Neil Chethik, Executive Director
Sarah Chapman, Program Director
Erica Cook, Outreach & Volunteer Director
Tom Eblen, Literary Liaison
Kimber Gray, Multimedia & Marketing Associate
Maddy Hamilton, Outreach Associate & Rental Coordinator
Brittany Jackson, Development Associate
Marcia Thornton Jones, Tutoring Associate & Author Academy Coordinator
Carol Jordan, Tutoring Director
Claudia Love Mair, Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative Coordinator
Jennifer Mattox, Development Director
JC McPherson, Office Associate & Safety Officer
Connie Meyers, Literacy Specialist (Reading)
Jessica Faye Mohler, Marketing & Communications Director
Monet Proctor, Programming Associate
Anniseh Said, Literacy Specialist (Math)
Board of Trustees:
Paige Bensing, Vice Chair
Ross T. Ewing
Lisa Higgins-Hord, Chair
Jennifer Miloszewski, Treasurer
William S. Farish, Honorary Member
Claudia Marin Goggin
Neil Chethik is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Center. He was the former Writer-In-Residence at the Carnegie Center for six years where he mentored writers of all levels and teaches writing workshops. His personal writing focuses on men’s lives and family issues. He is the author of two acclaimed books: VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework and Commitment (Simon & Schuster), and FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come To Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads (Hyperion Books). The latter book was recently made into a half-hour PBS Special. Neil began his career as a staff reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat. Later, he joined the San Jose Mercury News, and wrote “VoiceMale,” the first syndicated column on men’s personal lives. His writings have appeared in hundreds of print and web publications. His website is www.NeilChethik.com.
Sarah Chapman is a mother, wife, writer, and Carnegie Center groupie. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Washington & Lee University and a Masters of Education in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University, along with years spent in both the music industry and the nonprofit world. She’s written two novels and won a Carnegie Center writing contest (sponsored by the National Society of Arts & Letters) that granted her the use of a Nikky Finney writing cubby for a year. That’s about when she decided that the Carnegie Center was her writing home. She finally talked them into hiring her as Office Manager and Registrar in 2015 and then in 2019, she transitioned into a new role as Program Director.
Erica Cook served as a marketing intern and AmeriCorps VISTA at the Carnegie Center prior to being hired as the Children’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator in February 2016. She graduated from Berea College with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Peace and Social Justice Studies. A native of Florida, Erica moved to Costa Rica where she lived for 10 years, and now applies her bilingual ability to helping Spanish speakers enroll in tutoring and classes at the Carnegie Center. Erica manages the outreach tutoring program, Carnegie Clubs, coordinates volunteers, and makes all the chalk signs for our events. Erica is the artist and founder of Concinnity by Erica Cook, where she creates handmade and personalized chalk signs and hand lettering. Most recently, she has hand lettered book covers for Kentucky authors Marcia Thornton Jones, Tiffany Reisz, and Ben Woodard.
Tom Eblen, a journalist, writer and photographer, is the Carnegie Center’s literary arts liaison. He was metro/state columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader from 2008 to 2019 and the newspaper’s managing editor from 1998-2008. Tom returned to his hometown in 1998 after 14 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and five years with The Associated Press. He contributed a chapter to the book Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852, published in 2012 by the University Press of Kentucky. His photographs have appeared in newspapers, books, and magazines, including Newsweek and Garden & Gun. He has won many awards, including the 2013 media award in the Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Tom is president of the Bluegrass Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He formerly served on the national board of Associated Press Media Editors. Tom taught journalism ethics at the University of Kentucky for four years and has been on the faculty of The Mountain Workshops, an annual documentary photojournalism workshop, since 1995. He and his wife, Becky, have two grown daughters and two grandchildren.
Kimber Gray joined the Carnegie Center’s marketing department in 2016. Kimber graduated from the University of Kentucky that same year with a Bachelor’s degree in English, concentrated in imaginative writing, and she is a Certified Nonprofit Professional accredited through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.
Maddy Hamilton is The Carnegie Center’s Outreach Associate and Rental coordinator. She is an artist and poet who has an eclectic history of helping teenagers engage in poetry through therapeutic workshops and open mics, including the resurgence of the Teen Howl Poetry Series. She’s a professionally trained face painter, and likes to spend her weekends gossiping with her cat, Cornbread.
After finishing her first novel at a month-long summer writing retreat this past year (that also involved elaborate costumes, decent acting, and awful dancing), Brittany Jackson came to the Carnegie Center in search of publishing information and left with a job. Hired in November 2017 as the Development Associate, she assists with day-to-day paperwork, filing, and database entry. A graduate from the University of Kentucky with degrees in English and Psychology, she spent many years before this managing the fiction section at a large bookstore. She runs a weekly writing group and can be found attending author events around Lexington. She is always ready to recommend a good book.
