Kentucky Sports Authority Board Members & Staff
Jerry Abramson, Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth
Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson was the longest-serving mayor in the city of Louisville’s 232-year history, having won election to five terms, two of them over a merged city and county government.
Throughout 21 years as mayor, Abramson oversaw a dramatic transformation of Louisville. He helped maintain and enhance Louisville’s economy during the nation’s recent economic crisis by bringing the KFC Yum! Center to the city’s waterfront and supporting the expansion of major employers such as UPS, Ford and GE. At the same, Abramson supported local small business and accelerated the community’s downtown revitalization with the addition of Fourth Street Live, the Frazier International History Museum and the Muhammad Ali Center.
Abramson was known for creating public/private partnerships to further policy goals, including one that brought together the business, government and civic sectors for the Greater Louisville Education Commitment, a widely successful effort to increase college graduation rates.
He also brought together diverse partners to re-invent Louisville as a “City of Parks” and to develop a nationally recognized public housing model. In 2008, the U.S. Conference of Mayors acknowledged Abramson’s impact when it named Louisville “America’s Most Livable Large City.”
As lieutenant governor, Abramson will bring the knowledge, enthusiastic ideas and local government experience he exhibited in Louisville to serve the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. Over the last several months, he has spent countless hours in Kentucky’s big cities, small towns and homegrown communities, meeting local officials and families and learning what is important to them. Despite the diversity of Kentucky communities, Abramson believes all Kentuckians are united by a strong sense of values, a strong work ethic and belief in the significance of quality education.
Abramson received a B.S. in Business Economics from Indiana University and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-1971, and then went on to hold two terms on Louisville’s Board of Aldermen. In addition to privately practicing law, he served in state government as General Counsel to Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
He and his wife, Madeline, have a son, Sidney.
Marcheta Sparrow, Secretary, Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet
Marcheta Sparrow comes to the post of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary with more than 30 years of tourism industry experience in both the public and private sector. Before her appointment as cabinet secretary, she served for nine years as President and CEO of the Kentucky Tourism Council where she managed a 575-member statewide association representing all sectors of Kentucky's travel industry.
"As an industry advocate, Marcheta has a sound understanding of Kentucky's diverse tourism product," said Governor Steve Beshear. "She also has an understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by every region from our smallest rural communities to the largest cities."
Before her work with the Kentucky Tourism Council, Sparrow served as Marketing and Public Relations Director at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill for nearly nine years. There she developed and implemented communications and marketing programs for a National Historic Landmark with a 14-building living history museum, 80 overnight guest rooms, 125-seat restaurant, two craft stores, various meeting facilities and a riverboat operation.
Sparrow also worked as Director of Tourism for the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1984-1989 and Executive Director of the Frankfort Tourism Commission from 1983-1984. Prior to that, she served as Communications Director for the Kentucky Derby Festival, one of North America’s largest civic celebrations. She also worked as matching funds administrator for the Kentucky Department of Tourism and began her career in tourism as a tour guide at the Kentucky State Capitol.
In addition to serving on Governor’s Tourism Advisory Boards for both the Collins and Wilkinson administrations, Sparrow chaired the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission for five years. In 1996, she received the tourism industry’s highest honor -- the Kentucky Tourism Council Distinguished Service Award.
She is married to journalist Herb Sparrow. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Bob Vance, Secretary, Public Protection Cabinet
Robert D. Vance brings nearly 30 years of managerial experience and a record of civic involvement to his post as Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet. He earned business and law degrees at the University of Kentucky. He also is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and the Executive Banking Institute at the University of Louisville.
Mr. Vance has served as president of the Maysville-Mason County Chamber of Commerce, board chairman of the Kentucky Bankers Association School of Banking and vice chairman of the Maysville-Mason County Industrial Authority.
Louis Stout, National Chairman, Amatuer Athletic Association
(The KSA Board and Staff mourn the passing of Mr. Stout, who died after a brief illness on September 9, 2012. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.)
Louis Stout recently co-hosted the Scholastic Ball Report television show from the months of August through April. (The show examines high school sports in Kentucky and presents scores, highlights and interviews.) He also served as the National Chairman for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) as the First Vice President and was the National Chairman for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award. He served in both positions beginning in 1994.
