Author: Dawn Brockman

Human Trafficking in Lexington

Human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime and extreme violation of human rights. Unfortunately, this corruption is happening behind the scenes in Lexington. Join us for a panel discussion, which will cover the problem as it relates to our community.  We will hear from experts addressing this often unseen corruption, including how law enforcement is contributing to the prevention and where we can help.
Panelists include:
  • Brittney Thomas, Co-Chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Task Force (  and leader of HOPE Children Campaign,
  • David Marye, Assistant United States Attorney and also Co-Chair
  • Marissa Castellanos, Program Director of the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative (
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Register Now – Click Here

More about our panelists…
Brittney Thomas
Having survived one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings at age 15, Brittney took her second chance at life and decided to live it with passion and purpose, honoring the lives of the friends she lost.  While living in a rural village in Cambodia, Brittney developed an untamed passion for social justice issues across the globe and in her own backyard!  She went on to receive her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Kentucky and in 2010 authored a protocol for health care providers on how to identify and assess victims of human trafficking.  This protocol earned Brittney the “Kentucky Liberation Award” for outstanding efforts in combating human trafficking.
Fueled by a new found love of coffee and dark chocolate, Brittney is serves as a CASA advocate, is the co-chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Taskforce and leads the HOPE Children Campaign, a street outreach in Lexington, KY aimed at providing resource information to domestic minors of sex trafficking.  You can learn more at:
David Marye
David A. Marye has served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Kentucky (EDKY) since October, 1987.  He has prosecuted violent crimes, economic and fraud crimes, immigration-related offenses, child sex exploitation offenses, and drug crimes.  He has served as both Acting Criminal Chief and Senior Litigation Counsel.  He is currently the Human Trafficking Point of Contact (POC) and the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the EDKY.
David graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, in 1974, and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, KY, in 1977.  He served as an Assistant Commonwealths Attorney in Fayette County (KY) for 10 years before becoming an AUSA.  He resides in Lexington with his wife, Mariana, two dogs, and a cat.  He has two daughters, one step-son, one son-in-law, a granddaughter and newly born twin grandsons.  Unfortunately for David, his older daughter, her husband and his grandchildren live in Hong Kong.
Marissa Castellanos
Marissa Castellanos received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Kentucky. Marissa is the Program Director for the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a program to combat human trafficking through Catholic Charities of Louisville. Marissa has worked at Catholic Charities for the last 10 years, previously as Human Trafficking Project Manager and Program Manager, as she helped start the program and develop a statewide anti-trafficking coalition. She provides trainings on human trafficking throughout Kentucky, assists in developing and maintaining local task forces, provides technical assistance to agencies in protocol development and policy, and works directly with identified victims of human trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.
Marissa has provided case management or advocacy services to more than 100 survivors of either sex or labor trafficking. She works closely with social service providers, health care workers, law enforcement, and others to ensure that human trafficking is being identified in Kentucky communities and that survivors are provided with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. Marissa has previously worked with community action agencies in Central Kentucky, primarily serving foreign national workers and their families through Migrant Head Start and other community service programs. Marissa has taught as an adjunct instructor for criminal justice and social work classes at St. Catharine College. Marissa currently co-chairs the Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force.

Exploring the Dark World of Cybersecurity

You have likely seen news reports about the breach of the Equifax database, the theft of Target customers’ credit card information or distribution of stolen private information on the dark web.  Cyber-attacks that compromise the security of electronically stored data are increasing at an alarming pace.   These security breaches present enormous legal and financial risks for individuals and organizations of all types in the both the private and public sectors.

The Lexington Forum’s November program will address the mysteries of cybersecurity.  Our presenters will be Tim Roberts and Sarah Spurlock, who are professionals experienced in the legal, practical and technical aspects of cybersecurity.


  • Tim Roberts is a Senior Security Consultant within NTT Security’s Threat Services group.  He hacks into IT systems to expose their weaknesses and to assist with improving their security.  Tim has held management, IT and physical security roles across multiple industries, including healthcare and government. His professional experiences cover traditional/non-traditional hacking techniques that include network, wireless, social engineering, application, physical and scenario-based compromises. He has spoken at national, international and collegiate security and hacker conferences.  Tim will identify current real world threats and trends, like cloning proximity badges, social engineering, data theft, and the dark web.


