Our Staff

Executive Staff

Click on a staff member below to view their contact information and to learn more about our team.

Malcolm Ratchford Executive Director

Malcolm Ratchford is the 4th Executive Director of Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties. Malcolm has been with the Community Action network since 1996, having previously served the organization as the Senior Manager for Neighborhood and Community Services and as Head Start Director. Malcolm earned his Bachelor's Degree in History Pre-Law from Talladega College and holds a Master's Degree in Family Studies, Early Childhood Education from the University of Kentucky. He has dedicated his career to advocating for equity and access to opportunity for all people through his work with structural racism, addressing the achievement gap, convicted felons rights and employment, inner-city youth, urban and rural poverty, immigration reform, and a variety of other conditions that serve as systemic barriers within our communities. His vision for Community Action Council includes making intentional investments in individuals and communities while advocating for the elimination of structural barriers that block access to opportunity for America's most vulnerable.

Show Malcolm's Questions  

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Watching my favorite teams (basketball & football).

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Being in the front row of the music awards when Michael Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time. A future event would be to see the Dallas Cowboys play at home.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

Read the news online and roam Facebook.

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

When I got my new job I realized I had to expand my leadership capabilities which in turn made me stronger.

Betty Jones Director of Property Development and Services
Betty has been with the Council since 1991. A graduate of the University of North Alabama with a degree in Management Information Systems, she is responsible for the management of all the Council’s properties and facilities, ensuring that they meet all statutory, regulatory policy and procedural requirements. In her free time, Betty loves watching westerns on TV.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Reading.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

The coming of Christ.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

Let my mind wonder.

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

The passing of my Mom.

Melissa Tibbs Director of Planning, Communications and Advancement
A native of Chesapeake, Virginia, Melissa came to Kentucky from Baltimore, Maryland in 2011. Melissa’s office is responsible for the Council’s strategic planning, data collection and analysis, public communications, fundraising, and developing grant proposals. Melissa obtained a Baccalaureate degree in Psychology from Bridgewater College and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from The Johns Hopkins University. Melissa resides in Lexington and recently got married to her husband, Keith. She is a fan of the Kentucky Theatre and The Local Taco Restaurant.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Spaghetti and meatballs. It’s still a favorite food!

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

35 felt like a pretty good year.

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?

True story. When I was 16 and working in a video store, Silence of the Lambs came out on video. So many people returned the movie and said I looked like Jodie Foster’s character Clarice in the movie. All I could see is that we both had shoulder length brown hair.

When was the last time you had an amazing meal?

It really doesn’t take much to please me. So, last weekend! Grilled hamburgers and homemade guacamole.

Sharon Price Director of Child Development / Head Start Director
Sharon Price has 25 years of experience working with children, families and the community to empower people with low income. Sharon graduated from Southern University, with the original plan of teaching history to high school students. It was during her search for high-quality child care for her own children that Sharon’s focus switched to young children. To this day, Sharon’s dedication comes from her belief that all parents love their children and wants the same quality of care and education for their children that she wanted for hers. As a mother of four and a former Head Start parent—as well as a teacher of children from infancy to school age—Sharon’s experience working with and for children is extensive. She believes that her role is really all about serving others, doing what she can to help make a difference in the life of a child or family.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Oh, I hate doing laundry. I really think that I do at least 100 thousand pounds of laundry each week. I have the clothes that they wear to school, the clothes that they work out in, the clothes that they wear from the work out, the clothes that they tried on and never put back in the closet that made it to the dirty clothes. Clothes...Clothes…Clothes…

What is your favorite childhood memory?

I have two. First, I grew up on a farm in Louisiana, which means that we ate what we grew. There was really no such thing as eating out. But, I remember when McDonald’s opened in the town where I lived. I wanted to go there so bad I could hardly stand it! I’m the youngest of 12 children so one of my brothers brought me there when he was home from law school. It was the best hamburger I ever had in my life!! And, to top it off, Ronald McDonald was there!!!!! Second, My first time going to the circus was amazing! I remember a beautiful lady swinging by her neck and dancing in the air with a flowing garment on. I would take my mom’s lace that she used to sew onto dresses and tie around my arms and waist so I could flow too. I used to pretend that I was that lady and turn round and round and around until I’d get dizzy. What a treat!

What are some songs that you love?

“I’m the man!” I just love to listen to it over and over again—Stand up and face the sun! Be a king when kingdom comes!! “Wooly Bully” It’s a favorite of my family—Kinda like a family theme song. We have a dance that we do to it and everything. “Matilda, I Cried for You” It makes me tear up nearly every time I hear it.

