Directory - Board

Board President - Gary Stratton, Ph.D.

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 Gary’s entrepreneurial pursuits have included real estate, marketing, and financial advising.  Gary studied first at the University of Louisville, and later received his Bachelors in Economics/Finance at the University of Kentucky.  He then received his Master’s in economics from Murray State University and his Ph.D. ...

Board Secretary - Michael Culp

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 Michael has a long career in Training, Technical Support and Customer Service in the fields of Animation, Printmaking, Architecture, Engineering, Education and Manufacturing. He has created custom programs for office management systems and database systems.  Installed far too many miles of networking ...

Board Treasurer - Kristel Smith

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Smith has worked in and with corporations along with many sectors including manufacturing, research & development, technology, higher education, and government. She has worked with multi-country to international projects including Canada, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, and Peru.

Executive Director - Jason Allen

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 Allen has a unique background of technical and cultural innovation centered on the creation of collaborative spaces for community-focused projects and education. His previous accomplishments speak not only to his expertise with high-tech tools, but also to his expertise in human relationships and teamwork.  

Advisory Board

Bill Klier, Board Director - Community Ties and Funding

Life:

  • My wife and I are five year residents of Frankfort and love it here
  • Currently I volunteer at the Franklin County Humane Society, Together Frankfort, and the Franklin Center for Innovation
  • My passions are the outdoors, gardening, animal welfare, environmental concerns, and all things that benefit children.  


Education:

  • Degree in Organizational Management from Midway University.


Career:

  • I am retired from Community Trust Bank, Inc.
  • I worked as a lender and branch manager in Versailles and am grateful to that community and to Community Trust Bank for a full and wonderful career.
  • As a community banker I held numerous positions in the community including, President of the local Chamber of Commerce, Scoutmaster, treasurer of a local church, and others as time required.

Arlene Crabtree, Board Member - Education

Life:

  • Married to Greg Crabtree
  • 3 children
  • 2 grandchildren 
  • Current resident of Woodford County, process of moving to Switzer


Education:

  • Undergraduate: Secondary Math Education, University of Kentucky
  • Masters: Master of Arts in Education-Teacher Leader, Georgetown College
  • Rank 1: Master of Arts in Education-School Improvement, Georgetown College


Work:

  • Frankfort Independent Schools, 7 years
    • Currently:
      • District Technology Integration Specialist
      • Career Tech Ed Leader
      • Student Council Sponsor
      • E-Sports Coach
    • Previously:
      • Information Technology Teacher
      • Computer Science Teacher
      • Math Teacher
  • Kentucky State University
    • Adjunct Faculty
      • Math

Kevin Jones, Board Member - Logistics

Life:

  • Married with 2 daughters 
  • Born and raised in Dayton KY.
  • Blackbelt in TaeKwonDo and instructor 


Education:

  • Bachelor of Science,  Computer Science, Kentucky State University 


Work:

  • 29yr Army Veteran
  • Currently Lieutenant Colonel Kentucky Army National Guard in Logistics.
  • Deployed to Afghanistan in 2009

Swagata Banerjee, Board Member - Education

 Life:

  • Academician
  • Musician
  • Award-Winning Artist/Songwriter
  • Lover of Film, Art, Food, Fashion, Kids, Animals/Pets, and Nature 


Education:

  • B.S. in Economics (University of Calcutta - Kolkata, India)
  • M.S. in Economics (specialization: International Economics) (University of Calcutta - Kolkata, India)
  • M.S. in Resource and Applied Economics (University of Nevada - Reno, NV)
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics (University of Georgia - Athens, GA)


Work:

  • Academic (Teaching, Research, Service, Outreach, and Policy)

Sam Saarinen, Board Member - Education, Next Generation Technology

Life:

  • Published author
  • award-winning instructor
  • doting husband
  • semi-professional rapper


Education:

  • PhD candidate at Brown University


Work:

  • Applying AI to education at scale


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