Board of Directors
Brigadier General Benjamin Adams III (Ret.)
Brigadier General Benjamin F. Adams III, served as the 5th Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and through 40 years of service in the U.S. Army, Brig. Gen. Adams served with honor and distinction, culminating in his positions as Deputy Commanding General US Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Assistant Adjutant General, Kentucky National Guard.
General Adams received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Mississippi in 1978. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Xavier University and a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. He has commanded at the company, battalion, and brigade level and served as Deputy Commanding General of the United States Aviation Center of Excellence. His significant active duty assignments include tours at the United States Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama; the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Army Reserve Personnel Center, Saint Louis, Missouri and the Combined Forces Land Component Command, Kuwait and Baghdad, Iraq. He has earned numerous awards and decorations to include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) and Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and numerous other awards and decorations.
He is a Master Aviator and is Airborne and Air Assault qualified.
General Adams is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, member of board for the Lexington VA Fisher House, Habitat for Humanity, the Lexington Veteran Commission and numerous other professional organizations. He is a past president of the National Guard Association of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America, and the current Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial.
Barbara Ellerbrook holds a degree in Organizational Developmental Psychology and Human Resource Development from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a Master’s in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
She was appointed to the Juvenile Commission in Oklahoma by the Governor, and served on the Kentucky State Corrections Commission through 2020.
Barbara has served as a Federal Grant Peer Reviewer for several different federal grant programs. She also served as a private contractor grant writer and has written rants to various Federal programs.
For the past eight years, and counting, Barbara has been a volunteer for Lexington SCORE, Inc., providing free consulting services to start-up nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth. She served as the chapter chairman from October 2021-2022.
In addition to this volunteer work, Barbara is the past President of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women (two terms), and serves as the National Membership Committee Chairwoman for the National Federation of Republican Women (2020-21).
She has served on various nonprofit boards of directors over the past 10 years. She was appointed by Mayor Gray to serve on the Fayette County Human Rights Commission in 2018, and presently serves as the HRC Chairwoman and has recently been re-appointed for a second term through 2024.
Barbara is very active in her church, Disciples of Christ, and serves as the Outreach Chair and on the Cabinet. Barbara and her late husband Cliff, have three grown children and eight grandchildren.
In 2018, McEldred served as a guardian for her father, a Korean War veteran. She continued her support of veteran initiatives by joining the Toyota Veterans Association and supporting the 2019 Honor Flight. McEldred accepted the role as Secretary of the Board in 2020. Her son is currently serving in the U.S. Marines.
Her favorite part of the flight is to sit back and listen to history come alive in a way that could never be taught. “Listening to the personal stories of our veterans service and sacrifice as well as the love and support of families and friends back home…there is absolutely no greater honor than to give back and recognize all the men and women who bravely served so we could be free.”
Kelli Parmley is a Lexington native. She is a graduate of Georgetown College with a degree in Political Science and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. She has been employed by the Lexington Public Library for 32 years. Currently she is the Community Relations Manager, overseeing partnerships, system-wide initiatives, the summer reading program and outreach services- which bring library materials and programs to those who may not be able to access the library in traditional ways. She also serves as the library’s liaison to the school district.
She was the past Chair of the Fayette County Schools Community Partners Leadership Team, is a member of their First 5 Lex committee, and served on the School Safety Advisory Council. She is a member of the Executive Committee of Community Action Council’s Board of Directors and formerly chaired the Head Start Policy Council. Kelli is an active community volunteer, having served on the board of the Junior League of Lexington for several years and held a variety of positions in the organization. She was the League President in 2018, the Community Education/Grants Chair in 2020 and has held seats on their Headquarters, Holly Day Market, and Horse Show boards. Kelli serves as the Treasurer of the Breaking the Bronze Ceiling Steering Committee, representing the Junior League. She is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Lexington and a 2007 graduate of Leadership Central Kentucky and serves as the Steering Committee Chair for the Leadership Lexington Youth Program. She is the Development Chair of the Lexington Children’s Theatre Board, a board member for the Childcare Council of Kentucky and is a member of the Women’s Club of Central Kentucky and the Fayette County Republican Women’s Club.
In addition, Kelli has served as a volunteer for Honor Flight Kentucky as a member of the call team and as a bus captain on the historic all-female June 2022 flight. Kelli is married to Rob Parmley and together they are the proud parents of two Humane Society adoptees: Gizmo and Cooper.
During the summer of 2018 Carl was introduced to Honor Flight Ky through Evan Goldey. Together they helped develop Homefront Heroes, an event designed to honor the spouses of Vietnam Veterans. Carl also found he could combine two of his passions: bourbon and support for veteran’s issues. Through his relationships within the industry he has been able to raise significant funds for HFK.
Carl is a veteran, having served in the Ky Army National Guard as a 19 Kilo, or tanker for the civilian population. He is a third generation veteran, with his grandfather having served in the Army during WW2 and the Korean War and his father having served in the Air Force.
“As a third-generation veteran, it is an honor to be able to serve in this capacity! It is important to remember that we are free because our veterans have sacrificed so much. I look forward to continuing my work with HFK in support of Ky veterans!”
Judge Lindsay Hughes Thurston
In November 2018, having defeated a three-term incumbent, Judge Lindsay Hughes Thurston was elected Fayette District Court Judge, 3rd Division.
Judge Thurston has dedicated her entire career to public service. Previously, Judge Thurston served as an Assistant Fayette County Attorney, a Special Assistant United States Attorney and as a full-time Assistant United States Attorney, for the Eastern District of Kentucky. And from 2012-2018, Judge Thurston served as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Assistant Secretary of State.
Now, as District Court Judge, Judge Thurston presides over criminal misdemeanor and felony cases; and on the civil side, presides over small claims, probate, and eviction matters and disputes under $5000. Judge Thurston also proudly serves as one of four Fayette County Drug Court judges.
Judge Thurston, along with her esteemed colleague, recently launched Fayette County’s first-ever Juvenile Treatment Court.
Judge Thurston is committed to her community and serves on the Boards of Directors at the Chrysalis House, The Well of Lexington, Camp Horsin’ Around, LexTran and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition. Judge Thurston also serves as Treasurer of the Kentucky District Judges Association.
Judge Thurston is a member of the Women’s Club of Central Kentucky and enjoys volunteering her time to Lady Veterans Connect and Honor Flight Kentucky. In fact, Judge Thurston had the esteemed privilege of serving on the flight crew of the first-ever all-female Honor Flight in June 2022.
Judge Thurston is a 2003 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Law. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science, graduating cum laude, from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1999.
Judge Thurston and her husband, John, a Vietnam Veteran and retired police officer, and their beloved Labrador, King, reside in Lexington.