Mr. Stout retired in 2002 after serving 34 years at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. In 1994, he was the first African-American in the history of the United States named to head a state High School Athletic Association. He served as Commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association for eight years before retiring in 2002, after serving on the board for 34 years.
Mr. Stout was a graduate of Cynthiana High School and St. Regis College (now St. Regis University) in Denver Colorado where he obtained a basketball scholarship and was coached by Joe B. Hall, who later coached at the University of Kentucky. Mr. Stout received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and History from St. Regis College. He also received his Master degree in Guidance & Counseling from Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY.
Kathy DeBoer, Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association
Kathy DeBoer is currently the Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The AVCA is a member-funded, non-profit organization that advocates for the sport at all levels by providing training, awards programs, programming and publications that serve the volleyball coaching community. Prior to her AVCA appointment, DeBoer spent three years as the Commissioner of General Services for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. In that capacity she managed a $25 million budget, 375 employees, and oversaw the Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Building Maintenance and Construction, and Fleet Services. Before her government work, DeBoer spent twenty-three years in intercollegiate athletics serving as a coach, administrator and fundraiser. She spent eighteen years at the University of Kentucky, finishing her career as the Senior Associate Athletics Director. From 1999 to 2002, DeBoer served as the Southeastern Conference representative to the NCAA Division I Management Council. From 1997 to 1999 she was the chair of the Finance Committee of the NCAA Division I Business and Finance Cabinet. From 1988 to 1996 DeBoer served as an advisor to the USA Women’s National Team. She was part of the coaching staff for three Olympic Sports Festival Teams and the 1989 World University Games Team.
DeBoer is a nationally known public speaker on the impact of gender on competitive behavior. She also does popular programs on motivation, teamwork and 21st century leadership. She has written extensively on issues of competition, gender, coaching, and intercollegiate athletics. Her articles have appeared in The NCAA News, the National Federation News, Women in Higher Education, Coaching Volleyball, Coaching Women’s Basketball, and The Soccer Journal. She has authored book chapters for a sports medicine text entitled The Female Athlete and USA Volleyball’s Annual Manual. She also has produced numerous videotapes on volleyball skill development and coaching. Her first book, Gender and Competition: How Men and Women Approach Work and Play Differently, was published by Coaches Choice in 2004.
She has a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State University (1978) and her M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky (1988). She is married to Mark Pittman and resides in Lexington, Kentucky.
Paul Rogers, WHAS Sportscaster
In his current position at WHAS Radio, a clear-channel, 50,000-watt station, Paul Rogers anchors morning sportscasts, and is the play-by-play voice of University of Louisville football and basketball and Churchill Downs racing. He has been at WHAS since August of 1973 as a sportscaster for both radio and television. His work at Churchill Downs has included calling the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup for local TV and radio.
A native of Louisville, Mr. Rogers attended Eastern High School and the University of Kentucky. Rogers has been voted “Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association three times, and is a multiple-winner of the Associated Press' “Best Sportscast in Kentucky.”
Paul Rogers is married and has two sons and two grandchildren. His hobbies include traveling, golf and reading (usually non-sports books.)
Joe Terry, Managing Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Joe Terry is the Managing Partner of the Washington DC Office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, a 480-attorney regional law firm based in Cincinnati. Mr. Terry, who is a transactional attorney with a niche in sports marketing, has served as counsel to IMG College, and its predecessor Host Communications, a national sports marketing firm located in Lexington.
His sports marketing practice includes negotiating and drafting sponsorship, event management and licensing agreements and has done so with numerous Fortune 500 corporations and national television networks. He has negotiated and drafted sponsorship agreements on behalf of the NCAA, the SEC, the Big Twelve and numerous colleges and universities. Mr. Terry has been recognized in the publications, CHAMBERS USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, having been selected by his peers.
Douglas Hall, Executive Vice President & Co-Founder – Evergreen Rehabilitation
Douglas Hall co-founded Evergreen Rehabilitation in 2000. Mr. Hall’s career in healthcare began in 1992 as a Nursing Home Administrator and he eventually moved into leadership roles, including Regional Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Administration at a publicly traded rehab provider. Mr. Hall is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and he resides in Louisville, KY with his wife, Carrie Pearson Hall, and their four children. In his leisure time, Mr. Hall is a competitive Triathlete and multiple Ironman® Triathlon finisher.