  • Sarah Spurlock is an attorney with the Louisville office of Stites & Harbison PLLC.  She is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional.  She advises clients on health information privacy and security laws and data breach prevention and response. She is a frequent speaker on cybersecurity topics such as “Cyber Threats & Ransomware,”  “Cybersecurity for business: Improving data security and mitigating the impact of a cyber-attack,” “Be Cyberwise: Protect & Position Your Business for Growth,” and “Under Attack: Cyber Threats Against the Health Care Industry.”   Sarah will discuss the legal implications of information security and techniques for protecting yourself  and your company.


To become better informed about the real world threats to your cybersecurity and related legal implications, please join the Lexington Forum on November 2, 2017 at 7:15 am at the Boone Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Morgan Whitney

Morgan Whitney
Business Development Manager

Keeneland Association
4201 Versailles Rd.
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone: (859) 288-4322




Morgan Whitney is currently the Business Development Manager for Keeneland Association, and works to assist clients in booking and planning their events on the grounds. Prior to this, Morgan worked for many other equine event companies such as Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta and Equestrian Events, Inc. who work to put on the Three Day Event here in Lexington. Originally from Chicago, Morgan moved to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Hospitality Management and Tourism and a BS in Equine Management and Science with a minor in Business. Morgan also serves on the board of Meeting Professionals International, and is in the 2017-2018 class of Leadership Lexington. An event planner through and through, Morgan enjoys hosting her friends for luncheons and dinners, and is always up to try the newest restaurant in town, or attend an event at an up and coming venue. Having started horseback riding from an early age, Morgan spends most of her free time with her horse Alfayiz, galloping through open fields and delighting in the beautiful Kentucky surroundings.

Let’s Talk About The Media….

Extra, extra! 

Come hear all about it! 
If a free press is a pillar of American democracy, what are the implications when the news media undergoes rapid technologic and economic changes?

Shouts of “Fake News” shadow reporters as they write about topics ranging from politics to climate to sports. The professionalism of local journalists are increasingly tarnished by amateur bloggers writing from unknown locations.

Is today’s media environment making it easier for people to become informed, or does it make it easier for people to create their own echo chambers and lose sight of what’s really going on?

Join us for the Oct. 5 Forum as Peabody Award-winning journalist Tom Martin moderates a panel discussion featuring Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen; LEX-18 news anchor Nancy Cox and longtime Kentucky columnist and educator Al Cross.

Thursday, October 5, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Domestic Violence In Kentucky

Thousands of Kentuckians are experiencing domestic violence. According to the Kentucky Coalition, 26,971 domestic violence related calls were received in 2016.
Do our laws protect and support the victims? Is the support network receiving what it needs to properly serve survivors?
Join us as Tom Martin moderates a panel of three:
  • Lisa Murray, a survivor of intimate partner violence.  To read some of Lisa’s story prior to the meeting please check out this article written about her by the panel’s moderator. The Survivor & Her Horse
  • Hunter Hickman, attorney for The Nest, an organization providing a safe place for education, counseling, and support to children and families in crisis. To learn more about The Nest and the services they offer please visit their website. The Nest
  • Darlene Thomas, executive director of Greenhouse 17, an organization providing services to domestic violence survivors in central Kentucky.   To learn more about Greenhouse 17 please visit their website: Greenhouse 17
Thursday, September 7, 2018
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ryan Kelsch

Ryan Kelsch
Business Development Associate & Finance Advisor
E.S. Barr & Co

Ryan Kelsch joined E.S. Barr & Co.  in 2014 and is responsible for Client Service and Business Development. Ryan previously worked as a Commercial Credit Analyst at U.S. Bank in Lexington, where he was responsible for analyzing and risk-rating companies. Ryan is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Transylvania University with a B.A. in both Accounting and Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. Ryan serves on the Audit Committee of the YMCA of Central Kentucky.