Beth Stivers, MS - Executive Director Beth Stivers joined the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana on May 21, 2007. She received her Masters of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Louisville in 2001. Following graduation, she worked at the Louisville Science Center (now, Kentucky Science Center) as the life sciences coordinator developing informal educational science exhibits and writing/presenting informal science curriculum to school age children, science educators, and the general public. Since joining the Foundation staff in 2007, she has provided educational training programs to thousands of school nurses, school personnel, child care workers, students, law enforcement officials, EMS personnel, as well as, individuals directly affected by epilepsy and their family members.
Cortney Johnson joined the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana in January, 2023. She graduated from Ball State University with a bachelors in Secondary education, then received a Masters in Secondary education from Indiana University Southeast. Cortney worked as a middle school science teacher for 16 years. She is beyond thrilled to be joining the EF Kentuckiana Team. She has been participating in the Louisville walks since 2006. In 2010 she lost her mother, Peggy Sherrell to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). This began a close working relationship with the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana. Cortney's family helped develop a scholarship in Peggy's name and a memorial golf scramble. She has been the SUDEP Ambassador for the EF Kentuckiana since 2018. Cortney currently lives in Southern Indiana with her husband Jeff and 2 children Aurora and Rhett. Cortney loves running and spending time with her family when she is not working.
Donald Bow, USN, MCPO (Ret) - Veterans Outreach Coordinator Donald joined The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana in February, 2018 as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator. Donald is retired from the United States Navy after 20 1/2 years of service where he served as a Hospital Corpsman, a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Instructor, Recruit Division Commander, and Command Master Chief. Donald earned his Master of Health Sciences from Trident University and is a graduate of various military leadership schools to include, the Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat course. Donald is looking forward to being an advocate for our veteran community and raising awareness with veterans, their families, and medical providers.
Donald lives in Mount Washington with his wife Hayley and their two sons. Donald and his family enjoy being outdoors, hiking, and spending quality time as a family.
Sonya Ferguson, MSW was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and received her bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science at Western Kentucky University. Ferguson then married her middle school sweetheart, had a son, and went back to school to obtain her graduate degree in Social Work from Spalding University. Ferguson has over 15 years of experience working with children/families from disadvantaged backgrounds who struggle with different challenges and disabilities. Ferguson also has over 5 years of experience utilizing trauma informed care with clients, working with addictions, and residential services. Ferguson is passionate about working with diverse populations to make a difference in others life’s and feels it’s her charismatic leadership style that keeps her thriving and a positive energy to be around. When Ferguson isn’t working, she always finds time to enjoy being a mother to her two children Brayden and Brynlee, traveling with her husband, spending time with her church, friends/family, sorority and having time for self-care. Ferguson is pleased to be a part of the Epilepsy Foundation and can’t wait to meet her new team.
David Pettit, joined the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana in April, 2013 as the Western Kentucky Education Coordinator. In the past, the Foundation has strived to provide quality services to the far-reaching areas of the state, but due to proximity has not had an ideal presence in western Kentucky. In an effort to provide more epilepsy awareness and response programs, as well as meet client needs, David will be working as a dedicated satellite employee in western Kentucky, providing all of the Foundation's trainings offering and assisting clients in this region.
David retired after teaching for many years in middle schools and juvenile facilities in the Owensboro and Daviess County school districts. He has also served as community education director for both districts and as the Newspaper in Education coordinator for the Messenger-Inquirer. David and his wife, Betty Jane, have three children and nine grandchildren. In their spare time, they enjoy gardening, landscaping, and spending time with family. David was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy in his fifties, and looks forward to raising public awareness of the neurological condition.
Gary A. Zortman joined the team in October 2013 as the agency's Events Manager. He began volunteering for the Foundation in 2009. In 2011, he became the Chairman of the Walk Around Kentucky for Epilepsy Planning Committee and eventually joined the board of directors in early 2012. Gary was also instrumental in the planning and execution of the inaugural Walk in Paducah, Kentucky in 2013. Since his volunteer work with the agency began, Gary has had a growing passion to make a difference in the lives of those living with epilepsy on a more daily basis. When the Events Manager position became available, he jumped at the chance to join the team and the staff could not be more excited to have him on board. When asked about joining as staff, Gary said, "I am excited and thrilled to be part of the Foundation and to be able to provide more support to individuals and families dealing with epilepsy and seizures. I look forward to growing with the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana." Gary's duties as the Events Manager include Fundraising, Youth Groups and Social Media.
Gary is a western Kentucky native. He moved to Louisville in 2008 and has since settled in Mount Washington with his wife Ashley and their 16 year old daughter, Hailey. Gary knows first-hand the challenges those living with epilepsy face as Hailey has been living with epilepsy since age 1. Ashley shares Gary's passion in serving individuals with epilepsy, and has also been volunteering for the Foundation since 2009. When not a work Gary enjoys spending time with family and friends, landscaping and creating marketing materials.
Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana Address: Kosair Charities Centre 982 Eastern Parkway Louisville, KY 40217 (502) 637-4440 Toll-free (866) 275-1078