Beshear adds to his administration

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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Gov. Andy Beshear announced several appointments to his administration late Friday afternoon.

Mary Elizabeth Bailey of Frankfort has been named as deputy secretary of the Personnel Cabinet.

She has worked in state government, specifically in human resources, for more than 25 years. In her recent role as commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, she oversaw the administration of the state employment application process, payroll functions, official personnel records for state employees, the state classification and compensation system, and the statewide performance management program.

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Matt Sawyers of Lexington joins the Governor’s Office of General Counsel as a policy advisor.

He served as deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet from 2009 to 2015, among his extensive state government experience.  Most recently, he was the executive director of the National Association of Shell Marketers, which represents companies across the United States with supply agreements to wholesale Shell Oil branded petroleum products and lubricants.

Taylor Payne of Lexington has been appointed chief deputy general counsel for the Governor’s Office.

A Henderson native and graduate of Transylvania University and Saint Louis University School of Law, Payne previously served as deputy general counsel to the Governor. Before that, he was an assistant attorney general in the Office of Civil and Environmental Law under then-Attorney General Beshear.

Charles Booker of Louisville will head the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and Community Involvement, which was first established by former Governor Ernie Fletcher.

A native of Louisville’s West End, Booker represented the 43rd district in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2019 to 2021. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in political science and a Juris Doctor.

Mona Juett of Owenton will serve as chief of staff in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

She is a veteran of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, having served since 2007 in various roles, such as research director, legislative director, assistant director for resorts within the Department of Parks, and most recently, as deputy commissioner of the Department of Tourism. Prior to her career in state government, she was marketing manager for The Council of State Governments in Lexington. Juett is a graduate of Morehead State University.

Kennina Porter of Louisville has been appointed as executive director of the Everybody Counts program in the Education and Labor Cabinet.

She has more than 15 years of experience working with youth and young adults ages 16-24 within the public education and nonprofit sectors. Her career has been dedicated to enriching the lives of students from diverse academic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds through student recruitment, youth program development, training and education administration.