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
James T. Iacocca, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired), graduated from Muhlenberg College and was commissioned in the Adjutant General Corps through the Lehigh University ROTC program in 1988. His first assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, where he served as the Assistant Readiness Officer, G1 Plans Officer, Replacement Detachment Commander, and Division Readiness Officer. He deployed with the division to Operation Desert Shield and Hurricane Andrew Disaster Relief in South Florida.
After the Adjutant General Advanced Course, General Iacocca remained at the AG School as a Small Group Instructor and Senior Team Leader. Following this assignment, he was assigned as the Battalion Adjutant to 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA.
Following Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, he was assigned as the Brigade S3 for 8th Personnel Command at Camp Coiner, Korea. He was then assigned as the Adjutant and Headquarters Troop Commander for 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta (Airborne) at Fort Bragg. He was later assigned as the G1/AG for the 82nd Airborne Division. He has deployed for both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In June 2004, General Iacocca took command of the 82nd Paratrooper Support Battalion and oversaw its transition to become the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion for the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. After battalion command, he was assigned to Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, VA, where he served as the Chief of the Department of the Army Secretariat for Promotions and Selections. He then attended the U.S. Army War College before assuming command of the 3rd Recruiting Brigade at Fort Knox, KY, in August 2008.
Following brigade command, he was assigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, where he served as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff for General and Flag Officer Matters. While there, he also served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff.
In June 2013, he returned to Recruiting Command to serve as the Deputy Commanding General. In March 2015, he became the 60th Adjutant General of the U.S. Army and Executive Director of the Military Postal Service Agency and in October 2016 he assumed the additional task as the Commanding General of the Army Physical Disability Agency. He retired from active duty on 31 December 2017. He currently serves as President of the Knox Regional Development Alliance and as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kentucky.
General Iacocca’s awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Joint Staff Identification Badge and the Recruiter Badge. He has Masters Degrees in Human Resource Development from Webster University and in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Whitney Allen
On 4 August 2021, Governor Andy Beshear appointed Lieutenant Colonel, USA (Retired) Whitney Allen as the seventh Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs. Whitney Allen is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with 25 years of combined military service. His has been Deputy Commissioner of KDVA and is an advocate for veteran inclusion in the workforce.
LTC Allen has served in various military organizations and military locations. His assignments include three combat tours in Afghanistan/Kuwait (2006-07, 2008-09, 2013-14), peacekeeping mission in Bosnia (1996), training exercise in Kingdom of Jordan (2003), tour in Germany (1995-1998) and various assignments throughout the United States.
LTC Allen's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, (OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (Silver OLC), Army Commendation Medal (two OLC), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal (Bronze Star), Army Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Ribbon (#3 Device), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Medal (Bronze Star), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Airborne Badge and the Military Intelligence Association Knowlton Award. He also received an award from the Afghanistan Minister of Interior for his work with Afghanistan local police.
He is a Louisville Week of Valor 2020 Honoree, Humana’s Boots on the Ground Honoree, Louisville Business First 2019 “Salute to Veterans” honoree, Kentucky Colonel, and holds membership/leadership positions in local and national veteran organizations to include Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville (VCAL), the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and the NAACP Louisville Chapter’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Steven P. Bullard
Steven P. Bullard, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard (Retired), 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 16 August 2019.
As the Commissioner of Kentucky’s State Council on the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), he advocates for the educational success of our military children. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Bullard 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. in addition, he serves on the MIC3 national executive committee as compliance committee chair.
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Bullard is a member of the following: The Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs Executive Committee, Governor’s Advisory Board for Veterans Affairs, the Kentucky Emergency Response Commission, and the Military Heritage Commission. He serves as co-chair of the State Advisor Council for the Association of Defense Communities.
Bullard served in the military for 33 years, with both Air National Guard and active duty Air Force assignments. During his career, General Bullard participated in Operations Desert Shield, Provide Promise, Restore Hope, Joint Endeavor, Joint Forge, Southern Watch, Bright Star, Coronet Oak, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
He held multiple leadership and staff positions, including Director of Mobility Forces and Joint Air Component Coordination Element (JACCE) staff for the Commander, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, South Korea; NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Senior Airfield Authority of Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan; and Chief of Operations for the Joint Intelligence and Operations Center, Headquarters, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
Most recently, Bullard served as Chief of Staff for the Kentucky Air National Guard and Deputy Director of the Joint Staff of the Kentucky National Guard. He also has extensive experience in legislative affairs, representing the military and the manufacturing industry.
Major General Haldane “Hal” Lamberton
Major General Hal Lamberton was appointed the 53rd Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky by Governor Andy Beshear on December 10, 2019. 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 Lamberton serves on the Governor's cabinet and is the principal advisor to the Governor on military matters.
His years of service include commands from Platoon to Brigade level. This service reflects five operational deployments to include Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), Operation Noble Eagle (Western Europe), Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia / Iraq), Operation Just Cause (Panama), and Operation Golden Pheasant (Honduras). These deployments occurred over eight years of overseas service to include Germany, Honduras, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and South Korea.
