LACE Board of Directors

Nathan Hernandez

Nathan HernandezNathan Hernandez is a career public servant having worked in the legislative and executive branches in Kentucky state government as well as on electoral campaigns for local candidates. Nathan currently serves as a financial examiner within the Public Protection Cabinet supervising financial institutions, primarily credit unions, across the state. Nathan is also an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA program working at the American Printing House for the Blind where he managed a nationwide literacy program for visually impaired children enrolling 300 additional families. He is a current board member with the Louisville Association for Community Economics (LACE). 

Born in south Texas, raised in eastern Kentucky, Nathan moved to Louisville to attend the University of Louisville where he majored in Economics and minored in Political Science. He also attended Marist College graduating with a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Government and Nonprofit Management. In his free time, Nathan is an avid runner, sports fan, concertgoer, and season ticket holder with the Actor’s Theater of Louisville and Louisville City FC.


Lisa Markowitz

Lisa Markowitz is a proud Community Grocery Owner, and since 2017 has been a member of the UofL research team partnering with LACE.

As a teacher, researcher, and activist, Lisa has been involved with matters of food and politics for close to two decades. and sees these three endeavors as intertwined. At U of L, where she teaches Anthropology, she has developed six different food courses, including one called Food Justice, and takes great pleasure in engaging students with local food activism. Her own research has dealt with rural food security and sovereignty in South America, and here in the U.S., with food policy and the creation of alternative agrifood institutions (like food coops). Over the years, Lisa has worked closely with the Community Farm Alliance, serving on the Board and leading the research for the Louisville Community Food Assessment. She was also a member of the Louisville Food Security Working Group and the short-lived Louisville Food Policy Council. She is on the Board of Sustainable Louisville (SAL) and served for six years on the Executive Board, two as President, of the Culture& Agriculture Section of the American Anthropological.

Sharlis Montgomery

Sharlis Montgomery is a native of Lexington, KY, and a graduate of EKU, Sharlis has called Louisville home for nine years. While living in Louisville, Sharlis has become acquainted with several social and service organizations to continue fighting for social justice. She recently served on the Steering Committee at JW Speed Museum and played a vital role in the Promise, Witness, and Remembrance exhibit for Breonna Taylor.

Sharlis has a strong background in organizational and leadership efforts. As a Senior Learning and Development Coordinator, she is responsible for program management and operational support for Business Services and lawyer learning in her current role at Hogan Lovells LLP. In 2020-2021 she served as VP of Operations for the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals. Before that role Sharlis was the Health and Quality of Life Chair for LULYP.
She is also a graduate and Challenge Winner of Leadership Louisville Center, Ignite Louisville, Fall 21.

Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier (M.S. Sociology & M.A. Philosophy) is the founding Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Center for Diversity Equity & Inclusion. Prior to his role at the Chamber Frazier served in Diversity and Inclusion related roles at different institutions including Bellarmine University as the Director of the Dr. Patricia Carver Office of Identity and Inclusion, and At Virginia Tech where he served as the Assistant Director for the Asian Cultural Engagement Center. Frazier also started his own DE&I consulting practice Education to Action LLC.

Frazier serves on a number of boards and taskforces for Kentuckians including the Board of Directors for Volunteers of America Mid States, the Kentucky Non-Profit Network’s Racial Equality Taskforce, and the President’s Advisory Council for the Noir Black Chamber of Commerce. Recently he was recognized among Louisville’s 2021 40 Under 40.

Theresa Men

Theresa Men is currently an in-house attorney at a tech company headquartered in Louisville (El Toro IP Targeting). She is passionate about food and social justice. She grew up in a Chinese-Taiwanese household and grew up eating food from her culture– and  loves to share recipes!

While in law school she assisted LACE with their symposium, it was one of the highlights of her year. Theresa’s goal is to help create a sustainable economy that puts people and community over profits.


Tiffany Michelle Brown

Co-Executive Director

Having worked in the legal industry and successfully managed community-based reform efforts, I have created a reputation as a powerful advocate for equity and racial justice. My advocacy for the issues for which I advocate is grounded in my personal experiences. My passion and life’s purpose for this work can’t be replicated.

I have served as the first Chief Equity and Implementation Officer for the City of Lexington charged with building out and implementing the recommendations on the Mayor’s Commission on Race, Justice and Equality. Prior to this, I advocated for equity through a lens of racial and social justice at the Center for Social Justice at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. As a social justice advocate, I believe that it is imperative for community-based reformers and institutional policy makers to work together to achieve sustainable and meaningful solutions.

A true consensus builder and passionate connection maker, I have a talent for communicating to multiple stakeholders and helping synthesize multiple perspectives to come up with a shared vision and set of goals. My dedication to public service and advocacy, as well as my gift for telling the story and narrative of my practice and life’s work in a connected, authentic way that resonates with audiences, is fueled by my own trials and triumphs and the countless stories of people who continue to be unfairly met with systemic barriers.

My past professional and personal experiences have ignited within me a passion for being intentional in my work and created an unrelenting desire to be an agent of change. I routinely engage in thought leadership and partnerships surrounding my deep commitment to empowering young people to develop their own voice and be their own agents of change.

Joseph O A Bowens

Co-Executive Director

Meet Joseph Olusegun Askia Bowens the Culture Creator. Joseph is a high achieving business owner, banking professional, and personal development speaker. Since 2016 Joseph has impacted the local community with his enthusiastic energy which is driven by his personal evolution that began in 2017. Joseph says he didn’t start living limitless until he faced himself. Now, he uses experiences from his life journey along with yoga styles (Ashtanga and Kundalini) to educate others on mastering their fate to become limitless in their professional and personal endeavors.

Joseph founded BOW Escrow Servicing, a mortgage escrow reconciling company that monitors escrow transactions and ensures audit readiness. Since 2020, BOW Escrow Servicing has worked with five different real estate investors, one Financial Institution, and advised countless individuals on their primary home mortgage.

Joseph has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) minoring in Accounting from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), a Certification in Financial Planning from Morgan State University, is a certified expert in Agile Project Management and recently finished world renowned motivational speaker Dr. Eric Thomas’s spiritual program to obtain a Mastery of Faith for Personal Excellence Certification which equips him to construct plans for individuals to focus their energy on accomplishing high risk objectives. Out of the group his most prized achievement is his degree from IWU. Joseph uses that accomplishment as a testament enlightening others they don’t know how limitless they can become until they tackle an objective someone says they can’t do.

Joseph is not all business yet he is always determined! When not working he plays paintball when he can, partakes in battle of wits playing chess, making memories with his wife, and actively searches for thrills! Only in his 30s, Joseph is on track to be a global influencer. He is happiest with his wife Timalyn raising their daughter who is active as 3 children.

Marvin Stewart

Communications Coordinator

Meet Marvin Stewart, a native of Louisville who is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Relations. While at EKU Marvin was involved in a variety of organizations committed to diversity & inclusion, volunteer work, event management, recruiting, and mentorship. These organizations allowed him to gain the experience needed to be successful in his personal and professional lives.

He has over six years of experience with communications, graphic design, and marketing. These three fields have allowed Marvin to use his creative and personal skills to benefit the organizations and careers he’s held in the past and present. The non-profit sector has always been a big passion for him, along with uplifting and supporting the community of the West End where he originally grew up. Outside of work, Marvin enjoys spending time with friends and family, exercising in the Shawnee Park area, and freelance graphic design.