FRANKFORT, KY (November 28, 2007) - Governor-elect Steve Beshear today named Helen W. Mountjoy of Utica as Education Cabinet Secretary; J. Michael Brown as Justice Cabinet Secretary; Edward Tonini as Adjutant General; and Rodney Brewer as Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police in the Beshear/Mongiardo Administration.
Education Cabinet Secretary: Helen Mountjoy, age 61, has served in various education roles throughout her career. In 2006, Mountjoy became Executive Vice-President of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. Prior to that she worked as a Program Specialist at the Hager Educational Foundation in Owensboro from 1995-1999 and as Director of Alumni and Public Relations at Brescia University in Owensboro from 1991-1995.
Mountjoy has also served as a member of the Kentucky Chamber's Postsecondary Education Task Force, the Partnership for Successful Schools Board of Directors, The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the Kentucky Board of Education (serving as Chair of the Board from 1998-2004). She was Executive Vice President of the Greater Economic Development Corporation, founding Chair of the Daviess County Education Foundation and served on the Legislature's Taskforce on Teacher Quality.
"Helen has a wealth of knowledge and experience in our state education system," said Beshear. "Her commitment to making Kentucky a better place dates back to her service with me on the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission when I was Lieutenant Governor. Her drive, ambition and institutional knowledge make her a welcome addition to the Beshear/Mongiardo Administration."
A native of Chattanooga, Mountjoy graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in history and English. She has been married for 38 years to Owensboro attorney Jesse Mountjoy. They have three sons and one grandson.
Justice & Public Safety Cabinet Secretary: Michael Brown, age 58, has a long career of public service, including Law Director for the City of Louisville, District Court Judge, and Board Chairman of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.
Brown has practiced in various areas including labor and employment, airport and aviation law, administrative law, entertainment and commercial litigation. Prior to working as an attorney at Stites and Harbison in Louisville, Brown served on the Louisville Regional Airport Authority for 12 years, guiding it through major construction and noise mitigation programs, and the attraction and expansion of cargo and passenger carriers. He chaired the authority board for six years. He has also been a partner with the Louisville law firm of Wyatt Tarrant and Combs.
Brown received his law degree from the University of Louisville. Before law school, Michael served as an infantry officer and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army. He lives in Louisville with his wife and has three grown sons.
"Michael's background in both the public and private sectors makes him a wise choice to serve as Secretary of the Justice Cabinet," said Beshear. "Throughout his career he has a proven record of strong leadership and a commitment to service."
Adjutant General: Brigadier General Edward W. Tonini, age 61, has recently served as Director of Your Guardians of Freedom (YGOF) program in the United States Air Force. As the Director, he was responsible for strategic and tactical outreach programs designed to build and maintain public support for the work of the Air Force and its personnel in the Global War on Terrorism.
General Tonini is a 1973 graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville
where he received a degree in history. The General is a career Air National Guard officer, who shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, was placed on active duty and brought to the Pentagon to direct Your Guardians of Freedom. .
The General spent 26 years in public affairs and was the first career public affairs officer in Air National Guard history to be appointed as Chief of Staff of the Kentucky Air National Guard in Frankfort, Kentucky and to attain the rank of General Officer.
"Brigadier General Tonini has a stellar military career and I am confident
his service as Kentucky's Adjutant General will be similarly remarkable,"
Tonini has spent many years working in radio and television program
production, promotion and sales. Much of the time was spent in live
television production, including credits with ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, HBO and others. He has produced news features and documentaries about the Air National Guard.
General Tonini and his wife of 34 years, Carol, live in Louisville. They
have two grown children and a grandson.
*Kentucky State Police Commissioner:* Rodney Brewer, a native of Louisville, served for 26 years with the Kentucky State Police. His assignments included uniformed operations, special investigations, narcotics, strategic planning, academy instructor, and the executive protection detail assigned to protect the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Upon his retirement as Deputy Commissioner in August 2004, he had held every merit and non-merit rank within the organization
"Brewer is a solid choice to serve as KSP Commissioner due to his wealth of experience and high level of both personal and professional integrity," said Beshear. "He has spent decades of his life as a defender of justice and I am confident he will serve the people of our Commonwealth well."
Brewer, age 50, completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the
University of Louisville, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration in 1979 and his Master's degree in Criminal Justice in 1993. He is a 1990 graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officer's Course. Brewer has instructed at the University of Louisville, the Department of Criminal Justice Training, National Crime Prevention Institute, the Southern Police Institute, and the Kentucky State Police Academy. He has also lectured in Europe on leadership and ethics to police agencies in Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. He has traveled extensively in Mexico regarding language programs and intelligence sharing initiatives.
Brewer currently lives in Ballardsville with his wife, son and daughter.