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 Meet the Directors

 

Joe West, Law Enforcement Director

Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director 

Col. Joe West is a 34-year law enforcement veteran who grew up hunting pheasants, rabbits and squirrels, and fishing the Auglaize River near Lima, Ohio.

He is a retired Kentucky State Police Lt. Colonel with nearly 30 years of service, and a former Director of the Rangers Division at the Kentucky Department of Parks. He heads the Department’s 130-member law enforcement division.

He served on the Executive Security Detail to Governor Martha Layne Collins during her tenure. At KSP he served as Director of their Administrative Division, which included the Academy Branch, Supply & Properties Branch, Human Resources Branch, Strategic Planning Branch, Internal Affairs Branch and provided oversight and development of the state police budget. 

“I’ve spent my entire professional life in law enforcement,” he says. “I believe that honed law enforcement skills are essential for every working officer, but being in tune with the community, sportsmen and sportswomen, conservation clubs and boaters are just as essential to our Fish and Wildlife success.”

West holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). He is also a 1989 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. 

He resides in Frankfort with his wife, Debbie. They have two adult sons.


Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director 

Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director

Brian joins the Department from the industry side of fish, wildlife and boating. Brian has served in several marketing capacities, most notably with Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods, Medalist Apparel, and Emotion Kayaks. He also served as the member and marketing director for the American Sport Fishing Association. He has a BA in History from the Messiah College, Grantham, PA. Brian has a vast amount of experience in social networking, community based marketing, customer tracking, product evaluation, and customer recruitment and retention. His skills in developing a grass roots effort to reach new license buyers and evaluating how to retain the existing customers we already have are his most valued assets.

Brian is an avid hunter and angler, and enjoys stream fishing from a kayak, as well as deer and turkey hunting. Brian was born and raised outside of Baltimore, MD, where he learned to appreciate and enjoy the waters around the Chesapeake Bay. As an avid outdoorsman, Brian understands the needs of the hunter, angler, and trapper, and will quickly become an expert in addressing how we can better serve them.

Brian has now made his home in Frankfort.


Ron Brooks, Fisheries Director 

Ron Brooks, Fisheries Director

Ron Brooks, a distinguished instructor from one of the country’s top fisheries research universities, is the new fisheries director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

A native of Farmington, Illinois, Brooks, 54, comes to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Brooks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from the school.

“I’ve been researching fisheries for 22 years,” he said. “I have a lot to learn with this job. It is a challenge and that is what I look forward to.”

Brooks refined and successfully redeveloped a reliable technique to mark stocked fish with oxytetracycline, a type of antibiotic that leaves a discernable mark in fish without harming them. Oxytetracycline, also known as OTC, allows biologists to determine whether a fish was stocked. Researchers use this information to gauge the success of stocking programs.

Brooks also conducted studies on sturgeon migration in the Mississippi River, sauger reproductive success in the Illinois River as well as studies on largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and walleye.

The new fisheries director is excited about moving closer to the Cumberland River, where he can pursue his love of trout fishing. “I’ve fished the Cumberland several times,” he said. “I’ve also fished the White River in Arkansas - and the fish in the Cumberland run bigger.”

One of Brooks’ goals as director is conducting more research on stocked fish. “I would also like to increase our exposure and let the rest of the country know about the wonderful fisheries resources we have here in Kentucky,” he said.

Brooks wants to increase the amount of professional publications coming from the fisheries divisions. “Overall, I want to continue what Benjy Kinman’s done with this division,” Brooks said. “He’s done a fantastic job.”


Keith A. Parker, Director of Engineering 

Keith A. Parker, Director of Engineering

Keith A. Parker has recently been named as the Director of the Engineering Division at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Keith started working with the Engineering Division in 1992 as a summer employee while in college. After graduating in 1993 from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, he took a permanent position with the Department and has been in a part of the Engineering Division since. In 1995 Keith obtained his Land Surveyor in Training Certificate and in 1998 he became licensed as a professional engineer. In 2005, he was promoted to a Fish and Wildlife Program Manager which serves as the Assistant Director of the Engineering Division.

As the Director of the Engineering Division, Keith oversees all of the department's construction and design projects while supporting all other divisions in the agency.

A native of Franklin County, Keith resides in Frankfort with his wife and two children. He has been an avid hunter and fisherman all of his life.


Tim Slone, Information and Education Director 

Tim Slone, Information and Education Director

Tim Slone became Director of the Division of Information & Education in September 2003. He began his career with the department as a fisheries division summer aide in 1984. Since then he has served as a fisheries biologist, endangered species biologist, and the wildlife diversity program coordinator. Slone earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters of Science in Biology from Morehead State University. As director, Slone oversees all public information services such as Kentucky Afield TV & Radio shows and Kentucky Afield Magazine. He also manages all educational programming, including summer conservation camps, the Salato Wildlife Education Center, Hunter Education, and school conservation program.

Slone is a graduate of the Kentucky Natural Resources Leadership Institute. He is a past president of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Currently he is a member of the Kentucky Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network.

A lifelong sportsman, Slone is an avid bow hunter, bird hunter, and angler. He also enjoys scuba diving, bird watching, and herpetology. In addition to his other leisure time pursuits, Slone is a very bad golfer.


 

Wildlife Director - Vacant

 


Charles Booker, Administrative Services Director 

Charles Booker, Administrative Services Director

Charles Booker comes to the Department after years of experience in federal, state, and local government. Charles’ passion for serving the needs of Kentucky families led him to attend the University of Louisville for undergraduate studies and law school. While in school, Charles remained involved in his community, inspiring him to focus his career toward government relations, management, and community development. Charles has worked in customer service and legal affairs; managed operations, policy, and personnel as a legislative aide for the Louisville Metro Council; supervised staff in city, state, and county-wide elections; and most recently served as the legislative analyst for the Kentucky state legislature’s Government Contract Review Committee. Charles is a published writer, public speaker, effective manager, and policy strategist. His passions are geared around strengthening Kentucky’s economy and ensuring our youth have every tool and resource they need to succeed and flourish.

Outside of working on behalf of the Commonwealth, Charles is the loving husband to his wife, Tanesha, and the proud father to his beautiful daughter, Kaylin. Charles and his family live in Louisville’s Shawnee neighborhood, where they love to hike in the park, play sports, and enjoy the river.