UNITE is governed by a 10-member Board of Directors that typically meets at 10:00 a.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 350 CAP Drive in London.
Mary Colvin, CPA, MBA, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance [Treasurer]
As Chief Operating Officer for Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), Mary Colvin focuses on the day-to-day operations of the organization. She manages several departments including Underwriting, Claims and Field Services. Ms. Colvin joined KEMI in 1996 and, over the course of her tenure, has held a variety of management-level positions. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky and obtained her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Colvin is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants. She has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since January 2013.
Chad C. Corum, PharmD, Pharmacist, Rite-Aid Pharmacy of Manchester, KY
Chad Corum is a 2012 graduate of the University Of Kentucky (UK) College Of Pharmacy. At UK, Mr. Corum was elected as Class President and received the “Outstanding Graduating Man” award from the college. As a student, Mr. Corum served on various committees, including Student Advisory Committee and the Honor Code Committee for both the UK College Of Pharmacy and UK’s healthcare colleges. He was chosen to serve on the college’s Curriculum Review Committee as both a student and a first-year practitioner. Upon graduation, Mr. Corum went to work in the community pharmacy setting co-owning an independent pharmacy in his hometown. Mr. Corum currently works as a pharmacist at Rite-Aid Pharmacy of Manchester, KY. Mr. Corum was elected to the Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA) Board of Directors in June of 2015. He has served as the co-chair of the KPhA Professional Development Committee and currently serves on the Membership Engagement Committee as well as the Provider Status Workgroup. His long-term career goals involve pharmacy legislative advocacy, community pharmacy advocacy, and strengthening inter-professional collaboration among the various healthcare professions. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since January 2016.
Tom Handy, JD, Retired Commonwealth Attorney, Kentucky 27th Judicial Circuit [Chair]
Tom Handy served as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Kentucky’s 27th Judicial Circuit for 28 years, retiring in 2003 to focus on various boards and organizations – including serving as an original Board Member for Operation UNITE, where he currently serves as Chair. Mr. Handy has also served on the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, the Kentucky Executive Ethics Commission, the Executive Legislative Committee, and the Kentucky Crime Victim’s Compensation Board. After graduating from the University of Kentucky Law School, Mr. Handy worked as an assistant for Kentucky’s Fifth District U.S. Rep. Tim Lee Carter before opening a private law practice in 1971. He is a charter member of the London-Laurel County (KY) Tourist Commission. Mr. Handy helped organize a mission group called ABLE (Assisted Better Living for Everywhere) that performs construction mission work within KY and internationally. Primary emphasis is on improvements to school, orphanages and senior citizen residences. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since April 2003.
Cheryl Hickman, RN, BSN, MS, CJCP, NE-BC, Vice President and Assistant to the President/CEO, Pikeville Medical Center
Cheryl Hickman provides oversight for all certification programs and oversight for compliance with all state and regulatory standards for Pikeville Medical Center. In addition, she is responsible for the Hospital of the Year Survey from the American Alliance of Health Care Providers and is a member of the administrative team to oversee and ensure that budgets are met. Ms. Hickman was recently awarded the 2014 Certified Nurse Executive Award by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Hickman earned a bachelor of nursing from Morehead State University and masters in health service management from LaSalle University. She is board certified in nursing administration with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and a certified specialist in healthcare accreditation. Previously Ms. Hickman served as Pikeville Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Children’s Services, Unit Manager for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics, House Supervisor and Assistant Director of nursing service, and Head Nurse in the Critical Care Unit. In 2005, she was recognized on the floor of the U.S. Senate for leading a medical team to the New Orleans Airport during Hurricane Katrina. In 2004, she was the first nurse in Kentucky to receive the American Organization of Nurse Executive AONE “Community Partnership Award.” She has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since July 2013 and is currently Treasurer.
Thomas L. Jensen, JD, Attorney At Law
Tom Jensen served as Circuit Court Judge for Kentucky’s 27th Judicial Circuit from 2012 to February 2016, when he retired to return to private practice with the law firm of Jensen, Messer and Webster in London, Kentucky. He has been admitted to practice before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to being elected Circuit Court Judge, Mr. Jensen served as State Senator (2005-12) – twice elected as Minority Floor Leader and was recognized in 2011 as Kentucky State Senator of the Year – and as State Representative (1984-86 and 1988-96). He was elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky in 1996. During his leadership the Party made significant strides, gaining a majority in the State Senate for the first time in history. Mr. Jensen has served as a member of several community and civic organizations over the years. He attended Sue Bennett Junior College and Cumberland College (now University of the Cumberlands) on basketball scholarships, and in 1978 received his Juris Doctorate from Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since May 2016.
