strategic organization and external communications.

Amy is graduate of the University of Kentucky, having studied secondary education and political science. Additionally, Amy also studied education at the graduate school at Georgetown College.

Email Amy at @kyrc.org

 

VOLUNTEERS

 
If you are interested in volunteering with Kentucky Resources Council, please email amy@kyrc.org.
 
New Volunteers
Are you a new KRC volunteer? Complete the brief bio form so that we can introduce you in KRC publications!
 
Current Volunteers
All current volunteers, please submit your volunteer hours at the end of the month through this form.