The City of Bowling Green Senior Management Team is comprised of 13 members. Our group consists of the City Manager, the Assistant City Manager/City Clerk, Internal Auditor, Executive Assistant/Public Information Officer and the nine Department Heads.
Our team’s purpose is to guide the City workforce’s efforts to achieve the overall goals and comply with policies of the City, as set forth by the Board of Commissioners, within established governmental regulations and the adopted City budget. We meet on a monthly basis as a group to discuss a variety of topics including how to achieve policy, Board of Commissioners goals, budget execution, and more.
Senior Management Members (Alphabetical)
Brent Belcher Director, Parks & Recreation
Brent Belcher began working at Bowling Green Parks and Recreation in 1993 as an intern, and his first full-time job was as the Special Populations Coordinator. He worked 14 years in this position until he was promoted to the Recreation Division Manager in 2008. In 2012, he was selected as the department’s 4th Director.
Brent has attained both his Bachelor’s (Recreation major and Business Administration minor in 1993) and his Masters of Science (Recreation Administration) from WKU.
He is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (first in the state of Kentucky in 2012).
Brent’s wife, Angie, and 2 children love Bowling Green and are proud to make this great city their home.
Brent Childers Director, Neighborhood & Community Services
Brent is the Director of Neighborhood and Community Services for the City of Bowling Green. The Neighborhood and Community Services Department is responsible for overseeing Building Permits and Inspections, Property Maintenance Enforcement, Section 8 Housing, International Liaison, Neighborhood Services, Citizen Information, and Grant Oversight. Currently, Brent oversees an annual grant funded budget of over $5 million. Prior to joining the City of Bowling Green, Brent worked as Public Administration Specialist for the Barren River Area Development District.
Brent worked on a variety of community and economic development projects ranging from $5,000 to $2.5 Million. Brent has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of the South and a Masters of Public Administration from WKU. He lives in Bowling Green with his wife, Brittney and their son Ryder.
Jason Colson Chief, Bowling Green Fire Department
Jason Colson is the Fire Chief for the City of Bowling Green. Jason began his career in the fire service in 1993 with the Henderson KY Fire Department. He began employment with the City of Bowling Green in 1995 as a firefighter. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2000 and to Captain in 2006. In 2014, he was promoted to the Assistant Chief of Training. In 2016, he was appointed as Fire Chief.
Jason was born and raised in Bowling Green where he graduated from Warren Central High School in 1990. Jason attended Western Kentucky University and currently attends Eastern Kentucky University where he is pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration. Currently, Jason holds an Associate’s Degree in General Studies - Justice and Safety from Eastern Kentucky University.
Jason and his wife of 20 years, June, have two children, Ty and Trey.
Jason enjoys spending time as a fan of his children’s athletic activities, camping, fishing, and being an active member in his church and the community.
Kevin DeFebbo City Manager
Mr. DeFebbo, a thirty-year resident of the upper Ohio area of West Virginia, was previously County Manager of Schenectady County, New York. Prior to serving in this position, Mr. DeFebbo served as the County Manager of Wyoming County, New York; Borough Manager of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania; and City Manager of Follansbee, West Virginia. He has developed a strong financial background and a firm understanding of municipal budgeting through these various positions.
Mr. DeFebbo has extensive planning and community development experience serving as Housing Services Coordinator for Weirton, West Virginia and as a Planner with the Brooke-Hancock Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission located in Steubenville, Ohio.
Mr. DeFebbo holds a Master of Public Administration from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Franciscan University.
He and his wife Barbara are the proud parents of four children.
In his spare time, Mr. DeFebbo enjoys participating in Living History re-enactments and blacksmithing. Mr. DeFebbo's management values are anchored in integrity, open communication, respect for others and accountability to the public.
Michael Grubbs Director, Human Resources & Risk Management
Michael Grubbs grew up in the Kansas City area and attended college in Virginia, having received a Master of Public Administration from VCU. He worked in Virginia local government for ten years before coming to Bowling Green in 1987.
He has held two department head positions in City government, and is currently the director of the Human Resources & Risk Management Department, and is also the local government liaison with the Sloan Convention Center management team.
Gene Harmon City Attorney & Director, Department of Law
Gene Harmon is the Director of the Department of Law for the City while also serving as the City Attorney. Prior to coming to work for the City of Bowling Green, Gene was in private law practice where he represented the City of Bowling Green and other towns in the immediate area. He is the past president and current treasurer of the Kentucky Municipal Attorneys Association, a member of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, a member of the board of directors and treasurer of the Kentucky Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and the past chairperson of the Local Government Section of the Kentucky Bar Association.
He received his B.S. Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Western Kentucky University. He also received an M.P.S. in Public Administration from Western and his J.D. Degree, Cum Laude, from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law where he was a member of the Brandeis Honor Society and Manuscript Editor of the Journal of Family Law. He is also an adjunct professor for Western Kentucky University’s paralegal program where he has taught classes in business organizations, contracts and debtor / creditor relations. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters, Christina and Mikaela, and two granddaughters, Emma and Lucy.
Lynn Hartley Director, Information Technology
Lynn Hartley has a BS degree in Business CIS and a CGCIO (Certified Government Chief Information Officer) certificate. He is a Leadership Bowling Green (LBG) graduate and is originally from Montgomery, Alabama.
