Board of Directors

Phoenix Rising Lex

Bill Cooke

President

Founding member. Formerly, Director Emeritus of the International Museum of the Horse and researcher and text writer for the Museum’s “Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf” exhibit. Recipient of the Kentucky Historical Society’s 2018 “Frank R. Levstik Award” for Professional Service.

Thomas Tolliver

Vice President | Membership Chairman

Founding member. Growing up in the coalfields of West Virginia, Thomas had visions of seeing his name in lights and headed west. With a degree in journalism, he planned a stopover in Lexington where he would ply his trade, replenish his finances and move on. But the wanderlust wore off and 30 years later, he still calls Lexington home. After leaving the field of journalism, he became a community activist where he has championed issues and causes dear to him. Currently, none is dearer to him than Phoenix Rising Lex. He is also involved with the Blue Grass Trust and the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden board.

Becky Ryder

Secretary

Founding member. Director, Keeneland Library. Prior to her work at Keeneland, Becky was Head of Preservation Services at the University of Kentucky Libraries.  She is an advocate for freely accessible and equitable information for all citizens, and she seeks to raise preservation awareness about our community’s vast cultural heritage.

Travis Robinson

Treasurer

Founding member. Past-President, Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association; Former Assistant Director, International Museum of the Horse; Co-designer, “Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf” exhibit. Successful IMLS grant writer for, “National Chronicle of African American Horsemen,” project for the International Museum of the Horse.

Lewis Brown

Community Relations Chairman

Founding member, past Vice-President and Treasure Phoenix Rising Lex; Former President of African American Genealogy Society of KY; President of Black and Williams Community Center Advisory Board; President of Green Acres, Breckenridge, and Hollow Creek Neighborhood Association; Member the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Howard Myers

Events Chairman

Founding member. Past Treasurer Phoenix Rising Lex from 2016 -17; Is a social justice activist with small business and mental health background.

Bruce Mundy

Director at Large

Founding member. A native of Lexington, Bruce is a retired Youth Counselor for the Lexington Fayette County Health Dept. He served on the board of LexLinc, that provides services to children, families, and individuals in Fayette County, the North East Lexington Initiative, and was the chair of Open Ground, an art camp for children and adults with special needs. He is former board chair of the historical African Cemetery # 2 and the East End Empowerment Program. Bruce is the past recipient of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Real Fathers Real Men awards, and received the Friends of Children Award for his commitment and dedication to the children of Fayette County.

Jim Embry

Director at Large

Founding member. A longtime community activist, Jim chose the site, developed the concept design. and created the name of the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden. This inspired the creation of the “Legacy Trail” and other initiatives to highlight and celebrate the legacy of horse racing and African American horsemen in Lexington’s East End.

Beverly Fortune

Director at Large

Beverly Fortune is a former feature writer, columnist and news reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She covered topics from the mayor, city hall, planning and zoning, to writing a popular social column and long-running weekly garden column.  She serves on the board of the Blue Grass Trust,  and on the advisory board of the Downtown Lexington Management District.

Percy Thomas

Director at Large

Retired 30-year U.S. Army veteran; Treasurer, William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association; Vice Chair of the Board of the Lyric Theater, Involved with the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation.

Larry Hall

Public Relations Advisor

CEO, Hall Media