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Executive Biographies

Secretary's Office 

Thomas B. Stephens
Secretary

Thomas Stephens is an attorney and entrepreneur focused on new business development. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the Loyola University School of Law. Upon graduating law school, Tom was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship in Washington, DC and focused his work on regulatory compliance, antitrust regulation, and alternative dispute resolution of international maritime common carriers.

Stephens has held various positions in government, including service as General Counsel to the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet. He also served on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance for four years and was a staff attorney at the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. 

Stephens’ corporate experience includes a tenure as Corporate Counsel for Alltech, an international animal health and nutrition company, where he also served as a manager of Alltech’s title sponsorship of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Additionally, Tom served for three years as Director of the Alltech Fortnight Festival during which he produced numerous ticketed concerts across the state with artists ranging in diversity from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to the Beach Boys.

 

Lesley Bilby
Deputy Secretary

Lesley Bilby is an attorney with a background in employment law and civil litigation. Lesley is a graduate of Centre College and the University of Kentucky College of Law. She also holds an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Prior to law school, Lesley worked in Washington, D.C. in the office of U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, handling energy, environmental, labor, and education issues. After law school, Lesley served as a law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and later as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then worked in private practice in Louisville. Lesley previously served as General Counsel for the Cabinet.

 

LaDonna Koebel
Chief of Staff

LaDonna joined the Personnel Cabinet as Chief of Staff in October, 2016. Ms. Koebel has 22 years of legal experience in the areas of employment law & civil rights litigation, and 11 years legal experience representing a state agency in the areas of administrative law, civil litigation, appellate work, legislative initiatives, policy development and administrative regulations. Most recently, LaDonna served as Acting Commissioner to the Department of Juvenile Justice and was the agency’s Deputy General Counsel for 11 years. Prior to working in state government, LaDonna practiced law in both Lexington and London, Kentucky. She has successfully represented agencies, municipalities, and individuals in both State and Federal Court. LaDonna is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to her legal experience, she has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Eastern Kentucky University since 1994, teaching courses on legal issues. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, LaDonna graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky. She also attended courses at the American University in Washington, D.C., and worked as a Congressional Intern on Capitol Hill. Ms. Koebel holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky. While attending law school, she worked as a Clerk to Honorable Judge Roger Crittenden, Franklin Circuit Court, and as a Clerk for the Kentucky Justice Cabinet.

 

Office of Administrative Services

​Robbie S. Perkins 
IT Director
Division of Technology Services

Robbie brings more than 25 years of experience in information technology, accounting, and human resources with the last 14 of those years in service at the Personnel Cabinet. Robbie is a member of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the KY Chapter of IPMA-HR as Immediate Past President. A native of Madison County, Robbie attended Eastern Kentucky University where he majored in accounting and received his Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification from GSC and now resides in Frankfort.

 

Department of Employee Insurance

​ ​​​Jenny Goins, SPHR 
Commissioner

Jenny retired from the United States Air Force/Air National Guard as a Chief Master Sergeant after a 25-year career that included duties related to combat communications, public speaking, journalism, human resources and education. Her last 10 years in the Air Force were spent teaching leadership, supervision and communication skills to military leaders and managing the teaching staff. After military retirement, Jenny spent 10 years in the corporate world as both an organizational development manager and senior HR leader before joining the State. She also provides training and motivational presentations for various non-profit groups and corporations.
In 2015, Jenny was inducted into the Kentucky Military Hall of Fame. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning from Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN. She lives on the Kentucky River with her husband John.

 

Matt Hall
Deputy Commissioner

Matt is from Ashland and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in History.  He brings 20 years of experience in the operations and administration of health benefits to his position.  Matt has previously served in state government in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, the Office of the Governor, and the Personnel Cabinet.

