LACE Board of Directors

Andrea Brown

Andrea C. Brown  is an attorney with a passion for transforming neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for residents through community & economic development. Andrea joined Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Community Development in January 2019. Her work at the City focuses on redevelopment, land use & planning, and urban policy, particularly in Louisville’s historically disinvested neighborhoods. She works with residents, government officials, nonprofit partners, and developers to turn vacant, publicly-owned properties into productive and welcoming places for the benefit of the community. 

Previously, Andrea worked as an attorney for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Andrea graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2014, where she served on the Kentucky Law Journal. She is a 2018 New Leaders Council Kentucky fellow, and she currently serves on the advisory committee for the Louisville Housing Opportunities and Micro-Enterprise Community Development Loan Fund, Inc. (LHOME). Andrea also volunteers with Girls on the Rise (GOTR), an afterschool initiative within Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) for middle school girls of color. 

In her free time, Andrea enjoys walking her dachshund puppy in Louisville’s beautiful parks, exploring the City, reading, cooking, traveling, and community building.

LuTisha Buckner

LuTisha Buckner is dedicated to public and civil service with her years serving as an AmeriCorps Vista Member and working in nonprofits, education, and local government. She envisions a Kentucky that is no longer serving those of interests in the past, but a Kentucky that is progressive, innovative, accepting, and sustainability. She is a graduate of Emerge Kentucky as well, which trains progressive women in Kentucky to run for public office. She is currently the Data Manager for the Kentucky Civic Engagement Table. She works with organizations in Kentucky with voter files and with targeting and identifying voters with MapTheVote, which is a website that finds eligible and unregistered voters in local areas.

James W Elliott

Rev. Dr. James Elliott, Senior Pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, has served his west Louisville church and neighborhood for almost 50 years.  Since 1977, Rev. Elliott has served as the Pastor of the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, where he encourages his followers to seek a high quality of life by being informed, enlightened, and involved in their community. Rev. Elliott worked for the Kentucky Cabinet of Families and Children from 1994 to 2004, during which time he continued his graduate studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and later received his Doctorate of Arts in Divinity from Western A/C University. Rev. Elliott not only started his own business, but with the help of others, organized a business development group called the Kentuckiana Minority Business Association, KMBA, whose purpose was to explore and implement programs to involve minorities in commerce throughout the community.

Aletha Fields

Aletha Fields (Secretary) is a community activist in Louisville. Most of her activism has been with LGBTQ+ organizing with the Fairness Campaign. She has also worked on ending cash bail, immigrant rights, racial justice, and police brutality. Aletha is  an educator of 21 years in JCPS and at UofL. She is a writer with strong executive skills, editing and communication skills, and extensive media training.  Aletha thrives on building strong interpersonal relationships and reciprocal relationships with justice organizations at the local and national levels. She exemplifies compassionate leadership and seeks opportunities to learn and to grow continuously, especially as part of the solution in addressing food apartheid in Louisville.

Nathan Hernandez

Nathan Hernandez  (Treasurer & VP) is a career public servant having worked in the legislative and executive branches in Kentucky state government as well as on electoral campaigns for local candidates. Nathan currently serves as a financial examiner within the Public Protection Cabinet supervising financial institutions, primarily credit unions, across the state. Nathan is also an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA program working at the American Printing House for the Blind where he managed a nationwide literacy program for visually impaired children enrolling 300 additional families. He is a current board member with the Louisville Association for Community Economics (LACE). 

Born in south Texas, raised in eastern Kentucky, Nathan moved to Louisville to attend the University of Louisville where he majored in Economics and minored in Political Science. He also attended Marist College graduating with a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Government and Nonprofit Management. In his free time, Nathan is an avid runner, sports fan, concertgoer, and season ticket holder with the Actor’s Theater of Louisville and Louisville City FC.

Cassia Herron

A native of Richmond, KY, Cassia Herron (President) has lived in Louisville for most of her adult life. She is an organizer who works as an urban planning consultant and freelance writer. She has experience working on projects at the intersections of community and economic development, food and the built environment and has a unique perspective on these issues as they relate to West Louisville. She has organized farmers markets in West Louisville and supported the creation of Louisville Metro’s Farm-to-Table program. She helped secure a $7.9 million dollar CDC grant for Louisville’s Public Health Department for obesity prevention. Cassia has professional expertise in community engagement, project management, grant writing, policy development and strategic planning. 

As Board President of LACE, she is one of several people leading efforts to foster a culture of cooperation in Louisville to first build a grocery store while supporting an ecosystem of other cooperative businesses to respond to community needs. She has served other leadership roles locally and statewide and currently is Chair of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. Cassia is a graduate of the University of Louisville and has a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. She is the mother of two. 

Lisa Markowitz

Lisa Markowitz is a proud Community Grocery Owner, and since 2017 has been a member of the UofL research team partnering with LACE.

As a teacher, researcher, and activist, Lisa has been involved with matters of food and politics for close to two decades. and sees these three endeavors as intertwined. At U of L, where she teaches Anthropology, she has developed six different food courses, including one called Food Justice, and takes great pleasure in engaging students with local food activism. Her own research has dealt with rural food security and sovereignty in South America, and here in the U.S., with food policy and the creation of alternative agrifood institutions (like food coops). Over the years, Lisa has worked closely with the Community Farm Alliance, serving on the Board and leading the research for the Louisville Community Food Assessment. She was also a member of the Louisville Food Security Working Group and the short-lived Louisville Food Policy Council. She is on the Board of Sustainable Louisville (SAL) and served for six years on the Executive Board, two as President, of the Culture& Agriculture Section of the American Anthropological.

Clara Núñez

Clara Núñez is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, speaks fluent Spanish and English and she has lived in Louisville since 2000. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnical University in Guayaquil, Ecuador with a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University Carlos III de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. 

She serves on the board of La Casita Center, and the Site Based Decision Making Board at Harmony Elementary School in Oldham County 

She works with the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) SDOP is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church that enters in partnership with low income community groups who own, control and directly benefit from the project they are presenting for funding. 

She is a licensed real estate agent.

Randy C Webber

Randy WebberRandy Webber brings more than 30 years of management experience in the nonprofit 501c3 sector. In his current employment position, he manages donor relations and ensures compliance with the terms of all federal grants. He designs and maintain relational databases and use those repositories to track financial activity by clients and donors alike. Randy’s education includes the M.Div. and the Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

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