Our Board

Shannon Stuart-Smith, J.D.

President

Nonprofit Consultant & Attorney - Free Agent for Change, LLC 

Shannon is an attorney, nonprofit management consultant, avid rock climber, former racehorse trainer, and ex-jockey. A childhood passion for horses lead to twenty years of employment in the thoroughbred racehorse industry before she obtained a law degree and began working in the nonprofit sector. Shannon started her own consulting company, Free Agent for Change, LLC with special emphasis on organizational development, strategic planning, board development and capacity building for social justice and civil rights nonprofit organizations. Currently, Shannon serves on the Board of Trustees for Life Adventure Center and the board of Lexington Community Radio.

Jimmy A. Nelson, Ph.D., CPTD, SHRM-SCP

President Elect

Director of Organizational Development and Training - AAF Flanders International

Dr. Jimmy A. Nelson as born and raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  He is a published author (Eat Your Green Peppers), holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development & Training, a Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology, has taught internationally in China and Singapore, and as an adjunct instructor for Belmont, Davenport and Spalding Universities. He is also a "retired" Dale Carnegie® instructor, is a certified Franklin Covey® Instructor and achieved his CPTD (Certified Professional in Talent Development) from the Association of Talent Development in 2010. Jimmy also holds the Senior Certified Professional certification by the Society of Human Resources, and is accredited in D.i.S.C., DDI, Myers Briggs, Hogan, and Pi assessments. Jimmy is a recognized expert in conflict resolution and advanced teambuilding skills.  Jimmy lives near Louisville, Kentucky and in addition to being a Board Member for Life Adventure Center (5 years), he also serves on the Board of Volunteers of America (4 years), his local Home Owners Association (2 years), and as a Mentor for the University of Louisville Mentorship Program (3 years). In his personal life, he enjoys outdoor adventures like hiking and kayaking, remodeling houses, boating, geocaching, and especially travel abroad. He and his wife, Deborah, have three grown children and a beautiful grandchild - Melanie Elizabeth – who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They also have an Old English Pocket Beagle named Daniel Jackson that keeps them company at home.

Roger Brown, Ph.D.

Secretary | Immediate Past President

Agricultural Economics Professor - University of Kentucky

Roger is past president of LAC and current chair of the LAC governance committee. As a student at the University of Kentucky, Roger worked during his summer breaks as a counselor at Life Adventure Camp which later merged with the Cleveland Home to become Life Adventure Center. Roger says, "I've seen lots of changes over the years, but LAC just keeps getting better!" Roger's regular day job is as a professor at the University of Kentucky.

Rev. L. Rodney Bennet

Board Member

Resource Manager - Kentucky Department of Education

L. Rodney Bennett has spent approximately 20 years serving the community and youth of Kentucky in his professional and personal life. He is a Resource Manager with the Kentucky Department of Education and a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor as well as Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Mayslick KY. Rodney has also worked collaboratively within the community as the Chairman of the Board for 4-H Youth Development and Board member of Life Adventure Center and NAPSA. Rodney’s pastime pleasures involve family time, the Pittsburg Steelers, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, reading and sharing wisdom.

Joseph A. “Trey” Benson

Board Member

Founder - Frontier Consulting Group, LLC

Joseph A. “Trey” Benson, III lives in Lexington with his wife Denise, their two daughters Alden (20) and Avery (18), and their two yellow labs, Daisy and Belle. Trey is a business professional in the software development business and founder of a several companies focusing on Human Capital Management (HCM). In addition to his professional career, Trey is also an avid hunter, fisherman and conservationist with lifetime memberships in the conservation groups, Wild Sheep Foundation and Boone & Crockett Club. Trey enjoys the outdoors and working with adults and children on creating safe fulfilling outdoor adventures. Additionally, Trey and his family are members of Southland Christian Church where he volunteers for a number of ministries, including the Backpack Program, which provides food to needy families in central Kentucky and Hope for Haiti, packing over 1 million meals for needy families in Haiti. 

Michelle Ellington PMP, LSSGB, GISP

Board Member

Facilities Information Services Manager - University of Kentucky

Michelle brings over 10 years of experience serving nonprofit organizations in leadership positions.  She enjoys supporting the business side of nonprofit operations, utilizing her 20+ years of professional experience in IT and Lean process management.  For the past 30 years, Michelle has dedicated her life to outdoor pursuits and is an experienced rock climber, whitewater paddler, and mountain biker.  She is excited to bring her combined talents together to support LAC in meeting its mission.

Geri Isaacs

Board Member

Geri Isaacs, raises grapes, hay and cattle on her farm in Nonesuch. Geri is a former English teacher and library assistant who spends much time volunteering in the community. She's a Tennessee native but has spent the past 28 years getting over it. As a high school teacher, Geri was able to see the results mentors can play in the life of students who had faced considerable trauma in their lives. "I see the same effects from the programs at LAC," she said. "Investing time and energy in helping others is never wasted even if the results aren't immediately apparent." 

Wesley E. Scott, CFRE

Board Member

Associate Director of Philanthropy - University of Kentucky Children's Hospital

Wesley is an adoptive Kentuckian since 2010 and has called Central Kentucky home since 2016. He is a philanthropy professional currently with the Kentucky Children's Hospital at UK. He has devoted his professional philanthropy career to youth-based causes and firmly believes in the power of resilience and self-efficacy to counteract the negative impact of ACEs. Wesley is in pursuing his Masters in Public Administration along with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management at UK Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. Wesley is married to his college sweetheart and they have one daughter, along with a menagerie of animals on their farm in Bourbon County.

Mark Shake

Board Member

Director of Operations - Badger Technologies

Mark has more than 32 years of experience in sales, management and nonprofit administration. He is currently the Director of Sales, Key Accounts for Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil. Mark is responsible for development and management of key accounts utilizing Badger Technologies’ suite of Retail Solutions. Prior to working at Badger Technologies, Mark was a telecommunications executive for 27 years. He gained experience with national accounts while working at Fortune 500 companies such as GTE and BellSouth. Most recently, he spent six years developing and managing corporate relations for the United Way of the Bluegrass, a regional nonprofit that serves the Central Kentucky community. Mark received a commission from University of Kentucky and spent ten years in the United States Army, receiving an honorable discharge as a Captain with the 100th Division Army Reserve Unit. He is a graduate of Transylvania University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Mark Sulski

Board Member

Market President - Kentucky Bank

Mark Sulski is the Market President of Kentucky Bank in Georgetown, Scott County. He has over 32 years of banking experience, with the last 10 years overseeing the Scott County market. He has served on many civic boards over his career, some of the most recent are Past President of Amen House, Georgetown-Scott Count Chamber Board, Chairman of Planning & Zoning, President-Elect for Rotary, just to name a few.

Martha Wetter, Ph.D.

Board Member

Clinical Psychologist - Commonwealth Therapy Group

Martha W. Wetter, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy to treat trauma-based disorders. In 2011 she served as President of the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA). In 2016 Dr. Wetter received the Distinguished Career in Psychology award from KPA. In 2019 Dr. Wetter received the Theres N. Walton Lifetime Achievement award from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). And, in 2020 she became a Certified Clinician™ from the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification.

Dr. Ross Brown

Larry Stebleton