The Executive Committee consists of the Secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth, the Executive Director of the KCMA, the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and the five at-large members of the Commission. The chair and vice-chair of the Commission serve as the chair and vice-chair of the Executive Committee.
Brigadier General (Ret.) James T. Iacocca
Retired Brigadier General James Iacocca serves as KCMA's chairman, and as KRDA's first President / Chief Executive Officer. General (R) Iacocca’s Army career included multiple assignments at Fort Knox. He is the former Adjutant General of U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Deputy Commanding General of U.S. Army Recruiting Command and the former Brigade Commander for the Army’s 3rd Recruiting Brigade.
In addition to his experience at Fort Knox, General (R) Iacocca served at multiple installations including Fort Bragg, N.C. with the 82nd Airborne Division and Army Special Operations Command deploying to both Afghanistan and Iraq. He also served at the Pentagon on the staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Benjamin F. Adams, III
Through 40 years in the U.S. Army and Kentucky National Guard, General Adams has served with honor and distinction, culminating in his position as Commander, Land Component Command, Kentucky Army National Guard and Assistant Adjutant General.
As Assistance Adjutant General, he serves as an advisor to the Adjutant General of Kentucky. He is directly responsible for the Joint Force Headquarters' contingency planning and execution when called to federal active service or for state emergency disasters. He is responsible for providing direction to all elements of the Kentucky Army National Guard for developing and executing concepts, policies, plans and programs in the preparation for and execution of assigned missions.
General Adams received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Mississippi in 1978. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Xavier University and Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. He has commanded at the company, battalion, and brigade level and served as Deputy Commanding General of the United States Aviation Center of Excellence. His significant active duty assignments include tours at the United States Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Army Reserve Personnel Center, Saint Louis, Missouri and the Combined Forces Land Component Command, Kuwait and Baghdad, Iraq. When not serving on federal active duty, General Adams served as a military technician in the Kentucky National Guard as the Commonwealth's State Army Aviation Officer, J1, Army Chief of Staff and Director of the Joint Staff.
He has earned numerous awards and decorations to include the Legion of Merit (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) and Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters). He is a Master Aviator and is Airborne and Air Assault qualified.
General Adams is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and numerous other professional organizations. He is a past president of the National Guard Association of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America, and the current Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial.
Colonel (Ret.) M. Blaine Hedges
Colonel (R) M. Blaine Hedges works with and advises the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Kentucky Congressional Delegation on military matters. In his position as the Executive Director, he strives to maximize the Commonwealth’s relationship with the Department of Defense, spur economic growth across the State, and improve the quality of life for service members, veterans, and their families. Governor Matt Bevin appointed him as Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs; and Commissioner of Kentucky’s State Council for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission on 1 December 2016.
As the Commissioner of Kentucky’s State Council on the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, he advocates for the educational success of our military children. Colonel (R) Hedges is the Commonwealth’s voice on circumstances pertaining to military children as they transition from one state/country to another, working to keep the educational process as seamless as possible.
Colonel (R) Hedges is a member of the following: The Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs Executive Committee, Governor’s Advisory Board for Veterans Affairs, Kentucky Military History Museum Committee, and Chairman of the Military Heritage Commission.
Colonel (R) Hedges joined the Army National Guard in 1988 and graduated from the University of Louisville in 1993, where he completed ROTC and received a Regular Army Commission. His career in the military spanned 28 years, and included graduating from Basic Training, Signal Corps Advanced Individual Training, the Chemical Officer Basic Course, Ranger Course, Airborne Course, Jumpmaster Course, Chemical Captains Career Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Command and General Staff Officers Course, and the War College. He holds master’s degrees in Environmental Management and National Resource Strategy, held leadership positions at every level through Brigade Command, and twice worked at the Pentagon.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Silver and two Bronze oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Campaign Star, NATO Medal (ISAF), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, Office of the Secretary of Defense Badge, Joint Staff Badge, Army Staff Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, French Foreign Jump wings, German Efficiency Badge and the coveted Ranger Tab. He wore the 82nd Airborne Division as his Combat Patch.
Colonel (R) Hedges is married to the former Alison Mudd from Louisville, Kentucky. They have three children: daughter, Taylor; son, Austin; and daughter, Alexis.
Major General Stephen R. Hogan
Major General Stephen R. Hogan was appointed the 52nd Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Governor Matt Bevin on December 8, 2015. As the Adjutant General, he serves as the Commanding General of both the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard and as Executive Director of the Department of Military Affairs where he guides the preparation of 8,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, along with the Division of Emergency Management, to respond in times of state and national emergency. He is responsible for Federal and State missions, assignment of leaders, recruiting, training, equipping, mobilization, facilities, and public relations.
He also oversees the development and coordination of all policies, plans, and programs affecting Army and Air National Guard members in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. General Hogan serves on the Governor's cabinet and is the principal advisor to the Governor on military matters.
