Meet the Directors

Steve Beam, Wildlife Director 

Steve Beam, Wildlife Director

A career wildlife biologist is the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s new Wildlife Division Director.

Commissioner Gregory K. Johnson appointed Steve Beam earlier this month. Beam is a 21-year department veteran and most recently the Regional Coordinator for the Southeast Wildlife Region in the Somerset office.

Beam began his Department career in 1994 as a seasonal wildlife technician on the Miller Welch-Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area. He later moved and served as a biologist in the Division’s Environmental Section. He moved again to become a Farm Bill biologist, before becoming Regional Coordinator in the Southeast.

Beam is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Management.

He‘s worked his entire professional career with KDFWR and says he’s excited about the opportunity to lead the division.

“I hope our staff can look at my career and know I have been where they are,” he said. “I hope that gives me some capital. I hope they know that I am not just looking out for our wildlife – I am certainly – but having been where they are, I am looking out for them too.”

Habitat improvement, hunter access and opportunity, and the Department’s new grouse habitat venture are just a few Division initiatives he’s anxious to delve into.

Beam enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, and is an especially avid turkey and deer hunter.

He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Brandy Beam, a school teacher, for nearly 20 years. They have a nine-year-old son, Ryan. They are the joy of his life.

Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director 

Brian V. Blank, Marketing 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.”

David Bruce, Engineering, Infrastructure and Technology Directory 

David Bruce, Engineering, Infrastructure, and Technology Director







Rodney Coffey, Colonel 

Rodney Coffey, Colonel

Rodney Coffey became the Law Enforcement Director for the Dept.of Fish and Wildlife in May of 2016. He came to Fish and Wildlife after retiring as the Menifee County Sheriff and the Past President of the Kentucky Sheriff's Association. Bringing with him over 20 years of law enforcement knowledge to the agency. He is also a veteran of the arms services with serving in the U.S. Navy. 

Colonel Coffey started his law enforcement career with the Morehead State University Police in 1994 after graduating the Police academy at Eastern KY University. He also holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from PWU. In 1998 Rodney was elected at the age of 28 as one of the youngest sheriffs to be elected in the state of Kentucky. Then going on to serve for 16 years gaining law enforcement experience at many different levels. In 2003 he was named the Kentucky Sheriff of the year. In 2005 he was nominated and graduated from the National FBI Academy. Served on the states Private Investigator Board for 3 years. Served on the Center for Rural Development full board for 8 years. And served on the KY Sheriff's Association Board of Directors for 14 years and retiring as the President of the Association.

Rodney and his wife Elizabeth of 26 years lives on a family farm in Frenchburg, KY and they have two daughters, two son-in-laws, 4 grandchildren and are currently raising their 12 year old nephew Jimmy. They attend church at the Dayspring Assembly of God located in Frenchburg.

Colonel Coffey states that he is very blessed to have the opportunity to be part of the team and to be tasked with working with the Conservation Officers across the state to protect our natural resources and maintain a safe place on our lakes, rivers and streams for our families as well as a safe place for the thousands of visitors that come to Kentucky every year.


Billye M. Haslett, Administrative Services Director

Billye M. Haslett had an extensive working relationship with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife long before she joined its executive staff. Billye worked closely with many Department staff while she served as the State Administrative Officer for USDA-NRCS (NRCS) and as the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) Land Manager. She has coordinated cooperative agreements and program management between the two agencies for many years.

Billye started her federal career with NRCS, having served as a Soil Conservationist (SC) and District Conservationist (DC) in both Kentucky and Virginia locations. Billye retired from NRCS in 2010.

Billye transferred to the Department of Defense in 1986 at Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Richmond. She was the Management Agronomist (Land Manager) for BGAD and began her coordination with KDFWR through managed deer hunts and other technical and biological assistance.

“I’ve had a great partnership with KDFWR over the years,” she said. I believe in the KDFWR mission(s) and the sportsmen and women that they support across the state.”

In 16 years at BGAD, she served as Director of Services and Support, and Director of Public Works and Land Manager. She was responsible for a variety of programs that included a $90 million annual budget, property worth $42 million, oversight of personnel in Finance & Accounting, Information Management, Facility and Equipment Management, Fire and Emergency Services (Fire Department) and always the Natural Resources Management Programs (forestry, wildlife, and agriculture).

Billye earned a B.S. in Recreation and Park Administration 1978; a B.S. in Technical Agriculture in 1980; and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) in 1994, all from Eastern Kentucky University.

Billye is married to Carl R. Haslett. They reside at Clays Ferry in Fayette County and have one daughter, Lisa Haslett Schneider, who lives in Orange, CA, with her husband Tom. 

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.