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.

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


 

Law Enforcement Director, Vacant


 

Administrative Services Director, Vacant


 

Norm Minch, Information and Education Director

Norm Minch was appointed I & E Division Director March 1, 2018, after working in the division for 32 years. He began his career as an information officer, in the former Public Relations Division where his primary duties were writing press releases, articles for what was then Happy Hunting Ground (Kentucky Afield) Magazine and responding to media and public requests for agency-related information.

Norm was selected as the Director following his last 14 years as a Fish & Wildlife Program Manager / Assistant Division Director. He graduated Shelby County High and Georgetown College with an English major and psychology minor.

"I've had the unique pleasure of being part of a tremendous team, not only of highly skilled and dedicated members, but more importantly a group of people who truly care about helping others of all ages learn to value how wildlife enriches our lives in so many different ways," Minch says.

We have many of the absolute top information and education-related programs offered through a fish and wildlife department found anywhere in the nation. Some have existed for 70 years or more, some only a few months old, but they collectively have and do reach millions of people about the importance of conservation, and the benefits that participating in hunting, fishing, boating and all wildlife-related recreation provides.

That’s a tremendous credit to the foresight of those KDFWR employees who have served the people of this state before it became our job to be shepherds, Minch says. Kentucky has pioneered many programs for wildlife agencies, and continuing that effort in new, innovative ways is one of our division goals he adds.

“No matter if it’s summer camp for kids, engaging new adult hunters and anglers through our outreach programs or providing a showcase to Kentucky’s outdoors through the Salato Wildlife Center, Kentucky Afield TV or Magazine – every effort is vital,” Minch believes.

“I am privileged to serve alongside all those in this agency who go the extra mile every day to help people have great fish and wildlife-related experiences in our state. Our people are committed to what they do because it’s not just their 9-5 – it’s part of their lives. It’s inspiring to witness, even after 30 plus years of being surrounded by it,” said Minch.

Norm’s family includes his incomparable wife Beth Spivey=Minch, and son Trent, a sophomore at UK in Engineering. Home base is Stamping Ground in Scott County. Norm is a member of Southland Christian Church, enjoys numerous outdoor activities including turkey and squirrel hunting, pond fishing and bird-watching, is an official measurer for the Boone & Crockett Club, and proudly supports the Louisville Cardinals.

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