Lynn is married with two children and 2 grandchildren. He worked for the State of Alabama, a software/hardware vendor, and various manufacturing firms before joining the City of Bowling Green in January 2007.
Lynn’s career has been in IT including applications programming, systems programming/support, systems analyst, and several supervisory roles. He enjoys camping, running/hiking, sports, and is involved with a local church.
Doug Hawkins Chief of Police, Bowling Green Police Department
Chief Hawkins was born in Louisville, KY and graduated from Fern Creek High School in 1981 before coming to Western Kentucky University in 1982. He is married to his wife, Ashlee and has two sons, Dylan and Mason, and a soon to arrive daughter, Lennon (due April 2016).
Chief Hawkins has 26 Years in Law Enforcement with 9 years as Chief of Police. He began his career in law enforcement with the Bowling Green Police Department in January of 1990. He was promoted to Sergeant in December 1994 and promoted to Captain in March 2000. In July 2004 he was promoted to Major, then in June 2006 he was promoted to Lt. Colonel, and finally in November 2006 he was promoted to Chief of Police. During his career he has served in every division of the department in multiple assignments throughout the department.
Chief Hawkins enjoys playing and working on guitars, playing golf, cycling, home improvement projects and woodworking.
Deborah Jenkins Internal Auditor
Mrs. Jenkins was appointed as the City’s first Internal Auditor in June 2006. Mrs. Jenkins is a graduate of Bowling Green High School and Western Kentucky University earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Government Audit Professional and a Certified Internal Controls Auditor. Prior to working for the City, she worked as a Legislative Auditor for the State of Tennessee’s Office of the Comptroller as well as a staff accountant at locally owned businesses within Bowling Green.
Mrs. Jenkins is active with the Association of Local Government Auditors and currently serves on the Education Committee, Regional Conference Sub-Committee and the National Conference Committee. She is married to Craig and has three children, Taylor (20) is a junior at Murray State University, Madison (17) is a senior at South Warren High School and Anthony (12) is in 6th grade at Richpond Elementary.
Kim Lancaster Public Information Officer
Kim Lancaster is the Executive Assistant/Public Information Officer for the City of Bowling Green. She has worked for the City in various roles for 13 years. Currently Kim oversees public relations/social media for the City and works as the direct assistant for the City Manager and Board of Commissioners. She is a graduate of Greenwood High School and Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.
Kim is a member of 3CMA and NIOA and is a Leadership Bowling Green Graduate. She has served on various boards and committees throughout the community such as the Professional Marketing Association.
Kim and her husband are the proud parents of two children, Sam and Mia. In her spare time Kim enjoys running and competing in races in the South Central Kentucky Area.
Jeff Meisel Chief Financial Officer & Director, Finance Department
Jeff Meisel started with the City in January 2002 as the City Treasurer and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in February 2006, overseeing the City’s Finance Department. Jeff was born and raised in Bowling Green, graduating from Bowling Green High School, Class of 1989.
He received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s of Professional Accountancy degree from Western Kentucky University. Jeff has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1998 and still maintains that certification through continuing education hours in Governmental Accounting and Finance each year. Before coming to the City, he worked in public accounting at a local CPA firm, as well as two local corporate headquarters’ offices in the accounting departments. Jeff has served on various boards and committees including the Bowling Green Economic Development Authority board, the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority board, the Bowling Green Police and Firefighters Pension board, the ITA Finance committee, the BG/WC Depot committee, and the Bowling Green East Little League board. In his free time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, coaching youth sports, and playing golf.
Katie Schaller-Ward Assistant City Manager/City Clerk
Katie E. Schaller-Ward is the Assistant City Manager/City Clerk and Official Custodian of Records for the City of Bowling Green. She has been with the City of Bowling Green since 1996 and previously held the positions of Assistant City Clerk and City Clerk. She also served as the Interim Public Works Director from May 2010 through January 2011. Ms. Schaller-Ward manages the Office of City Clerk and Purchasing as well as oversees the development and implementation of the City’s annual operating budget.
Ms. Schaller-Ward is a graduate of Western Kentucky University receiving a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Finance, emphasis in Financial Planning, and completed postgraduate courses in the Master of Public Administration Program at WKU. She became a Certified Kentucky Municipal Clerk (CKMC) in July 2002 and achieved Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation in August 2003 while a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). Additionally, Ms. Schaller-Ward graduated from the City of Bowling Green’s two leadership development courses (TEAM BG and TEAM BG II), the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce’s leadership development course (Leadership BG), and the University of Virginia’s Cooper Center for Public Service course on high performance organizations (LEAD). Ms. Schaller-Ward was also awarded the Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates from the Kentucky League of Cities’ (KLC) Public Officials Essential Skills Institute (POESI), and attained Level 1 – Achievement in Local Government through the KLC City Officials Training Center.
Ms. Schaller-Ward is a member of the Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association (KMCA), past Secretary and Vice President, a member of the Barren River Municipal Clerks Association (BRMCA), the Kentucky City/County Management Association (KCCMA), and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
In addition, Ms. Schaller-Ward conducts workshops for City employee development programs and for members, staff and attorneys of local boards, commissions and agencies. The workshop topics include the Kentucky open meetings and open records laws, ethics in the workforce, importance of communication, records retention and archiving, effective meeting procedures, and responsibilities of board members and CEOs.
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