Marcia Thornton Jones is an award-winning author who has traditionally published more than 135 books for children with sales totaling more than 43 million copies worldwide. Her works include Woodford Brave, Ratfink, and Champ. She is also the co-author of seven popular series including “Keyholders” and “The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids” for which she is an executive producer of the live-action series optioned by Bardel/Rainbow. She is also the co-author of the re-imagined graphic novel series “Adventures of the Bailey School Kids” published by Graphix by Scholastic Inc. Marcia lives in Lexington, Kentucky where she is the coordinator of the Carnegie Center Author Academy, and the after-school tutoring program associate. She also teaches writing, serves as a workshop facilitator, is a frequent presenter at schools, and mentors adult writers of picture books, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, and journaling. In addition to the graphic novel series, her other recent books include Writing Kids Books: The Ultimate Guide, and the e-release of her midgrade novel, Ratfink, both exclusively found on Amazon.com
Carol Jordan Carol Jordan has been Tutoring Director since 2011 and loves being at the Carnegie Center. Her background is in teaching, so she enjoys the times when she gets to be with the kids. Her favorite things about the Carnegie Center include the mission, the families who come every week, Carnegie Classics, getting to meet so many Kentucky authors, the beautiful building, the wonderful supportive staff, and of course, the fact that we give away free books! Carol serves on the board for Guatemalan Educational Outreach, which supports an English immersion school in rural Guatemala. For 2021, she also serves on the board for Bluegrass Indo-American Civic Society. She has two grown children, who don’t visit Lexington often enough. Carol loves to travel (to visit her children) and loves to read. She also runs off to Raven Run or the Gorge to hike as often as she can.
Claudia Love Mair is a writer, artist, and Ringmistress of the Beautiful Soul Circus, a private Facebook group for creatives, queers, and tender souls. She’s an Inspirationalista who, when she’s not creating something herself, helps other creatives tap into their deepest intuition and longings through writing and paint. She is the Coordinator for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative. Claudia lives in Lexington, with two of her adult children, and three cats, including one who thinks he’s a dog.
Jennifer Mattox became the Carnegie Center’s Development Director in 2004. Like other staff working at this small nonprofit, she is directly involved with program planning and administration, especially for those programs involving the literary arts. In addition to coordinating the Kentucky Great Writers series, she teaches writing workshops and seminars–in the center, at outreach sites such as central Kentucky public libraries, and online. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Bluegrass Chapter and previously served nine years on their board. Jennifer has more than 20 years of professional writing experience in fundraising, marketing, and journalism and her fiction is represented by John Hawkins & Associates literary agency. She is a two-time Kentucky Foundation for Women artist enrichment grantee and is a featured artist on Art of the Rural’s “PlaceStories” website. “PlaceStories” website.
Raised somewhere between the tobacco fields and horse farms of Woodford County, Kentucky, Jude McPherson has been bending and stretching syllables as long as he can remember. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, his first full-length collection of poetry ‘on my mind’ is a reflection of his eclectic personality. He has published two previous collections of poetry through blacoetry press; loves taxicab blues revisited (1998) and the book of jude (2000).
Jessica Faye Mohler served as a volunteer at the Carnegie Center before being hired as the Marketing and Communications Director in March of 2010, the same year she got married. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005 with a dual degree in journalism and cultural anthropology. After graduating she joined Nougat Magazine, an art and lifestyle publication in Lexington, as the Managing Editor & Advertising Director. She was the Communications Manager and Editor at the American Saddlebred Horse Association, before coming to the Carnegie Center. Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for the Northside Neighborhood Association and on the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Development & Public Safety. She is a member of Lexington Young Professionals Association, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, UK Alumni Association, Lexington Advertising Club, and is a certified Bluegrass Tourism Ambassador. In addition to teaching a Cause Marketing Class, she has also been a Carnegie Academic Tutor since 2010. Jessica enjoys spending every free minute with her energetic son and her loving husband, Daniel.
Monet Proctor joined the Carnegie Center family in 2019, and now serves as the Registration & Programming Associate. She is a creative, constantly in search of moments in life to ground down, be open, and record the magic she finds when she gets there. Monet enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, spending time with mother nature, and basking in the beauty of motherhood. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2017 with a BA in Psychology and has since begun to develop a foundation in non-profit work. She finds herself rather blessed to wake up every day with the opportunity to empower others to find, explore, and express their voices!