C.H.O.I.C.E. Board of Directors
Jacqueline M. Cooper, Ed.D, Board Chairperson
Adjunct Professor, Webster University
Jacqueline M. Cooper began a lengthy law enforcement career as a police officer with the Jefferson County Police Department, Louisville, Kentucky. During her 26-year tenure, she served as a uniformed patrol officer assigned to the Patrol Division, Emergency Medical Services Unit, Special Investigations, Inspectional Services, Crimes Against Children’s Unit, Metro Narcotics, Criminal Investigations Division, and Training Unit. Ms. Cooper rose through the ranks to become the first and only female to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the position of Deputy Chief of Police for the Jefferson County Police Department. Lieutenant Colonel Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Spalding University, a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management and Development from Webster University, and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership from Spalding University. She is a graduate of the Advanced Officers Course at the University of Louisville and Southern Police Institute.
Leigh Anne Parker
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Leigh Anne Parker, is a Louisville native with 2 children, ages 23 and 28. Her youngest daughter graduated from the University of Kentucky with a kinesiology degree and her older daughter is married and is an attorney at a local law firm. She enjoys spending time with her two (2) dogs, exercising and any activity outside in nature. She grew up in the Highland area where she attended Sacred Heart Academy, as well as the University of Louisville. Leigh Anne majored in business and is currently working toward her master's in finance. She currently works at Edward Jones with a goal to enrich her clients' lives with every interaction, and to help each client accomplish their dreams. She joined Edward Jones in December of 2014 because she wanted a career where she felt her efforts made a difference in the lives of others. Helping others is a life-enriching endeavor for Leigh Anne and she currently volunteers her time with the C.H.O.I.C.E organization, a nonprofit, prevention and early intervention program designed to steer high-risk youth into making more positive choices. Additionally, she is an active member of the Rotary Club of Louisville and Jeffersontown Chamber Commerce, as well as WIN (Women In Networking) Louisville.
William Yesowitch, Board Emeritus Retired, Attorney-at-Law
Episcopal Church Home
Beverly Edwards, EMBA, LNHA is the Executive Director for Episcopal Church Home and has served in this capacity since October 2016. Beverly graduated from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. with a Bachelor Degree in Health Care Administration; and later received an Executive Masters of Business Administration from Sullivan University in Louisville, KY. Beverly Edwards has been a member of Children Have Options in Choosing Experiences Board of Directors since 2015. She served as the Fund Development Chair for 2 years, and currently serves as Secretary of the Board. Over the course of her career, Beverly has been very involved with Leading Age Kentucky. In 2018, Beverly was recognized by Business First of Louisville as one of 20 People to Know in Aging and was the recipient of the 40 under 40 Award.
Antomia Farrell, Ph.D
Assistant Dean for Diversity, University of Kentucky College of Agricultural Food and Environment
Dr. Antomia “Mia” Farrell, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics obtained her Master of Science in Human Development Leadership with a concentration in College Student Personnel from Murray State University (MSU), and her EdD from Murray State University in the P-20 Community and Leadership Program with a concentration in Agriculture. Antomia currently serves as the Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity at the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE). She serves as the National MANRRS President, she is in Cohort 16 of the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a committee member for the UK Equality Feast, Big Brother Big Sister Board Member, Kentucky Women in Agriculture Board member, C.H.O.I.C.E. Board member, Next Door Grocery Store project Board Member, served on the UK Women’s Forum Board for two years, graduate of the class of 2018-2019 Leadership Lexington, and a member of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Board just to name a few of her leadership commitments.
President/CEO, RAE POPELKA Consulting
Ray Brown, has many talents up his sleeves. RAE POPELKA Consulting, RAE Popelka Web Development and Consulting. He is the president and CEO of Diamond Billiard Products, Sales, Marketing, Information Technology, and is a board member for C.H.O.I.C.E. Incorporated. Ray is a proactive, energetic, self-motivated, and result-driven professional with a high level of experience in sales, marketing, and web development. Adept at problem-solving and creative thinking. Equpped with the ability to provide support for websites, email, server, and database management. Known as a competent Web Designer and Consultant with the ability to motivate others and work in a team environment. Strong organizational and communication skills, goal driven and passionate about work. Networking has given him the opputunity to work with both large and small business owners. This has also given him the chance to mentor and provide leadership to others looking to follow the same career path. He has a B.A. in Communication studies at Indiana University Southeast.
Licensed Certified Social Worker
Greater Louisville Head Start
Nikki Johnson, is currently the Family Service Coordinator for Greater Louisville Head Start. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a BA Psychology and minor in Sociology. She is passionate about the community and enjoys providing resources to assist vulnerable families. “ CHOICE is an incredible and needed resource in the community and I’m proud to serve with them.”
