Board of Directors

Norman Franklin
Norman serves the Lexington community as the Vice President and Chief Financial Office of the Urban League and the Manager of Development for the Fayette County Local Development Corporation.  Norman has been employed with the Urban League for thirty years and for twenty-five years with the Development Corporation.  Since 1992, he has worked with Community Housing Development Organization development funds and down payment assistance and has assisted 158 home buyers.  Norman has been an ordained minister with the Missionary Baptist since 2005, and is an avid reader of theology, philosophy, and history.  He enjoys writing social and political commentary. 

Norman has worked on or managed the following development projects comprised of over 200 units: 

Lima Court Housing Project 
Elm Tree Lane Housing Project 
Serenity Place 
HOPE Center for Woman 
Shepherd Place 
Elm Tree Lane Assisted Living Housing 
ETL 202 Project 
The Russell School Senior Housing Project 
Hope VI Project (Charlotte Court) 
Rain Garden Way 
Subdivision townhouses on Corral Street 

Vice President 

Joan Whitman 

Joan is a member of the Board's Executive Committee.  Joan is also a realtor with her own company.  She served twice as President of the Lexington Bluegrass Association of Realtors and was active on both the state and national level.  She is co-founder and director of the Realtor-Community Housing Foundation which has the primary function of repairing homes of low-income elderly homeowners.  She also was a Commissioner on the LFUCG Planning Commission for eight years and chaired the LFUCG Housing and Support Services Committee for several years. 


Larry Forester
Larry Bee Forester is from Varnville, South Carolina.  Larry is a graduate of Wade Hampton High School class of 2000.  While attending high school he participated on the varsity baseball team for three years and the varsity football team for one year.  After high school Larry accepted an athletic scholarship to Pikeville College.  He was a member of the baseball team for one year, football team for five years (one of the elite nine), ACE mentor for two years, and a member of the yearbook committee.  Larry graduated from Pikeville College in 2005 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. 

Immediately following graduation Larry started his career with Community Trust Bank through their management trainee program.  After completing the program he was able to secure a retail lending position at a branch in Lexington.  He was quickly promoted to Commercial Lender, assistant Vice President, and Vice President for the Central Kentucky Region at Community Trust Bank. Larry now serves as a Commercial Loan Officer and Senior Vice President at Cumberland Valley National Bank at their new Lexington location.

Larry is the acting president of the Lexington Urban League Young Professionals, a board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates, a board member of the Access Loan Committee with Commerce Lexington, and was inducted as an honorary hall of fame member at Pikeville College in 2010. 

Ken'yale Demus

Tom Blues
A native of Detroit, Tom Blues earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Universities of Michigan and Iowa before moving to Lexington, where he taught in the University of Kentucky English Department for 33 years, retiring in 1998.  In 2004, he was elected to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, serving three 2-year terms.  Now fully retired, he serves on various boards and commissions in Lexington. 

Michele Baker
Bio coming soon!

Arthur Crosby
Arthur is the executive director of the Lexington Fair Housing Council.  His primary responsibilities include initiating community outreach programs and overseeing legal staff in filing complaints.  Prior to that he focused his practice on housing issues and landlord/tenant law.  Mr. Crosby has taught for the National Business Institute and lectures to both landlords and tenants on a regular basis.  He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, State Bar of Georgia, and The Florida Bar.  Mr. Crosby received his Bachelor's of Science degree in journalism with honors from the University of Florida and his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law where he was a member of the Georgia Chapter of the Order of Coif. 

Kenneth Demus
Kenneth Lee Demus Sr. is the fourth of eight children of Felix and Shirley Demus and a long-time resident of Davis Bottom.  Kenneth graduated from Lafayette High School in 1979.  He then attended Central Vocational School, majoring in Culinary Arts.  In 1981 he was appointed leader of the Southend Democratic Youth Organization by then Mayor Scotty Baesler.  In 1982 he accepted a position with Fayette County Public Schools as a school bus driver.  Kenneth, now a Certified Driver Trainer and Supervisor, conducts classes instructing people on how to become school bus drivers.  Kenneth's greatest achievement and blessing has been becoming the proud father of three beautiful daughters and a son.  While Kenneth has struggled with the challenges of being a single parent, three of his four children have graduated from college, with the youngest currently enrolled at Transylvania University. Kenneth credits his children for the success in his own life. Kenneth is currently a CLT homeowner and serves as a 2016 Resident Ambassador for the Grounded Solutions Network, which represents permanently affordable housing across the country.

Jake Gibbs
Jake Gibbs currently serves as the Councilperson for Lexington's 3rd District and as an instructor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Originally from Troy, New York, Jake moved to Lexington in 1978 to pursue a Master's Degree in History and Library Sciences. From 1988-2014, he taught students history and logic at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and has serves as the institution's ombudsmen since 2009. He has also been active in the local food movement in Lexington and was formerly an owner of local restaurant Alfalfa. 

Connie Godfrey
Connie is currently the Director of Adult and Tenant Services for Lexington Fayette Urban County Government.  She grew up in the small town of Ocilla, Georgia, and came to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky where she graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work.  She has been an active social worker in the Lexington Community for over twenty years. 

Alex Hicks
Alex has lived in a neighborhood bordering Davis Bottom since 1979.  He was a member of the initial steering committee that formed the land trust, and is a member of the Board's Executive Committee.  Alex has been an employee of LFUCG since 1998.  

Cassandra Moore    
Bio coming soon!

Byron Mitchell 
Byron has been a resident of Davis Bottom since 1964. He was been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012. In the community, Byron serves as a Chairman of the Deacon Board and Trustee of Bethsida Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also a mentor and coach with the Pleasant Green Baptist Church Survivor Two Program. Byron has worked for LFUCG for 27 years and is currently a CLT homeowner. He also serves as a 2016 Resident Ambassador for the Grounded Solutions Network, an organization that represents permanently affordable housing organizations across the country.

Carol Shanklin 
Carol is the EEO Coordinator and Title VI Enforcement Officer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, District 7, and the designated Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Representative on the Board.  Carol has worked for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet since 1984 in the area of Human Resources and Civil Rights.  Carol earned a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and minor in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Kentucky State University. 
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