General Lamberton's Kentucky National Guard leadership roles included the Director of Human Resources (responsible for over 1400 Airmen and Soldiers), Director of Logistics (responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and accountability of over one billion dollars of equipment), Director of Military Support (responsible to plan, coordinate, oversee, and execute the National Guard response in nature disasters and domestic operations), and Brigade Commander (responsible for training over 1,000 Soldiers to include the future Officer & Non-Commissioned Officer leadership for the Kentucky National Guard.
General Lamberton received his commission through the ROTC program at the University of Kentucky, where he also graduated with a BS degree in 1986. Subsequently he was one of only 17 National Guard Officers selected nationwide to attend the U.S. Army War College where he earned a MS degree in National Policy & Strategic Studies.
General Lamberton's awards include multiple awards of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal; the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Ranger Tab. He also serves on the national Reserve Forces Policy Board.
Colonel (Ret.) Shontelle Adams
Shontelle "Shon" C. Adams, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), served as a senior leader in the Kentucky Army National Guard, including Director of Personnel (G1) and Deputy Director of Operations (G3) and earning the Bronze Star Medal for combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Military Police specialist by training, he served as a police officer with the Shively Police Department and as a Deputy Sheriff with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office before becoming a full-time (AGR) officer with the Kentucky Army National Guard in July 1999.
Following his military retirement, Colonel Adams took on the role of Manager, Inclusion and Employee Engagement, with Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU). He is now standing up a new diversity recruitment program at Norton Healthcare in Louisville.
Colonel Adams awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (5 Awards), Army Commendation Medal (2 Awards), Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asian Medal (2 Bronze Stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 Campaign Stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (1 Campaign Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (BHG w/ M device and Numeral 3), Army Overseas Service Ribbon (2 Awards), North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Army National Guard Recruiter Badge (Basic), Combat Service Identification Badge, Adjutant General Staff Identification Badge and Kentucky Distinguish Service Medal.
Heather French Henry
Heather French Henry has been a local, state and national advocate for military veterans and their families for over 20 years. Her love of the military came from her admiration for her father, Ronnie French, a disabled Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Heather was able to take her family's experiences with her father's healthcare and military issues nationwide to help develop partnerships with federal government agencies and local community service organizations. During her year of service as Miss America 2000, Heather worked in the halls of Congress, held strategic meetings with the White House, and visited veterans in hospitals, homeless shelters and veteran service organizations across the nation. Her work with homeless veterans was honored by the late Congressman Lane Evans and the late Senator Paul Wellstone with the naming of the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act. She has served two Governors of the Commonwealth of Kentucky of both political affiliations as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs . The department served over 300,000 veterans and their families throughout the state. Her role in the department provided oversight for nearly 900 employees serving in four state veterans nursing centers, five state veterans cemeteries, statewide veterans benefits and programs that served both homeless and female veterans. Her responsibilities included developing legislative policy for the department and assisting with the overall strategy for department's budget of nearly $100 million.
Heather is a nationally known designer, illustrator, and museum collections curator. She has provided custom design work and products for retail stores and organizations nationwide for over 20 years. Her work can be seen in boutiques and museums across the country. She has authored 5 children books. Both she and her husband operate the Rosemary Clooney Museum which houses the famous White Christmas Movie Collection. She is the volunteer Director of the Heather French Foundation for Veterans focusing on developing military educational displays such as Kentucky Remembers: Kentuckians in WWI & Camp Zachary Taylor. The foundation also oversees Operations Waverly to help raise awareness about homeless veterans. Heather is from Maysville and Augusta, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning.
Secretary Jeff Noel
Jeff Noel 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, Noel 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.
Prior to joining the administration of Governor Andy Beshear, Noel served as corporate vice president, Communications and Public Affairs, and executive committee member for Whirlpool Corporation. `He was responsible for the company's global external and internal communications, government relations, corporate affairs and business travel. He also served as president of Whirlpool Foundation, which included oversight of the company's 20-year-plus relationship with Habitat for Humanity that has touched over 200,000 familes. He managed delicate issues for the company in the U.S. and abroad, and conducted interviews on major evening news outlets, BBC, CBS Sunday Morning and CNN.
Prior to joining Whirlpool, Noel served for 11 years as president of Cornerstone Alliance, a Benton Harbor-based economic development group. He also served as a commissioner in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, director of government affairs for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, and executive assistant to U.S. Senator Wendell Ford of Kentucky. Noel also was an owner/developer of over 700,000 square feet of commercial real estate.
Lori Harper is a regional vice president of the Rogers Group, Inc. based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and has held several positions in the company.
She 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.
Kelli Pendleton is the president of the Campbell Strong Defense Alliance. Prior to assuming that role, she served as 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 for 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 as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kentucky, is the Chair for the KY/TN AUSA Chapter and earned the Leader Development Certification from the Army War College.