Bridgett Rice Director of Human Resources
Bridgett began her employment with the Council in 1994 as the Human Resources Manager. She currently has over 30 years of Human Resources experience, 20 of which have been in a leadership role. Bridgett currently serves as the Director of Human Resources with a strong knowledge in recruitment, employee relations, employee development, payroll, training, compensation, benefits and worker’s compensation. She has provided Human Resources services in both the public and non-profit sectors. Bridgett earned her BS in Business Administration and Economics and a MS in Public Administration, specializing in Human Resources. Bridgett has been a certified community action professional for the past 14 years. She is an active member of Society for Human Resources Management. Bridgett has been married for 34 years and is the mother of two children. She serves faithfully in her church and is a life member of the illustrious Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Being of “Service to All Mankind”, is the motto in which Bridgett plans to live the rest of her life by.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Take me to the King.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Go to Vegas and double it.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Forensic Profiler.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Skipped school.

Karla Underwood Director of Information Technology
Karla has been with the Council since 1993 and has served as Director of Information Technology since 2007. Her unit manages the Council’s computers, telephone systems, wireless accounts and databases, maintains system security, and provides training on Council’s data tracking systems. Karla is a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in Social Work. She was originally hired to provide administrative support for the Council’s Operation Family, a comprehensive child development Program that was part of a national pilot project for what would become Early Head Start.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

On my iPhone it is "Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me," the NPR quiz show.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Go on an extended vacation.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Fighting with my brother.

Erin Hensley Chief Financial Officer
Erin Hensley truly “bleeds blue” as the sole member of the Council’s Strategic Leadership Group born and raised here in Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in Accounting and Marketing and spent her early career gaining a well-rounded accounting experience in both corporate and public accounting before joining the non-profit world. Alongside her fantastic fiscal team, she spends her time at the Council ensuring optimal use of funding and maintaining the high fiscal standards to which the Agency is accustomed. She is a proud mother to her son Wesley and twin daughters Mollie and Natalie and is blessed to be sharing life with her best friend and husband of 8 years, Todd. She loves that every day at the Council brings new challenges and new opportunities to positively impact the community that made her who she is today.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

I don’t actually have an iPod but depending on my mood or what I’m doing, my Pandora may play anything from Broadway Musicals and Acapella to Motley Crue.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Hire an attorney and financial advisor. Yep, I’m an accountant!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A mother to three wonderfully happy grown up children. And, an awesome baker.

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Did I mention I’m an accountant? I’m a rule follower. Added to the fact that my dad is a 30 year veteran of the Lexington Police Department and that I was raised Catholic, I pretty much stayed out of trouble.

Board of Directors

From the start, citizen participation has been an essential element and goal of Community Action. We listen to people with low income and let them take the lead in finding solutions to poverty in our community. By design, the Council's volunteer Board of Directors has a tripartite (three-part) structure. One part consists of individuals with low income who live in the community, while the other two parts are staffed by public officials and representatives from the private sector such as civic and business leaders. Together, these diverse segments of the community provide a range of perspectives to meet unique local needs.

Ms. Michele Lee Lex-Fayette Urban County Housing Authority
Mr. Jim Gray LFUCG Mayor
Dr. Ann Vail UK - College of Social Work
Ms. Jackie Brown CAC Fayette West Center
Mr. Art Crosby Lex. Fair Housing Council
Mr. Joshua G. Lewis US Bank
Ms. Tyrona Nelson CAC East End Center
Ms. Patricia White Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Ms. Roberta Davis CAC Nicholas County Center
Ms. Kelly R. Duffy Catholic Action Center
Ms. Bryanna Carroll Kentucky League of Cities
Judge Kathy Stein Fayette Family Court
Mr. Richard Heine League of Women Voters of Lex., Inc.
Ms. Elizabeth Villafuerte CAC Harrison County Center
Dr. Janet P. Ford UK College of Social Work
Ms. Denise Beatty Division of Family Support
Mr. Alex Barnett Harrison County Fiscal Court
Ms. Rowena Mahloch CAC Russell School Center Area
Ms. Delilah Leavell CAC West End Center
Mr. Michael R. Williams Bourbon County Courthouse
Ms. Maria Rutherford Bluegrass Community & Technical College
Mr. Mike Pryor Nicholas County Courthouse
Ms. Cynthia Kay RSVP/Foster Grandparents Policy Council
Ms. Mary C. Morton CAC Russell School Center
Ms. Stephanie Theakston LFUCG, Social Services
Ms. Shani Chatman CAC South Lexington Center
Ms. Dorothy Frederick CAC Nicholas County Center
Mr. Michael Covert Transylvania University
Mr. Michael Adams Forcht Bank
Ms. Alma Blancas Diaz CAC Winburn Center