Janna Clark, Sports and Sales Director for the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau
Janna Clark is currently the Sports and Sales Director for the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau in Elizabethtown, Ky. Elizabethtown is home to the newest sports destination in the commonwealth, the Elizabethtown Sports Park. The 160-acre state of the art tournament facility includes 25 outdoor sports fields to attract regional and national sporting events to the area. The park opened in July 2012. Janna’s role is to market the park to national rights holders and tournament directors.
Prior to working with the new park, Clark spent nine years working in the tourism association management field with Lexington-based Host Communications. Additional experience includes special event fundraising, with events such as golf tournaments, 5Ks, mini car races, and auctions. Janna has also achieved success as a grant writer and event planner.
Clark serves on the Board of Directors of the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Heritage Council, as well as the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana. Clark has authored articles for “Sports Destination Magazine”, a national sports tourism publication, focusing on the economic impact of hosting sporting events.
She has a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is married to Mitchell Clark and they have two sons, Jackson, age 8 and Will, age 5.
Stephen N. St. John, Regional General Manager, Eastern Kentucky Expo Center
Steve St. John, a native of Flint, Michigan, graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 1980. During his high school years, he was a two-sport student- athlete, playing both hockey and football. After graduation he attended Baker College in Flint, Michigan, where he studied management and accounting.
Steve began working in arena management in 1997 at Ice Mountain Arena in Burton, Michigan, where he served as General Manager. Later, he worked with the Carolina Hurricanes organization for eight years, managing two facilities: first, the Compuware Sports Arena as General Manager and then the Germain Arena as Vice President of Arena Operations. In 2006, he started in his current position as Regional General Manager with SMG Management at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center.
Steve is married to Susan St. John, and is the father of five children and the proud grandfather of four.
Chuck Haddaway, Executive Director,CEO of Kentucky Recreation and Park Society, Inc.
Chuck Haddaway is the Executive Director / CEO of the Kentucky Recreation and Park Society, a nonprofit organization that promotes park, recreation, sports, and active living throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In that role, Chuck also represents the state regionally and nationally on parks and recreation issues. He currently is privileged to serve as the Chair of the Kentucky Land Water Conservation Fund Advisory Board, the National Recreation and Park Association Programming Committee, the NRPA National Council of State Executive Directors and the Kentucky League of Cities Board of Directors among other appointments.
Prior to assuming the leadership of KRPS, Chuck spent over 24 years in radio broadcasting, a decade in development and varied positions through the years in sports and recreation community services. He studied Pre-Law and Policy Analysis at the University of Louisville, where he also enjoyed a year as the Cardinal Bird mascot! Currently residing in Louisville with his wife and twin children, Chuck can usually be found, in his leisure time, on a volleyball court, a golf course, or obviously in a local park.
Kevin Marie Nuss, Executive Director
Kevin Nuss brought over 25 years of marketing and management experience to her position as Executive Director of the Kentucky Sports Authority when she began work for the agency in February 2008. She had spent sixteen years at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, including almost ten years as Vice President, Marketing for the Louisville racetrack. In this position, Ms. Nuss was responsible for all marketing activities for the track, including advertising campaigns, Spring and Fall Meet promotions and events, group sales, direct mail and database marketing, and market research programs. During her tenure, she supervised the introduction and development of Churchill Downs' Twin Spires Club, one of the first player loyalty programs in the racing industry. The Twin Spires Club is now in place at Churchill Downs properties across the country.
Ms. Nuss also worked for Humana Inc., where she oversaw the company's PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and National Senior Games partnership programs. She also served as Executive Director of KentuckyShow! Ms. Nuss began her career with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where she was Director of Marketing and Advertising for what was then the Kentucky Department of Travel Development.
Ms. Nuss resides in Louisville with her husband and two canine daughters, Lou and Megs.
Laura Negron, Sports Sponsorship Program Administrator
Laura Negron oversees all aspects of the KSA Sports Sponsorship Program.