The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers has elected a vice chairman and five new members to its board of directors.
LOUISVILLE, KY, October 2023 – “KAM’s new vice chair and directors bring a remarkable range of experience, knowledge, and expertise to the overall leadership of our organization,” said KAM President and CEO Frank Jemley. “This group of accomplished business leaders will join the other outstanding members of our board in guiding KAM as we support the continued growth and innovation of Kentucky manufacturing, industry, business, and economy overall.”
Kerry Creech, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in Georgetown, has been elected Vice Chair of the KAM board.
As president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (Toyota Kentucky) Creech oversees an $8.5 billion operation employing nearly 9,500 Kentuckians who produce annually as many as 550,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines. Prior to being named president, he was Toyota Kentucky’s Vice President of Manufacturing, responsible for overall management of vehicle manufacturing and logistics at the sprawling facility in Georgetown, which is Toyota’s largest assembly facility in the world.
“Attracting, retaining, and preparing Kentucky’s manufacturing workforce has been a major focus of Toyota, including partnering with local school systems on recognizing and developing clear pathways for students,” Creech said. “As KAM vice chair, I look forward to continuing working with my fellow board members, particularly on ideas, initiatives, and programs to further develop Kentucky’s workforce.”
Newly elected as KAM directors are:
D. Christopher Evans, former Acting Administrator and Chief of Operations for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the founder and principal consultant of H&S Integrated Solutions in Louisville.
Evans served in numerous roles with the DEA, including as the Special Agent in Charge of the Appalachian Region and Chief of Operations, where he commanded DEA’s global enforcement efforts in 240 domestic offices in 23 divisions throughout the United States and 93 foreign offices in 69 countries. From January to June of 2021, he served as the Acting Administrator of the DEA, leading the agency’s 10,000 employees.
“The opportunity to join the KAM board is an incredible chance to further my vision of providing proven organizational leadership and support to agencies and businesses in Kentucky,” Evans said. “Since returning to Kentucky, I have been able to provide guidance on public safety and organizational strategies to local organizations and government entities looking for ways to implement impactful public health programs. The ability to attract, retain, and provide healthcare services to our workforce is crucial for Kentucky manufacturing and industry, which drive our state’s economy.”
Kamineni is CEO of the Metals Innovation Initiative (MI2), a Kentucky-focused nonprofit with the mission to bring Kentucky together to make the state the destination for metals innovation. MI2 was formed in 2022 by executives from several leading Kentucky metals companies and with support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and a range of key ecosystem partners. MI2 is currently focused on innovation projects in talent/workforce, environmental sustainability, branding, and technology.
Kamineni also leads organization-wide transformation activities through process innovation and digital initiatives at Logan Aluminum as Chief Innovation & Technology Leader with the company’s Strategic Business Management Unit.
“Kentucky is a pivotal manufacturing location for many key industries, and our prominence in metals production is crucial across those various sectors,” Kamineni said. “MI2’s work on innovation projects aligns well with KAM’s strategic goals. As a member of KAM’s board, I am excited to pursue ways our work in the metals industry on key issues like technology innovation and the workforce of the future connects with KAM’s efforts and the work across the entire Commonwealth’s manufacturing and industrial sectors.”
Clarence Mingo, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & ESG, T. Marzetti Co. T. Marzetti employs more than 1,000 Kentuckians at its flagship manufacturing facility in Horse Cave.
Mingo brings a diverse array of public and private sector experience to the KAM board. He served as the Franklin County, Ohio, Auditor, a commissioner of the Ohio Lottery Commission, and a commissioner of the Supreme Court of Ohio, as well as an attorney in private practice. He is an Army combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.
“Developing and implementing policy is one of my true passions,” Mingo said. “It will be exciting and challenging to work closely with the KAM board on the complex issues facing manufacturers, including developing the next generation of workers and competing in a global and rapidly changing economy.”
Dwight Newton, Corporate Vice President Human Resources/Chief People Officer, Zoeller Company, Louisville.
Newton spent several years working in Kentucky state government before embarking on a career in manufacturing human resources. Founded in 1939, Zoeller Company is one of the oldest family-owned water pump manufacturers in North America. The company operates international sales offices in Canada, Mexico and Taiwan.
“The next few years are going to be especially challenging and exciting for manufacturing, especially when it comes to attracting and keeping workers,” Newton said. “I have spoken with several KAM board members and look forward to helping move the association and its initiatives forward. Having served in various leadership roles through the years and being able to be part of making positive changes, I am excited to work with KAM to do the same.”
Amy Spiller, Ohio and Kentucky President, Duke Energy, Cincinnati.
As president of Duke Energy’s utility operations in Ohio and Kentucky, which serve approximately 900,000 electric customers and 557,000 natural gas customers, Spiller is accountable for advancing the company’s rate and regulatory initiatives and managing the government relations, community affairs, and stakeholder engagement functions throughout the region.
Spiller said that she is pleased join the KAM board at a time when the organization is taking more interest in energy issues.
“As a manufacturer of electricity and a provider of natural gas, we understand how important affordable and reliable energy is to KAM and its members,” Spiller said. “The next 10 to 15 years will bring many challenges and opportunities to the energy industry and it is my belief that KAM can be a leading voice on reasonable energy policy in Kentucky that will benefit the entire commonwealth.”
About the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
Our mission at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers is to make a better Kentucky by promoting and growing manufacturing in the Commonwealth. Learn more at KAM.us.com.