Bob Mitchell, Retired District Administrator, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th District)
Bob Mitchell served as District Director and right-hand man for Congressman Hal Rogers for 33 years, retiring in 2012. Prior to joining the staff, he was instrumental in the 1980 campaign that propelled Congressman Rogers to federal office. Mr. Mitchell was a steadfast and effective advocate for the people of southern and eastern Kentucky. His leadership efforts are credited for the success of dozens of regional projects that resulted in thousands of Kentucky families receiving access to clean water and improved flood protection, better road infrastructure, construction of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, modern healthcare facilities, and opportunities for stable, good-paying jobs. Mr. Mitchell’s guidance was instrumental in launching the environmental initiative PRIDE, educational initiative Forward in the Fifth, tourism initiative TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky, and the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation. A U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Mitchell was twice elected magistrate in Knox County. He is a Founding Member of Operation UNITE and has served on the Board of Directors since April 2003.
Connie M. Payne, Executive Officer, Department of Specialty Courts, Administrative Office of the Courts
Connie Payne joined the Administrative Office of the Courts as the Kentucky Drug Court Manager in March 2003. Since that time the programs have expanded and Ms. Payne is now the Specialty Courts Executive Officer. Ms. Payne has served on the Governor’s Drug Control Summit, Governor’s Drug Policy Workgroup, and House Bill 843 Committee (which established the Kentucky Commission on Services and Supports for Individuals with Mental Illness, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Disorders, and Dual Diagnoses). From 2009 -2015, she served on the Executive Committee and as Secretary to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). In 2011, she was elected President of the National State Drug Court Association (SDCA). From 2007-2011, she chaired the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (KY-ASAP). For most of her professional career she served as a prosecutor in Fayette County, first as an Assistant County Attorney, and for nine years as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney where she specialized in drug, domestic violence, and sexual assault issues. She has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since May 2006.
Richard W. “Rick” Sanders, MSCJ, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police
Rick Sanders, who has more than 40 years of distinguished service in law enforcement, was appointed Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police on April 1, 2016. He previously served nine years as Chief of the Jeffersontown (KY) Police Department following his retirement as Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Washington, D.C. While serving as Resident Agent in Charge of the Louisville Resident Office, Commissioner Sanders assisted in the development of Appalachia HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), and currently serves on their board of directors. He has also served as Chairman of HIDTAs in Indiana and Chicago. Through his work with HIDTA, Commissioner Sanders established the “Top 21” anti-gang initiative that targeted the worst criminals in drug and violent offenses. In 2014, he was appointed President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. Commissioner Sanders received his bachelor’s in police administration and a master’s in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. He is an accomplished fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since September 2016.
Jackie L. Steele, Jr., JD, Commonwealth Attorney, Kentucky 27th Judicial Circuit [Vice-Chair]
Jackie Steele earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2001. He practiced civil law prior to accepting a full-time position as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney and, in 2008, was appointed Commonwealth Attorney for the 27th Judicial Circuit. He has handled hundreds of felony cases ranging from theft, embezzlement, rape, drug trafficking and murder. Mr. Steele was named “Outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney” in 2011. In addition, Mr. Steele has been recognized by Drug Court staff for his exceptional support to the Drug Court program, the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association for outstanding support and commitment to drug enforcement efforts in the state and for going above and beyond to support legislative efforts, and received the “Sword of Justice Award” from the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys’ Association for ceaseless dedication to the pursuit of justice. Mr. Steele is Past-President of the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys’ Association, a member of the Laurel County and Kentucky Bar Associations, the 27th Judicial Circuit Drug Court Team, and the Laurel and Knox County Child Abuse Response Teams. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since January 2012 and is currently Vice-Chairman.
Darrell Wages, Parts Manager, Whayne Supply Company
Darrell Wages is a Parts Manager with Whayne Supply Company. He oversees parts office and warehouse operations at the Corbin, KY, branch and shares oversight of the Parts Call Center, serving customers across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Mr. Wages’ 38 years of service with Whayne Supply includes 31 years in supervision and management. His most recent project is serving as a process expert for implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system for Whayne Supply Company and sister company Walker Machinery. Mr. Wages has an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration degree from Union College, and a host of corporate trainings, including the Caterpillar Flagship program. Mr. Wages and his wife, Jane, a retired teacher, reside in Corbin. He has served as a Board Member for Operation UNITE since August 2010.