 

Department of Human Resources Administration

Mary Elizabeth Bailey
Commissioner

Mary Elizabeth has worked in State Government, specifically in Human Resources, for more than 20 years. Throughout her career she has served on numerous committees and is a member of the National Association for State Personnel Executives, International Personnel Management Association, and Society for Human Resource Management. In her role as Commissioner, she oversees the administration of the Commonwealth's employment application process; state payroll functions; official personnel records for state employees; the state Classification and Compensation system; and the statewide Performance Management Program.  Ms. Bailey attended Kentucky Wesleyan College where she majored in Business Administration. She resides in Frankfort with her husband Todd Bailey and their three children.​

 

Alaina Myers
Deputy Commissioner

Alaina Myers is a human resources professional with over 13 years of experience, with the last 10 of those years in the Personnel Cabinet’s Department of Human Resources Administration. She is a member of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Chapter as President-Elect. Alaina graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from James Madison University. She is a Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP), received her Certificate of Supervisory Essentials (CSE) and is a trained mediator with the Kentucky Employee Mediation Program (KEMP). In her role as Deputy Commissioner, Alaina oversees the administration of the statewide Performance Management Program, the DHRA Training Program and the Division of Career Opportunities. Alaina resides in Lexington with her husband Paul and their two daughters.

 

Kentucky Public Employees' Deferred Compensation Authority

Chris Biddle
Executive Director

Chris is an attorney with twenty years of administrative, regulatory, and civil litigation experience. Chris has been with the Authority for over 10 years and has served as the Authority’s chief legal officer and Executive Director during his tenure. In his current role as Executive Director, Chris oversees the daily business operation and compliance for the accounts of approximately 75,000 individuals with combined assets of $3 billion.

 

Office of Diversity and Equality

Christopher "Chris" L. Johnson
Executive Director

Chris has an extensive background in Diversity education, recruitment and retention as well as strategic planning and outreach initiatives. Throughout his professional career, he has held numerous roles related to the work of inclusion, mentoring and effective communication. Chris’ passion projects include proactively addressing issues of diversity and inclusion, as well as workshop presentation, event planning and mentoring. Chris has served as the chair of various diversity and cultural competence planning teams, and has been a presenter of numerous workshops on leadership, communication and diversity. In addition to his time as a diversity educator and recruiter, Chris has worked as a liaison with the Area Health Education Center Program (AHEC), to honor the goal of opening the doors of education to minority and other underrepresented groups around the state of Kentucky. He also worked as the program’s Associate Administrator with responsibility for working with several program initiatives. Chris professional portfolio includes classroom teaching and community outreach. Chris is a strong believer in alternative dispute resolutions and is a trained dispute mediator.

Chris’ outside interests include health and wellness a commitment to volunteerism. A native of Lexington, Chris is a proud graduate of the University of Louisville, and currently resides in Georgetown with his wife Caisey and their daughter Londen.

 

Wes Swarner
Deputy Executive Director

Wes is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a BS in Health Occupations Education. Prior to joining state government, he spent 21 years in the United States Army, retiring in 1999. His last eight years in service was dedicated to training both U.S. and Allied Forces in tactical operations and leadership. Wes has more than 35 years of experience in management training and employee development and has served in multiple positions within state government. Wes received his certification in Lean Production Systems from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Manufacturing. Originally from Beavercreek, Ohio, He resides in Versailles with his wife, Lisa.

 

Office of Legal Services

Rosemary Holbrook
Executive Director

Rosemary Holbrook is an attorney with a background in employment and administrative law. She is a graduate of the University of Pikeville and the University of Louisville School of Law. She obtained a Master’s of Science in Accounting from Marshall University. She is an attorney licensed by the Kentucky Bar Association and a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the Kentucky Board of Accountancy. She served six years of active duty in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) attorney. Her previous history in state government includes service as a County Attorney in Fayette County and service as a Staff Attorney for the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Rosemary previously served as Staff Attorney and Assistant General Counsel for the Personnel Cabinet.

 

Sharron Burton
Deputy Executive Director

Sharron received her Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Kentucky in 1989, and in 1993, Sharron received her degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville School of Law. In 1994, Sharron began her career in state government at the Department of Insurance where, over the course of 19 years, she served as legal counsel, chief market conduct examiner, General Counsel, and Director of the Health and Life Division. Sharron joined the Personnel Cabinet Office of Legal Services as the Deputy Executive Director in February 2013. In this position, Sharron serves as legal counsel for the Cabinet's branches and departments that provide a variety of employee benefits such as life insurance, employee assistance, and the Kentucky Employees' Health Plan (KEHP). In addition, Sharron serves as the HIPAA Privacy Officer for KEHP.  ​​