Major General (Ret.) Donald C. Storm
Major General Donald C. Storm was appointed as the 51st Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Governor Ernie Fletcher Dec. 9, 2003.
General Storm began his military career in 1970 as an enlisted soldier, serving with Military Assistance Command Vietnam. After leaving active duty in 1972, he enlisted in the Kentucky Army National Guard and has been employed full time by the Guard since 1974.
Since he was commissioned as an Infantry officer in 1981, the General has commanded and served in staff officer positions at the company, battalion, brigade, and state headquarters level. His senior-level leadership assignments include: Director of Army Personnel; State Surface Maintenance Manager, Director of Plans, Operations and Training; and State Counter-Drug Coordinator. General Storm served as the Kentucky Army Guard's Chief of Staff from October 2001 to December 2003.
Colonel (Ret.) Walter Herd
Retired Colonel Walter M. Herd, after serving 24 years in the Army, continues his service as the Army Transition Division Director at the Human Resources Command Center of Excellence in Fort Knox, Kentucky. In August 2010, Walter Herd accepted the position and immediately faced the challenge of re-engineering the Army's Transition Assistance Program.
Under Herd's leadership, The Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) was transformed into a robust, fully comprehensive transition program offering counseling, education, and employment assistance to Soldiers, DA Civilians, and retirees. Now mandated, SFL-TAP has transitioned over 500,000 Soldiers with an additional average of 115,000 eligible Soldiers to transition annually over the next five years.
Walter Herd was commissioned into the Regular Army in June 1983, becoming the sixth generation of his family to serve in America's military. He has served in over 25 countries and spent most of his career in Special Operations. He served in the 1st Ranger Battalion, later commanded a Special Forces A-Team, three Special Forces Companies, a Special Forces Battalion of some 350 "Green Berets" and ultimately, a Special Forces Group in combat.
That group was Colonel Herd's first brigade-level command. Third Special Forces Group (forward) was the 4,000-man, 7-nation, Combined Joint Special Forces Task Force in Afghanistan. He later commanded another brigade at Ft. Knox, KY from the summer of 2005 until his retirement in the summer of 2007.
He has a BA in History from Centre College of Kentucky and three master's degrees, one from Marymount University in Human Resource Development and the other two from
Staff College and War College in Strategy and Military Science. Colonel Herd's professional education includes the USMC Command and Staff College and its second year School of Advanced Warfighting program, as well as the Joint Professional Military Education Program, Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk Naval Base. He graduated from the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA in 2002.
Colonel Herd is a published author with his book, "Unconventional Warrior," published in 2013 by McFarland Press.
Secretary Terry Gill
Terry Gill serves as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development where he is responsible for promoting the development and overall administration of executive policies designed to support and promote economic development within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
As Secretary, Terry works extensively to coordinate business development activities and oversees the Cabinet’s efforts to encourage job retention and creation through the recruitment of new industry to the state, the expansion of existing Kentucky operations and by promoting entrepreneurship and small business development.
Before accepting the position of Secretary, Terry served as President of OneTouchPoint, a marketing services organization which provides Fortune 500 manufacturing, healthcare and consumer product companies with a full range of brand support and marketing services. As the President of the East division, he was responsible for growth and M&A initiatives resulting in creating the largest privately held marketing services and technical printing company in the region.
Prior to OneTouchPoint, Terry served as the Vice President of EnterpriseCorp, the arm of Greater Louisville Inc. that is focused on increasing the number high potential early and second stage companies headquartered in the Louisville and Southern Indiana market. Before coming to EnterpriseCorp, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of FetterGroup, where under his leadership, the company developed innovative software platforms now in use by Fortune 50 healthcare companies.
Terry holds a BA degree in Marketing with a Minor in Economics from the University of Kentucky. He serves the community through various charitable organizations and civic involvement.
Terry resides in Louisville with his wife Elizabeth. They have two adult children.
Lori Harper is a regional vice president of the Rogers Group, Inc. based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and has held several positions in the company.
Lori holds a BA degree in Business Management from Transylvania University. She serves on numerous boards, including the TN/KY Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, Fort Campbell Historical Foundation, Hopkinsville YMCA, Hopkinsville Industrial Foundation, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Transylvania University Board of Trustees, and many others.
In the past, she has been the chair of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Crushed Stone Association, and others.
She and her husband Rick have two adult children.
Kelli Pendleton is the President/CEO of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce. She graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Mass Communications/Journalism.
During her career as a broadcast journalist she extensively covered Fort Campbell which instilled a passion of working with the military. She went on to become the Director of Military Affairs at the Christian County Chamber of Commerce followed by the Programs & Operations Manager at the USO Fort Campbell.
She currently serves on the Executive Committee of Campbell Strong Defense Alliance, is the Chair-elect for the KY/TN AUSA Chapter and recently earned the Leader Development Certification from the Army War College.
She resides in Hopkinsville, Kentucky with her husband and daughter.