Michael Richardson, Board Liaison
Vice President, Chain Bridge Bank
Mike Richardson, has been involved with CHOICE since 2006 and has served in various capacities within the Board, including crafting the organization's first strategic financial plan in 2008 - 2010. Originally from Vicksburg, MS, he holds a BA in Political Science and Master’s of Public Policy & Administration from Mississippi State University. Mike began his career in 1998 as a Director of Development managing major donor fundraising for the MSU Foundation. He moved to Kentucky in 2002 where he entered the financial services industry and opened a financial advisory practice with Edward Jones Investments. While in Louisville, Mike was an active member of St. Michael Orthodox Church and served as Treasurer on the Parish Council from 2007 - 2011. Mike moved to the Washington, DC area in 2011 and joined Chain Bridge Bank where he is the Sr Vice President leading the Commercial Banking Team and works with institutional and nonprofit clients. Mike and his wife Michelle live in Fort Hunt, VA, he is the father of four amazing kids, and has been active with various nonprofit and community organizations over the years. In the DC area, he was the Board of Regents Chair for the Leadership Center for Excellence, past Scholarship Chairman for the Mississippi State University – DC Alumni Chapter, Parish Council Treasurer at Church of the Ascension in Arlington, VA, and regularly works with the children of families assisted by Bridges to Independence.
Jackie Pennington (Retired)
L&N Federal Credit Union Jacqueline Pennington, retired from L&N Federal Credit Union in 2014, where she served for 29 years. She retired as Director of Business Development, having held that role from 1999 until her retirement. While in this role she wrote the Community Charter for the credit union changing their service area from company based to community based. She also served in various other capacities including Branch Manager before her last move to Business Development. She has served on the board of South Central Business Association from 2004-13, including a stint as President of the association from 2006-2013. She has served as a board member for Guardia Care Services from 2000-2012 including serving as Board Chair from 2008-2010. She helped to organize Guardia Care’s signature event, Chocolate Dreams. She also served as a member of the Advisory Board for Louisville Metro Police Department 4th Division from 2007 till 2012. Since 2016 she has served on the board of directors for CHOICE, Inc. CHOICE (Children Have Options in Choosing Experience) provides services to youth living in trauma, helping them to make healthy choices for life. She has helped to increase the profitability of their signature fundraiser, A Taste of the Community, by sourcing and identifying auction items for the live and silent auctions. She also began serving on the Board of Directors for METCO (Metropolitan Business Development Corporation) in 2017 until the present. Currently, she is serving on the Covid 19 Small Business Relief Committee which is overseeing the distribution of a $21 million pool of funds to small businesses hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic. In the wake of the current atmosphere of civil unrest she is currently serving on the Greater Louisville Inc. Business Council to End Racism. The council is working to help provide solutions to the climate of racism and exclusion that is permeating the business world in this country.
Bruce Mills, Jr.
Electric Mechanic Specialist
Raytheon RMS Louisville,
Bruce Mills, Jr., has been married to his wife, Tamara J. Mills, for twenty-one (21) years. They have several adult children together and one minor child at home. One of their adult children is a military Veteran of the Navy, one is still attending college at Northern Kentucky, and two have graduated from college. Currently he works with an individual with Autism. He has worked with this amazing individual for three years. He enjoys spending time with him. This individual has become like a part of his family. He is an active member at Bates Memorial Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. F. Bruce Williams. He provides leadership to the Armor Bearer ministry that serves the pastor. He has given leadership to this ministry for eighteen years. Bruce has also served with the youth ministry for ten years this included college tours and mentorships. He has been a member at Bate Memorial Baptist Church for thirty-four years. Bruce began working for Raytheon in 2007 as an Electronics Mechanic where he became a member of the union in 2007. When he became a union member he was not satisfied. He wanted to become more involved to learn how the union functions and how he can make a difference. As a result, he became an active member in 2010 as a Trustee. He continued to become more involved and later became Vice President of Local Lodge 830 IAM-AW in 2016. Next, Bruce became President of Local Lodge 830 IAM-AW in 2017. Since becoming president he has fully staffed our E-Board and membership for the union body meetings has grown. He is also Vice President of District Lodge 27 where he was mentored by the President-DBR Billy Stivers. Currently he is interim President-DBR for District Lodge 27. He also worked at UPS as supervisor for 14 years. He is now one of the Directors for a nonprofit organization called CHOICE. Choice operates in schools to support students with issues in the family and at school we try to help develop the students on level of success!